Trump’s Fake Infrastructure Plan May Be Dead Already

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It was first reported last week that Trump would unveil his fake infrastructure plan with no money in it during the State of the Union address later this month, but that may not be the case.

Politico reports that officials now say there's no timetable for release and it may not even happen this month.

A White House official said Tuesday that there have been “no decisions yet on timing” for the release. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) separately told POLITICO — after a meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other officials — that administration officials are still deciding whether to publish legislative principles for the plan before or after the president’s State of the Union address Jan. 30. [...]

Trump’s advisers have told him that pursuing an infrastructure bill will give Republicans the best chance of holding onto the House because the prospect of building new roads and bridges has broad appeal with the electorate.

It greatly amuses me that Trump's advisers are telling him this is their best bet for retaining control of Congress because these are the same advisers crafting a plan that has no money in it.

The proposal being floated by the White House would include just $200 billion in federal spending and that is virtually nothing. Trump's advisers, such as Gary Cohn, say this will somehow trigger an additional $1 trillion in spending by states and private companies. That's $1 trillion that states don't have or $1 trillion that private companies aren't going to invest in projects that don't generate profits.

None of this makes any sense unless you're a corporate drone who believes federal investment works just like seed money or venture capital. In some limited cases it does, and the alternative energy and electric vehicle markets are good examples of this, but that is quite a bit different from a federal highway, a sea wall, or a bridge. Highways don't generate profits.

I suppose it's possible Trump will call for building a nationwide network of toll roads, but he can forget retaining control of Congress or the White House if that's the case. That may even cause a riot.

Snark aside, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released his own list of priorities last night and it doesn't include spending money on infrastructure. Of course, there is no money left to spend on infrastructure now that Ryan has looted the treasury with tax cuts.

Ryan's list of priorities may seem like a minor detail, but Republicans only have a few months to do whatever they're going to do before virtually everything shuts down for the midterm elections.