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拜登要大搞基建,哪些领域能真正受益?

拜登要大搞基建,哪些领域能真正受益?

Geoff Colvin 2021年04月08日
与新冠疫情救助法案不同,拜登的基建计划不会很快实施。

拜登政府公布的大规模基础设施计划将造福哪些基础设施领域?

一些共和党批评人士认为几乎没有。“只有约5%到7%关乎真正意义上的基础设施,即道路、桥梁和港口。”特朗普总统管理和预算办公室(Office of Management and Budget)主任罗素•沃特最近表示。真的是这样吗?

与任何一次大规模立法一样,拜登政府新启动的2.2万亿美元基础设施建设计划也有一些令人吃惊之处,即借此机会制定的许多无关条款。但这些条款并不像是巨轮上附着的藤壶。有些条款让人惊讶不已。

值得一提的是,虽然媒体称这一举措为基础设施计划,但拜登政府的说法却不同。拜登政府官方称之为《美国就业计划》,而且该计划一直主张要创造或保护就业机会,尤其是工会就业机会。但拜登政府对该计划的详细说明(一份近12,000字的情况说明书)从一开始就明显打着基建投资的幌子。仔细阅读该计划,就会发现它真正涉及多少基础设施领域。

人们大多认为基础设施建设就是建设或改善桥梁、高速公路、道路、港口、水道和机场,该计划为此类基础设施建设投入1570亿美元,仅占该计划总预算成本的7%。沃特所指的就是此类基础设施建设。但基础设施建设还可适度包括升级废水和饮用水系统、全国全面普及高速宽带互联网、建设现代化电网以及提升基础设施弹性。因此,基础设施建设总投入达5180亿美元,占该计划总预算成本的24%。

此外,部分预算将用于建造“上层结构”——而非基础设施,是使用基础设施的设施。例如,该计划要求建造、维护或改造200多万套住房。另一项条款将针对生产和购买美国制造电动汽车制定补贴和激励计划,以及为州政府、地方政府和私营单位制定补贴和激励计划,推动其建立电动汽车(EV)充电站。

此外,该计划的某些内容无论是否符合政策目标,都与基础设施无任何关系。某大型项目的预算为4000亿美元,用于创造就业机会,提高护工工资。另一大型项目的预算为3000亿美元,用于有针对性地援助各行各业的制造商和小企业,无论其与基础设施是否有任何关联。还有一个项目一经提出就引发了争议,即投入1800亿美元资助未来技术和研发产业,包括给国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)拨款500亿美元,用于建立一个“技术理事会”——政府资助型基础研究支持者对此大加赞赏,但批评人士则对政府努力扶优扶强感到厌恶。该项目引发辩论完全合情合理,因为它与人们普遍认知的基础设施毫无关系。

该计划的其他非基础设施内容是对法律作出重大变革,但无任何预算。最重要的是,该计划将大幅增加企业所得税,将基本税率从21%提高到28%,同时削减税收优惠。此外,情况说明书还写道,该计划“会解决性别不平等问题”,但并未说明具体举措。该计划基本上要求,所有政府项目均须使用由悬挂美国国旗且由美籍船员操纵的船只运送的美国制造的产品。

还有一些举措虽不足为奇,但却常被公众忽视。例如,2月公布的19亿美元新冠疫情救助法案包含几项不受关注的与疫情无关的条款,这些条款改变了跨国公司分配利息成本的方式,并帮助多雇主养老金计划摆脱困境;这两项变化已经酝酿多年,与此次疫情无任何关系。

但与新冠疫情救助法案不同,该项基础设施计划并不急于落实,因此千万别指望很快有任何举措会被写入法律。该计划尚未转为法案,因此众议院和参议院无法对此进行辩论,最终形成的法案将会有成百上千页。今年可能会对此进行最终投票表决。表决前,可能会删减一些无关条款,也可能会添加一些其他条款。(财富中文网)

译者:郝秀

审校:汪皓

拜登政府公布的大规模基础设施计划将造福哪些基础设施领域?

一些共和党批评人士认为几乎没有。“只有约5%到7%关乎真正意义上的基础设施,即道路、桥梁和港口。”特朗普总统管理和预算办公室(Office of Management and Budget)主任罗素•沃特最近表示。真的是这样吗?

与任何一次大规模立法一样,拜登政府新启动的2.2万亿美元基础设施建设计划也有一些令人吃惊之处,即借此机会制定的许多无关条款。但这些条款并不像是巨轮上附着的藤壶。有些条款让人惊讶不已。

值得一提的是,虽然媒体称这一举措为基础设施计划,但拜登政府的说法却不同。拜登政府官方称之为《美国就业计划》,而且该计划一直主张要创造或保护就业机会,尤其是工会就业机会。但拜登政府对该计划的详细说明(一份近12,000字的情况说明书)从一开始就明显打着基建投资的幌子。仔细阅读该计划,就会发现它真正涉及多少基础设施领域。

人们大多认为基础设施建设就是建设或改善桥梁、高速公路、道路、港口、水道和机场,该计划为此类基础设施建设投入1570亿美元,仅占该计划总预算成本的7%。沃特所指的就是此类基础设施建设。但基础设施建设还可适度包括升级废水和饮用水系统、全国全面普及高速宽带互联网、建设现代化电网以及提升基础设施弹性。因此,基础设施建设总投入达5180亿美元,占该计划总预算成本的24%。

