Opinion | American Jobs Plan: ‘My Generation’s New Deal’

Readers offer praise and criticism of the ambitious $1.9 trillion proposal to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

To the Editor:

Re “Biden Plan Stresses Jobs, Roads and Growth” (front page, April 1):

“It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes. And we can get it done.” — President Biden.

The American Jobs Plan is my generation’s New Deal. It’s the largest jobs program since World War II. This bold and visionary proposal presents an opportunity to seize the future, through its incredible public domestic investments, growth in infrastructure, innovations in clean energy technology and modernization of the power grid.

For all those Republicans who criticize the broad nature of this plan, I simply ask them to reassess the premise of their arguments. Just as President Franklin D. Roosevelt made investments in the face of a menacing “socialist” label, Mr. Biden knows that similar New Deal ideas and investments are the key to a victorious future.

If we fail to make these investments, our nation will cease to maintain its competitive strength in comparison to China, which makes substantial investments in its power grid and infrastructure.

After the human and economic losses from Covid-19, we cannot afford to cling to the antiquated and regressive thinking of hypocritical, and suspiciously selective, fiscal hawks. We need a true recovery. Pass the American Jobs Plan and ensure that America remains on top.

Henry J.H. Wilson
Barrington, Ill.

To the Editor:

President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan suffers from at least three fatal flaws.

First, its sheer size: While touted as devoted to infrastructure, the plan, if enacted, would constitute a tremendous increase in government power and control over the private economy. Every citizen should be troubled by this prospect.

Second, paying for it: While the plan calls for spending $2 trillion over eight years, the tax increases are slated to take 15 years to pay for it. This is an old trick. If the hoped-for revenues from tax increases do not materialize, we will pass on huge increases in debt that will have to be repaid by our children and grandchildren.

Third, those tax increases: This plan would supposedly be funded by corporate tax increases. This feeds the timeworn populist talking point that corporations should “pay more taxes.” But these taxes are paid by the individual investors who will see their dividends reduced and the workers who will see smaller wage increases.

The Democrats may have the votes to force this proposal through Congress, but, if so, we all will pay a heavy price.

Kenneth A. Margolis
Chappaqua, N.Y.

To the Editor:

President Biden’s infrastructure plan is expansive and urgently needed both in terms of improving aging infrastructure as well as creating associated jobs that will provide upward mobilization for millions of Americans. There is much urgent work to be done on aging airports, rail tunnels and roads across the country.

From President Franklin D. Roosevelt implementing the Works Progress Administration to President Eisenhower creating the Interstate Highway System, our nation has a long bipartisan history of ambitious infrastructure marvels. Let’s reclaim that proud tradition by passing a comprehensive infrastructure bill that will give us the critical improvements needed while creating jobs.

Steven M. Clayton
Ocean, N.J.

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