State Leaders Criticize Biden's Broad Infrastructure Package

Apr 6, 2021

President Biden’s "American Jobs Plan” is a $2 trillion proposal that dedicates at least $1 trillion on a number of broad ranging infrastructure projects.    

Some South Dakota Republican leaders are publicly criticizing the plan.  

Biden’s jobs plan  calls for an investment in traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges.  It also includes $400 billion dollars to expand home or community-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities.  

Representative Dusty Johnson says Biden’s plan is too expensive.   

“I think he’s defining infrastructure a lot more broadly,” Johnson says. “I think he’s kind of throwing everything into the infrastructure bucket.” 

The White House says the plan costs around $2 trillion. The money will come from an increased  corporate tax rate of 28 percent.  

Governor Kristi Noem told Fox News the initiative would hurt American families.  

“I was shocked by how much doesn't go into infrastructure. It goes into research and development. It goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives... green energy.”  

Some say the definition of infrastructure needs to be more flexible.   

Joe Santos is an economist in the Department of Economics at South Dakota State University.  

“Often, we think of it as something that the government would be a part of if only because of, often, the difficulty in establishing these sorts of projects and creating the sort of the investment flows to fund these sorts of projects.” 

The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that deteriorating roads in South Dakota  cost drivers $562 per year. The organization reports that  17 percent of the state’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient. Ninety dams have a high-hazard potential. The group estimates the state needs a $730 million investment in drinking water infrastructure.