Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Burden on State and Private Money

The president’s $200 billion plan recasts the federal government as a minority stakeholder in the nation’s new infrastructure projects.

Comments: 165

  1. Infrastructure renewal will be paid for with borrowed money. Better to borrow the money at the state and local level, with some level of examination and consideration, than at the federal level, where no restraint seems to apply.

  2. Actually there has always been more efficiency and less corruption at the federal level. Stay and local infrastructure projects are cesspools of fraud and waste.

  3. Thanks you! It amazes me after the nation has gotten close up looks at local politics in Kentucky, Alabama, etc. that anyone believes it is generally more efficient than the Feds. Maybe in some of the larger blue states where people actually believe in the legitimacy and necessity of government, but not in most of the red states--that is the majority of states.

  4. I doubt David is old enough to have even heard about building the Interstate highways let alone remember it.

  5. After raising the debt trillions of dollars to give the wealthiest and big biz tax cuts, and cutting trillions from Medicaid and Medicare, what states and municipalities will be able to afford paying 90% of additional debt by adding infrastructure.

    As it is, this is the worst time to add further debt, when Keynesians stated in these economic times market vulnerability will occur, just as it already has done just this past week.

  6. But the 1% will be fine.
    That’s all that matters to them.
    That’s what swamp creatures do.

  7. As a career Public Works professional, I am saddened by this deceptive effort. Instead of following President Eisenhower's lead, he proposes to extort over $1 billion from financially strapped state and local governments with a withered carrot of $200 billion in federal spending. Already the feds demand a minimum of 10.67% state and local "match" in federally-aided projects, with those that offer more getting higher priority. Eisenhower recognized that a safe and efficient highway system was critical to national security, so he built it. Unfortunately, the Congress never funded maintenance and preservation, opting instead for more showy new infrastructure. Now he proposes more new things, but still no funding for maintenance.

    Can he seriously believe that the national security is enhanced by a failing sanitary sewer system, or by a stormwater system overwhelmed by the impact of more and more new hardscape? What the nation needs is a true program to restore and rebuild our failing public infrastructure, not more and bigger roads. He could start by adequately funding the Water Resources Development Act, by indexing the fuel tax to an inflationary measure, and by finding a way to base road usage fees on road usage. Sadly, these steps do little top enhance the wealth of his corporate donors, so he is likely to give them short shrift.
    The President persists in forcing the cost of services down to the levels of government that can least afford it. It must stop!

  8. I'll take higher taxes over paying a private company. Taxes are cheaper.

  9. It was Reagan who began the abandonment of the federal role - e.g. recall his zeroing out the federal funds to public transit operating costs. I think Reagan also pushed the Revolving State Funds under Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, the virtually eliminated the federal primary role.

  10. Yes, actually if my federal taxes go up to fund good infrastructure, public education at all levels, and a humane social safety net, I would be satisfied.

  11. Yet another TrumpScam. Thanks, GOP.

  12. Opportunities not burden.

  13. Opportunties for ripping off the public yes, of those there will be plenty.

  14. State and locals are not going to provide the proposed funding.

    Trump is pretending to be pro-infrastructure while doing nothing.

  15. Maybe Mexico will pay for know, like they will pay for the wall.

  16. Other People's Money ("OPM"). Classic Tr*mp. No risk, big profits for him, when the deal goes south, he walks away whole and everyone who invested is left holding the bag.


  17. Trump stole his infrastructure plan from Vladamir Putin who also has transferred public assets to corporations with ties to his kleptocracy. Those corporations then tax the public by charging for access to water, security and transportation.

  18. Sure. This will work. States are flush with money they are wondering how to spend.

  19. I get a kick out of the term "private money," here in VA that means increasing tolls for needed highway and tunnel repairs. I live on VA's Eastern Shore and the toll to cross the Bridge/Tunnel to Norfolk is $18 RT (unless it has been raised again recently). I can't wait for the new and improved tunnel, sarcasm intended, just to see how much it will cost me then.

  20. This infrastructure plan was a case study at Trump University

  21. Trump seems to have both the economics and the public purpose of building infrastructure confused with building golf courses, hotels, and casinos.

  22. Observes the Times: “Now, they’re putting out incentive programs that don’t have to generate national or regional economic developments,” said Ms. Knopman, the lead author of a new 110-page RAND report on transportation and water infrastructure in the United States. “It may happen, but that’s not what they’re interested in and that’s not the way they’re screening these projects." Utterly radical. The return on tax dollars to public interest is to be subordinated to the profit interests of privatization. It lends a new meaning to the concept of special interest legislation.

  23. There's the normal bureaucratic inefficiency. There's incompetence and even gross incompetence.
    But Trump Presidency is more; the total train-wreck of an entire nation.

  24. “A private corporation has a fiduciary obligation to make a profit. The government is supposed to be providing a public service,” Mr. Sclar said.

    And there you have it -- the one and only argument against running a country like a business. But hey -- the rubes elected a businessman who was fraught with bankruptcies and failed ventures, so I guess the country IS being run like one of tRump's businesses, indeed...

  25. The Republican “Party” IS a business.
    They exist to make money for themselves at the expense of the country.
    It will eventually destroy the country if allowed to continue.
    Greed is the root of evil.

  26. Something has to happen before the country's infrastructure collapses, but Trump's pathetic plan isn't the answer. It's feeble beyond belief.

  27. The U.S. spends 3.3% of GDP on infrastructure as compared to the Europeans who spend 3.1%. Germany, often cited as having some of the very best infrastructure in the World, spends just 2.1% of GDP on infrastructure. France is very similar.

    So, why in America do we spend so much money on infrastructure and get so little in return as compared to the best infrastructure countries? France and Germany are both heavily unionized and environmentally regulated, yet some estimates show they are getting twice as much infrastructure for their money than we are. Why? Like healthcare and education, how is it that they spend much less and get much better outcomes. What is wrong with us?

    I see that Trump's plan will not fix our fundamental need to build quality infrastructure where it is most needed efficiently. Trump was right on pointing out that the Empire State building took less than one year to build 85 years ago, yet today we cannot seem to build even small stuff that takes forever to get approved and built and costs a fortune. Why? I was hoping that Trump's proposal would address this. Sadly, it does nothing of the sort.

  28. The Empire State Building was built during the depression. Making the economic comparison is a distortion.

  29. I suspect one of the differences is that the Europeans are more disciplined about maintenance, and pay more upfront by embracing higher quality specifications. You get what you pay for, and in the US, we repair badly done infrastructure over and over.

