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Infrastructure Plan: Buttigieg defends tax hikes, non-transport proposals

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday defended criticism that the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan contains items Republicans argue are unrelated to infrastructure.

In an MSNBC interview, anchor Stephanie Ruhle brought up Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) having said the plan “appears to use ‘infrastructure’ as a Trojan horse for the largest set of tax hikes in a generation,” which McConnell argued would “kill jobs and hold down wages at the worst possible time”.

“It’s not Trojan, it’s American,” Buttigieg quipped. “And it’s not a horse, it’s a highway system, and railways, and airports, ports, and a lot of other things that Americans need.”

The former South Bend, Indiana mayor went on to argue that upping the corporate tax rate to “pay their fair share” is necessary for funding the infrastructure proposals, also saying that “business thrives in countries that take care of their infrastructure.”

Buttigieg had previously floated a “mileage tax” to bankroll an earlier version of the infrastructure plan, but scrapped it following much outcry.

RELATED: Taxes Anyone? Buttigieg weighs ‘mileage tax’ to pay for $3 trillion infrastructure bill

Ruhle later pointed out to the transportation secretary that there is a lot in the plan that Americans “absolutely need” but “wouldn’t be considered traditional infrastructure,” adding that the plan proposes a lot more than just roads and railways.

Buttigieg responded by arguing that railways in the 1860s and an interstate highway system in the 1950s weren’t considered “traditional infrastructure,” saying that both are at the core of the United States’ present-day infrastructure.

Some controversial parts of the plan include funds for electric vehicle development, care for elderly and disabled Americans, and building and retrofitting affordable housing, among other proposals.

Nonetheless, Buttigieg also said during the interview that he’s “not gonna give up on earning Republican support” for the plan.

Watch the full MSNBC interview here.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Economy

Federal Reserve Economist on hidden camera: ‘we don’t want Trump to be in the government’

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Hidden Camera captures Principal Economist at the Federal Reserve talking about Jerome Powell’s legacy as “somebody who held the line against like, Trump.” According to hidden camera footage of Aurel Hizmo, principal economist at the Federal Reserve, the U.S. agency could have fixed inflation a while ago but refused to do so for fear of hurting President Joe Biden’s re-election efforts.

Hizmo told an undercover reporter that the Fed stopped raising the rates to tackle inflation because it could cause a recession that would likely end Biden’s 2024 campaign.

The influential agency responsible for maintaining a stable monetary system appears to not just be establishing interest rates, but to be setting policies for desired social outcomes. “Under Powell, the Fed has changed to think about equity issues, like racial issues, think about wealth inequality as part of the mandate, as part of the things we are following. Think about climate change.” Aurel Hizmo, Principal Economist at the Federal Reserve, who prior to working at the Fed was an Assistant Professor helps write speeches for Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell for the Federal Open Market Committee.

Hizmo says “Trump is just a crazy person” and conservatives are “dumb” as he describes to OMG’s American Swiper Citizen Journalist a politicized Federal Reserve Board where Powell has promoted ESG issues like climate change and “wants to be remembered in history” “as a savior.” But shhh…don’t tell anyone because Hizmo says: “I’m just really worried that I’m saying stuff that’s classified…It’s all classified.”

 

 

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