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Analysis: The fight to define infrastructure could change America

April 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 14.8%. 1 min read.

In this March 30, 2021, President Joe Biden speaks after signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Biden wants $2 trillion to reengineer America???s infrastructure and expects the nation???s corporations to pay for it. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The meaning of the word "infrastructure" suddenly depends on your politics.

In one example, the President has stretched the definition of infrastructure to insert $400 billion in the bill to revolutionize home health care for the elderly and disabled.

And, after a year in which millions of workers relied on home internet connections to work remotely, the plan also includes $100 billion to build a high-speed broadband infrastructure that would reach the whole country.

Biden and his Cabinet members argue that infrastructure undergirds every pillar of American life, from education to energy, and health care to manufacturing and that the need for investment is gargantuan.

The disconnect over infrastructure exposes the huge gulf in perceptions between Republicans and Democrats over the state of the country as the post-pandemic era approaches.

And most fundamentally, the battle over the shape and size of Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure bill announced last week fleshes out the perennial fault line between conservatives and liberals on the role of American government.

infrastructure.

A modern interpretation of the term "infrastructure" might also admit the billions the President proposes to spend on making broadband universal for the entire nation -- a step that will boost the economy, especially in rural areas.

Such reforms make sense to Democrats who believe in using the power of government to widen economic opportunity and build the infrastructure of a modern, humane society.

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