此外,部分预算将用于建造“上层结构”——而非基础设施,是使用基础设施的设施。例如,该计划要求建造、维护或改造200多万套住房。另一项条款将针对生产和购买美国制造电动汽车制定补贴和激励计划,以及为州政府、地方政府和私营单位制定补贴和激励计划,推动其建立电动汽车(EV)充电站。

此外,该计划的某些内容无论是否符合政策目标,都与基础设施无任何关系。某大型项目的预算为4000亿美元,用于创造就业机会,提高护工工资。另一大型项目的预算为3000亿美元,用于有针对性地援助各行各业的制造商和小企业,无论其与基础设施是否有任何关联。还有一个项目一经提出就引发了争议,即投入1800亿美元资助未来技术和研发产业,包括给国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)拨款500亿美元,用于建立一个“技术理事会”——政府资助型基础研究支持者对此大加赞赏,但批评人士则对政府努力扶优扶强感到厌恶。该项目引发辩论完全合情合理,因为它与人们普遍认知的基础设施毫无关系。

该计划的其他非基础设施内容是对法律作出重大变革,但无任何预算。最重要的是,该计划将大幅增加企业所得税,将基本税率从21%提高到28%,同时削减税收优惠。此外,情况说明书还写道,该计划“会解决性别不平等问题”,但并未说明具体举措。该计划基本上要求,所有政府项目均须使用由悬挂美国国旗且由美籍船员操纵的船只运送的美国制造的产品。

还有一些举措虽不足为奇,但却常被公众忽视。例如,2月公布的19亿美元新冠疫情救助法案包含几项不受关注的与疫情无关的条款,这些条款改变了跨国公司分配利息成本的方式,并帮助多雇主养老金计划摆脱困境;这两项变化已经酝酿多年,与此次疫情无任何关系。

但与新冠疫情救助法案不同,该项基础设施计划并不急于落实,因此千万别指望很快有任何举措会被写入法律。该计划尚未转为法案,因此众议院和参议院无法对此进行辩论,最终形成的法案将会有成百上千页。今年可能会对此进行最终投票表决。表决前,可能会删减一些无关条款,也可能会添加一些其他条款。(财富中文网)

译者:郝秀

审校:汪皓

How much of the Biden administration’s big infrastructure plan is about infrastructure?

Some Republican critics contend that hardly any of it is. “Only about 5% to 7% of it is roads and bridges and ports and things that you I would say is real infrastructure,” Russell Vought, President Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, said recently. Is he right?

Like all humongous-scale legislative efforts, the Biden administration’s new $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan contains surprises—unrelated provisions that are hitching a ride on a juggernaut. In this case they’re not like barnacles on a giant ship. Some of these surprises are surprisingly large.

It’s worth remembering that while the media call the initiative an infrastructure plan, the Biden administration doesn’t. Officially, it’s the American Jobs Plan, and it consistently proposes creating or protecting jobs, especially union jobs. But the administration’s fullest description of the plan, a nearly 12,000-word fact sheet, leans heavily on infrastructure from the beginning. A close reading reveals just how much is really there.

Infrastructure as many people think of it—construction or improvement of bridges, highways, roads, ports, waterways, and airports—accounts for only $157 billion, or 7%, of the plan’s estimated cost. That’s apparently what Vought was referring to. The definition of infrastructure can reasonably be expanded to include upgrading wastewater and drinking water systems, expanding high-speed broadband Internet service to 100% of the nation, modernizing the electric grid, and improving infrastructure resilience. That brings the total to $518 billion, or 24% of the plan’s total cost.

Some of the plan’s remaining budget would be spent on what might be called “suprastructure”—not infrastructure, but rather things that use infrastructure. For example, the plan calls for building, preserving, or retrofitting more than 2 million homes. Another provision would subsidize and incentivize the production and purchase of American-made electric vehicles plus the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by state and local governments and private companies.

And then there are the plan’s elements that may or may not be worthy policy objectives but don’t claim any relationship to infrastructure. One of the plan’s largest programs, budgeted at $400 billion, would create jobs and raise pay for home care workers. Another of the most expensive programs, at $300 billion, would give targeted aid to manufacturers and small businesses across industries, regardless of any infrastructure connection. A program that immediately sparked controversy would budget $180 billion for public investment in technology and research and development including $50 billion for the National Science Foundation to establish a “technology directorate”—applauded by proponents of government-funded basic research, abhorred by critics of government efforts to pick winners. It’s a legitimate debate; it isn’t about infrastructure as that term is widely understood.

Other non-infrastructure elements of the plan would change laws in important ways without spending money. Most significantly, the plan would heavily increase corporate taxes, raising the basic tax rate from 21% to 28% while also reducing or eliminating deductions. In addition, the fact sheet says the plan “tackles inequities based on gender,” though it doesn’t say how. It would mostly require that all government projects use American-made goods that are shipped on U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed vessels.

The grab bag of initiatives is not surprising, though it’s often overlooked by the general public. The $1.9-billion COVID-19 relief bill in February contained several below-the-radar COVID-free provisions—changing the way multinationals allocate interest costs and bailing out multi-employer pension plans, for example; two changes that had been in the works for years and had nothing to do with the pandemic.

But unlike the pandemic bill, the infrastructure plan doesn’t demand urgent action, so don’t expect any of it to become law soon. It hasn’t yet been transformed into a bill that the House and Senate can debate, and that eventual bill will be hundreds or thousands of pages. Getting to an up-or-down vote may take the rest of the year. Along the way it’s possible that some of the off-topic provisions could be pruned—and just as likely that others will be added.

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