The U.S. Senate’s INVEST in America Act does not only come with a hefty $1.2 trillion price tag, but it is also enormous in size, clocking in at more than 1,900 pages. Did anyone read this legislation before voting on it? At this point, the odds of either Republicans or Democrats meticulously combing through hundreds of pages before casting a vote are low. Remember, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “We need to pass the bill in order to find out what is in it.” Senate Democrats and many Republicans ostensibly agreed with this governance style, passing the bill 69-30 and sending it to the House of Representatives. Before it receives its share of amendments and additions in the other chamber, what’s in the monstrosity Washington’s finest and smartest men and women thrust upon taxpayers?
Infrastructure Goes Woke?
Does America’s infrastructure need to be more woke? According to Section 3010, the Transportation Department will hand out grants to post-secondary institutions to conduct research and development for implicit bias training programs concerning racial profiling at traffic stops. In Section 9604, the Secretary of Transportation will be expected to launch at least one workforce development pilot program with a railroad carrier “to increase employment opportunities for socially disadvantaged individuals.” As part of its employment plan in Section 2605, the U.S. government will prioritize jobs for “individuals that represent populations that are traditionally underrepresented in the infrastructure workforce, such as women and racial and ethnic minorities.” Wokeology strikes infrastructure, it seems.
Fare-Free Transit Coming Soon?
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will be tasked to study the effects of fare-free public transportation in the United States. The bill ostensibly has already reached several conclusions, including improved access to jobs and services, increased transit ridership, and cost savings for transit agencies. Does this mean Americans could soon ride the bus or subway without paying a nickel? The cost of this proposal would be astounding once the researchers complete the report.
Ergonomic Seating Working Group
The Secretary of Transportation would be given 180 days to establish a working group to assess the seating standards for commercial drivers. The participants, including seat manufacturers, musculoskeletal health experts, and labor representatives for the trucking industry, would identify health issues that afflict commercial motorists and come up with research topics to determine the best practices to enhance seating arrangements.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure for Poor Neighborhoods
The electric vehicle industry is receiving approximately $175 billion from the federal government to encourage greater adoption of these automobiles. Despite a system of subsidies and credits that have primarily benefitted affluent families for years, policymakers think it would be a prudent use of taxpayer dollars to install E.V. infrastructure in impoverished communities, including charging stations and public accessibility solutions. Do inner cities need better infrastructure for wealthy Tesla owners or better governance? Officials seem to believe the former is critical at this point.
Making School Lunches Greener
As part of the overall $128.5 billion funding for public schools, the administration wants to allocate the funds to ensure the kitchens and cafeterias are environmentally friendly. The goal is to ensure children’s lunches “go green by reducing or eliminating the use of paper plates and other disposable materials.” President Joe Biden will make infrastructure great again and solve climate change by making school-aged children ditch paper plates?
Yes, There is Infrastructure Spending
Overall, the $1.2 trillion worth of spending over eight years does cover plenty of infrastructure. Here is what the government proposes to spend money on:
- $65 billion on broadband internet that “prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives—providers with less pressure to turn profits.”
- $109 billion on roads, bridges, and other major projects.
- $49 billion on public transportation.
- $55 billion on water infrastructure.
- $73 billion on the power grid.
But many Americans may be stumped when the U.S. government is shoving child care, free community college, and diversity language in a 400,000-word scheme. And this, according to the Fox Business Network, is when fraud can occur. The media outlet noted: “Experts are ringing the alarm bells yet again as worries heighten over potential widespread fraud related to Congress’ proposed spending spree and seeming lack of oversight.” Of course, it is easy enough to exploit a provision in a monster bill.
Infrastructure is Everything
Since President Biden unveiled his two-part infrastructure initiative that involved free tuition, child care, and even a $10 billion Civilian Climate Corp, a lot of people were stumped and wondered what this had to do with potholes and speed bumps. It turns out that infrastructure can be anything the government says it is, using flowery language like “human infrastructure.” When the Leviathan can manipulate the public and both sides of the political aisle, the ruling class can go on a spending spree with no questions asked. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the package will add more than $256 billion to the federal deficit over ten years. When the next generation is handed the bar bill from the previous patrons, it will be too late to submit a straightforward query: What happened?
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