Falling Apart: America’s Infrastructure

Each year the American Society of Civil Engineers grades the quality of American infrastructure. On average, American infrastructure has scored in the D’s — barely a passing grade. Republicans and Democrats both recognize that this poses a severe problem because unstable infrastructure is dangerous; for example, crumbling bridges and roads cause accidents that threaten the safety of American drivers. There is no contention on whether American infrastructure needs improvement because the evidence is in front of us. If everyone agrees that America’s deteriorating infrastructure is a problem, why is President Biden’s infrastructure plan not universally supported?

Funding is a considerable factor affecting the possibility of bipartisan support for Biden’s plan. The proposed legislation is not cheap, with a price tag of $2 trillion. The Republican platform emphasizes minimizing government spending, which extends to infrastructure spending, and is why few Republicans support Biden’s infrastructure plan. Democrats do not perceive this significant expense as a problem because they see infrastructure improvement as necessary, despite the high cost. To offset concerns about adding to the federal debt, Biden proposes increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to fund the plan. However, raising corporate taxes is wildly unpopular among Republicans, especially since they just succeeded in reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% in 2017. Most Democrats support increasing corporate taxes, and many support increasing them above the 35% rate before 2017, so raising the corporate tax rate 7% is something Democrats would likely support regardless of whether it was paying for infrastructure or not.

What is Infrastructure?

Bipartisanship?

Unlock The Grid is a national, youth-led bipartisan organization that aims to reduce polarization in Congress by promoting working across the aisle.