From Our Future
In a democracy We the People pitch in and build public infrastructure that We the People all get to use equally.
So when people talk about our country's infrastructure, they usually mean our public roads, bridges, mass transit, water and sewer systems. All of these are good for all of us and our economy. We share in the investment and we share in the return on that investment.
Likewise, when people think of infrastructure projects, they think of government projects hiring people, purchasing supplies and building or maintaining something. They think of lots of good, union jobs with good benefits and lots of good, local American construction companies and American suppliers getting contracts.
This is what Republicans have obstructed since they got enough votes in the senate to obstruct with. A few examples:
Public Dollars, Private Profits
So now Donald Trump is proposing a "$1 trillion infrastructure plan." Sounds great, right? Yum, infrastructure.
The Hill has the story, in "Five things to know about Trump's infrastructure plan:"
"A 10-page white paper posted on Trump's campaign website last month makes private financing the cornerstone of his infrastructure plan.
"The proposal would offer $137 billion in federal tax credits to private investors who want to back transportation projects, which the blueprint says would unleash up to $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investment over 10 years."
Trump's plan does not call for public investment in public infrastructure, nor does it call for hiring local construction companies using American suppliers and creating jobs for American union workers. Trump's plan is for the government to spend money giving tax breaks to giant, multinational corporations and calling it infrastructure investment. Any actual infrastructure investment that does occur will bring a return on that investment of taxpayer money to a few 1%-ers and not to We the People.
Ronald A. Klain oversaw the team implementing Obama's 2009 American Recovery and Renewal Act, known as the "Stimulus." Klain wrote an op-ed appearing in the Washington Post, titled "Trump's big infrastructure plan? It's a trap." Klain explained that the plan isn't even really even about infrastructure:
"First, Trump's plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It's a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn't directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton's 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump's plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There's no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects."
And the jobs? Nope: