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Analysis: What’s in the $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan?

The Democratic Party is acting feverishly to pass the $3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. The general purpose of this bill is to address the crisis that middle-class families and the planet are facing. Politicians who advocate for this bill are emphasizing the need to raise taxes on the ultrarich and large corporations. They argue that dozens of the most profitable corporations in the United States have been avoiding paying their federal income taxes for the past several years. For instance, Amazon pays less than 1%, while an average family will pay 26% of its total income in taxes. By passing this new bill, proponents assert that these top corporations will be held accountable and required to pay a fair share.

If passed by Congress, one of the components of the bill would be an expansion of Medicare. $726 billion would be dedicated for the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee. Senior citizens would be provided with vision, dental, and hearing-related treatment. The bill would also make education more accessible for working-class families. Bernie Sanders, one of the bill’s architects, promotes that the proposed legislature would offer affordable public college and pre-kindergarten nationwide. This is a huge step in regulating the skyrocketing debt students are facing. Preschool has been verified to be fundamental in determining a child’s future, including stronger academic inclination and robust communication skills. Research shows that those who have attended preschool are less likely to be incarcerated, will earn higher salaries, and have improved social and academic readiness. By making pre-kindergarten more affordable, parents can give their children a head start in life, save money, and provide a good educational foundation.

Significantly, $332 billion would be invested in public housing, the Housing Trust Fund, housing affordability and equity and community land trusts. This portion of the bill will address the homeless crisis and expand housing opportunities for working families.

One of the largest investments of this bill, $135 billion, will go towards tackling the most existential threat of our time: climate change. There are several parts of the climate legislation that Democrats are taking into account when it comes to stepping away from the usage of fossil fuels and turning to more sustainable energy sources. One of these components is the Climate Energy Standard, which requires states to record and set a goal of the amount of non-carbon energy they are using. Along with the Climate Energy Standard, the bill will be contributing billions of dollars to fighting extreme weather, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and drought. There are smaller programs that are going to be dedicated towards lower-emission public transportation, promoting electric vehicle purchases, and creating a national system of electrical charging stations. This sector will have a significant effect in decreasing pollution, which is a primary factor in climate change.

Not to be lost, this ambitious initiative will create hundreds of thousands of paying jobs, most not requiring a college degree. If passed, this bill will also be the largest climate change legislation ratified by Congress since the end of World War II.  

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