    More generally, it pains me to see the paralysis around the infrastructure issue. It is a basic building block of investment. We are slipping into third world status in this regard.

  30. Not when it was planned and the foundation poured.

  31. Trump's plan is mostly showmanship, taking claim for projects that will eventually be built anyway. States and localities don't raise their matching funds out of thin air. So from the intergovernmental perspective, the primary increase in infrastructure spending is the level of new dollars coming from borrowed (deficit financed) federal dollars that are not subject to local referenda and balanced budgets.
    As to private sector finance, only projects with a revenue source like toll roads, airport fees, etc, can attract private investor dollars. that is not inconsequentlal, but the White House is relying on Navarro and Ross's flawed thesis that taxable private finance will be more efficient and less costly to taxpayers than tax exempt state and local bonds. Public private partnerships tend to work only where there is a user fee AND the state/locality cannot fund it at lower cost through tax exempt bonds. Works sometimes, but not routinely.

  32. And if this is foisted down to the State and local level, doesn't that mean State and local taxes will pay for it in the end? I don't see this as going well -- not with the tax bill that recently passed.

  33. It is one of those proposals that is more thought provoking than thoughtful. And, to put the horse before the cart, I think it needs this proposal needs to be fleshed out I can really decide if I like it or not. But, I do have a some thoughts.

    1) The $1.5 trillion is a big shiny number designed to beguile people. Trump wants the federal government to get out of the infrastructure business, and have it replaced by regressive taxes, tolls, etc... The only number that counts is the miserly $200 billion. This is a big shift and I don't know where the chips will fall. It sounds like goodbye I-5, welcome California Turnpike, with a $40 toll to go from LA to SF (and airport user fees, higher gas taxes, and regressive taxes in general.)

    2) On the other hand, is the California Turnpike toll road a bad idea? It sounds very green and earth friendly.

    3) On the other hand, it means the only states that can afford infrastructure are the blue states, and maybe parts of tollway-ridden Texas. It feeds into the line of resentful thought that says blue states are tired of subsidizing red states. Resentment is probably counter-productive, but it is real. Red states crowing about their low taxes would be history, or at least the volume would be lower.

    As I said, this proposal is more thought provoking than thoughtful.

  34. Private companies that exist to make a profit may invest in infrastructure projects that benefit them financially. They will not invest in infrastructure purely out of the goodness of their heart for the public good. An even bigger problem is that currently many state budgets are already stretched thin and some are on the verge of bankruptcy. Also, States and local governments do not have the borrowing power that the federal government has. Financially strapped States are not going to be able to sufficiently fund the most critical projects through their own budgets.

    Sadly, this new gimmick by the Trump Administration will help his supporters the least. Poor states with limited industry will have an extremely difficult time getting private investment to repair and rebuild infrastructure that is mostly for public benefit, and provide little, if any Financial incentive. As seen by the Amazon headquarters contest, private companies are drawn to areas where the infrastructure to benefit their businesses are already in place. Private investment is much more likely in major cities where there is already strong economic activity.

  35. Privatisation of infrastructure projects is not the answer. It must be financed by the government. Which means a new source of funds must be found. I think the best source would be a new infrastructure development tax on each vehicle of every type, both private and commercial, sold in America for the next several years. Vehicles of every type must include all commercial aircraft, agricultural equipment and anything self propelled with wheels. This will ensure that the users of our infrastructure will pay for building it.

  36. I suspect the states would take whatever they could get, and likely will fight over it. The picture shows what looks like an addition, not a re-construction(?) project.

    The infrastructure investment should be on a repair level first and foremost. City sewers are over-loaded as they have not kept up with proper maintenance investment or population growth. Roads and bridges in disrepair also need to be fixed - all before we spend federal money on airport enhancements or any entertainment (i.e. no new football fields with infrastructure dollars).

    I've no problem with infrastructure projects that fix issues, but not good with handing money over for states to spend on non-critical stuff. Also, Detroit has received hundreds of millions in Federal money to fix roads, but no one knows where that money went; guarantee it didn't go to their roads.

    We also need to hear from someone (NYTimes?) how much money has gone to states each year for infrastructure. Yes, states get money each year in 'earmarks' or whatever they call it today since earmarks were supposedly discontinues. How much over the last 15 years to each state to subsidize transportation, roads, energy, water, etc.? Don't pretend that this 200 billion is all that the Fed is talking about - look at the dollars over time and what they were actually spent on. That is the key, states love Fed monies (blue and red alike), but they don't like to be told what to spend it on.

  37. We flew through Salt Lake City last month and were amazed at the new construction. The only wing of the existing airport that was in poor shape was Concourse E, the one that all the small plane flights flew out of, like the ones to Sun Valley, Twin Falls, Bozeman, Jackson Hole, etc. The other concourses seemed in as good a shape as at many airports we have travelled through, with moving "sidewalks," etc. But word is that when the new airport buildings are finished, all of the old ones will be torn down. They could have just replaced the one concourse and saved a bundle. But Orrin Hatch and others representing the state of Utah are only fiscal hawks when it comes to other states or the working class. It is possible that this is getting ready for all the oil and gas and mineral extraction in those beautiful national monuments in the central and southern part of the state that the Trumpists are looking forward to.

  38. The Cimmarron Turnpike and the Muskogee Turnpike in Oklahoma cover about 160 miles or so. It costs in the neighborhood of ten dollars to travel that distance, with four toll booths to take your money. I don’t think toll roads are any smoother than the interstate highway system. They just cost more. If Trump’s idea is to put toll booths all over the country he needs to reconsider. Most of us don’t fly from point a to point b. Toll roads are just a pain for everyone involved.

  39. The notion that individual states might fund improvements in the infrastucture within their borders (or that counties or cities might do this) strikes me as fine, and many states, counties, cities do just that (look at gas taxes in Chicago, for example). BUT that notion comes with a big caveat: the federal government also collects taxes such as gas taxes which must assist states that give revenue to Washington DC (a great deal of revenue, and the "blue" states give more per capita but get less in return).

    Private enterprise taking on such burdens usually comes with a different funding source: user fees. That's fine with me too, so long as it doesn't cause undue harm to the less well-off. Subway systems, for instance, usually can't support themselves just on fares, unless one wants only riders who pay $20 a trip. And since most riders willing to do that would rather use some other mode of transportation, the whole system would collapse.

