How do I put this?
Lord Donny is finally right about something; this country needs a strong push toward greater infrastructure. He’s been hollering about it for almost three years now, and he’s not wrong; if we’re to compete in the world, we have to make a massive investment in infrastructure. Obviously, we need improvements made to roads, bridges and waterways nationwide, but we also need a lot more public transit and a more modern electrical grid that is powered by renewables, and not fossil fuels. However, the infrastructure plan he proposed today is nothing short of a joke.
The first thing you should know is, Donny Dumbass is claiming he is going to invest a whopping $1.5 trillion in infrastructure projects over the next ten years. That would be a great start, to be sure, and it would be welcome, if it wasn’t a lie. You see, Lord Donny still seems to operate under the impression that government works much the same as private business. So, in a typical American businessman’s usually short-sighted fashion, he is proposing to “invest” a total of $200 billion and watching that magically transform itself into $1.5 trillion.
The way it’s being done is simple, and completely insane. If a state or a municipality wants to fund an infrastructure project, they will be required to come up with at least 80 percent of the cost, just to qualify for the federal grants from this “plan.” That means they will have to raise taxes, impose high tolls on roads and waterways and impose high user fees on public transportation projects, which would essentially undermine the primary reason for public transportation in the first place. I mean, if you build out a great rail system in a city, but make it too expensive for anyone to use, your return on that investment will be pathetic.
This is a dramatic cut in federal cost-sharing over past years and previous infrastructure bills, and it essentially ensures that most infrastructure projects won’t ever actually happen. It also creates a nearly insurmountable burden when it comes to projects that are veritable emergencies.
Trump is trying to divert attention from his sickly attempt to address the serious infrastructure problems in this country by criticizing the amount of money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This morning, he Tweeted the following:
This will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2018
That statement, which is a serious exaggeration and shows Donny to be geographically challenged (we have spent too much on the wars, but nowhere near $7 trillion, and Afghanistan is not in the “Middle East.”), is almost identical to a statement he made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, so he must have though it was such a smart statement, it was worth repeating. The problem is, what we spent in previous years on the two completely pointless and hopelessly botched “wars” is pretty much irrelevant to what we plan on spending now and in the next decade. This “plan” ignores the fact that the Republicans have been starving the states and municipalities for cash over the last couple decades, and demands that they somehow come up with the revenue to improve their own infrastructure. This will be especially difficult for cities that are still mired in the recession, including many in some of Trump’s favorite states.
Even if Trump’s plan was to contribute the full $1.5 trillion, as I said, that would be, at best, a good start. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE), in order to bring the country’s infrastructure up to par with the rest of the world, they would need about $4.6 trillion in spending by 2025. Therefore, the piddling $200 billion is nothing short of a joke. What’s even more ridiculous is that not investing the proper amount in infrastructure will cost us as many as 2.5 million jobs and about $4 trillion.
This plan is pathetic and you should get on the line as soon as possible with your congresscritter and make them know how important infrastructure improvement is and that you cannot allow Trump and the Republicans to shortchange your future and the future of our children and grandchildren. They’re already blowing up the deficit; at least make them do something with the massive amount of money they’re forcing us to borrow with their asinine tax cut for billionaires.
Also published on Medium.