Talking Points on Infrastructure

By Alex Epstein

The top priority of a proper infrastructure plan would be liberating the construction of American highways--which are unnecessarily congested, slow, and expensive due to anti-development policies. Biden's "infrastructure plan" would slow highway construction even more.

Quick Summary

The Biden Administration's 2.3 trillion dollar--$17,000 a household--"infrastructure plan" is mostly unrelated to infrastructure, and would actually make our number one infrastructure problem--congested highways--worse.

While politicians use "crumbling" roads to rationalize limitless spending, there is not a national road infrastructure crisis. E.g., the interstate highway system's condition has improved over the last generation despite carrying twice the traffic. The real crisis is congestion.1

We need more and better managed highways. Millions of Americans sit in soul-crushing, money-draining traffic on a daily basis. Congestion of crowded highways costs $74 billion per year for the trucking industry alone.2

Consider: The US and China have close to the same amount of land and the same amount of vehicles. But China has 40% more freeway miles than we do--and the gap is increasing. Every year China is building 5X more freeway miles than we are--4000 in China vs. < 800 in the US.3

Why aren't we building more freeways and other highways? Because of "green," anti-development policies and activists who think it's morally wrong to build new roads.

Consider: The cost of highway-building increased 3X just between the 1960s and the 1980s. Why then? A set of anti-development policies, above all the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), that subject highway-building to endless delays and "green" opposition.4

The solution to the infrastructure crisis of congestion is infrastructure policy reform that enables fast, responsible development and prevents random activists from stopping progress. But Biden's "infrastructure" plan does nothing about the infrastructure-blockers.

Instead of neutralizing the infrastructure blockers, Joe Biden has hired many of them. For example, the head of his transportation transition team was Phil Washington, who said of Los Angeles "It's too easy to drive in this city" and that LA should "make driving harder."5

Instead of neutralizing the infrastructure blockers, Biden's plan calls for endless looting of Americans for projects that have nothing to do with infrastructure--or for irrational projects like more government rail, which is slower and more costly than flying.

Americans should reject Biden's phony infrastructure push and demand the infrastructure reform that will allow us to build roads, bridges, and buildings quickly and cost-effectively.

One piece of legislation that is a major step toward liberating infrastructure-building is @RepGarretGraves's BUILDER Act, which would significantly reform the crippling National Environmental Policy Act.