  40. I see many commentators pointing out how bad it is to have strapped states pay for infrastructure, but I am equally concerned about the private funds. This means more tolls, and not even the old tolls of yore where you could predict how much your commute was going to cost; new "smart" tolls that get more expensive with increasing traffic. Here in Virginia, they recently made a stretch of I-66 a toll road and the first day the toll reached $28! $28, one way. Not multiple that 2 times a day 5 days a week. That's higher than 8 hours a day at minimum wage even before taxes. It's absolutely sick.

  41. That is completely insane!

  42. A 700+% return on federal money? Really? I can see it now. Private company fixes a pothole on a residential street, then residents pay a toll every time they drive to their home for the next ten years. How could that not be a win-win?

  43. CERP projects in the Everglades already require at least a 50% match, and we've yet to see the feds rub their hands together and produce the promised gold, much less the state. And that's "critical" water infrastructure. This proposal looks like another Trump real estate boondoggle; a chance for his rich developer friends to get some federal money for their glamour projects.

  44. Let's see give the rich a big tax cut which they will put in offshore accounts and then ask for it back in order to pay for the roads and bridges. I'm pretty sure that investors would rather have the bigger dividends so they can put more money into republican coffers so they can demand more tax cuts to pay for the money they put into republican coffers.

  45. Remember the Gravina Island Bridge! It's the new motto of the Trump administration, another bridge to nowhere. Never fear, though, the infrastructure around the Mar-a-lagos of the country will be all bright and shiny.

  46. No one should be surprised about this Infrastructure plan. It is pure Trump, just as the old movie title goes, "Other People's Money". Trump's historical approach to business it to use other people's money to develop a project under his name. Often in those situations, he skimmed the value off the top of the results and left the others to bear the burden of problems and losses. Should we expect anything different here and now?

  47. Tax cuts for the megarich and the multinationals are nationalized, subsidized by those who will pay the lion's share into the Treasury. And public functions like mending the roads, undertaken by the ruler since at least the days of the Roman Empire, are suddenly the responsibility of the private citizen. This is the covfefe-driven world of Trump, apparently.

  48. Most people do not realize that the cost to run the country is always paid for by the citizens in the form of sales tax, tolls, property tax, salary deductions, state tax and federal tax. All law makers do is play shell game when they shift tax from one level to another to make themselves look like heroes.

    Trump is master of shell game. Remember, his businesses made more money by cheating people than through legitimate business operations. This plan is no different.

  49. With this latest installment of Donald Trump's Unoriginal Amateur Hour, we can probably also expect a rise in eminent domain takings to further subsidize some of the "public" infrastructure projects advanced by participating high-roller private sector investors trying to maximize their investment returns.

    Trump tried it in Atlantic City to expedite his casino expansion and other plutocrats will, too, since their philosophy seems to be "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too."

  50. That's what happens when you give billionaires and huge corporations a huge tax cut BEFORE you try to fund infrastructure.

    How about repealing the tax cut and using all that money to fund infrastructure?

  51. For the past 60 years, the federal government has made significant investments supporting the construction and reconstruction of the National Highway System, including the Interstate highway system, US highways, and primary state highways.

    Until now, the federal government has provided 90 percent of the funding for state capital construction projects to build or rebuild highways and bridges on the Interstate system of highways, and the states have provide 10 percent of the funding for such projects.

    For US highways and primary state highways, the funding formulas have varied somewhat, but the federal government typically provides 80 percent of the funding for state capital construction projects to build or rebuild highways and bridges on such highways.

    So the existing formulas have been:
    -- Interstate highways, 90 percent federal funding, 10 percent state funding;
    -- US highways and primary state highways, 80 percent federal funding, 20 percent state funding.

    President Trump's infrastructure proposal would turn this longstanding national arrangement for our highways and bridges on its head. President Trump proposes that the federal government would provide only 20 percent of the costs of Interstate, US highway and state primary highway projects, as opposed to the existing 80 or 90 percent; and the state would have to come up with 80 percent of the do , as opposed to the existing 10 to 20 percent.

    State governments do not have the ability to handle this.

  52. The lack of comments here says two things.
    1- Americans ignore infrastructure unless there is a dramatic and visual failure, like the Oroville Dam leaking is camera friendly compared to Flint umderground pipes.
    2-This endorsement of toll roads and bridges and plan for greed and profits to determine the public good is expected and accepted from this administration and the public is numb to it.

  53. Or 3- the MODERATED comments haven't all been posted yet. Only those with that precious check mark get to post without moderation. The rest of us commenters have to wait and see if our comment will even post at all.
    I am appalled by everything this administration does. This is just one more appalling thing. I hope all those who voted for this nightmare are still happy with their vote. By the time he and his sycophants are done we'll all be living under a leaking or collapsing bridge. Attacks to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, wage theft through tip confiscation, now no money for infrastructure repair. But lucky us, we got a tax break of an extra ten dollars a week in our pocket. That will go far to pay for damage to our cars, our environment, our increasing health insurance costs or travel when America is toll roads from one end to the next! Public schooling will be next. Pretty soon our taxes will fund the bloated military and corporate welfare and nothing else. Yet he still has a 35% approval rating. How much do his rabid base need to get kicked in the teeth before they turn on him? Or will they be too ignorant to realize what their god did to them when the ugly chickens (vultures) come home to roost?

  54. This just in, the orders of the day from wrong wing media to their lemmings. “Don’t need no roads, don’t need no dams, don’t need no school buildings, don’t need no libraries, don’t need no airports. But need more pools at mar del lago.”

  55. Of course private gain will be greater than public good. Duh!

  56. As a liberal Democrat, I support rebuilding and repairing our infrastructure which is crumbling and becoming increasingly dangerous, as the recent Antrak accidents attest. Funding is the problem as well as leadership in specifying initiatives like a dedicated national high-speed rail system. The only viable way to finance this amount of money is through the sale of federal and state bonds offered to the public reminiscent of the Victory bonds in World War Ii. I would gladly by such infrastructure bpnds to support specific projects.

  57. Simply put, your community fat cats get to decide what you need and when. And if the infrastructure benefits them and not you, so what.

  58. Typical Republican give-away to the (profit-driven) private sector.

  59. Oh boy - at this time when financing is cheaper than ever, this stupid Trumps wants to put these projects in the hands of corrupt companies. These companies are looking for massive profits, ripping people off for years to come, in addition to the cost of collecting the money.

