Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal Including Things That Are Not Federal Infrastructure
Infrastructure – the system of public works of a country, state, or region; the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization); the permanent installations required for military purposes. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, “infra- means ‘below’; so the infrastructure is the ‘underlying structure’ of a country and its economy, the fixed installations that it needs in order to function. These include roads, bridges, dams, the water and sewer systems, railways and subways, airports, and harbors. These are generally government-built and publicly owned. Some people also speak about such things as the intellectual infrastructure or the infrastructure of science research, but the meaning of such notions can be extremely vague.”
When it becomes necessary to provide definitions to distinguish what is actually meant by a word versus what someone is proclaiming to be the definition, it should trigger individuals to think there is something critically wrong with what is being presented to them. When one thinks of “infrastructure”, one associates it with the definition that is known to mean bridges, roads, dams etc. and the maintenance and personnel associated with those structures. However, with Biden’s proposed $2 trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill, “infrastructure” is meaning anything and everything the government decides is infrastructure, such as elderly care.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday on MSNBC’s “All In” that President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package includes eldercare “because having that kind of infrastructure in place is part of what makes it possible for Americans to thrive.”
Hayes said, “Senator Marcia Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted that Biden’s proposal is about anything but infrastructure. $400 billion towards elder care. I was obviously horrified to think you would try to hoodwink Americans into support eldercare. Is that true?”
Buttigieg said, “So guilty as charged. We are supporting eldercare, caregiving economy, making it easier to age in place, and have community-based care because having that kind of infrastructure in place is part of what makes it possible for Americans to thrive. Again not sure why that’s being singled out given that it is something that the American people believe we ought to do, but as somebody who wants to put us on the spot defending that, that’s a job I’m happy to take up.”
There is a reason that infrastructure, as defined, falls under the Transportation Department, as unconstitutional as it is. It is because infrastructure is limited to the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition. But, Biden and his cronies occupying Washington, DC, are expanding that definition to include services/systems that are outside that definition to exert government control of same thereby controlling the people. What does Buttigieg know about “eldercare, caregiving ‘economy'”, aging in place or any type of “community-based care”, whatever that is?
Regardless of what the American people “think” should be done, the bottom line is always what the Constitution authorizes the federal government to do. The Constitution for the united States of America, Article I, Section 8, clause 7, states, “The Congress shall have power to … establish post offices and post roads; ….” In the Federalist Papers number 60, James Madison wrote, “The power of establishing post roads must, in every view, be a harmless power, and may, perhaps, by judicious management, become productive of great public conveniency. Nothing which tends to facilitate the intercourse between the States can be deemed unworthy of the public care.”
Madison was specifically addressing “post roads”. And, looking at the definition of “intercourse”, Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as “communication; commerce; connection by reciprocal dealings between persons or nations, either in common affairs and civilities, in trade, or correspondence by letters.”
So, as we have discovered, the “infrastructure” under the authority of the federal government is limited and defined.
The possibility that “post roads”, in addition to providing an avenue for communication and correspondence, might be used for the public’s convenience to engage in personal travel, and could include moving goods between a town in one State to a town or to ports, forts, magazines, dock yards in another which facilitates “the intercourse between the States” is worthy of the public care. This would be only post roads and the bridges on those roads.
Other “infrastructure” for which the federal government retains jurisdiction is found in Article 1, Section 8, clause 17; “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; ….”
Constitutionally, federal infrastructure would not include roads that are not post roads, bridges not on post roads, waterways, ferries, dams, or other services and utilities. Those are under the purview of States and local municipalities and counties.
How serious were our framers about “overreach” into infrastructure under the authority to build post roads?
According to downsizinggovernment.org, private toll roads began spreading across the States in the 1790s, meaning financed privately. It was in 1806 that Congress approved sale of “federal land” to construct the National Road “from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling, West Virginia, and further West.” However, the construction costs ended up double the initial estimate, costing twice as much to build per mile as private roads that were similar.
In 1817, President James Madison vetoes a bill, citing it as unconstitutional, which provided federal funding for internal improvements such as roads and canals. Like James Madison, President James Monroe vetoed legislation that funded maintenance on the National Road in 1822, citing constitutional concerns over federal overreach; the National Road was handed over to the States in the 1830s. President Andrew Jackson followed Madison and Monroe’s lead in vetoing a bill in 1830 providing assistance to a road project in Kentucky. He justified his veto claiming the road was of “purely local character” and funding it would be “a subversion of the federal system”.
