There’s a good chance that many Americans who voted for Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election did so mainly because they don’t like Donald J. Trump.
By approaching it that way they probably didn’t read the fine print posted for all to see on Biden’s very own website, detailing his plans to “Build Back America Better.”
They may have caught a sound bite on their favorite news station or maybe they threw a cursory glance at a few paragraphs of a newspaper story, but they most likely didn’t delve too deeply into Joe’s Vision, which can be found online at www.joebiden.com/joes-vision/.
His platform for fixing the country is broken down into 49 subcategories focused on everything from the biggies like healthcare, Covid-19 and infrastructure investment, to something called, “The Biden Agenda for the African Diaspora.”
It’s a lot of reading but the common theme throughout most of it is spending money.
Lots and lots of money.
The obvious question is where is all the cash to fund his grand plans going to come from? The obvious answer is from our pockets via taxes - which will inevitably anger many of the above-mentioned voters.
If their taxes – at the pump, or for their property, or on their income – go up, and they don’t like it, they have no one to blame but themselves. Casting a vote out of spite or hatred is no excuse for not being educated, especially when the information necessary to make a good choice is so easy to find.
Of course, Biden’s ardent supporters would counter that he has promised not to raise taxes on the Middle Class. It’s true, Biden has done his best to push the old Democratic talking point that the burden needs to be put on the “wealthy.”
At the end of the day, however, many economists and accountants say there isn’t enough wealth in this country to cover the expenditures he is proposing to make American great again.
Sorry, “Build back better.”
It’s the same old election season story: Democrats know pitting the middle class against the wealthy during campaign season polls well in certain demos across the country despite the reality that career politicians in Washington D.C. are living in a much higher tax brackets than Bill or Jane Iron Ranger and thus true tax fairness will never happen.
Most Americans understand the game, but we have short attention spans. Politicians know this so every four years they come up with new ways to sell the same idea, just in a different package, so as to offer a sliver of hope that, “this time might be different.”
For his part, Biden promised he wouldn’t ask a “single person making under $400,000 per year to pay a penny more in taxes.”
Less taxes and more services – that’s what we all want. Unfortunately, it is not possible. Again, someone has to pay for all the wonderful things Biden wants to do and it’s not going to be him. While the final bill might not come in the form of a federal tax increase, it will show up and you will pay.
That’s how it works. That’s what big government does.
So how do you pay for these lofty goals and keep your campaign promises to not raise federal income taxes on the middle-class? You simply pass the buck (collecting) to the states, their cities, and school districts, that are too cash strapped to do anything but increase local taxes to pay for the grand plans sent rolling down from Capitol Hill.
One example of how this could happen can be found under Biden’s plans for a cleaner world. He has promised that all new American-built buses (will be) zero-emissions by 2030, which would include the roughly 500,000 school buses in this country.
Converting half a million school buses to electric versions cost money. A lot of money.
While long-term savings may arguably make an electric school bus a deal over one run by propane or diesel fuel (and the jury is still way, way out on that one), the out-the-door price tag for an electric bus averages about $290,000, according to a study by Bellwether Education Partners.
Bellwether is a national nonprofit organization that is focused on improving education and life outcomes for underserved children.
Currently, according to the study, school districts spend roughly $25 billion each year for school transportation. If all of that money were allocated towards new electric buses, it would only buy about 86,000 buses, replacing less than 20 percent of diesel school buses at current cost levels.
So who pays for the rest?
Not the feds. Not really. According to the US Department of Education, the Federal Government contributes about 8% to funding our public schools. The rest of the money comes from state and local governments, which are mandated to allocate money toward education.
As of 2019, according to twincities.com, “Minnesota spends more than $13 billion a year on public schools and about 95 percent of it comes from state and local taxpayers. Public schools are one of the largest pieces of the state budget — closing in on $9 billion a year and making up about 65 percent of the money schools receive.”
While it is difficult to find data on how many school buses there are in Minnesota, if there are 500,000 in the United States, that equates to about 10,000 per state. Minnesota is not the same size as California, so let’s just assume there are 5,000 buses here (which is in line with the most recent data available from 2000, which showed 5,400).
Buying 5,000 electric buses at $290,000 each equals a price tag of approximately $1.45 billion.
But the buses are only the start of the spending. They will need charging stations, which cost roughly $50,000 a piece and then there are the needed upgrades power companies will have to do to provide the electricity needed to keep all those buses charged up.
Someone has to foot that bill. Chances are it would be you and me.