Higgins Argues Infrastructure Investments, Not Tax Breaks for the Wealthy, Would Create Real Jobs and Economic Growth for Hardworking Americans
During a House of Representatives Ways and Means hearing on tax reform outcomes, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) argued the value of infrastructure investments over the cost of tax breaks for the wealthy.
(To access video clip click above or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1dFCIeneXA&feature=youtu.be)
Higgins said, “The President has stated, during the context of his campaign and then subsequent, that the goal of his Administration is to get the American economy to grow at 4%. I would submit to you, there’s two ways of spending $1.5 trillion: you can spend $1.5 trillion to give the top 1% over 80% of the growth by the year 2027 or you can spend $1.5 trillion to rebuild the roads and bridges of America. Every economic report shows that would create real jobs and real growth in the economy.”
May 14-21, 2018 is recognized as National Infrastructure Week, raising awareness of the poor state of U.S. infrastructure and the need for significant investments. Higgins kicked off Infrastructure Week last year by introducing “The Nation Building Here At Home Act” which would invest $1.263 trillion in infrastructure projects over the next 5 years. The allocation represents the difference between the projected level of U.S. infrastructure investment and what the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says is needed to meet U.S. infrastructure needs.
Higgins pointed out that the tax breaks approved haven’t delivered the economic outcomes promised, “The American economy growth slowed at the start of 2018 as household spending stalled in spite of the recent tax cuts. The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 2.3% in the first quarter of this year according to the United States Commerce Department. That was slower than the 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. So it appears as though, despite all of the glittering generalities about the effect of this tax cut, economic growth has actually slowed from the quarter preceding the enactment of the tax cut.”
Current highway law authorizes $61 billion per year in federal transportation investment. The President’s infrastructure plan provides a minimal federal commitment of just $20 million a year for infrastructure, while shifting costs to local governments, taxpayers and commuters. This means that the administration’s proposal is equal to approximately 30% of existing funding levels, while professional engineers have indicated that a 380% increase, as called for in Rep. Higgins’ bill, is required.
(To access Congressman Higgins’ full hearing testimony go to: https://youtu.be/kPCUftqQIDU?t=2h14m31s)