Gov. Bill Lee shared his opposition on Monday morning to a sweeping $2.25 trillion package presented by President Joe Biden last week aimed at reshaping the American economy.
Biden’s plan includes $621 billion for transportation infrastructure, including a network of charging stations for electric vehicles, Amtrak expansion and public transit modernization, road and bridge repair, and airport upgrades. It also includes billions in funding for projects including broadband expansion, public school upgrades, water and electric infrastructure, housing projects, and pay raises for care workers for older adults and those with disabilities.
To pay for the plan, Biden proposes to raise the corporate tax rate by 28%.
In an interview on “America’s Newsroom” with Dana Perino on Monday morning, Lee said the bill — rolled out by the Biden administration as an infrastructure and jobs package — would be destructive.
“It’s going to kill jobs,” Lee said. “Raising taxes on businesses after the year that we’ve just had? That’s very concerning.”
Lee pointed out that only 5% of the package is set to go to roads and bridges, and touted Tennessee’s conservative fiscal management and strong economic rebound from pandemic business closures. Tennessee is set to invest $200 million in state dollars for broadband expansion this year.
“The reason we can do that is because our economy is working. We kept our businesses open. We are actually proposing a tax cut to our citizens this year,” Lee said. “That’s the way fiscal responsibility should work. And states can do that across the country if they manage their budgets well.”
He said Tennessee will “be good stewards of the money” that comes to the state, but criticized excessive federal spending.
“These big waves of federal money, they’re like economic meth. I mean they feel good when you get it, but they’re killing you at the same time,” Lee said.
Biden said Monday that he plans to push as hard as possible to pass the package.