Deconstructing a Right-Wing Hit Piece

Sometimes it needs to be done.

I came across this article, found here, critical of Biden’s Infrastructure plan. Normally, I would let this go as people are entitled to their own opinion, but this article in particular smacks of purposeful ignorance. So lets break it down, point by point.

Clearly, America requires investment in improved infrastructure. Unfortunately, the current infrastructure legislation will do little to address that. In reality, it is a Trojan Horse, using a misleading title to masquerade a panoply of Progressive goals hidden in 2,700 pages that are far too unpopular, and unwise, to be pushed through honestly.

Okay, the page length here is important because it establishes precisely what bill the author is referring to. The American Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which just passed the Senate, is 2700 pages long 1. Remember this. Though, far from being “unpopular,” the bill passed with universal Democratic support alongside some 18 Republican Senators who voted in its favor….including the grim reaper himself, Mitch McConnell.

Only 23%, or $550 billion, of the Senate version would actually be used to rebuild roads, bridges, and similar projects. The touted purpose of the legislation, to rebuild roads, bridges, and other related major projects, receives only $110 billion of the $1.5 trillion passed in the Senate.

What? The total bill is $944 Billion over five years, not $1.5 Trillion. $550 Billion isn’t 23% of $1.5 Trillion either. I can only surmise that the author is making up fictitious numbers here. Further, virtually all of the money goes to physical infrastructure, not just $110 Billion. Again, a simple Google search is all that is needed to confirm this 2.

Sen. Kennedy (R-Lousiana) argues that it shouldn’t even be called an infrastructure bill. A more accurate description, he notes, would be a Green New Deal and welfare bill.

Well there’s a totally unbiased, impartial, and reliable source!No agenda there.

Two versions of the legislation range in price from $1.5 trillion-$3.5 trillion, the largest tax and spend measure on record. Neither version will help the nation. Far more harm than good will occur if it is passed.

There are no “two versions” of the bill referenced at the beginning of this article, and none of the proposals ever were $3.5 Trillion, even Biden’s American Jobs Plan, the direct predecessor to the “infrastructure plan” that ultimately passed, was only $2.3 Trillion in size 3.

The concerns are not GOP talking points. Sen. Manchin (D-West Virginia) warns that the U.S. faces “grave consequences” if the $3.5 trillion bill is enacted, sparking inflation. Inflation is still stubbornly set at a 13-year high, with mammoth increases in basic commodities in energy topping the list. Adding several trillion dollars more to the mix could send the economy over the brink.

Aha! Well now I am stumped! Even the Democrats have concerns! But wait...the infrastructure bill passed with universal Democratic support. Huh?

The author is purposely attempting to confuse readers. Joe Manchin has been warning against spending on the American Families Plan...which, while sometimes referred to in the media as an “infrastructure plan” but hasn’t been drafted yet. As it has not been drafted, we don’t yet know the page length. This article is written about a bill that is 2700 pages in length, so the author is clearly swapping topics mid article to make it appear that even Democrats have concerns about the infrastructure bill.

On the contrary, Joe Manchin is one of the drafters of the 2700 page infrastructure bill and was crucial to getting it passed in the Senate 4. He doesn’t oppose his own bill, that’s silly.

Paying for the measure could literally destroy retirement planning for vast numbers of Americans.

This is purely speculative, but ok.

Small businesses and family farms would be devastated due to the concept of taxing unrealized capital gains upon death, another desperate attempt to finance the bill.

The presence of this bizarre scare tactic is a cue that this entire article is right-wing hit piece.

The author is referring to an attempt to close a loophole in the Estate Tax that allows super wealthy individuals to put their money into stocks and pass the gains on….tax free….after their death.

Democrats are correct to try and close this loophole. But this provision isn’t drafted yet, and is not in the bill to which this article pertains. Further, to cast this as “devastating” to small businesses and family farms is laughable. This loophole only exists meaningfully for super wealthy individuals.

Breaking a promise yet again, the Biden administration is seeking to finance the pricetag with a “vehicle mileage tax.” A Freedom Works review of the concept notes that “The new national motor vehicle per-mile “user fee” pilot program found in Title III of H. R. 3684 is merely a regressive tax by another name. While pundits argue about the costs and benefits of a commercial vehicle mileage tax, the inclusion of passenger vehicles in the program should be a huge red flag for citizens concerned about their growing tax burden.”

It doesn’t. The bill includes some funds to begin researching the feasibility of a vehicle mileage fee as a means of possibly replacing the gas tax as more cars switch to electricity. There are no plans to actually implement this fee and Biden has opposed all user fees on drivers, including raising the gas tax, from the very beginning.

Further, what “growing” tax burden? What taxes has Biden raised since taking office? I’ll wait.

Spending in programs included do not even pretend to be infrastructure-related. They include vast amounts for agricultural climate research and other climate-specific programs, including the establishment of a “Climate Corps,” housing programs, purchasing “green materials,” universal pre-K, tuition free community college, providing lawful permanent status for some illegal immigrants, and investments for native housing and health facilities. A review by Brookings favors the legislation, but readily describes its support because it makes “the country more inclusive, environmentally resilient, and industrially competitive…”

This is, again, not in reference to the 2700 page infrastructure bill that is the subject of this article.

Whatever the merits (or not) of the proposed infrastructure legislative ideas, they are certainly not infrastructure, making the legislation the largest bait and switch scheme in U.S. history.

In conclusion, you either have no idea what you are talking about, or you’re purposely obfuscating several bills to confuse the public and turn them against, as you say, badly needed infrastructure investment. The only “bait and switch” here is this article, which baits readers with one bill, but then switches the discussion to other bills. Nice try.

  1. https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-bills-474bc149c0d9867e0b6636bf7695ea85

  2. https://www.hklaw.com/en/insights/publications/2021/08/infrastructure-investment-and-jobs-act-summary

  3. https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/naco-executive-summary-american-jobs-plan

  4. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/10/1005336063/10-senators-say-they-agree-on-infrastructure-framework-but-there-are-few-details

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