Economy

Study Finds Biden's American Jobs Plan Would Result in Fewer American Jobs

It’s a jobs plan that isn’t about jobs, and an infrastructure plan that isn’t about infrastructure.

|

If you've been following recent congressional spending negotiations, you've probably heard about President Joe Biden's $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan. This is a bit of a misnomer, since the plan would spend hundreds of billions on programs that are not, strictly speaking, infrastructure, though, for the purposes of politics, the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have decided to call infrastructure. But the Infrastructure and a Bunch of Other Unrelated Stuff That We're Going to Insist Is Actually Infrastructure Plan is a bit of a mouthful, and sadly doesn't produce a memorable acronym. So they named the proposal the American Jobs Plan instead.

Biden certainly has lofty ambitions for the Jobs Plan. A White House fact sheet on the proposal declares it will, among other things, "unify and mobilize the country to meet the great challenges of our time" (climate change and increased competition from China, the fact sheet says) and "invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race." (Fine, sure, if you say so…although I'm not quite sure I'd call these puffy statements facts.) There are mentions of racial justice and rural communities, clean energy and caregiving, and even a few nods to roads and bridges. Biden wants his Jobs Plan to do it all—or, at the very least, to do an awful lot until the next trillion dollar plan comes around.   

But here, too, there is a problem with the name. For as it turns out, there's good reason to think Biden's American Jobs Plan would result in fewer American jobs. 

That's the big takeaway from a recent analysis by the center-right Tax Foundation, which found that the "the combined effects of the tax changes and spending would reduce U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the long run by 0.5 percent and result in 101,000 fewer U.S. jobs." So: A smaller economy and fewer domestic jobs. Take that, China!   

This finding is all the more damning since the Tax Foundation analysis relies on conventional assumptions about multipliers. Per the Congressional Budget Office, that most inside-Washington of inside-Washington economic establishments, the report assumes a 5 percent return for the Jobs Plan's public investments, and a long-run increase in GDP of about 0.3 percent as a result of boosted infrastructure spending. If you build it, the economy will grow—or at least that is what this report assumes. 

If you tax it, on the other hand, the results are rather different. And that's where the problems begin. According to the Tax Foundation report, the "positive economic effect is entirely offset by the increase in corporate taxation, resulting in less corporate investment which reduces GDP by 0.5 percent in the long run, reduces wages by 0.5 percent, and eliminates 101,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Gross national product (GNP), a measure of American incomes, falls by 0.3 percent in the long run—somewhat smaller than the drop in GDP—as the combination of permanent tax increases and temporary spending would in the long run reduce the deficit and payments to foreign owners of the federal debt." Ah. 

Biden's Jobs Plan has many follies. It tries to do too much, at too great an expense, and it attempts to offset much of the total cost via a hike in the corporate tax rate that is counter to the plan's stated goals. Indeed, Republicans—and, more recently, some moderate Democrats—have been working up counter proposals that are funded heavily by repurposing unspent funds from the trillions in COVID relief proposals. Biden, however, has rejected plans to rely mostly on unspent funds, because they didn't include enough "new spending." 

The various counter proposals have also been smaller in scope, which is not to say they were small (recent versions have hovered in the $1 trillion range). And they have also been more targeted. As The Washington Post notes, a new bipartisan proposal from moderate Republicans and Democrats in the Senate "is expected to hew largely to a more traditional definition of infrastructure—a contrast with the White House's plan." In other words, it's an infrastructure plan that's actually about infrastructure. 

That's not to say it's necessarily a great piece of legislation. But unlike Biden's infrastructure and jobs plan—much of which isn't about infrastructure and which might well result in fewer jobs—at least it's an honest attempt to tell you what it's about.

NEXT: Biden Campaigned on Ending the Death Penalty. His Justice Department Wants To Execute the Boston Marathon Bomber Anyway.

Economy Jobs Infrastructure Joe Biden Government Spending

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

66 responses to “Study Finds Biden's American Jobs Plan Would Result in Fewer American Jobs

  1. Just keep sending the stimulus checks, wagie! #BuildBackBetter #YesJoeCan

      1. USA Making money online more than 250$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $28376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better thand regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
        on this page…..VISIT HERE

    1. It’s likely that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) originated in an animal species, and then spread to humans more detail open this link…….VISIT HERE.

