Biden Should Stick to Traditional Infrastructure, CEO Group Says

The head of a prominent business lobbying group is calling on President Joe Biden to stick to “traditional infrastructure” in his $2.25 trillion plan and drop a proposed corporate tax increase.

Josh Bolten, chief executive officer of Business Roundtable, which represents chief executive officers of large U.S. companies, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Thursday that the organization wants the White House to limit its proposed package to projects that “expand the economy’s productive capacity” and “leave the rest of the stuff for something else.”

Biden Should Stick to Traditional Infrastructure, CEO Group Says

Biden’s proposed plan calls for broad public-sector investment in things beyond fixing roads and bridges, including child- and elder-care.

Bolten’s comments echo objections from GOP lawmakers, who have said they favor infrastructure spending tied to transportation, such as highways.

“It’s the real infrastructure that can attract bipartisan support,” added Bolten, who served as former President George W. Bush’s chief of staff for nearly three years.

Bolten said the group, which includes the heads of companies like Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., is “strongly against” the administration’s proposals to increase the corporate tax rate to 28% and reverse former President Donald Trump’s 2017 cuts.

“It’s a massive tax increase on U.S. business, which is really damaging, not just to the shareholders of all those businesses but to the employees and customers as well,” he said. The hike, he added, “would make us once again the least competitive in the developed world.”

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has said he supports investing in U.S. infrastructure and a hike in the corporate tax rate to help pay for it. But he stopped short of endorsing Biden’s proposal.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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