Monday numbers: A closer look at President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

By: - April 5, 2021 6:00 am

President Biden unveiled a large and ambitious new proposal to rebuild and improve the nation’s infrastructure last week that he has dubbed the “American Jobs Plan.”

And while the proposal has met with criticism from some progressives for being insufficiently bold – especially in tackling the global climate emergency – it is, by all accounts, an ambitious plan that would, if enacted, be the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

of the nonprofit environmental advocacy organization NRDC described the plan this way in an April 2 statement:

The America Jobs Plan establishes a bold vision and new social contract for our nation’s long-term economic recovery. It tackles climate change, addresses past investment challenges, and makes a significant down payment for fixing our nation’s aging infrastructure.”

USA Today contributors Bernard Schwartz and David Rothkopf described the proposal this way in an April 1 op-ed:

As Biden made clear through the name he gave this initiative, it is at its core a jobs plan. In his Pittsburgh speech unveiling it, he said Wall Street economists have estimated the program could generate up to 18 million new jobs.

It is not however, just a jobs plan. It is also a growth plan. Investing in infrastructure increases productivity and attracts additional investment. Economists with S&P estimated that Biden’s plans (including a $1 trillion American Families Plan he said he’d announce in a few weeks) could inject $5.7 trillion into the U.S. economy and raise per capita income by $2,400.”

In keeping with the Biden administration’s penchant for data and detailed analyses, the White House released a lengthy “fact sheet” that runs to dozens of pages in outlining the proposal. Here are some of the highlights:

$2.3 trillion over eight years – size of the proposal

13th – current U.S. ranking globally in the the quality of its infrastructure

20,000 – miles of highways the plan proposes to modernize

10,000 – number of smaller bridges the plan would repair

2 million – number of homes and commercial buildings to be “built, preserved and retrofitted”

$85 billion – amount the plan would spend on modernizing existing public transit systems (buses, commuter trains, stations, etc…)

$80 billion – amount the plan would spend to address the backlog in Amtrak repairs

$174 billion – amount plan would spend on electric vehicle infrastructure (including construction of a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030)

$20 billion – amount the plan would earmark to “reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access”

100% – share of lead pipes and service lines in U.S. drinking water systems that will be removed and replaced

$10 billion – amount plan would allocate to “monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water and to invest in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems, including drainage fields”

At least 30 million – number of Americans currently lacking access to high-speed broadband to whom the plan aims to provide service

$100 billion – amount the plan would invest in upgrading the nation’s broadband infrastructure

$100 billion – amount the plan would invest in upgrading the nation’s electric grid

$137 billion – amount the plan would invest in building and improving child care facilities

$100 billion – amount the plan would invest in public school facility modernization

$100 billion – amount the plan would invest in workforce development

$180 billion – amount the plan would invest in research and development — including the search for “technology breakthroughs that address the climate crisis” and addressing “racial and gender inequities in research and development and science, technology, engineering, and math” via funding to HBCU’s and other minority serving institutions

$10 billion – amount the plan would invest in a new “Civilian Climate Corps”

$16 billion – amount plan would invest in capping abandoned wells and cleaning up abandoned mines,

100 – percentage of the plan that would be paid for with new taxes

91 – number of Fortune 500 companies that paid zero income tax in 2018

28% – level to which the plan would raise the corporate income tax (it’s currently at 21%)

At least 8 – number of corporate tax loopholes the plan would close

Click here to explore “FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan”

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors regular commentaries, and hosts a weekly radio show/podcast.