Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argued the Joe Biden administration’s “infrastructure” spending plan will be “fully paid for” by a tax “adjustment.”
In comments to NPR Thursday, Buttigieg said:
Over the course of that eight-year vision, we are going to be enhancing the roads and bridges of this country. We’re going to be improving our ports and our airports. We’re going to be delivering better transit and better rail. Those are investments whose benefits will last a lifetime and then some, and that eight years of investment is fully paid for across the 15 years of the tax adjustment, which means by year 16, it’s actually going to reduce the deficit.
That “adjustment” is a proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
Biden’s plan “makes once-in-a-century investments that will strengthen our economy and allow us to compete with countries like China,” according to talking points the administration distributed.
The White House acknowledged the tax hike could put American companies at a disadvantage, so it said the Biden administration will lobby foreign governments to raise taxes in their countries to create parity.
“President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged,” the details said.
The talking points said the intent on raising taxes globally is to end “the race to the bottom around the world.”
Buttigieg claimed to NPR the Biden tax hike would be a “rate that is lower than it was under Clinton, Obama, Bush, much lower than it was in the early Reagan years and many other times when America was very competitive.”
The transportation secretary acknowledged the “infrastructure” spending bill is about more than just traditional infrastructure:
This is about the foundation on which Americans live. And obviously I’m focused on the huge shot in the arm that this represents for transportation infrastructure. But we’ve got to think about our broader social infrastructure that keeps this country moving, keeps this country safe, makes it possible to live well for American citizens.
“Look, we are weaker when we don’t take care of these foundational issues. COVID [coronavirus] exposed that,” Buttigieg said.