    I am an engineer who is convinced that the simplest and most cost effective way is to hire a team of engineers to do the planning and add the cost to the fuel. This way the drivers will be paying off the financing, a system that is already in place. All that is required is to increase the percentage added to the fuel cost. No stupid tolls and no toll slow-downs, which make the traffic move. I wonder if anybody realize how little extra cost this is to the fuel price, even at the time when the interstates were built.

    This is very simple and the drivers who use the roads will pay the cost for the repair of the roads they actually drive on. What is even better is that the heavier and more destructive vehicles will pay the most, though probably not as much as they should.

    This is the case in Germany, where you can drive on the best roads in the world, where some of the roads are of a very high quality and the cops do not even collect money on stupid speed limits. I should know where I took part in a class action law suit in Florida, putting an end to a small copswille.

  60. How long will the nation allow "little hands" Trump to pursue his reverse Robin Hood act of stealing from the poor to give to the rich? The infrastructure plan is just one more crooked deal meant, not to improve the lives of the people in general, but to benefit contractors and developers. Can anyone say "conflict in interest?" The most corrupt and dishonest administration in my lifetime is now in its second year, and the pungent stink rising out of the White House continues to grow.

  61. What a huckster.
    Soon we'll have the 'privilege' of paying our highway tolls in hundred dollar bills as a giant, gaudy TRUMP sign looms overhead.
    “Instead of the public sector deciding on public needs and public priorities, the projects that are most attractive to private investors are the ones that will go to the head of the line.”
    We've got to end this nightmare....

  62. Right.
    This is how that company from Whitefish MT. with two employees got the contract to rebuilt PR's electrical grid.
    This malevolent mime show has gotta stop.
    Trump, his agency toadies, and the GOP are repeatedly punching America in the face, all the while telling us 'you like it'.

  63. All Libs do is criticize. Where in this article is the alternative plan? And if there is such a good alternative, why didn’t Obama pass one in 8 years, including years where he had majorities in Congress? This is better than nothing and is a start.

  64. Obama only had majorities for two years and even then Republicans filibustered to block anything they could. There were lots of proposals for infrastructure repair from the Obama administration, but McConnell was very successful in his plan to keep the President from having success. That is why immigration, infrastructure, improvements to the health care system, etc were kept on back burners.

  65. Democrats had a Majority for 8 months July 2009 - February 2010.

  66. Here, let me refresh your memory:

    "President Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan foundered in the Senate on Tuesday night, as a unified Republican caucus and a pair of Democrats joined to deny the proposal the 60 votes needed to allow it to proceed to full consideration."

    And again:

    "Senate blocks $60 billion infrastructure plan, another part of Obama jobs bill"

    And again:

    "Senate Republicans defeated a Democratic amendment to the proposed 2016 budget on Tuesday. It was aimed at kick-starting negotiations between the White House and Congress over a new multi-year program for funding highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects. The amendment, offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), called for $478 billion in new spending over six years but without increasing the deficit. The amendment went down 52 to 45 along party lines."

  67. Everything points to U.S. taxpayers taking the burden of funding the Republicans' big plans to "help us", and taking as much of taxpayers money for the super-rich and corporations as possible. This is nothing more than open theft with excuse cover-ups and chest thumping by the thieves.

  68. I have no expertise or authority to speak on this subject, but when I read this article I get a terrible, ominous feeling; all I can think of is Trump's history of bankruptcies, abusing people's money, and flooding development projects with money, only to abandon them before they are finished. Is this not a gross part of his history? Begging the New York Times to do an updated, exhaustive piece on his history here so private investors will think more seriously about where to put their money, at very least; though I'm guessing this is already in the works.

  69. For the sake of the American people, stop normalizing Trump's unprecedented, bizarre actions! Infrastructure repair should be entirely paid for with the taxes that we pay; under Trump's plan, we'll be charged twice: once by the federal government, and again, by the privatization of these projects. This is outrageous!

  70. This is Republicanism at its worst. Do they not see that when neighborhoods decay (as with low infrastructure spending where it doesn't "pay-off,") crime rises and everybody suffers?

  71. Not to worry.
    The 1% will be fine.

  72. They won't be when nobody has the money to buy their product and when the people finally revolt. Remeber, revolution is not without precedent.

  73. I wonder what all this new infrastructure and growth is going to do to rising C02 levels? It seems the end is now just taken as a given so let the final party begin. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye shall die. How anticlimactic.

  74. The roads to Trump’s resorts will be paved in gold, making a smooth ride for all those fancy golf carts. The rest of us will wade through potholes and hope the bridges don’t collapse.

  75. For the moment, the Republicans have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have put into law a tax cut heavily skewed for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. They are dismantling government oversight on the environment, worker safety and consumer protections in the manufacturing and financial industries. They are approaching Republican nirvana.

    The secret to their success has been Donald Trump. They've hitched their wagon to a celebrity con man who has seduced the white working class. Trump has played on their sense of victim-hood, pandering to their prejudices toward minorities and immigrants. With the white working class distracted by these baubles, traditional Republicans have dropped all pretext of fiscal responsibility and talk of budget deficits. They are having a field day.

    Unless Democrats are able to win back congress in November, the U.S. is on a path toward a Banana Republic -- a permanent oligarchy where a small fraction of the nation holds virtually all the wealth and the masses live in squalor. Yes, it can happen here. And we are on our way.

  76. Is this the America that we want? Having a bloated military fighting endless wars across the seas, abandoning renewable energy in favor of expanded use of fossil fuels, plundering our natural lands, loosening environmental laws on releasing chemicals to the air and waterways, and spreading false information to the residents of our country is not the nation in which I grew up in. Is this what the young want and what the older generation desires for their descendants?

  77. Greed and corruption are leading the way to our downfall.

  78. Nobody wants this.
    But in a two party system you don't get a choice. If you don't like the Red Queen your only option is the Blue Queen. Or stay home.
    If there were a third and fourth party coalitions would be necessary. The politicians would be forced to DO SOMETHING. They would be judged on their follow-thru. Voters could, and would, elect someone they want; not just the lesser of two evils.
    'Til then I'm staying home.

  79. In contrast to fossil fuels, the same forces of nature that over the eons turned an accumulating biomass into oil, coal, and natural gas still abundantly exits and will do so as long as there is a planet Earth. And these forces of nature belong to all of us, transports themselves for free and do not have to be found and fought over. So much electricity can be renewably produced that it can be licensed for free individual use; provided economical power to industrial, business and public facilities; electrify low-cost fare and laden high-speed and light rail, and leave a peak plus supply for use in off hours when the skies are dark and the wind is still.

