U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a means to keep the country globally competitive in the coming centuries.
On this week’s “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com, the former Dem presidential candidate said the proposal would, among other things, fix crumbling roads in states like Wisconsin and create jobs in the process.
“This is what it’s going to take for America to compete and win in the 21st Century,” he told viewers. “We’ve got to keep up. And this is our chance to do that.”
When asked if it was possible to pay for the plan without a tax increase, Buttigieg stressed that President Biden intends to fully pay for the plan and to do so without raising taxes on any individuals making less than $400,000 per year.
He said the wealthy and owners of corporations would “see an impact” in their taxes but would still benefit from the proposal through the boost it would give the economy.
In another segment of the program, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said she believes everyone who wants a COVID-19 should have access to one within the next eight weeks.
She said she expects a boost in demand and “some level of frustration” in the rollout as vaccines today become available to all state residents 16 and older. But she added she hopes to get through the initial confusion quickly.
“I don’t have an estimate for when everyone will get a shot, but I think we are hoping within the next eight weeks that everyone who wants it has access,” she said.
Johnson also said she hopes the recent rise in positive case numbers is “just a blip and not a spike” and that COVID cases would continue to level out or decline as people receive the vaccine.
She urged people to continue to wear masks and exercise caution to avoid spreading the virus. She went on to say the city will keep its mask mandate in place “until we feel it’s safe to remove it.”
The state Supreme Court along ideological lines has turned down Dem Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, with conservative justices ruling the guv didn’t have the authority to issue more than one emergency order in response to the same crisis.
“Unfortunately, this aligns with exactly as we’re seeing a more increasing number of variants in Wisconsin,” Johnson said in response to the court’s ruling. “So, I am concerned for communities that don’t have a mask order in place. But in terms of the city of Milwaukee, it really doesn’t change anything for us and I hope that people will continue to follow the ordinance.”