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Decoding The American Jobs Plan

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Photo Credit Evan Vucci, AP News

By Justin Milton

The proposed American Jobs Plan is a $2 trillion dollar plan that includes many investments that may benefit our nation. These investments aim to improve the nation’s infrastructure, from boosting the electrical vehicle market to repairing roads and bridges and adding some new jobs to the economy. If this plan passes, buying an electric car would become easier, helping the nation to have a smaller carbon footprint and fewer and lesser effects of climate change. Further, the proposed changes hope to create an easier time getting around with improved infrastructure around the country.

One of the biggest investments in the plan aims to spend $174 billion on building half a million electric vehicle charging stations, electrifying the federal fleet and 20% of school buses. This would likely make it easier to buy an electric car in the future.

An investment of $115 Billion will go to repairing and modernising bridges, highways, and roads that are in the worst shape. Around 20,000 miles of roadways, significant bridges and 10,000 smaller bridges are predicted to be repaired with this funding.

$100 billion is expected to go towards building new schools and upgrading existing ones. This may help improve the quality of schools throughout the school district and raise overall test scores and quality of life as a result.

Around $85 billion will be directed towards public transit, hopefully helping with the repair backlog and expanding service. 

$111 billion is expected to be invested in replacing lead pipes, which pose a public health problem, and upgrade sewer systems.

Several other investments in the plan include $180 billion aimed at research and development topics, $213 billion to improve affordable housing, $100 billion to improve the power grid’s resilience and move to clean electricity, and $100 billion to provide 100% internet coverage around the country. The rest of the money will be used to improve other services around the nation.

One of the biggest benefits to the plan is that not only will it likely improve the American quality of life by improving overall infrastructure (with a corporate tax increase from 21% to 28%, and a global minimum tax of 21% with other things to fund it) along with more jobs, it will also be a huge step towards fighting climate change. Since we started taking direct measurements in the late 19th century, the Earth’s surface temperature has warmed on average about 2.1 degrees fahrenheit (1.2 Celsius) due to rapidly increasing levels of carbon dioxide from emissions in the atmosphere. There have been many consequences to this, with more serious heat waves and fires to reduced rainfall in much of California and serious ecosystem damage. More information can be found here.

The plan outlined here is not guaranteed to pass, and will likely be modified before it possibly gets passed. Democrats currently control all three branches of government, with a slim majority in the house and senate, making it more likely to pass.

Some criticisms of the plan highlight how the spending towards infrastructure is not well specified. For example, how it includes repairing “10,000 smaller bridges.” Other criticisms include some Democrats, like Ocasio-Cortez, saying that the plan will not be enough to complete America’s goals. 

Nonetheless, a CBS News Poll found that there is a majority approval rating of the American Jobs Plan among the public, at a total of 58% (90% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and 19% of Republicans). This is likely because the plan also includes raising taxes on the rich and big companies (who sometimes find loopholes and use them to pay less taxes), which a majority of people also support.

Overall, the American Jobs Plan aims to improve the nation’s infrastructure, create new jobs, and reduce the nation’s climate footprint to minimize the devastating effects of climate change. Though it is still being debated and is not guaranteed to pass, Morro Bay students can look forward to the plan as something that may bring changes to the nation. 

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