    This ends the subsidization of socialistic capitalism for and servitude to the wealth hoarding oil emperors of the world and our involvement in sending troops to defend and die over the oil holding and transport of what is black gold to a greedy few and a bleak future to us and our posterity. Licensed power for free individual use provides everyone with their own free enterprise to have their own backyard and community greenhouses and gardens for growing food, coops and pens for animals, and electrical woodworking and machine shops for creating of gizmos, gadgets and furnishing that come of the great entrepreneurial imagination and spirit of common mankind engaged in the governance of their own lives set to purpose of government by the nation’s Founders.

  80. Yes the burden is on the states but not on private money. Private money is invested to make profit where the rate of return justifies the money outlays.
    There is no burden here, the Times headline is dead wrong.

    I see this trump proposal as another gift to the wealthy, the people who have the money to put up. It allows the investors to own more of the country and the tax paying citizens will have to pay them for using it.
    Why are we paying taxes. Instead of the tax bill just past which gifts 87% of the benefit to the top percent Republicans could have revised it so that those benefits could have gone to repairing and building the countries roads, bridges, dams,railroads etc and cleaning up the many dangerous hazardous wastes sites. After all it was Republican intransigence and cries of national debt that extinguished the funds for infrastructure over the past 20 years. Trump and the Republicans are bankrupting the country for long term gains by their donors. Remember the crash of 2008,
    who benefited from it?

    And why can they get away with it, because the the people are divided
    by race, religion, gender and immigration. History repeats its self.
    And if our election system is not protected, you can fill in the rest.

  81. The Republican “Party” IS a business.
    They exist to make money for themselves at the expense of the country.
    It will eventually destroy the country if allowed to continue.
    Greed is the root of evil.

  82. With infrastructure projects depending on private funding and such, the huge gap between urban and rural America will be gargantuan because all the funding for projects will go to urban projects benefiting cities and metropolitan areas. The corporate interests who've funded will reap the revenues back from populated areas with taxes, fees, and tolls. Meanwhile, the roads bridges and infrastructure for poorer rural U.S. states and regions will be so left behind soon to resemble developing world countries even more than they do now. Trumpland will be like Swaziland.

  83. Huh? The New York metro area will be choked on congestion from the lack of proper funding for the Gateway Tunnel - everyone pushed off trains will strangle the highway system. And that's just one glaring example.

  84. Dems need to demand that the final legislation include a cost-effectiveness test for subsidies to private developers. There will be instances when privately funded projects are indeed more efficient, but all the subsidies and cross-subsidies must be evaluated before handing out the dollars.

    1. To qualify for federal subsidies, a privately financed project must prove that the net cost to federal taxpayers is lower than a traditional muni finance project funded by tax exempt bonds with a similar federal subsidy, or a taxable muni bond w same incentives.

    2. The tax breaks for private equity (carried interest, passthrough tax breaks, etc) must be included in the net federal cost, and compared with the implicit subsidy of tax exempt muni bonds AND the comparative cost of a taxable muni bond option.

    3. If it's provable that the private financier can get the job done at lower cost, that savings can be included in the calculations. Give credit where credit is due for P3 efficiencies, but not for ideological rhetoric.

    4.. In olden days, this was a high hurdle, but in today's world, the effective subsidy on muni bonds is the top two marginal tax rates, call it 35%, which may be higher than the federal subsidy for private finance. So we need to be open-minded about which path is superior for taxpayers. In most cases, it will likely remain the muni finance route.

    5. Dems clearly need to include a taxable bond option for states.

  85. may we include a caveat that a private builder/low bidder include a well-endowed escrow account, held by the municipalities involved, to cover future repairs/damage due to shoddy materials/workmanship/engineering?
    Really well-endowed, enough to turn a profit when invested.

  86. Perhaps the USACOE can do much of the cost/benefit analysis. No one ever looks back to see how their projections hold up once projects are up & running.

  87. Trump has employed unusual business models before. Claiming money lost by other investors generated nearly a billion in tax credits for Donald. Not paying contractors and suppliers is another Trump ploy for keeping costs low. Importing materials from China. Done. Suing designers, planners, lenders is another variant on not paying anyone else who laid out time, expertise, materials or cash.
    The Art of the Steal. Will it work in the public sector? Will Americans allow a con man to privatize their roads, public buildings, services? Who knows? Some 6 M people voted for him. With Americans for Progress, the Koch/John Childs/EastCoast/Midwest/FlyOver or CrawlUnder BillionaireOrNearlyThere consortium, funneling plausibly phoney tax deductible tens of millions to elect up and down ticket politicians guaranteed to carry out the mission, it's anyone's guess. We didn't need Vladimir to give us Trump. We've got our own bent oligarchs gaming Democracy and our elections.

  88. Private gain "could" outweigh public interest under Trump's plan?

    I think it's quite safe to say it will.

  89. Trump, the king of failures, has no clue what governance is for and how its goals are fulfilled. It is, above all, for the greater good...of citizens.

    Infrastructure, in particular, fulfills this very important goal. While private enterprise benefits from being contractors working to design, create and maintain infrastructure, government decides on the best projects for the greater good in a region, a state or municipality.

    Predictably, the utterly incompetent president, infamous for minimal business ethics and maximum profit at the expense of everyone else, would focus on a plan that simultaneously ignores the principles of governance while pretending he is supporting the long-ignored failure to modernize and maintain vital infrastructure across the country. As a narcissistic blowhard, he will promote his version by lying about it and pretending it's something else.

    His every clueless supporters will accept his dishonesty because he, in their minds, represents the country they want back...the one that existed in the twentieth century. The country of the twenty-first century, with diversity and increasing equality, is not what they want. So, even though this infrastructure "plan" defies how the federal government has supported infrastructure for most of the country's existence, they will pretend not to notice. But we do notice and will resist it.

    Eclectic Pragmatism —
    Eclectic Pragmatist —

  90. Toll roads, ports and airports will get funding. Important less profitable services like water and sewer will be left to the tender mercies of the states and local communities. Then again Infrastructure to Trump is all toll roads, and airports the glossy stuff, stuff we will want to ribbon cut.

