Trump's In­fra­struc­ture Con-job

Trillions - - In This Issue -

Re­mem­ber all those cam­paign prom­ises Trump made about in­creas­ing in­vest­ment in­fra­struc­ture and cre­at­ing jobs in the process? He lied, just as he was ly­ing about so many other things. Those in­vest­ments may never hap­pen un­der Trump.

In the Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, he ran saying he ex­pected to spend a tril­lion dol­lars on in­fra­struc­ture across the coun­try. Fur­ther, in Fe­bru­ary, not long be­fore the White House bud­get pro­posal that dis­closed that all of this was to be re­leased, Trump said pub­licly: “We spend $6 tril­lion in the Mid­dle East and we have pot­holes all over our high­ways and our roads ... so we’re go­ing to take care of that. In­fra­struc­ture – we’re go­ing to start spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture big. Not like we have a choice. It’s not like, oh gee, let’s hold it off.”

Trump can lie all he wants and many will be­lieve ev­ery word he says. But some Amer­i­cans can read and maybe a few will bother to read Trump's pro­posed bud­get. Ac­cord­ing to the March 2017 bud­get submitted by the White House, fund­ing for in­fra­struc­ture will be re­duced, not in­creased. Yet, Trump keeps crow­ing about the money he is go­ing to spend fix­ing Amer­ica's roads, bridges, air­ports, util­i­ties, etc.

The trends were al­ready bad enough un­der Obama, an­other ly­ing con-artist who fre­quently said one thing and then did the op­po­site.

Non-de­fense dis­cre­tionary (NDD) spend­ing was al­ready low, with trends eval­u­ated by the Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice pro­ject­ing that the NDD bud­get au­thor­ity, cal­cu­lated as a per­cent­age of the GDP, would hit 2.4% by the year 2027.

The new Trump bud­get ac­cel­er­ates all that so that the NDD spend­ing will hit 2.4% by 2018 – next year. By 2027, how­ever, it would be even lower, down to 1.4%. For those in­ter­ested in his­tory, that com­pares to around 6% of the GDP in 1980 and hov­er­ing just un­der 4% be­tween 1990 and the be­gin­ning of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

NDD spend­ing has been shrink­ing for some time in the face of ris­ing en­ti­tle­ment needs and on­go­ing pres­sures to in­crease war spend­ing. Un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, vast give-aways for the war in­dus­try are be­ing rammed right through, driv­ing all NDD spend­ing down in the process. He is rob­bing the Amer­i­can people and giv­ing the money to his bud­dies.

The lack of spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture will pre­vent nec­es­sary fed­eral build­ing con­struc­tion, road and bridge re­pair, elec­tri­cal grid up­grades, crit­i­cal wa­ter sys­tem main­te­nance and other in­fra­struc­ture projects

of all kinds. It also means a dis­as­ter at the state level – when faced with emer­gency sit­u­a­tions in­volv­ing the same in­fra­struc­ture, states will be forced to raise taxes or just let ev­ery­thing con­tinue to de­cay.

The longer es­sen­tial main­te­nance and re­pairs are de­layed the greater the dam­age to the econ­omy and the higher the ul­ti­mate cost. Rot­ting in­fra­struc­ture doesn't just dam­age the econ­omy, it kills people when bridges col­lapse, roads be­come un­safe, sink holes swal­low homes and cars and drink­ing wa­ter be­comes con­tam­i­nated, etc.

The Amer­i­can people don't have a choice if we want to have a func­tional coun­try, we have to spend the money one way or an­other. But Trump had a choice and he chose wrong. He be­trayed us. He did not live up to his re­peated prom­ises on in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.

The rea­son that Trump won't spend Amer­i­can tax­payer's money on Amer­ica is be­cause in­fra­struc­ture means pub­lic com­pet­i­tively bid con­tracts and lit­tle op­por­tu­nity for the money to be stolen on a grand scale. So, Trump di­verted the money to the mil­i­tary, where there are a myr­iad ways the money can be stolen.

Re­mem­ber, the Pen­tagon sim­ply won't ac­count for $10 tril­lion in money it has re­ceived. Un­der Trump that num­ber will keep climb­ing and the evil bil­lion­aires will be­come richer, more pow­er­ful and more de­struc­tive.

It is es­ti­mated that ev­ery $1 bil­lion in high­way spend­ing can di­rectly and in­di­rectly cre­ate up to 13,000 high pay­ing jobs a year. Ev­ery bil­lion spent on the mil­i­tary just digs a deeper hole for Amer­ica to climb out of.

Min­neapo­lis I-35W Bridge Col­lapse in which 13 people died and 145 were in­jured. Photo by Tony Web­ster, CC

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