Alabamians have hopes, concerns about Biden's infrastructure plan

There are mixed opinions on the plan itself, but many agree the roads need improvements.

Posted: Mar 31, 2021 10:56 PM
Updated: Apr 1, 2021 1:55 PM

President Joe Biden is shifting his focus from the pandemic to boosting the economy. On Wednesday, he unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago. In fact, it's the largest American jobs investment since World War II," Biden said "It's big, yes. It's bold, yes. And, we can get it done."

The American Jobs Plan would improve roads and bridges across the country, boost manufacturing, expand broadband access and replace all lead pipes carrying drinking water. Biden says his plan will create millions of jobs that will help the economy grow.

People in North Alabama had mixed opinions on the plan, but there's one thing they all agreed with — the roads need improvements.

"They're pretty messed up. It could be due to the weather we've had recently, but they do need work done," James Mannis.

Mannis, along with many others, says roads in North Alabama need improvement. The state passed a gas tax increase in 2019 to help fix them.

"They're getting better. I see there's a lot of work going on," James Carter said.

The American Jobs Plan would invest $621 billion to rebuild 20,000 miles of roads, 10,000 bridges, public transit, waterways and ports.

"People have to get around. Money don't stop, you know," Carter said. "If we don't have roads to get to the places we need to get, then how are we going to make the money?"

However, many are concerned with the plan's $2 trillion price tag.

"I think it's too much, way too much of a bill for sure," Mannis said.

To help pay for eight years of spending, Biden is proposing to raise taxes on major companies. The corporate income tax rate would increase from 21% to 28%. The rate had been as high as 35% before former President Trump cut taxes in 2017.

"President Trump dropped that so that they could hire more people, and get more people to come in from other countries that had left. Now, you're going to have people pack their backs and go back out of the country," US Sen. Tommy Tuberville said.
"That's totally opposite of what we need."

Tuberville says Biden's plan is not feasible.

"You can't tax enough to pay for this. There's not enough money in this country," Tuberville said.

Some people in North Alabama are also concerned with the corporate tax increase.

"Bigger companies could use to spend a little more, but probably a bit more than he's wanting to put out on them," Mannis said.

Meanwhile, others say they can afford to pay the higher taxes.

"They can give back. Why not make the world beautiful?" Carter said. "If that's the way they can give back to the community, I think that they should do it. It shouldn't hurt their pockets."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she hopes to pass the American Jobs plan by July 4th if not later that month.

Biden will announce a second part of his proposal later in April. It will focus on health care and home-based issues.

Biden says both plans are essential for our economic future.

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