Charts in this post are from the WSJ article Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Visualized: How the $2.3 Trillion Would Be Allocated.
The Republican Counterproposal was originally $568 billion but is now $928 billion.
My starting point idea is midway between the Republican's initial offering and their recent cave-in ($928 + $568) / 2 = $748 billion.
Regarding Electric Vehicles, I would scrap all purchase subsidies but toss the money at genuine infrastructure.
Piece # 2 - Manufacturing
Businesses need to compete on their own merits. I would scrap the whole thing.
Piece # 3 - Job Creation and Research
I would easily scrap the entire proposal. The OMB, a nonpartisan group, recommended scrapping the National Science Foundation (slush fund). Instead, Biden wants to throw another $50 billion at it.
Piece #4 - Housing, Building, Utilities
Affordable housing is a meaty $213 billion boondoggle and the easiest way to cut significant money in a hurry.
National Science Foundation
For grins please check out the National Science Foundation.
In 1981, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) introduced a proposal to reduce the NSF social sciences directorate's budget by 75%.
Economist Robert A. Moffit suggests a connection between this proposal and Democratic Senator William Proxmire's Golden Fleece Award series criticizing "frivolous" government spending—Proxmire's first Golden Fleece had been awarded to the NSF in 1975 for granting $84,000 to a social science project investigating why people fall in love.
Ultimately, the OMB's 75% reduction proposal failed, but the NSF Economics Program budget did fall 40%. In 2012, political science research was barred from NSF funding by the passage of the Flake Amendment, breaking the precedent of granting the NSF autonomy to determine its own priorities.
Legislation requiring specific appropriations for various directorates was approved by the House of Representatives in May 2015.
Piece #1 Through #4 Proposal
- Transportation: $409 Billion
- Manufacturing: $0
- Job Creation and Research: $0
- Housing, Building, Utilities: $339 billion
Total = $748 billion.
Mish, Get Serious!
OK, I will.
It would be more realistic to assume at least $928 billion will be spent. And I suspect Republicans will cave even more.
So take my starting point and tell me what worthwhile (or least boondoggle) programs you would add to my proposal get to $928 billion.
Alternatively, explain what you would cut from $2.3 trillion to get to $928 billion.
Be prepared to do this again, when Republicans add another $400 billion or whatever to the number they will accept.
Then the Real Fun Begins
After Republicans further cave in (or miraculously hold firm at $928 billion), the real fun begins.
How will this be paid for?