    2. Biden certainly has lofty ambitions for the Jobs Plan. A White House fact sheet on the proposal declares it will, among other things, ” more detail open this link…….VISIT HERE.

  2. “…”unify and mobilize the country to meet the great challenges of our time”…

    Whether you want it or not.

    1. The challenge of getting rid of those pesky individual private property rights.

  3. Who’s the target audience for articles like this?

    Are you trying to encourage Democrats to vote in a different Democrat way?

    The Republicans have broken off negotiations with Biden over their support for the infrastructure bill, and plenty of Democrats are so scared of what’s in the bill, that they don’t want to pass it without some Republicans on board to share the blame. That’s our only hope of it not passing, so maybe that’ll work.

    But the Democrats don’t need Republicans to pass this bill. They can pass it through budget reconciliation without any regard for the filibuster. That won’t change until November of 2022, when the Republicans retake the House.

    There’s no way out of this without supporting Republicans, and if you’re against this kind of spending, why not be honest and clear about the solution?

    1. There is reasons for the republicans breaking off negotiations. First of all the infrastructure bill that Biden and the democrats had very little to do with infrastructure repair or expansion and had much to do with the progressive’s push into the sodalists programs that they advocate. The reasons that the republicans the Biden’s administration, the democrat and progressives would not negotiate for “just infrastructure”. If it did not contain these progressive programs the democrats would not continue but decided to try to pass the bill using budget reconciliation which takes only the fifty senators and the VP Harris as a tie breaker.
      But with the spending that the democrats passed much was much more that President Trump ask for in 2020 and even more that what President Biden has called for. That spending is coming that all that spending will be coming in due and will be paid for in higher inflation. I have live through a time which had high spending for years and then suddenly inflation had jumped from 3 or 4% annual inflation to somewhere 15% inflation. Interest rates on loans (housing) went to around 20%/yr. That was followed by high taxes and high job losses and high unemployment. That continued un President Reagan. The economy continued like that until the newly elected President Reagan got tax rates reduced and reduced unnecessary spending, which Biden is doing the opposite of that!

      1. I hope I wasn’t confused with someone who wants the infrastructure bill to pass. The Republicans deserve a ton of credit for refusing to give in to Biden’s demands, and if the Democrats pass it without any Republican support in the Senate, I hope the Republicans campaign on that fact next year–and retake control of both the Senate and the House. We need divided government–at the very least. The progressives are openly hostile to both liberty and capitalism, and they need to be stopped.

      2. I think it’s funny that you think Reagan reduced unnecessary spending. Maybe you think the increased spending under Reagan was necessary?

    2. I’m in favor of funding our government largesse with inflation, because I hate the middle class. Those fuckers have free loaded long enough.

      1. You’re kidding, but they’re openly calling policy makers racist for worrying about inflation–since chronically unemployed minorities benefit most from an overheated economy with high inflation.

        And, no, I’m not kidding.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2021-federal-reserve-race-inequality/

    3. “Who’s the target audience for articles like this?”

      Libertarians, classical liberals, people interested in the libertarian or classical liberal point of view. Generally people who can see that neither Democrats or Republicans have our interests in mind nor deserve our support.

      1. Why is your first sentence full of people you call Trump cultists?

      2. Pretty much.

      3. Exactly. We are the intended audience.
        I just wish there were more of us left.

    4. Technically Biden and the WH broke off negotiations since 75% of the GOP compromise bill was redirecting unspent money from other programs instead of providing strictly new funding sources that the WH wants.

      1. They refused to play ball, so Biden took his bat and ball and went home, drank some warm milk, and then farted himself to sleep.

        Biden doesn’t need the Republicans to pass this; he just want to give Democrats in purple districts and states a bipartisan fig leaf to hide behind come November of 2020.

        In fact, the progressives just rejected the “bipartisan” bill he came up with in his compromise committee. They don’t understand why he isn’t passing this bill without the Republicans at all.

