(August 3) The Senate infrastructure bill spends too much money, adding too much debt, for too many unnecessary projects while using too many budgetary gimmicks to claim it is “paid for” when it is not.

All of that is before considering that Democratic leaders want to treat it as a package deal with an even more bloated and irresponsible social spending bill.

For all those reasons, reasonable senators should filibuster the infrastructure bill to death.

The $1 trillion bill includes some $550 billion in new spending. Only $110 billion is earmarked for traditional roads and bridges. According to the conservative interest group Heritage Action, nearly $40 billion would go to bureaucracy-riven public transit authorities, which seems outlandishly wasteful considering that pandemic relief bills already sent $67 billion their way.

The bill also is full of hidden time bombs, such as a “pilot program” for a vehicle per-mile user fee, which would (according to the conservative Americans for Tax Reform) “lay the groundwork for what would end up being an incredibly regressive, costly tax from the American public.” It also contains objectionable priorities of the “woke” Left, including ameliorating the “racism physically built into some of our highways” (huh?) and imposing rules on broadband expansion aimed at protecting those of a nonstandard “gender identity.” These provisions will be open invitations for federal bureaucrats to act as the commissars of identity politics.

Moreover, as with other bills pushed by the Democratic leadership, the true cost of the package is greater than they claim. The centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget notes that the bill not only adds one-time projects, but “appears to significantly increase [recurring] baseline spending for highway and transit programs in the second half of the decade.” The real decade-long cost, therefore, will be around $70 billion higher…. [The full column is at this link.]


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