Congress

Report: Trump Will Release a Fake Infrastructure Plan

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It has been reported before that Trump's aides were working on a fake infrastructure plan with virtually no money in it, but now we know when he intends to release it.

USA Today reports Trump will unveil the so-called "plan" during the State of Union Address later this month and the details of the plan actually made me laugh out loud.

Trump's plan would move the country away from a "project-based" system in which the federal government identifies infrastructure needs and gives money. The White House now plans to delegate that role to states and private investors, who would also provide the bulk of the funding. [...]

The Trump plan aims to generate $1 trillion for improvements, including a $200 billion federal funding commitment, according to the White House officials. The rest would be made up by state and local governments and private investors.

The federal dollars will go toward incentives for private investors, rural projects, and "transformative" projects such as high-speed rail or major tunnels, according to the officials.

I feel like we've thoroughly covered how absurd this idea is before as Republicans floated similar ideas while President Obama was still in office, but let's reiterate.

You may be able to convince me that wealthy, high-population states like New York, Texas, and California could find ways to fund a majority of their own infrastructure, but other states do not have a trillion dollars just laying around. Some small conservative states, such as Louisiana or Kansas, can't even afford the cost of their own health care and education. How are those states suppose to pick up nearly all of the federal government's fiscal burden?

They can't.

This report that Trump wants to "move the country away" from the current status quo suggests his plan will call for cutting most federal investment in infrastructure and returning the money to the states, but not all states contribute the same amount of money. Smaller conservative state are net welfare states that receive more federal tax dollars from the government than they pay in. You could return every single tax dollar to the gulf coast and none of those states would be able to afford everything they need on their own.

Some states, such as New York, are preparing to file a lawsuit against the GOP tax bill signed into law last month because they feel as though their states are not being treated fairly. They believe the Republican Congress has raised taxes on them with the intent of redistributing it to other states.

Some Republican congressmen have defended the elimination of state and local tax deductions in high-tax states by laughably claiming their own conservative states have subsidized them, but nothing could be further from the truth and they know it.

And speaking of the GOP tax cut bill, it leaves the nation with virtually no money for anything. There's no money for a trillion dollar infrastructure plan or even a $200 billion plan. $200 billion may not even cover the cost of recovery in Texas, California, and Puerto Rico following last year's devastating hurricanes and wildfires. And it certainly won't cover the cost of the next hurricane or wildfire season in 2018.

There's a political risk for Democrats hinging on whether or not they choose to cooperate with Trump on an infrastructure plan, but I think Trump has eliminated that risk because this is a fake plan. And that's all Democrats need to say; it's fake. I expect even some Republicans in Congress will oppose this plan because they knew their own states could never afford it and they now have one less vote in the Senate.

By making this fake infrastructure plan his "top priority" in 2018, an even higher priority than cutting health care, that may ensure Republicans accomplish virtually nothing this year. Republicans only have until the Spring to do whatever it is they're going to do before the midterm election overtakes everything.

By the way, we're two weeks away from a possible government shutdown. Again.

  • muselet

    An infrastructure plan that assumes private investment but doesn’t assume private ownership—what, private investors would pony up billions out of the goodness of their black, withered hearts?—isn’t an actual plan. It’s the sort of thing a college sophomore stoned on pot and Ayn Rand would come up with.

    Pointing and laughing would seem to be the proper response.

    –alopecia

    • ninjaf

      Wait until these local toll roads start popping up everywhere just to go cross town.

  • waspuppet

    I’ve said it before; other people have said it before me, and I’ll continue saying it until SOMEONE listens: We already know how to build a great infrastructure system. We already did it, between 100 years ago and 50 years ago: Spend money, give people jobs and tell them to build. All this “innovation” is nothing more than a way to build infrastructure without actually paying for it — or more accurately, to say you’re building infrastructure without either paying for it or actually building it.

  • Draxiar

    trump: “I’m going to take you to lunch”
    other: “Oh that’s great…thanks!”
    trump: “You need to pay for 80% of it.”
    other: “…….”

  • ninjaf

    A bunch of red state voters are about to learn the hard way that THEY are the welfare queens they rail against.

    • Tony Lavely

      They’ll never in a million years believe it.

    • muselet

      No, they’ll just blame them damn’ socialistical Demonrats! for stealing their money from them. We’ve seen this movie before.

      –alopecia

  • Nefercat

    “The federal dollars will go toward incentives for private investors”
    ——————————
    Yes, I’m sure they will.

    The ongoing looting of the treasury can’t stop as long as there is a dollar left to be stolen.

    • Badgerite

      Bingo.

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