The fight over Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” package is continuing apace. We still aren’t sure how much of it can or can’t be passed via the reconciliation process (i.e. only needing 50 votes), and that is just adding to the confusion. Chuck Schumer recently claimed the Senate parliamentarian gave him free rein, yet that decision has not been made public, and there’s probably a reason for that.
Regardless, given how much garbage is in the bill, including only a small percentage of money for actual infrastructure, you’d think Republicans would all be on the same page in opposing it. But nah, they are going engage in another bout of failure theater and offer a compromise bill instead, because they apparently like losing.
Republicans are working on an infrastructure counteroffer likely to consist of surface transportation, airports, broadband and water/sewer and be
-Smaller ($600-800 billion being thrown around)
-Paid for by user fees (including possibly a mileage fee)https://t.co/WwJpbfP9zY
— Sam Mintz (@samjmintz) April 14, 2021
Yes, let’s promote a major, middle-class tax increase via a mileage tax right before 2022, an election that is setting up to heavily favor Republicans. I mean, it’s not like people have been devastated financially by the pandemic and just want to be able to drive to work and earn a living. Does that sound like a winning strategy to anyone? Doing this also gives Biden one of his chief wants without even putting up a fight.
This is why people hate establishment Republicans. They can be counted on to go to the mat to make sure Amazon’s and Wal-Mart’s taxes don’t go up, but regular people driving to work? They couldn’t care less about them, and it shows. After all, Billy Bob heading to his construction job doesn’t drop big donations on the heads of the elites.
Also, notice there’s no discussion of repealing the gas tax and shifting strictly to a mileage tax. Doing that actually makes sense, but the government wants to double dip in this instance. You’ll also be less than shocked to learn that Mitt Romney and Shelly Moore Capito are pushing this. Romney is obviously a man with his finger on the pulse, right?
Another central principle that Republicans are focused on is maintaining user fees as a pay-for, Romney told reporters, though he wouldn’t elaborate on what kind.
“The pay-for ought to come from the people who are using it,” he said. He also suggested that the infrastructure plan should include a mileage charge to ensure that electric vehicle drivers are paying into the system.
Making sure all these woke corporations don’t abuse the tax code? That’s not on Romney’s radar. Making sure you pay your mileage tax to go to the grocery store? Well, he’s all for that. Again, if there were offsets here, it’d be one thing. But I’m seeing no mention of that.
Here’s the truth. The United States’ infrastructure is still some of the best in the world. Most projects that need to happen are at the state level anyway. There is no crisis that demands we run out and spend $800 billion or $2 trillion right now, not when inflation is already an issue that’s going to crush the savings of normal people. Republicans should be leading the charge to say: no, we aren’t spending another dime until after 2022. Instead, we get the GOP rushing to “compromise,” something Democrats didn’t even attempt to do under President Trump. You’d think Republicans would learn their lesson at some point, but I guess not.