  91. Barely a word here about user fees. There is no such thing as a "free" private road. The private highways that exist out west, such as the Denver Airport highway, have the highest tolls in the country. Most Americans have no idea of the private roads in Japan, where the average toll is $.38 per mile, or $38 to drive 100 miles. The same distance traveled in France would cost $19.00. Private parks, bridges, prisons, schools, lottery operators, water suppliers, trash collectors, ALL have a layer of profit added to the costs we pay to use them. ALL on top of the taxes we already paid, in many cases, or the public land we gave them, to build them in the first place.
    It cannot be emphasized enough. Private companies exist to make money for their owners, and all of us will be paying the cost.

  92. Private airport highway in Denver? Last I checked I70, I25, 36, 225 and 270 and Pena Blvd are all free roads leading to the airport.

    Now what you will see more of are tolled lanes on interstate and state highways. These ones are in addition to the free lanes currently. There will be free lanes, but if you want to bypass the traffic, you pay.

  93. When public roads are tolled, the money goes into the public treasury. When private roads are tolled, the money goes to private owners.

  94. Perhaps Don Jr & the Trump Organization can borrow the money from Russians - giving US taxpayer recourse/guarantees & brand the projects, "Trump?" (Taking a nice fee, of course.) Congressional R's will come on board in exchange for the President's support of another big tax cut for their Donor Class. Wherever the leverage is sourced, many of the R Donor Class will be making nice money as contractors - with payment guarantees, of course - and will need additional reductions in their taxes. The middle class will pay (and pay, and pay) but get President Trump's lip service in return.

  95. Our founding fathers decided a basic role of government was to have control of our own infrastructure, and bought out the colonial proprietary toll roads. That seems very important today. Otherwise could we not wind up having Russia or Saudi controls the private corporation owning a our infrastructure?

  96. If a project isn't able to interest investors, isn't that a good indication that it isn't all that useful? Like a product that people don't want to buy.

  97. Would investors find Flint MI water facilities a good investment ?

  98. That's an overly simplistic metaphor. Investors' priorities are not always aligned with the greater public good. For example, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn private investors have built many new luxury apartment, however, these developers haven't contributed to improving the surrounding infrastructure (e.g. parks, trains, bus lanes, etc.) to support the many added residents and which are not profitable in of themselves. That's where the government needs to step in with public funds that prioritize economic and social good for most as opposed to the few.

  99. True but coming back to Flint, Michigan. Private investors are not going to see an immediate return on their money in cleaning up the potable water. How is that circled squared in Mr. Trump's plan?

  100. Public ownership o infrastructure means everyone may use it, private ownership means only those who can afford to pay may use it. In addition, the private owner can be assured of consistent and predictable income, so the asset becomes collateral for new endeavors for the owner. The overall effect is to increase the obstacles to economic expansion.

  101. That’s just great. More toll roads. We had no problem financing the Chinese high speed rail system by way of exporting American jobs to that country. Now China will finance the building of toll roads in this country, and end up owning a bunch of highways.

  102. Get ready to pay taxes, er tolls and fees if private money is involved in the infrastructures of the country.

  103. The next frontier in the Neoliberal corporate agenda: more deregulation, more privatization, and more abdication of the federal role under Federalsit Society ideology (delegation to State & local).

    One of the worst, but not mentioned aspects was a recommendation to promote building oil & gas pipelines in National Parks! No kidding.

    And the environmental rollback section was radical - that needs a few stand alone news stories, so I hope the NY Times stays with this story and provides more in depth coverage.

  104. Trump's real infrastructure plan -- and the only one at which he may succeed -- is to enlarge the swamp.

  105. Trump has made a career fleecing the public while enriching himself. Now he's doing it on the grandest scale. Donald Trump's history is on his side. Although I'm hoping for a spectacular fall (his), I wouldn't bet he doesn't skate here, too.

  106. unlike Feds, the states can no longer print their own money.

    but Trump has a little man shut safely away who knows how to spin straw into gold.

  107. Why are people concerned with paying for these projects? Any Trump plan is simply "borrow the money and then declare bankruptcy."

  108. Too little too late!
    What private sector company will want to finance bridge repair in rural America?

  109. Once again, Trump puts profits for his wealthy friends above people, especially those people who were hoodwinked into voting for him by his false promises, i.e., his base. God - o whoever - save America; Trump and his acolytes sure aren't doing the job.

  110. Here we go.
    This isn’t about the country.
    This is about making the rich richer again.

  111. There exists a bank here in Australia called Macquarie. These folks do a lot of PPP---what is PPP? Public Private Partnerships. These things are such a corrupt enterprise that one can only imagine. For example, in Sydney one such PPP created an underground tunnel (cross city tunnel) and the city closed the public roads, ones that had been paid by public funds, to direct traffic into the tunnel for which the public would have to pay a toll.

    My word of advise to you guys there... do NOT get into these public private partnerships under any circumstances. They will bilk you folks out of every cent you have to generate profits for the big banks and their select preferred shareholders and of course the management.

    So caveat emptor.

  112. The Republican “Party” IS a business.
    They exist to make money for themselves at the expense of the country.
    It will eventually destroy the country if allowed to continue.
    The corruption allowed to exist in our government is overwhelming.
    Greed is the root of evil.

  113. If coin cost is the main concern, outsource it to the Chinese. Nobody builds infrastructure like they do, nobody... ok, maybe Trump does.

  114. Very informative and candid piece of journalism — great job here.

    Fragmented hodgepodge.

    Likely cash cow for private investors.

    Subject to profit motive and private gain over public welfare.

    Incentives for states to find more revenues therefore increase state and local taxes are certain.

    $ 200 billion over ten years is paltry in the face of the magnitude of the pressing need for infrastructure upgrades. Estimates to just fix the problems are in the $3 Trillion range.

  115. Trump is putting America out for a yard sale. This failed developer is failing to understand the obligations of serving the public good. His experience is short term and selfish, while the national interest is long term - with a vision of legacy, community and shared pride.
    National parks, roads, bridges, water, airports, public health, education can enjoy local support but require major federal commitment. To give away public assets to private profiteers for toll roads, luxury condos etc. is the ultimate betrayal by a small minded president-- sleazy opportunist.
    Shame...Mr. Trump ...have you no decency sir ?

  116. Let’s call a spade a spade.

    This “plan” is NOT about country.
    This is about ripping off the country off an uniformed country to make the rich richer.
    It is a SCAM.

    If we are to solve our problems, the place to start is with weeding out corruption and greed.

    “If god didn’t want them shorn, he wouldn’t have made them sheep.”
    - Your current Administration

  117. Maybe the Tea Party could finally live up to its name and foment a federal tax rebellion. And maybe our representatives in Congress could stop voting in favor of the rich at the expense of all the people they represent. But that's LaLaLand thinking on my part.

