By Louis Seagray
The US has some bills that get renewed every so often, and they are monsters. I’m sure you’ve seen me write about the Patriot Act (passed less than one week after introduction with almost no debate) and the Farm Bills when they come up for renewal.
These are some seriously scary bills.
They are ugly not only because of their price tags (which can defy all forms of logic), and some of the ridiculous provisions within, but because of all the little things buried in them. Any time someone speaks out against them, they are at once admonished and shouted down for being unpatriotic/anti-this or that..
Let’s talk-for example-about any one of the numerous “Farm” bills, slated to help the working man in America’s breadbasket.
But let’s not forget that these same people look down their noses at people in that region of the US-check out the comments in this recent election (deplorables, rubes, rednecks, hicks) if you need proof. They call them “flyover states” because that’s the space between New York and Los Angeles or San Francisco (You know, the “civilized” areas at the extreme ends of the great unwashed.)
It’s used pejoratively to infer those areas are less sophisticated, often seen as homespun, ignorant, barefoot, and shirtless under their overalls. But boy, do they EVER care when it’s time to vote! (You think a single politician cares about Iowa? They care about Iowa during presidential elections. That’s it.)
Actually, that’s not entirely accurate; they suddenly care when it’s time to spend, too.
The current Farm Bill is one of those bills where people (read: you plebeian schmucks with the checkbooks) need to “care about America’s farmers.”
The term “flyover” is marvelously replaced with “heartland.”
And the infrastructure bill is now up for renewal. This happens every presidential term:
- Bush had a $286.4 billion infrastructure bill.
- Obama’s was $305 billion.
- Trump passed a $1.5 trillion one last July.
(It should be noted that no one and I mean no one-is raising Cain about border children in cages that are reportedly now at 700% of capacity. It’s almost as if they never really cared…)
This is what our parasitic overloads do-and after all that spending, they are not even bothering to change the pre-printed rhetoric.
Just listen to any of the bleating (sob), pandering (sniffle) speeches about the United States’ dilapidated roads and collapsing bridges (What a shame! It MUST be the fault of the previous administration.)
Without mentioning, of course, that the US spends NOT ONLY the billions and trillions in the infrastructure bills, but actual fuel tax to boot!
$0.184 per gallon of gasoline and $0.244 per gallon on diesel just in federal taxes on fuel supposedly to support the roads and bridges.
123.49 billion gallons of fuel consumed by Americans in 2020, which averages about 337 million gallons per day.
That is (probably) low due to the pandemic. In 2018 it was 392 million gallons per day or roughly 143.5 billion gallons for the year.
Even if all that fuel was strictly gasoline and no diesel, the feds made $26.4 billion on fuel. Plus each state has its own state taxes on fuel ranging from $0.6247/gallon in California to $0.1377/gallon in Alaska.
Now add the extra spending coming from these infrastructure bills, and I’m left wondering how the roads in the US aren’t just made of pure gold! With diamond road signs.
This administration is proposing a $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
That’s half the US GDP.
On roads and bridges.
Remember the recent “stimulus bill?” Of the $1.9 trillion allocated to the COVID-19 “Relief” Package passed earlier in the year, independent auditors found a paltry amount of it was actually earmarked for anything related to the pandemic:
According to CRFB, just 1 percent of the relief plan’s spending would go toward vaccines, and just 5 percent would go toward pandemic-related public health needs.
Meanwhile, 15 percent of the spending — about $300 billion — would be spent on long-standing policy priorities that are not directly related to the current crisis.
So, let’s take look at the ugly underbelly, shall we?
- $10 Billion to Create a ‘Civilian Climate Corp’
This has to do with conserving public lands, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice. I have no idea what community resilience and environmental justice even mean, much less how they relate to infrastructure. But they got $10 billion nonetheless.
- $20 Billion to ‘Advance Racial Equity and Environmental Justice’
This got more than the advancement of vaccines in the last stimulus bill!
This is supposed to increase opportunities, promote affordable access, and advance racial equity and environmental justice. Evidently, Environmental Justice is such a big deal; it’s getting another helping of the infrastructure bill. But I have to ask: who, exactly, is the check going to be written to? What is the name in the “Payee” line? I am going to bet that I won’t get an answer.
