US President, Joe Biden has “drawn a red line” on his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, saying he is open to compromise on how to pay for the package but inaction is unacceptable.
The President noted that the United States is failing to build, invest and research for the future. He added that failure to do so amounts to giving up on “leading the world.”
“Compromise is inevitable. We’ll be open to good ideas in good faith negotiations. But here’s what we won’t be open to; we will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction, simply, is not an option.”
Biden also challenged the idea that low tax rates would do more for growth than “investing in care workers, roads, bridges, clean water, broadband, school buildings, the power grid, electric vehicles and veterans’ hospitals”.
Last week, President Biden proposed funding his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, largely through an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% and an expanded global minimum tax set at 21%.
His speech comes amid strong opposition by Republican lawmakers and business groups to the infrastructure plan. They argue Biden is proposing that corporate tax increases should finance an infrastructure package that goes far beyond the traditional focus on roads and bridges.
Speaking to reporters prior to the Biden’s speech, Republican Senator, Roger Wicker, insisted “What the President proposed is not an infrastructure bill.”
“It’s a huge tax increase, for one thing. And it’s a tax increase on small businesses, on job creators in the United States of America.”Senator Roger Wicker
We have to ‘pay for this’- Biden
Biden, however revealed that, he was willing to accept a rate below 28%, so long as the projects are financed. And taxes are not increased on people making less than $400,000.
“I’m willing to listen to that. But we gotta pay for this. We gotta pay for this. There’s many other ways we can do it. But I am willing to negotiate. I’ve come forward with the best, most rational way, in my view the fairest way, to pay for it. But there are many other ways as well. And I’m open.”
He also stressed that he had been open to compromise on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, but Republicans never budged beyond their $600 billion counteroffer.
“If they’d come forward with a plan that did the bulk of it and it was $1.3 billion or four, that allowed me to have pieces of all that was in there, I would have been prepared to compromise. But they didn’t. They didn’t move an inch. Not an inch.”
The President added that America’s position in the world is dependent on taking aggressive action on modern infrastructure that serves a computerized age. Otherwise, he said, the county would lose out to China in a fundamental test of democracy.
“You think China is waiting around to invest in this digital infrastructure or on research and development? I promise you. They are not waiting. But they’re counting on American democracy, to be too slow, too limited and too divided to keep pace.”