  118. Once upon a time in a land far, far away...

  119. This is smash and grab theft from the public treasury by a real estate con man. New Yorkers have known for decades that Trump is a fraudulent grifter with no morals, and no desire to help anyone except himself, his family and his cronies. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

  120. Recently on NPR the question was asked as to how the cities and states were going to pay for Trump’s billions in infrastructure. The answer was: Hey, that’s a misformulation! The taxpayers pay whether it’s through federal or through local taxes. How the monies are pigeonholed is immaterial.

    How’s that strike you, eh?

  121. Not so. Because of the $1.5 trillion wealth transfer of middle/lower class monies to the already wealthy and corporations AND a huge increase for the DoD--there will be less of our taxpayer monies to fund necessities like healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, a host of other government programs and this infrastructure plan. The recent tax overhaul reduces money to state coffers so they too will have less funds to pay for services the public has come to rely on.

  122. I see tolls, many, many tolls in our future as private investors lose huge dollars after investing in our infrastructure. These corporations would be idiots to not have that ability in their contracts. Furthermore, how many safety and native protections will be built in? Or will all minimum safety regulations be dropped, so bridges won't just decay, but suddenly drop from the sky? Then who will be liable? Us, of course!

  123. In Wikipedia, when you look up Buzz Windrip, there is a picture of Donald Trump.

  124. I would bet that Kushy and Donny Jr. will set up some shell management companies to get a cut of construction projects.

  125. The New York Times looked high and low and, despite its best efforts, just couldn't find anyone with anything positive to say about the President's proposal. As a result, it had no option but to abandon any sense of journalist fairness and write an editorial masquerading as a straight news piece.

  126. He is a scam artist, huckster carnival barker. If we offer to settle his debt with the russians in return for his and pence's departure would he take it?

  127. Yep! The object of 1400 lawsuits and 6 bankruptcies; and now 1/3 or more days spent at his private resort. How can this nation afford Trump?

  128. Or, turning a silk purse into a sow’s ear.

  129. Market-driven capitalism unfortunately thinks in only one dimension: ROI - return on investment. Projects that are profitable go forward, even if they are unnecessary or undesirable. But not every need can be measured in monetary terms. What is clean air worth? How about clean water? Can you put a price tag on quality of life? Does a toll road contribute more to the public good than a museum?

    I shudder to think what life would be like if only profitable ventures succeeded. That's why we need government investment in unprofitable but desirable projects. Without such involvement, we wouldn't have things like national parks or wilderness areas; they'd be deforested and fracked for the benefit of the few, not the many. Do we really want stockholders' equity to be the sole determinant of our future?

  130. The one thing we know when you put in private profiteering into anything is that it will become more expensive - you have to not only pay for that thing you also have to pay a large profit to those putting up the money. They will not be interested unless they either are given a guarantee of making a profit or they have the possibility of taking a huge profit out of the project. Yes it will not cost the federal government as much if the private sector provides funding (and obtains monopoly), but someone else will pay the difference and then some. Do I need to explain who that "someone else" will be?

  131. The current administration is only able to see solutions from one perspective. Good governance is supposed to help everyone—either by providing help or getting out of the way. This task requires empathy, the ability to see from other perspectives.

    Lacking curiosity and imagination, empathy is difficult.

  132. 200 billion spread very thin. Only locations where private development can see a big profit. So Flint Michigan type water supply repairs will be in the back of the bus. There will not be nearly the 1.5$ trillion that Trump claims this program will generate.

  133. Lawmakers in States, counties, cities, towns and other jurisdictions must say NO to this attempt at corporate takeover of OUR governments at all levels.

    WE THE PEOPLE elected them to work for US - not the Robber Barons who are trying to take over the world.

    The first thing we can do is get OUR money off their manipulated craps tables called "markets" and put OUR money into local banks and credit unions then watch it like hawks. Corruption knows no political party or geographical jurisdiction. Government is a social construct and should protect 99% of us from Robber Barons. WE THE PEOPLE must demand it.

  134. Credit Unions are the way to go.

  135. This sounds like Trump`s Taj Mahal casino in NJ. It never made a profit and went bankrupt after 2 years. His other NJ casinos are in the same boat.

    Bait and switch is Trump`s primary modus operandi and the Never-Vote-Democrat tribe are being baited but they will blame HRC or Obama or the Dem Congress when both the House & Senate flip in Nov. 2018.

  136. This article implies that the current system, as it has existed for decades, has been a success. It's only been a success half the time because those in charge, politicians, think in 2 year cycles. Yes, just 2 years. That is the election cycle. And the build time is in similar terms. Why else would we suddenly have 100's of billions of dollars of rehab work all at once?

    While the private sector is far from perfect it does tend to think beyond the next quarters earning, which is similar to the 2 year election cycle. And those that can't think beyond the next quarters earning usually fail.

    President Trump is just doing what he was brought in to office for - real change. Not the pocket change the previous administration left us with.

  137. That is hilarious. The private sector, unless privately held, thinks in terms of quarterly earnings reports. If privately held, it looks in terms of annual profit (or loss). I don’t think this writer is anything more than a middle manager, if that.

    The problem with Trump’s “infrastructure” plan, is it is no plan. Worse than that, there is no money on the table. $1.3 trillion somehow magically grown from $200 billion from federal coffers over 10 years? What a joke. Do the basic math.

  138. Just how much "pocket change" do you think Trump's Infrastructure plan will leave you?

  139. The public-private partnership model will go nowhere. If the private sector saw profitable opportunities for infrastructure development,they'd already be happening. Infrastructure, like all public goods, is non-excludable (can't practically keep non-payers from using it) and non-rival (use by one doesn't preclude use by others) hence the private sector is not able to provide it in a profitable manner. Trump gave up on any real infrastructure plan when he committed $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to pad the pockets of the already-wealthy. He'll find some way to blame democrats for the total failure that this proposal will become.

  140. There will be plenty of interest on the part of private companies, because the program will create huge new opportunities to defraud the government.

  141. Let me clarify: By "go nowhere" I mean it will NOT actually lead to any significant improvement in our infrastructure. There will be plenty of non-essential projects by which private pockets get lined with public funds. We just won't be any better off than we are now.

