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Don't expect Biden to trumpet lofty aims for his rescue plans – he's simply Mr Fix-it

5 268 1635
04.04.2021

Joe Biden is embarking on the biggest government initiative in more than a half-century, “unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades go”, he says.

But when it comes to details, it sounds as boring as fixing the plumbing.

“Under the American Jobs Plan, 100% of our nation’s lead pipes and service lines will be replaced – so every child in America can turn on the faucet or fountain and drink clean water,” the president tweeted.

Can you imagine Donald Trump tweeting about repairing lead pipes?

Biden is excited about rebuilding America’s “infrastructure”, a word he uses constantly although it could be the dullest term in all of public policy.

The old unwritten rule was that if a president wants to do something really big, he has to justify it as critical to national defense or else summon the nation’s conscience.

Dwight Eisenhower’s National Interstate and Defense Highway Act was designed to “permit quick evacuation of target areas” in case of nuclear attack and get munitions quickly from city to city. Of course, in subsequent years it proved indispensable to America’s economic growth.

America’s huge investment in higher education in the late 1950s was spurred by the Soviets’ Sputnik satellite. The official purpose of the National Defense Education Act was to “insure trained manpower of sufficient quality and quantity to meet........

© The Guardian


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