I don’t think we have a text to go to yet, but I have absolutely no doubt that the editors of the Wall Street Journal correctly assess the so-called bipartisan infrastructure deal as “not so grand.” If the Journal has these details right, that is a grand understatement. They highlight “an epic binge of green subsidies and more handouts for states and localities.” To wit:
Consider mass transit, which received $70 billion in pandemic relief. Only about $20 billion of that has been spent. Yet Congress now will dole out another $90 billion over five years.
This is the “largest Federal investment in public transit in history,” a White House fact sheet boasts. Taxpayers in Little Rock are again subsidizing New York City’s subway and its fat union contracts. The deal includes an additional $66 billion for rail, $30 billion of which is earmarked for Amtrak’s northeast corridor—a subsidy for political commuters.
Rail has long been an obsession of President Biden, though he’s lately become fixated with electric cars. He scored $7.5 billion for a “national network” of electric-vehicle charging stations. Even FDR didn’t get a New Deal program to build gas stations.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is also a big winner. She’ll run a green venture capital fund rivaling Kleiner Perkins with tens of billions to throw around at carbon capture, hydrogen, electric flying taxis, buses and high-speed mass-transit hyperloop. She will also be in charge of creating a “smart” grid with no less than $73 billion for transmission lines and batteries to back up heavily subsidized wind and solar power.
One of the worst parts of the deal is the $65 billion government intrusion into broadband markets. States—i.e., politicians—will get $40 billion to build out broadband in “underserved” areas. The nation’s broadband networks have been built by private companies, which invest tens of billion dollars each year, including $67 billion in a government spectrum auction that Senators plan to use to pay for their deal.
Some 99% of American households have access to high speed fixed or mobile broadband. But liberals complain about phantom “digital redlining,” so the deal creates a $30 monthly broadband subsidy for low-income households. According to a White House summary, internet providers will have to abide by rules in Mr. Biden’s competition executive order. Could the return of Barack Obama’s net neutrality rules be coming by this back door?
Sickening, with worse yet to come.