Donald Trump ran on the promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure program―seemingly diverging from other members of his party. After all, it’s progressives and Democrats who traditionally call for investments in infrastructure.
A $1 trillion plan would be welcome indeed. According to EPI research, each $1 billion investment in infrastructure has the potential to support more than 18,000 jobs―and these jobs are disproportionately well-paying. And $1 trillion would go a long way (if not all the way) to closing the deferred maintenance deficit we’ve allowed to develop through decades of underinvestment.
Unfortunately, when you actually look at Trump’s infrastructure plan, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not a serious plan, and won’t lead to significant investments in our country’s future.
Even the headlines of the Trump infrastructure plan only call for $200 billion of actual federal funding, “leveraging the private sector” to pay for the rest. What that “leverage” means is that state taxpayers and infrastructure users will be on the hook for the other $800 billion in the form of taxes, toll roads or other privatized projects whose profits pad the pockets of private entities—not local or state budgets.
But Trump’s proposed $200 billion investment isn’t even real! Because his 2018 budget attempts to cut $139 billion from investments to “surface transportation infrastructure.” So, Donald Trump’s $200 billion investment is really a $61 billion investment, at best.
Trump just whittled a $1 trillion investment down to $61 billion. Most of us don’t appreciate receiving just 6 percent of what’s been promised. So we shouldn’t be too happy about this retreat on infrastructure.
At EPI, we’re focusing on facts, not rhetoric, and demanding an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.
EPI is analyzing the policies most important to working people.
If we want to create good-paying jobs that rebuild our country, Trump’s infrastructure plan fails every test―privatizing roads, airports and public facilities, in order to pad the pockets of Wall Street investors while making no commitment of public funds at all to insure needed investments happen.
Improvements in infrastructure would, if done right, help workers and the economy. EPI recommends proposals that will benefit the public like the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s infrastructure proposal―rather than President Trump’s use of lofty rhetoric while turning around and cutting actual infrastructure funding.