Go Big or Go Home: The $3.5T Senate Infrastructure Bill
Why Going Big on Infrastructure Pays Off
Blog, September 2021
The Senate Infrastructure Bill and the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act
While the economic recovery been kind to shareholders, homeowners, and the wealthy with stock markets experiencing record highs and home prices up 25% from a year ago, many Americans are being left behind. The number of billionaires continues to grow, with their overall wealth increasing by 62% since 2020 (Tyson and Mendonca). Yet, overall, inequality has increased and economic mobility has declined. Disparities in wealth, homeownership, healthcare and employment persist.
The Senate recently passed a $3.5T bill that proposes major investments social infrastructure to change this trajectory. From family support services to funding for historically black colleges to climate change to housing affordability, the new bill is geared toward fostering sustainable, equitable growth.
A recent report by Moody’s Analytics concludes that over the ten years, the $3.5 trillion budget combined with the Infrastructure Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) would accelerate the economy’s recovery to full employment, increase employment by 20 million, and boost long-term growth, the benefits of which would mostly accrue to lower- and middle-income families (Tyson and Mendonca). Moreover, even if these plans increase the deficit more than anticipated—some estimate up to $256B—this is still an opportune time for the federal government to borrow given the anticipated returns in infrastructure and extraordinarily low interest rates.
So why infrastructure? Investment in infrastructure—think roads, bridges, clean energy, housing, transportation systems, telecommunications and broadband, and even soft infrastructure like educational systems, emergency services, recreation and law enforcement—is a two-fer. First infrastructure investment stimulates economic growth and competitiveness. It provides jobs with living wages and the ability to develop transferrable skill sets, many of which are in high demand. Second, IF Congress passes the bill, it ALSO means that there are greater long-term opportunities to bridge the racial and wealth divide, creating equity and inclusivity and also to heal the climate. For us at GROWTH, affordable homeownership is a key toward building generational wealth and righting the inequity in our nation. For too long, too many folks have been left out of this opportunity. The high prices, competition from investors, and limited supply push the American Dream even further out of reach.
So, Congress, go big or go home. Its time for equitable, sustainable growth for ALL Americans. For more information on the IIJA and the $3.5T Senate Budget, click here. For a full list of budget items, click here.
Tyson, Laura, et al. “Why America Must Go Big on Infrastructure.” Project Syndicate, 9 Sept. 2021, www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/infrastructure-plan-biden-budget-needed-for-recovery-by-laura-tyson-and-lenny-mendonca-2021-09.