We've been hearing for months now that Trump's infrastructure "plan" would include $200 billion in federal spending that's suppose to trigger an additional $1.3 trillion in spending by states and private businesses.
Exactly how that's suppose to happen, whether through osmosis or magic, isn't clear, but Trump's proposal doesn't even include $200 billion.
His proposal does call for spending $200 billion on infrastructure, but it calls for off-setting it with $200 billion in cuts to... infrastructure.
Rather than creating new sources of revenue, such calling for an increase in the federal gas tax ― which is supported by groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ― White House aides have suggested that lawmakers pay for Trump’s infrastructure proposal by cutting funding from other transportation programs like Amtrak or the Highway Trust Fund. To that end, the White House on Monday is slated to release its 2019 fiscal year budget, which is expected to renew the call for deep cuts to domestic programs like transportation.
You can forget all the other nuances, or a lack thereof, included in Trump's proposal because the bottom line is it offers nothing. Trump's budget proposal was also released this morning and, sure enough, it calls for the cuts outlined above.
We've been over this several times before, but states do not have $1.3 trillion in their back pocket to spend on infrastructure. States that have the means are already spending significant amounts of money on infrastructure projects, such as high speed rail projects in California, but even that partially relies on federal funding.
Ironically, states that show the highest levels of support for Trump are relatively poor, conservative states that can't even afford to fund a full week of school. These states can't fund all of their own infrastructure projects.
To that end, Trump's proposal calls for allowing states to set up tolls on existing infrastructure such as federal highways. Of course that means residents of these states could be double-taxed for something that was already built decades ago.
I guess they'll be Great Again.