        The political price of passing the bill will be heavy for Democrats in 2022, but the goal isn’t to get Republicans elected because of a massively inflationary and stupid bill full of awful taxes, etc. The goal is to not pass the bill, and ultimately, I don’t think we can stop them. I don’t see that Manchin and others said they’d hold out on the infrastructure bill. He’s just been refusing to do it on non-budget and non-spending bills.

        1. I agree with you. Problem is it shows the wh rejected the measure which was shocking. Some news tried to claim it was the gop to blame them, but democrats played this so bad they get blamed for not compromising and verifying they won’t seek ways to reduce the cost of the bill.

          The edia switched over yesterday to try to blame the gop for not supporting a gas tax in the bill, but that backfired too due to rising gas prices.

    5. Because no more mean tweets.

  4. From a Koch / Reason libertarian perspective, the only “jobs plan” that matters is open borders. Because unlimited, unrestricted immigration allows billionaire employers like our benefactor Charles Koch to import cost-effective foreign-born labor, especially from Mexico.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. Kween Kamala say “Guats stay home!”

  5. But is would result in more Gov dependant mostly peaceful protesters

    1. Remember, about a decade ago, when Obama said he wanted to create a civilian military-like force?

  6. It’s a slush fund to pay loyalists and other dem party hacks towards their reelection and other bureaucratic follies. Nobody will bother investigating where the funds went. Dumped into dem state coffers to grease their palms and their lousy constituents.

    You want this behavior to continue, keep electing democrats.

  7. People relying on a government check tend to vote for the status quo, rather than question the government.

    1. “When they learn that can vote themselves money…”

  8. Take all this with a fucking grain of salt considering the source.

    This just reads like more bootlicking from Koch stooges who don’t want their taxes to go up a cent.

    1. Whereas you of course DO want their taxes to go up, and by a lot more than one cent, cuz someone’s got to pay for the benefits you deserve.

  9. I live in the boonies, internet speed is 8Mbps for $89 a month. Every time I see some mention of boosting rural broadband speed, part of me cheers it on, but is immediately swamped by rathering to have a reliable 8 Mbps connection than some government boondoggle which is down half the time and censors me the other half, and charges twice as much.

    1. It is noteworthy that a lot of the reason you don’t have better than 8Mbps is that the government has created all these mandates around universal service, and gives these massive subsidies.

      Today, you can get a Starlink node and get ~200Mbps Down, 15 up. I lived in a rural area and we brought in wireless, where we were getting about 20 Mbps at the time. These solutions are all harder to get because the existing regulatory environment favors the original builders with their cable/telecom monopolies.

    2. The recent desire to change the definition of “broadband” to mean at least 100 down/100 up will not help you get better speeds. I live in the suburbs and while I can get 1200 down the best I can get on upstream is 40mbps. So the cable companies will take all this “infrastructure” money, change a few settings in their software to boost my upload to 100mbps, and claim they increased broadband access by 70%, while you still only get your 8mbps.

    3. I live in the boonies. Spent $500 on a starlink dish and $100 a month on service. Speeds vary but it is way more than sufficient.
      Biden wants to bury fiber optic cable and its archaic.

      1. Biden *is* burying fiber optic. I have seen so godsdamned many spools of that orange fiber conduit all up and down the freeways and roads on the east coast in the last month. Hell I *delivered* a truckload of the stuff.

  10. Obsolete Clingers Nip At Ankles Of Popular
    President, Railing Against American Progress

    1. you live in some realm-level between president and clinger?

      1. That’s a funny way to say “his mother’s basement”.

  11. Real talk: How many months does Biden have left before he’s no longer lucid enough to be useful? Reagan was completely coherent even if he was in the early stages during his final years in office. Biden is not in the early stages.

    Can he continue stumbling through the requirements of the office with careful shielding from the media for another year? I have a tough time believing he’ll last until re-election but dementia can progress very gradually.

    1. https://twitter.com/Shouse34/status/1404890062974771207?s=19

      81 million of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Also, who does Joe get in trouble with all the time? Makes you think maybe someone else is pulling the puppet’s strings.
      [Video]

      1. *Nota bene: 81 million is still not a credible figure

      2. I do feel legitimately concerned for the guy, though. At this point I wonder if he’s going to have a bad fall within a few months.

