The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Infrastructure Bill:
A Shell Game

Nov 8, 2021

Fresh from their losses in the elections last week, Democrats in Congress decided to show that they could pass an infrastructure bill.

Moderates in the party convinced progressives to drop a demand to pass social legislation in favor of a much narrower bill that supposedly will address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. In return, they received a promise to “consider” the social legislation once the price tag comes in.

Biden called it a “monumental step forward.” The media made much of its supposed one trillion-dollar price tag. But in truth, it’s not one trillion dollars. It’s only 550 billion dollars in new spending—and that is over the next ten years. Five hundred fifty billion dollars—to fix roads and bridges, water systems and electrical grids, to expand high speed internet access, and begin addressing climate change. At that rate of spending, the country’s infrastructure will be worse after ten years, not better.

The fact that this is the largest infrastructure spending bill in more than a decade just shows how paltry that spending has been in the past decade!

One thing is for sure, though—this will be a money gift to the private contractors who will be given the contracts for that work over the next ten years. And because they will be sure to take their cuts in profit, that will be even less money that will actually go to fixing the infrastructure.

So—Biden and the Democrats will get their photo ops; private companies will get their contracts; and the rest of us will still be living with crumbling roads and bridges a decade from now.