| Hi Taylor:
What's in the big infrastructure bill that I should care about?
People keep talking about price tags and I'm struggling to find info
about how it might or might not help a middle-class Texas mom like
myself. - Amelia
Hi Amelia: That's the big question, right? Lawmakers have been
yelling about spending, overspending, and underspending, and most
of us don't know what they're actually spending money on.
Ignoring deficits and inflation to the extent those things
can be ignored there are some important things in the bill
that all Americans will see, and a decent amount of money heading
to us Texans. It's all supposed to roll out over five years, but here
are the projects we can expect to see ramping up.
infrastructure. Wherever you live, you can probably picture
a road or a bridge that's seen better days. Over 25 billion dollars
is set to get invested in our highways, with another half-billion
going to bridge repair and maintenance. Aside from fixing potholes
and making sure our cars don't fall into the rivers we're driving
over, this kind of infrastructure helps with shipping routes and
making roadways safer for motorists and pedestrians. On top of
all that, there's a few billion coming to upgrade and improve
public transportation as well.
2. Broadband. A major sticking point of the bill negotiations
was expanding internet access throughout the county, and Texas
will get $100 million or more to boost our broadband. Now that
we've all experienced a year or more of working from home, the
prospect of better internet connectivity has a lot of appeal.
This will also make a big difference for students and teachers
as education becomes more and more reliant on the web. We'll have
to wait and see how many people are directly affected by this
and how much it does to change internet speeds and prices.
3. Climate. This is another wait-and-see part of the bill.
We're supposed to get about $50 million for wildfire prevention
and then $3.5 billion for "weatherization measures," which will
largely consist of improving existing buildings and structures
and making things more energy efficient. That said, time will
tell how the rollout of the spending goes and when these projects
actually break ground.
| I'm guessing
these three areas will be the most visible in terms of infrastructure
that affects people like you and me. The bill claims a lot of the
spending will be covered by leftover coronavirus relief funds and
the end of extended unemployment benefits, so we'll see if that holds
true and we don't take on too much debt. Thanks for the question!
© Taylor Kovar
December 1, 2021
More "Go Far With Kovar" Columns
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.