What’s Infrastructure?

What’s Infrastructure?


Leonard Zwelling


Bryce Covert makes an impassioned plea to include federal support for child care and elder care in any infrastructure bill and President Biden seems to agree. Along with fixing roads, repairing bridges, laying high-speed cable and paving runways, a host of social safety net programs is being proposed for expansion and justified as required to get America back to work after the pandemic. I hear the cries for more, but they seem to be insatiable.

While I believe that universal pre-K education, paid medical leave, employer provided day care, and enhanced support for elders in Medicare, are all worthy ideas, can we afford all of this and wouldn’t it be prudent to discuss each of these separately? I guess Mr. Biden is so fixated on doing everything for everyone, now (before the 2022 mid-terms) that the cost of these bills is measured in trillions. I don’t know where Mr. Biden thinks the money is going to come from.

None of this is as damaging as the divisiveness this spending spree is spawning. The left wants even more. The right wants it all to stop. Most thinking Americans in the middle would like to hear a comprehensible accounting of what this will really cost the country. And Biden hasn’t even gotten to health care reform yet.

The forces that Biden is unleashing are those of the have-nots who want the haves to pay for everything until there are no more haves left. Balance is crucial because it is those haves that invest in American productivity that in turn generates jobs and makes us more competitive in a globally smaller world.

The United States is not as big as China nor as able to run on a command and control system like the Chinese Communist Party does to keep the country in check and utilize the best of socialism and capitalism simultaneously. We need our own model here and it cannot be like much of Europe which is smaller, more homogeneous and more accepting of socialistic tendencies.

America is the roaring cauldron of wealth and I don’t think President Biden wants to cripple that by forming a socialist state between Canada and Mexico.

Infrastructure investment is needed and by that I mean in the bridges, roads, cables and runways. Yes, there needs to be attention paid to the plight of stretched middle age Americans caught between two generations—one in school and one in assisted living. But let’s separate those discussions and stop mashing everything up under the word infrastructure. America needs investment in all kinds of things. Let’s take them one at a time. Roads now. Kindergarten and home health care next month.

Maybe Mr. Biden’s being 78 has caused him to rush to get things done. I more than understand. However, he’s a wise enough politicians to read the mood in the Senate and barring a miraculous conversion among the GOP, he’s going to have to persuade at least ten Republican senators, that his ideas have merit. He didn’t with Covid relief and the jobs bill seems unlikely to pass as is. A revision of White House tactics and strategy is in order or that pre-ordained outcome in November of 2022 will be a reality and Mitch will be back in the driver’s seat.

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