- $175 Billion in Subsidies for Electric Vehicles
For as much as liberals complain about large corporate subsidies, they cheer on proposals like these that ultimately (and disproportionately) benefit the very people they resent because:
SURPRISE! Electric vehicles are made by large corporations. Large corporations that reportedly strip the earth for lithium, have huge injury claims, and supposedly pay pennies a day to their third-world miners/minors.
The EXACT same folks that they claim to hate. Congratulations, you just got played.
The funds will go toward manufacturing subsidies and customer tax credits.
But here’s the most laughable part: they’ve allocated more toward subsidizing electric cars than the total $115 billion to “modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair.”
This alone received more money than actual infrastructure.
- $213 Billion to Build/Retrofit 2 Million Houses & Buildings
It’s exactly as it reads. But what does sustainable housing have to do with infrastructure? Evidently, there’s another $40 billion in the bill for public housing in particular.
- $100 Billion for New Public Schools and Making School Lunches ‘Greener’
A few things on this… First, schools aren’t even required to reopen. In fact, in some areas this is still prohibited.
Wild thought: Why are we building new ones when we aren’t filling the existing ones?
Second, this would be in addition to the $128.5 billion in funds they received from the stimulus bill. Of that $128.5 billion, only $6 billion of it is available this year. And this doesn’t come close to including all of those millions that are supposed to be sluicing over from all of these “educational” (wink) state lotteries.
And what’s with green lunches? They want to do away with the disposable stuff? Wasn’t the disposable stuff what kept things more hygienic?
- $12 Billion for Community Colleges
Uhh, I’ve got nothing. An education bill I guess?
- Billions to Eliminate ‘Racial and Gender Inequities’ in STEM
See #6. Really not understanding what this has to do with infrastructure. I fail see how this falls into the scope of the federal government.
- $100 Billion to Expand Broadband Internet (And Government Control of It)
This is not being called Net Neutrality because it’s much more than that. This is a bold move toward nationalizing the internet as a state-run utility. And that’s absolutely terrifyingif you don’t think that control of information flow can cause you to believe things that aren’t true then think back to when you were told there was a Santa Claus complete with the assurance that you didn’t need to worry about the contradictions.
I’ll write more later, but every one of you folks should be scared ***less about this. The Patriot Act pales by comparison.
- $25 Billion for Government Childcare Programs
This sounds an awful lot like a welfare program for child care, and not a thing to do with infrastructure or bridges. (I guess if we have some trolls underneath said bridges and they were eating the children it might count…)
That’s because it is. States must use it to build and supply more child care facilities.
It’s estimated that one-third of this plan’s spending — approximately $621 billion — goes to “transportation infrastructure and resilience.”
People have repeatedly complained there’s not enough money being spent of things like roads or education, and they’re right.
But the money IS being appropriated for that causes-the cash never seems to make it to its final destination. Perhaps it might because they never consider looking at how the money is actually earmarked.
And as an added bonus, the Biden administration buried the PRO Act into the infrastructure bill.
Specifically, the PRO Act:
- Proposes sweeping changes to national labor laws
- Repeals and bans right-to-work state laws
- Forces workers to join and financially support unions
- Mandates that employers turn over workers’ personal, private information to union organizers, potentially subjecting workers to harassment retribution, and privacy breaches
- Imposes a version of California’s job-killing law Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) on the entire nation
- Reclassifies millions of independent contractors as employees, which will put them out of work
THIS will be the subject of a future rant.
The government has never had a revenue problem. (I mean, seriously, how can you have a revenue problem when you are the one IN CHARGE OF PRINTING IT??)
It has a spending problem.
And the fact that the American populace did not go absolutely crazy over the first spending bill that gave less than 15% back as “stimulus” while the rest is being sent overseas WHILE THEY ARE ANNOUNCING THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO INCREASE TAXES is blowing my mind.
And THAT indicates that WE have a complacency problem. It is going to be an expensive one.