White House gives Indiana C- in state-by-state infrastructure report

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The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.

Indiana was given a C- in the report. The report notes that there are 1,111 bridges and more than 5,478 miles of highway in poor condition in Indiana.

The figures in the state summaries, obtained by The Associated Press, paint a decidedly bleak outlook for the world’s largest economy after years of repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican and Democratic lawmakers and can use the state summaries to show that his plan would help meet the needs of their constituents.

Drawn from an array of private and public data, the reports show there are 7,300 miles of highway in Michigan alone that are in poor condition. Damaged streets in North Carolina impose an average yearly cost of $500 on motorists. Iowa has 4,571 bridges in need of repair. There is a roughly 4-in-10 chance that a public transit vehicle in Indiana might be ready for the scrap yard. Pennsylvania’s schools are short $1.4 billion for maintenance and upgrades.

Most states received a letter grade on their infrastructure. West Virginia earned a D. So did Biden’s home state of Delaware. The highest grade went to Utah, which notched a C-plus. The lowest grade, D-minus, went to the territory of Puerto Rico.

The administration is banking that the data will confirm the everyday experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules. There is already a receptive audience to the sales pitch, and the strategy is that public support can overcome any congressional misgivings.

“We don’t have a lot of work to do to persuade the American people that U.S. infrastructure needs major improvement,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday” ahead of the reports’ release. “The American people already know it.”

Republican lawmakers have been quick to reject the infrastructure proposal from Biden. They say just a fraction of the spending goes to traditional infrastructure, as $400 billion would expand Medicaid support for caregivers and substantial portions would fund electric vehicle charging stations and address the racial injustice of highways that were built in ways that destroyed Black neighborhoods.

The reports give some data to back up their argument that more money should be spent on roads and bridges. Biden’s plan would modernize 20,000 miles (32,187 kilometers) worth of roadways, but California by itself has 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition.

Republican lawmakers also object to funding the package by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax, among other tax changes including stepped-up IRS enforcement being proposed by the Biden administration.

“This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive tax increase on small-business job creators,” Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I can’t think of a worse thing to do.”

Yet the state-by-state reports make clear that many of the people Wicker represents could benefit from the package, an aspect of the Biden effort to engender the backing of voters across party lines.

Wicker was among four Republicans on the White House guest list for Biden’s Monday meeting, along with Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Reps. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska. Democrats on the list were Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California and Reps. Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.

Mississippi needs $4.8 billion for drinking water and $289 million for schools. Nearly a quarter of households lack an internet subscription, and a similar percentage lives in areas without broadband. Mississippians who use public transportation have to devote an extra 87.7% of their time to commuting.

Mississippi’s infrastructure received a grade of D-plus.

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14 thoughts on “White House gives Indiana C- in state-by-state infrastructure report

    1. Well unlike Trump, Biden actually considers all Americans to be his constituents. You shouldn’t be surprised. That’s how most Presidents are.

    2. And yet…….. there it is, Bob P. Not that either of us have the first clue what each state deserves, but it would appear at first glance that Uncle Joe isn’t playing favorites.

  1. If you look at the detailed breakdown of Biden’s plan, only 6% of the total dollars are allocated towards highways, bridges and streets. To the public, however, they continue to mainly sell the plan on the basis of our roads and bridges when the vast majority of the dollars go elsewhere. This borders on dishonesty.

    1. That’s because they have expanded the definition of “infrastructure” to include the ridiculous. It’s a typical bill laden with handouts disguised as “infrastructure”. It’s shame because this is actually one area they could have achieved bipartisan support, but not the way it reads now. They’ll have to ram it through like the last one.

    2. Perhaps you are referring to the illiterate, non-tv watching public? That is a small group, and it has nothing with the administration allegedly being dishonest. The administration has been extremely transparent that the bill includes large allocations for senior caregivers, childcare, broadband internet, etc. Highways and bridges are pretty useless if workers don’t have access to senior or childcare for household members. Also, in the 21st century, high speed internet service is as essential as having telephone service for business.

    3. I don’t think anyone would argue that broadband is not infrastructure. Certainly technology highways are as important as the ones we drive on, but as you mention, the senior care, childcare and some vet stuff is not infrastructure. We should just call it an all-the above-bill. It is dishonest to pass it off as something that’s it’s not. What will we have next, a healthcare bill that gives money to green energy because it affects your health. Just sick of the misleading wording pandering to the lowest level of intelligence. Do people only read the headlines anymore?

  2. Mississippi devotes 87.7% of their time on commuting? So 12.3% on work , sleep, eat, either an idiot wrote it or just Pete making it up as he goes.

  3. If we removed Indianapolis and South Bend from the grading would we get an A-? My roads and bridges are being well maintained, not potholes refilled 10 times, and the snow gets cleared in the winter.

    1. I frequently travel around the state for work. I can tell you that Indianapolis and South Bend are not the only cities with road issues. I have driven the entire state South to North as well as East to West during snowstorms, and roads were definitely not smooth and clear.

  4. Including over a trillion dollars of non-infrastructure expenditures in a bill called an infrastructure bill is not transparent. Some of these other expenditures may be worthwhile but they should stand on their own merit in separate bills.

  5. Utah had the highest grade of C+ so Indiana’s C- grade is actually quite good versus other states. And we really need some clarity on what facilities are being graded. In Indiana, the interstate highways are generally well-funded while that’s not the case for city streets and county roads.