  142. The opportunity was squandered when the new tax bill was passed in December. The Government could have given large US Corporations the option to repatriate offshore funds at half the tax rate that would have been applied if they were invested in a special Federal Infrastructure Bond that would have had a low interest rate and would be payable in 10 years. Of the 2.5 Trillion that was sitting offshore and doing nothing, it would have likely yielded 3-5X the paltry funding that Trump is now offering. Projects like the new Amtrak tunnel under the Hudson River would have been green-lighted immediately.

  143. Len J, please run for Congress or at least advise some of the feckless amateurs thinking up items like the Trump "non-starter" infrastructure pipe-dream. You would do Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation a favor.

  144. Considering that Kansas City stopped repaving city streets last year and went back to gravel I think Trump's plan won't play where republicans have been lowering taxes and closing schools. The Third Worlding of the South Middle and Western areas of the U.S. continues. Welcome to America's future Afghanistan.

  145. Congress could step up to the plate by requiring explicit designation of toll roads disguised as Interstate highways. The Eisenhower Administration, if they could, would gasp at the notion that driving from NYC to Chicago on Interstate 80 will now cost a motorist $80-120 (hypothetical, but not out of the question) in tolls, excluding NYC bridges and tunnels.

  146. I receive the daily White House letter from Trump. It extolls his big plans for "infrastructure" in its main peg. It then points to a link to his budget itself nd after going to page 85 we find the ACTUAL plan. It states "The Budget requests 15.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for 2019, a 3.7 billion or 19 percent decrease from the 2017 enacted base…" And there you have it, fake news vs real news.


  147. This is Trump and Republicans being themselves. They care not one bit about public good or the everyday citizen, instead they care about enriching themselves and their family and their friends at our expense.

    Pretty soon the Baltimore Washington parkway will be renamed Trump highway and we'll be paying $100 to sit in traffic on a road that we as tax payers already built and paid for. The Trumps will be happy, the Russian oligarchs will be happy, the Chinese will be happy, if you want to drive or fly somewhere you likely will soon find you can't afford the toll that goes to your new 1% overlords.

  148. So considering the last President thought "shovel ready jobs" meant he could attend a ribbon cutting ceremony. When in fact it meant a higher speed train that killed 4 people on it's first run 10 years later, cost millions and benefited people by saving 30 minutes on a commute, I'll take the guy that spent a career building things.

    Beside HRC had to ask her husband to smash up her phones because she didn't know what end of the hammer to hold.

  149. The private sector already cherry picks investments they want to make for profitability. Many key infrastructure investments will only occur if the government steps up to its responsibility and spends our tax dollars appropriately for the common good. This is classic text book as to why someone with this president's background is not the desired profile. At the end of the day it's not about 'development''s about making necessary investments in the country, which often can only be justified by taking a long view most in the private sector simply do not have.....

  150. Then there are ex-Congressmen and Trump cronies who mere own worthless land in areas where, like magic, new roads, airports, water systems, etc.can
    Be built. A Starbucks and Taco Bell on every corner.

  151. This is the worst sort of Federal Investment, "public Private partnerships" that do not benefit the public. I have seen these on a local level be real disasters.

  152. Trump promised to fix a broken system. His campaign assumed that infrastructure is an item that, A) the federal government is responsible for; and B) we can take it for granted.

    Which means that was a fake promise, and now he is asking the states to bail him out!

  153. Hmmm... interesting coincidence that Goldman Sach announced a $5 billion infrastructure fund backed by China’s sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation in early November. Blackstone is putting together a similar $40 billion fund (half from Saudi Arabia). Maybe not such a coincidence when you consider the many Goldman Sachs ties to Trump - Cohn, Mnuchin, Powell, Clayton and Bannon. Can Lloyd Blankfein be far behind? Stay tuned for more P3 infrastructure deals... and get ready for toll roads, private water, bridges. airports, etc..

  154. Typical tiny little man proposition. You improve your infrastructure, I’ll tell you what to do, and you pay for it. This cretin loves spending other people’s money. Plus when municipalities need financial assistance some Wall Street huckster will lend you the money you just have to turn everything over to them. You’ll end up not owning the sidewalk you walk to work on. Tiny little man go peddle this malarkey somewhere else. Thank you.

  155. Maybe the Russian Oligarchs want to invest. How about a toll road to Mar-a-Lago?

  156. Well they put me out on the old Kings Road
    I didn't know which way to go
    There was people all around
    Wearin' funny lookin' clothes
    Some boys, some girls, some I don't know - Tom Petty - Kings Road

    We fought and died to rid ourselves of the British and this kind of thing.

  157. And we thought Net Neutrality was important.

    Picture this:
    1-a Large conglomerate funds a new highway
    2-they don't put an off-ramp to competing stores
    3-or they charge more to use the off ramp to a competitor
    4-the competitors belly up
    5-the large conglomerate buys the competitor (kind of like the way banks bought up all the other banks)
    6-prices rise when the large conglomerate wants bonuses
    7-we got no recourse

    Estimated cost of. next NASA launch = $1Billion.
    Estimated cost of next Elon Musk launch = $1 Million - using reusable rockets - 2 of 3 rockets from last week’s launch were recovered.

    Give the private sector a stake in building infrastructure. Hat have we got to loss? budget deficits?

  159. We don't need Donald Trump to announce to local communities that they can use their own local tax dollars to solve their own infrastructure problems. I could go down to the courthouse and tell them that for free. Thanks a lot!

  160. The GOP is no longer interested in governing -- only grifting.

  161. Just imagine what we could do and how great America could be if we stop killing people around the world and recover the $21 Trillion and counting that's missing just from the Pentagon and HUD since 1998!

    Infrastructure, including bullet trains? Easy.

    Pay the national debt. Piece of cake.

    Real quality Healthcare for everyone? Why not.

    Fund, even increase Social Security so people actually can retire on it? Absolutely.

    Theft has been and continues to be a bipartisan enterprise.

    Which bureaucracy faction to you favor?

  162. My biggest fear is that legislators will give priority to pet campaign contributors for specialized projects in their districts. This goes three ways, federal, state and local. No good intention goes without drawbacks for taxpayers nationwide.

  163. Like his tax plan, Trump's infrastructure plan is designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

  164. Where are the thousands of readers, outraged at what congress and the President are pulling off with this scheme? Everybody should stop what they're doing and consider, this is not shifting the financial burden of developing, maintaining and restoring the nation's suffering infrastructure; it's privatizing it! If not stopped, the day will come when accessing anything currently considered public, will cost whatever is necessary to yield a lucrative profit to investors.