Railroads in the east and electric streetcar systems were constructed with totally private funds.
However, in 1862, during the Abraham Lincoln administration, the Pacific Railroad Act provided land grants and low-interest loans to companies building railroads to connect the East Coast States with the West Coast. This led to the Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872. “Credit Mobilier [was] a construction company financially controlled by the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad that [made] huge profits at taxpayer expense. Congressman Oakes Ames (R-MA), who [was] an agent of Credit Mobilier and part-owner, [distributed] shares of the firm’s stock to members of Congress at a discounted value. In return, those members [treated] Credit Mobilier favorably in a variety of ways, such as by voting to appropriate funds for the firm. The scandal [illustrated] the corruption that usually results when the government intervenes in the economy and subsidizes businesses.” President Grover Cleveland signed legislation in 1887 that created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to oversee the railroad industry. It was the first independent regulatory agency created by the federal government, and unconstitutional to boot. Over the years, the powers of the ICC expanded to trucks, buses, barges, and other transportation providers, creating cartels in the industries regulated. Costs rose, consumers were left with few choices, and efficiency was reduced. The transportation industry was deregulated in the 1970s and the ICC abolished in 1995.
Not twenty years after the creation of the ICC in 1872, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association began lobbying for federal road subsidies in 1902. This new “association” was key in getting legislation passed for federal funding of highways. In 1914, the State highway officials formed a national organization based in Washington, DC, to lobby Congress for federal subsidies. It was 1916 that saw legislation passed to regularly provide States with funding for highway construction.
From this point forward, the federal overreach into areas prohibited by the Constitution expanded. The Air Commerce Act passed in 1926, regulating air traffic rules, licensing pilots, establishing airways, certifying aircraft, etc. A federal gasoline tax was enacted in 1932, which was never repealed despite its temporary need and has risen consistently to this day. The federal government took over all aspects of air traffic control and local towers after World War II.
During President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term, the “interstate highway system” was first mentioned in a “Bureau of Public Roads report to Congress, Toll Roads and Free Roads, in 1939.” But, it was the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, supported by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower, that provided the funding for the construction of the interstate highway system most call the Eisenhower Interstate System. Eisenhower supported this for civilian as well as military purposes.
As you can see, early in the growth of the united States, presidents knew the limitation of federal infrastructure to the post roads and those building outlined in the Constitution. The intent of the framers was not for the federal government to usurp authority over roads, bridges, and other structures that were the purview of the States. But, as we see from the history, under various presidents until Abraham Lincoln, federal infrastructure was limited. In order to procure authority over infrastructure, other than what the Constitution allowed, an amendment would have to be presented to the States to change the Constitution, which three-fourths of the States would need to ratify in order to pass. That didn’t and hasn’t happened.
Because these usurpations were not thwarted by the States, the federal government, our creature, has expanded its “interpretation” of infrastructure to mean anything the public accesses to include services normally handled by family members, private industry, etc., which is why “elderly care” is now being dubbed “infrastructure” and included under Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.
Elderly care is not the only issue here. According to Fox Business, Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal includes manufacturing, modernizing the public transportation system, renewable energy, climate change, jobs through the American Jobs Plan, inland waterways and ferries, airports, clean water through replacing lead pipes and service lines, building and repairing schools, technology at community colleges including structures, broadband internet, hospitals and home care services, as well as modernizing federal buildings and Veteran’s Affairs hospitals.
If you haven’t figured it out, this is government seizure of everything that should be left to private individuals, private industries, the States or local municipalities. This is a roll out of the interposition of the ideologies of communism/socialism/fascism/Marxism/Nazi-ism. When government seizes control of the care of the elderly, it won’t be long before the government will determine when the elderly must die, aka government sanctioned murder called euthanasia, in order to control spending on those services. When taking control of the entire water system, the government can decide who gets water and who doesn’t based on their criteria. It’s the same with everything else.
Does anyone actually support this or support an individual who has zero experience with any of these items to assume responsibility to oversee – namely Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – never forgetting for one minute all of this is unconstitutional? And don’t try and place this under the Interstate Commerce Clause because the powers to regulate commerce with foreign nations, Indian Tribes and the States does not mean the powers of Congress are identical with these three separate entities. To do so would be akin to using a fool’s crutch.
America, you better wake up fast!
Article posted with permission from Sons of Liberty Media