Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan that some Democrats said that they might be able to support is not an infrastructure bill at all. Trump’s plan is not to spend government money on job-creating projects but to give tax cuts to contractors and the construction sector.
Ronald A. Klain described Trump’s infrastructure plan in a Washington Post op-ed:
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.
Second, as a result of the above, Trump’s plan isn’t really a jobs plan, either. Because the plan subsidizes investors, not projects; because it funds tax breaks, not bridges; because there’s no requirement that the projects be otherwise unfunded, there is simply no guarantee that the plan will produce any net new hiring. Investors may simply shift capital from unsubsidized projects to subsidized ones and pocket the tax breaks on projects they would have funded anyway. Contractors have no obligation to hire new workers, or expand workers’ hours, to collect their $85 billion. To their credit, the plan’s authors don’t call it a jobs plan; ironically, it is Democrats looking to align with Trump who have given it that name. They should not fool themselves.
Democrats should not be fooled. In typical Republican fashion, Trump is trying to pass off a tax cut plan as a jobs bill. Trump’s tax cuts don’t require contractors to qualify for the savings by beginning new infrastructure. The tax cuts are going to be pocketed by construction investors, like Donald Trump for example, for investing in projects that may have nothing to do with infrastructure or the common good.
Trump wants to use taxpayer funds, not to build new schools, bridges, and roads, but to redistribute national wealth upwards to investors. Liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders need to take a hard look at what the Trump administration is passing off as infrastructure spending. What is traditionally thought of as infrastructure spending is not what the Trump administration will be proposing.
President-elect Trump wants to spend a trillion of your dollars on trickle down infrastructure spending.
Don’t be fooled, and don’t allow Democratic members of Congress to be fooled. Call write and email your Representatives and Senators and tell them that you don’t want your tax dollars going to Donald Trump’s infrastructure con.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association