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No One Wants a Bridge to Fall on Them

Unrepresentative Policy of the Week: Make Good on American Infrastructure Investment Now that the checks are out the door, and shots are getting into arms, the Biden administration has turned to his next piece of landmark legislation: a $2.25 Trillion infrastructure package over a decade. Numbers like these often seem staggering, but as has been the emerging trend in the Biden administration, as big as the package is, history may judge that even more aggressive action was appropriate. Still, there is a lot to like in this bill. Modernizing roads and bridges, improving waterways and replacing lead pipes, and bringing high speed internet to all Americans, just to name some of the provisions. Indeed, these investments are not just necessary and wise, they are extremely popular with the American people: 79% of Americans supported a government overhaul of American roadways, railroads, bridges, and ports. 71% supported a plan to extend high-speed internet to all Americans. 68% supported an initiative to replace every lead pipe in the country. 66% supported tax credits for renewable energy. Fantastic, we’ve got popular and important policy being pushed by the Biden administration, what could be the problem? The issues are twofold: one a matter of vision, the other a matter of strategy. First vision. As alluded to above and mentioned before, the Biden administration has a tendency to take half measures, while negotiating against themselves. Case in point, with this infrastructure plan, who exactly were they negotiating against? The progressive left wants a $10 Trillion Green New Deal to tackle the climate crisis head-on. Joe Manchin floated a $4 Trillion infrastructure price tag! And yet Biden unveils a plan barely more than half Manchin’s figure! If Biden is truly looking to be a modern-day FDR, as his staunchest advocates consistently suggest, then he needs to actually rise to the moment. He must welcome the hatred of his opposition, instead of throwing out policy concessions in a misguided attempt to meet unjust men in the middle! Second, the political reality we must confront, is that while the actual proposals in Biden’s infrastructure plan are popular, when placed in the polarizing context of party politics, support becomes softer(45%), with few Republicans (~20%) and Independents (~30%) lining up in support of the Biden Administration’s specific proposal. So what should the Biden administration’s strategy be? Well, scratch beneath the surface here, and you find that the majority of Republicans (57%) and Independents (53%) have “hardly any confidence at all” in the legislative branch. This deep skepticism of governments ability to deliver when it matters has been fueled by the massive dysfunction of Congress over the past several cycles. The key here is for the Biden administration to focus on what the people want policy-wise, and then prove through action that they can rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure. Deliver, and people will begin believing again. Unfortunately, Democrats are quite timid in this arena, and are often spooked by this kind of polling data into inaction. That’s where we, the people come in. Without a big push, the Biden administration and the Democratic party at large will never have the courage to push through the policies we are asking them to deliver. So join us each week as we grow our power and demand the Democrats rise to meet this dire moment! Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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