Former Obama auto czar: This is what 'scares me' about Biden's big infrastructure plan

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

Former auto czar under former President Barack Obama — Steven Rattner — is all for improving the nation's infrastructure. 

He just hopes that any money is spent wisely, especially given the price tag President President Joe Biden is floating

"The amount of the budget that has been devoted to infrastructure, R&D has been falling for 40 years. That's a tragedy, and why there's such public support for doing something now. I think it's critically important that if this bill is passed, it would be implemented well," Rattner — who led Obama's auto task force during the Great Recession and is now chairman and CEO of Willett Advisors — said on Yahoo Finance Live

Added Rattner, "Sixty-seven initiatives [in the bill] scares me when you think of a typical bill that has two or three. If government fails to implement this well, when the dust settles, the American public looks back on it and says this was a failure then that is going to make it very tough for the next president to lean in and do things like this."

Biden unveiled his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan last week. 

Dubbed the "American Jobs Plan," Biden is aiming to invest $621 billion into transportation infrastructure, including the repair of roads, bridges, transit and rail. More than $300 billion will be spent to replace lead water pipes and upgrade sewers, invest in broadband access and improve the power grid. 

FILE - This April 2, 2021, file photo shows bridges spanning the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it’s more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden’s ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Bridges spanning the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it’s more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden’s ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

The infrastructure plan is seen being mostly paid for by lifting the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%.

Rattner said he would like to see the government partner more with the private sector on the plan, given the former's not so great track record on investing capital. Doing so may boost the return on investment to American taxpayers, Rattner thinks. 

"I think there are ways — like the carbon tax — to use the private sector to implement a lot of these goals in a much more tax and cost-efficient way for the American taxpayer," Rattner said.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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