LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the White House’s plans to invest in America will pay for themselves, as President Joe Biden marked his 100th day in office.
Buttigieg spoke one-on-one with 8 News Now’s David Charns. The secretary said the American Jobs Plan, with an estimated price tag of $2 trillion, would be paid with tax increases on the most wealthy Americans and corporations while adding millions of new jobs.
“We absolutely have the money if we collect the revenue in a fair tax code,” Buttigieg said. “The president’s American Jobs Plan, for example, is fully paid for. Deficits would actually go down after the first 15 years, but it does mean insisting that corporations pay their fair share.”
Nevada-specific plans include widening Interstate 15, building a new highway from Las Vegas to Phoenix and constructing a new high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Buttigieg shared.
Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, told 8 News Now the Southern Nevada infrastructure projects would mean big things for Nevada.
“Updates to Southern Nevada’s airport, roads, and public transit will boost our local economy and allow Las Vegas to remain a top international travel destination for decades to come,” Titus said.
Specifically, the communities of Las Vegas and Phoenix are the nation’s two largest cities without easy interstate access between them. The I-11 plan would extend the current road, a short span from the Valley across the Colorado River, into Arizona and south to Phoenix.
Last month, Amtrak said its vision of expanding rail service, documented in its “Amtrak Connects US” plan, would add a Las Vegas-Los Angeles route, as well as a new route from Los Angeles to Phoenix and a Tucson-Phoenix connection.
The White House plans to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and hike taxes on overseas earnings to help pay for infrastructure. The rate was 35%, but lowered with the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax plan in 2017.
One of the nation’s largest companies, Amazon, paid no federal tax for several years due to tax rates. In a tweet earlier this month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he supported increasing the corporate tax rate.
During his address Wednesday, Biden said taxes would not increase for any American making less than $400,000.
A Morning Consult poll taken after the announcement of the plan found nearly two-thirds of Americans support taxing the super-wealthy and corporations to pay for the infrastructure plan.
Republicans have argued increasing the corporate tax rate would hurt the economy, even though the plan has bipartisan support.