While we are all focused on the latest White House scandals, the Trump Administration has offered up to Congress their 55 page proposed “Infrastructure Plan.” Everything after the first dozen pages, makes it’s clear it’s not a well reasoned, dollars-and-cents, kinda plan for infrastructure at all. Nope.
“To help build a better future for all Americans, I ask the Congress to act soon on an infrastructure bill that will: stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new investment over the next 10 years, shorten the process for approving projects to 2 years or less, address unmet rural infrastructure needs, empower State and local authorities, and train the American workforce of the future.”
There is no mention anywhere in this document as to where the $1.5 Trillion is coming from. The 1.5 trillion is never mentioned again. There’s not even a pretense that this document is about generating such investment. No projections, no charts or graphs, no spreadsheets; none of that.
It reminds me of my review of the Senate’s version of “Tax reform.” That bill was more of a declaration of modification to the socioeconomic structure of the US, than codified tax reform. It was an ideological document. There would, henceforth, be two distinct classes in our society: The investment class, and the working class. The investment class would flourish on dividends and real estate LLCs and create great dynasties of continual family wealth. The working class would be preferably Southern Evangelicalizers- definitely not living on the coasts…or in a environmental hazard zone. They’d be young and uneducated. They’d be immobile and hopefully perpetually pregnant.
I think Steve King, the US Congressman from Iowa, said it best when he recently tweeted this:
The proposed infrastructure plan actually has very little to do with plans for infrastructure and everything to do with benefiting private companies, deregulation (especially environmental regulations), selling public land, and concentration of power to oversee our lands in the hands of ideological madmen. There are also some jabs thrown in at the judiciary and higher education, as might be expected from this administration. It is, yet again, purely ideological and wholly unquantified; so much so that even the tea party might have a hard time supporting this merely for it’s total lack of direction and directives, outside of the dismantlement of oversight.
The words and phrases of: reduce, eliminate, delete, alter, remove, and amend are used so often in conjunction with: “to lessen confusion”, “to streamline”, and “to incentivize”, that I’ve made a separate page of just these phrases or clauses. Go look at it. Run your eyes over this.
The core features of this document are: selling public lands to private companies, and reducing regulations for the sole benefit of private companies. Please read these larger excerpts with comments and clarifications that I wrote in a separate post.
Also included in those excerpts, are unusual powers granted to Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke. It’s fucking awful. Closing out the document are suggested restriction for legal remedies for environmental issues and removal of funds from higher education to fund lesser trade skills or short term educational programs.
All of this dovetails nicely into the ideology behind tax reform. It’s cut from the same cloth, just this time, there’s no pretense that it is anything other than the ideology propelling the document. There’s very little to argue about the economic malfeasance in this plan, because very little of the allocation of resources is even mentioned after the first dozen pages. There’s no plan here at all. Nothing.
The full document can be found here.