        I did watch that one infamous debate with Trump. He was coherent enough during it, enough to disprove any notions that he was a slobbering mess. And sometimes you can just be forgetful and lose names without it being a sign of cognitive decline. This happens to all of us when we’re trying to remember the name of that ballplayer or that actor, even when it’s a name that we really should remember.

        That said, it really does seem that he’s in a state of decline. I don’t know what the arc is going to look like or how long he can last.

    2. I was just thinking: Is this the last administration?

      I mean he’s [or rather he is the front for those who are driving the train] pushing us toward a cliff about as fast as it can go.

      Nullification seems to be catching on, even “both sides” are doing it, one for marijuana and [illegal] immigrants, and the other for guns.

      At what point will each State have to forge its own way?

      1. The advent of regional policy-making blocs during COVID is an innovation that might gain legs as the incompetence pendulum continues to swing. It would be so typically American if this extraconstitutional arrangement ends up usurping the States’ place in the balance of power after the “progress” of the past century.

      2. Short answer is: “no.”

        Longer answer is that we’re due for a major political shake-up in the next couple of decades. The liberals in the democratic party are losing their party to the socialists, and the ones who are aware of it are terrified. Libertarian and small-minded Republicans keep running into the problem that Republicans keep passing “stimulus packages” and spending bills, frustrating the people who supported the Tea Party movement, and there’s a big faction who dislike the populist movement that’s been taking hold.

        So there’s significant internal strife in both major parties. The traditional solution for this is Federalism-Democrats in Pennsylvania have different interests from Democrats in California, etc. But the power of the federal government is ballooning, accelerated by the pandemic. It means we’re getting some kind of political shake-up, I just don’t know what form it’s going to take.

        1. “…we’re getting some kind of political shake-up,”

          Which will depend upon the degree of the catastrophe that precipitates it. Most Americans are busy with jobs and families and too focused on their day to day to really engage much in politics, beyond being an occasional spectator and what used to be called “water cooler” discussions.

          When it does hit, I think Weimar Germany might be a good indicator of what could happen.

    3. Negative five?

  12. We must be having one hell of a slow news day.

  13. >>there’s good reason to think Biden’s American Jobs Plan would result in fewer American jobs

    der. only functional jobs plan is less taxation.

    1. Well, that and a pretty expansive deregulation regime.

      1. wouldn’t it be lovely.

    2. The other reason is history. Every time there’s been a plan to reduce something, the effect is an increase. (The War on Drugs, War on Terror, LBJ’s War on Poverty) Every time it’s a plan to increase something other than the debt, it decreases it. (Every jobs plan ever, for example)

      You’d think at some point they’d realize that government programs always backfire, and they should start doing less so as not to screw things up so much.

  14. Here’s how you read modern US legislation. If it says it’s for something (American People, Jobs, Infrastructure, Voting Rights…), it’s actually for the exact opposite.

  15. It is absolutely absurd to believe that hiring people increases unemployment. It is absolutely absurd to believe that taxes on wealthy corporations increases unemployment. The higher the taxes, the greater the benefit from hiring employees whose wages are deductible. When corporations pay little or no income tax (Amazon, Walmart, etc.) they have less incentive to hire employees because the tax deduction means nothing. That is why you have to scan your own items at checkout at Walmart.

    1. “Tax deductible” does not equal “free”.

    2. >>why you have to …

      I opt to.

    3. Your comment is absurd.

    4. You don’t know anything about corporate finance, do you?

  16. It also results in fewer mean tweets. So bonus.

  17. Yeah but, they’ll have “done something”.

  18. It’s about UNION jobs, because without a union, there’s nobody forcibly taking a bit out of every new paycheck and funneling part of it into campaign money for Dem candidates and the party in general.

  19. I am making 7 to 6 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 4 hour Dailly and make 40 dollar Easily .. This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily…Visit Here

  20. I am making 7 to 6 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 4 hour Dailly and make 40 dollar Easily .. DJLO This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily…Visit Here

  21. Well it might not impact the Aussie jobs at https://www.newcastlerenderingpros.com

Comments are closed.