Tuesday, June 29, 2021

While The Woke Sleep - Plutocrats And Their Political SockPuppets Continue Their Plunder...,

commondreams  |  After President Joe Biden and U.S. lawmakers on Thursday announced a bipartisan deal on infrastructure that Democrats say they will only support alongside a reconciliation bill, progressives doubled down on concerns about the compromise proposal's financing plans.

Rather than pushing for taxes targeting rich individuals and corporations, a White House fact sheet on the bipartisan package outlines various other potential financing sources, from unused unemployment insurance relief funds to reinstating Superfund fees for chemicals.

The proposal that has progressives alarmed is relying on "public-private partnerships, private activity bonds, direct pay bonds, and asset recycling for infrastructure investment."

Asset recycling involves the sale or lease of public assets to the private sector so the government can put that money toward new investments. The policy was previously encouraged by former U.S. President Donald Trump, despite lessons from Australia about its pitfalls.

As negotiations over the infrastructure deal dragged on last week, Rianna Eckel, an organizer with Food & Water Watch, cautioned that it could "facilitate a Wall Street takeover of public services like water." Mary Grant, the advocacy group's Public Water for All director, echoed that warning Thursday.

"This White House-approved infrastructure deal is a disaster in the making," Grant said in a statement. "It promotes privatization and so-called 'public-private partnerships' instead of making public investments in publicly owned infrastructure."

Grant noted that "communities across the country have been ripped off by public-private schemes that enrich corporations and Wall Street investors and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab."

One infamous example, as Common Dreams recently reported, is the privatization of Chicago's parking meters. Illinois drivers filed a class-action lawsuit on Thursday alleging that Chicago granted a private company "monopoly control over the city's parking meter system for an astonishing 75-year-long period, without regard for the changes in technology and innovations in transportation taking place now and for the rest of the century."

Grant charged that "privatization is nothing more than an outrageously expensive way to borrow funds, with the ultimate bill paid back by households and local businesses in the form of higher rates." She called the White House's decision to support the proposal "disappointing and outrageous."

 

 

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