GOP congressman's new attack on Biden's jobs plan fails basic math


Rep. Brian Mast wants to fund the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan by slashing $40 billion in foreign aid.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) is unhappy that President Joe Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan would be funded by increased corporate tax revenue. He has proposed a different way to pay for the plan that would take more than six decades to accomplish.

"Right now the United States sends billions of dollars overseas each year under the guise of foreign aid," he tweeted Monday. "Instead of increasing taxes on Americans to pay for new infrastructure, we should stop sending our money to other countries!"

In a video clip from an interview Mast included with the tweet, he said "dollars that go overseas" could be looked at as a possibly source for funding to offset an infrastructure bill "responsibly."

Biden has proposed funding his American Jobs Plan, which would provide trillions of dollars for investments in roads, bridges, water systems, broadband, transit, child care, and other priorities, by collecting about $2.5 trillion in increased revenue over the next decade and a half.

The plan would raise the corporate tax rate, slashed by Donald Trump's 2017 tax legislation from 35% to 21%, up to 28%. It would also close several business tax loopholes, several of which have enabled dozens of major corporations to pay no federal taxes.

Mast complained that tax increases would make us "incredibly noncompetitive" and suggested instead totally eliminating the nation's foreign aid budget.

There are many arguments as to why foreign aid is vital to the United States' national interest. Beyond reducing global poverty, it can strengthen international cooperation, help avert and fight pandemics, and reduce illegal immigration.

But contrary to popular opinion, foreign aid makes up only a fraction of the federal budget. In fiscal year 2019, the United States spent just $39.2 billion total on it — well below 1% of the federal budget.

Even if Mast successfully eliminated every penny of foreign aid from every annual budget, it would take more than 62 years to offset the $2.5 trillion in corporate taxes he wants to avoid collecting.

By that time Mast, currently 40 years old, would be more than 103.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.