In a savvy political move, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) outsmarted President-elect by reintroducing his own $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill, which offers Democrats an alternative to the Trump plan that Sanders labeled a “scam.”
In a post on Medium, Sen. Sanders wrote:
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump correctly talked about rebuilding our country’s infrastructure. But the plan he offered is a scam that gives massive tax breaks to large companies and billionaires on Wall Street who are already doing phenomenally well. Trump would allow corporations that have stashed their profits overseas to pay just a fraction of what the companies owe in federal taxes. And then he would allow the companies to “invest” in infrastructure projects in exchange for even more tax breaks. Trump’s plan is corporate welfare coming and going.
In 2015, I introduced the Rebuild America Act to invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize the physical infrastructure that our economy depends on. In January, I will reintroduce that legislation to directly invest in our roads, bridges, water systems, rail, airports, levees and dams. Importantly, at a time when we need to reverse the 40-year decline of the American middle class, this legislation would create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs, while making our country more productive, efficient and safe.
Sanders was even more direct about Trump’s plan on Twitter:
Trump's plan to repair our infrastructure is a scam that gives massive tax breaks to large companies & billionaires. https://t.co/05JEyOwddR
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 21, 2016
The move by Sen. Sanders was politically smart because it provided Democrats with another option to bring to the table. Democrats aren’t going to have to choose whether or not support Trump’s tax cuts as infrastructure spending plan. They can back Sen. Sanders plan that would create new jobs by spending directly on infrastructure projects.
Experts have concluded that what Trump calls infrastructure spending is nothing more than a tax cut for the rich.
There are serious questions about whether or not Trump will have the Republican votes in Congress to pass his infrastructure bill. If Trump ends up needing Democrats votes, it will be the legislation of Sen. Sanders that may end up being part of any compromise that is reached.
Bernie Sanders just pulled off a clever move that painted President-elect Trump into a corner and made the prospects of passage for his infrastructure bill much dicier.