The Fundamental Problem With the Biden Infrastructure Plan

Joe Biden’s newly-revealed infrastructure plan is too little, too late, and doomed to become a giant piggybank for well-connected donors to push bridge to nowhere projects.

There is absolutely no doubt that American infrastructure is decrepit, hamstrung by 50 years of neglect and deterioration.

But there is absolutely no way a repair program put together by lobbyist-enslaved political hacks in D.C. will bring the benefits promised.

First off — there is absolutely nothing transformational or bold about reading off a wish list for spending goals that Congress will pervert within days of the legislative text being negotiated.

It’s all talk and nothing more. Part of Team Biden’s deliberate, desperate effort to try and keep the Democratic Party in power after the coming bloodbath in 2022.

Biden’s administration represents the triump of Neoliberal politics, an alliance between big business, the news media, and the old TransAtlantic Elite continuing its century-old project of trying to dominate the world. Neoconservatives are welcome too, because they’re equally obsessed with expanding American power and kneecapping potential “threats” like Russia and China.

Many of Biden’s closest advisers were Clinton appointees back in the ’90s — a clear sign of the Boomer generation’s unwillingness to relinquish power. As a result, the same fights that have characterized American politics for 20 years are being endlessly re-waged, a process that will terminate in the fragmentation of the United States.

Biden’s infrastructure push will result in legislation — but it won’t be the kind America needs.

To rebuld an America capable of surviving the 21st Century intact, the power of politicians in D.C. to control spending at the local level must be broken.

To remedy the generation-long process of wealth and power accumulating in the hands of a well-to-do suburbanite elite, infrastructure spending must be done on a per-person basis distributed evenly across the entire country.

America’s infrastructure has degenerated because politicians and lobbyists have an incredible degree of control over what actually gets funded. Inequalities in the country mean that wealthy areas always get the lions share of support, and poorer regions are starved.

Per-person spending is the only way out of this trap. Instead of running appropriations through Congress, all infrastructure spending must be allocated directly to regional councils comprised of local elected officials who can directly engage voters in their area to determine what items they need to see.

The federal government and the states are all poorly designed to handle the demands of the 21st century. They are dominated by archaic political structures that are actively working to divide Americans and stoke division. This is a function of the fact that there hasn’t been real meaningful institutional reform since the 1960s, and as a result America has calcified.

Rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure is vital, but Biden’s plan is nothing more than a feel-good laundry list intended as a marketing ploy to benefit the Democratic Party.

What happens now is that Congress slowly rigs the bill, filling it with pork projects and other waste, so that it ultimately fails to help the people it is supposed to.

Per-person mandated spending avoids the usual traps of the Congressional funding process. Instead of letting politicians compete for local pork projects, the United States will be split into several hundred Investment Zones with around 1 million people each where local elected officials meet with representatives from the public and business to allocate a guaranteed annual federal benefit.

$1,000 per-person per-year in each of the 330 or so zones spread across the United States would cost $330 billion annually — less than half the present military budget, which must be cut to afford the cost without dramatically increasing the national debt. Over 8 years this comes to over $2.5 trillion — more than Biden’s plan, but all spending would be directly applied to communities across the country, not soaked up by political vanity projects.

Instead of a knock-down, drag-out political fight over dollar amounts, the battle in Congress will be over two issues: how much money to spend overall, and what sorts of projects are eligible to be funded.

This sidesteps the D.C. morass almost completely, putting decisions in the hands of local institutions and local people who know what their area needs the most. Whether that is improved roads, or green energy, or poverty remediation, local people know best how to spend funds in their area.

The single most important objective of the American people, if they hope to salvage what remains of their democracy, must be to take spending decisions out of the hands of politicians and lobbyists in D.C.

The United States of America is as diverse and complex as the European Union. It stands to reason that its fifty states would have difficulty sharing the same federal government.

Joe Biden wants to pretend that big government at the national level is the only option for America. This is because he is a dyed-in-the-wool Neoliberal, one of the people directly responsible for the state of the United States of America as it presently stands.

Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, which has more deeply and darkly impacted America than the mass media — which cheerleaded the atrocity and chose to erase it from the national consciousness after — is willing to admit.

Joe Biden was instrumental in making student loan debt impossible to discharge, because his entire career depended on being a stooge for the big banks chartered in Delaware.

Joe Biden is a disaster second only to Trump, a sign of the United States slipping ever deeper into gerontocracy.

A meaningful infrastructure plan is vital to rebuilding this country. But a pork-infested, lobbyist-written effort will be worse than nothing at all.

Progressives must demand not only more spending, but a new and improved system for making sure funds actually make it to the American people.

As it stands, the Biden plan will run into severe headwinds over the summer that will likely make the second half of his legislative agenda impossible as the Midterm Election season begins in 2022.

Ultimately, he and his entire administration are a shell for a hardcore group of dedicated Neoliberals who believe they can bluff the American people into accepting a fake reboot of the country.

Build Back Better is only a slogan unless accompanied by real, systemic change.

Author of Bringing Ragnarok. Independent Research Consultant.

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