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The Only Way President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Works

Anyone who has travelled recently through one of America’s major cities will agree that our urban infrastructure is a shambles of aging and decaying bridges, airports and railway facilities competing with leaking water and sewer lines for which is in worse condition.

In rural America, the depopulation of small towns and agricultural counties has left many behind as outdated communications infrastructure cannot meet the demands of today’s highspeed internet-based technology. Last Trump infrastructure tweetgeneration transportation lines contribute to the slow death of rural communities by isolating their businesses from customers and suppliers.

To cure decades of neglect, the Trump Administration has committed to building a safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure to meet the needs of the American people and our economy.

President Trump has proposed to remedy the infrastructure deficit through what the President calls his “Building a Stronger America” proposal.

One the most important elements of President Trump’s plan is to streamline the permitting process.

In announcing the plan, the White House said, “We will fix the broken permit process so America can become a global infrastructure leader. American workers built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — it can now take 10 years to get approval to build a highway. We must streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years.”

Specifically, the White House announcement included proposals for:

Streamlining the Federal Role: The President seeks to restructure Federal environmental review and permitting for major infrastructure projects by having one agency make one decision to reduce the permitting process to 2 years, amending existing statutory provisions to eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies in environmental laws, and focusing on environmental outcomes rather than processes.

Delegating to States: The plan includes reforms to broaden existing authorities to delegate environmental review and permitting responsibilities to States and to facilitate reliance on State and local reviews and documentation.

Piloting New Approaches: Two new pilot programs will be created under the President’s plan to experiment with different ways to conduct Federal environmental reviews using performance measures and negotiated mitigation.

That America needs to make a major commitment to updating its infrastructure is unarguable; the question is who is going to pay for it and how will the improvements be funded given the projected $1.5 trillion deficit spending bill just passed by Congress and our $20 trillion and climbing national debt?

The White House proposal includes an answer to that question that may not allay all the concerns of the budget conscious but offers some creative ideas on how to stretch the dollars it will take to make the President’s plan work.

The White House says the Administration’s proposal will spur at least $1.5 trillion of investment to address our crumbling infrastructure and prepare the United States for opportunities ahead.

To accomplish that goal, the President is asking Congress to approve legislation that, when matched with State, local, or private dollars, will generate at least $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investment.

The idea that public – private partnerships must be a part of the solution to our infrastructure deficit is smart, if there are safeguards to ensure that there is no repeat of the Obama-era “green energy” boondoggles that saw billions poured into corrupt politically connected enterprises like the infamous Solyndra solar cell company that left taxpayers liable for $535 million in federal guarantees.

One of the most encouraging parts of President Trump’s infrastructure proposal is its commitment to rural America.

The President’s statement announcing the plan said, “We want to sustain prosperous rural economies by providing significant investment in rural infrastructure to address unmet needs.  The President’s proposal dedicates $50 billion to enable rural America to address its unique infrastructure challenges, rebuilding, and modernizing bridges, roads, water and wastewater assets, water resources, waterways, power generation assets, and broadband.”

The Administration is also committed, said the White House, to helping more individuals access affordable, relevant, quality education and skills-development that lead to full-time work and long-term careers, including expanding Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality, short-term programs and reforming licensing requirements for individuals seeking an infrastructure project job.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, President Trump’s infrastructure proposal focuses the money on projects that will contribute to the economy and potentially boost wages.

The plan, the White House announcement said, will support transformative projects that lift American spirits and unleash GDP growth. The President’s plan dedicates $20 billion to spur competition around bold, innovative, and transformative infrastructure projects that dramatically improve future infrastructure.

We contrast that to the Democrats’ Obama economic stimulus spending – much of which went to propping-up payrolls for local and state government union workforces, as opposed to boosting employment in the private sector or building projects that would encourage additional private sector investment.

As with any White House plan the Executive Branch proposes, and Congress disposes, it will be up to Congress to make the President’s bold ideas a reality. The focus on projects that contribute to GDP growth is what makes the President’s plan workable – or at least worth considering – in this age of massive deficits. Congress should keep the focus there and resist the temptation to siphon money off to boondoggles (like bike paths, parks and trails) that do not produce a return on investment through GDP growth.

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Swap Guns for Butter

The long overdue modernization and repair of infrastructure can help grow our economy and increase Americans job opportunities. However, the continuation of long term deficit spending beyond productive return possibilities is neither sound nor fair economics.

The elephant in the room is "garrison the globe" and "regime change" military socialism under various camouflages of phony, overextended "national" interest. Guns and butter cannot long coexist before the nation (the people not the nation state) suffer.

Reduce military spending by 50%, or more. Leading the cuts should be bringing our military garrisons home for gainful domestic employment: starting first, from areas of our greatest manufacturing/energy/business competitors (lead the list with Japan, Korea, and Germany); and, second, from areas where we have caused the most regime change instability (namely, Afghanistan {let Russia defend her own borders], and, Middle East oil country that's really more of the vestigial concern of the British Empire and Saudi radicals.

The Only Way President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Works?

It doesn't work, it won't work, and it can't be made to work. This is nothing more than pulling wealth out of the economy, and redistributing it for political purposes.

Some may actually be spent on useful things, but in the wasteful inefficient manner necessitated by bureaucratic management. Most will be pissed away on political boondoggles of the state and local politicians and agencies who end up with the money, diverted to leftist "non-profits", or absorbed by existing bureaucracies, programs, etc.

In the end, it will do the same as Obama's "stimulus" -- accomplishing very little of what was supposedly its purpose, but providing those who end up spending it with a windfall to improve their political positions.

The money would be better left in private hands, and invested in things for which there is enough public demand to generate a profit -- which provides a real service to the public (and at lesser cost). There's no shortage of money to maintain and improve infrastructure, it's just that the politicians in control of the money choose to spend it on other things that they believe to be more to their political benefit, and (for the most part) they'll do the same with this.


Whenever the federal government is in control of the money there are problems with siphoning and waste. The president's plan may sound good, but I don't trust Schumer and McConnell and even Paul Ryan. Too often in the past they have denied the wishes of the electorate and have gone their own ways. It is time they took a conservative stand and reign in spending instead of adding more debt to our future.