Trump Infrastructure Plan’s Fatal Flaw

The Republican nominee has proposed, in effect, to cut spending on infrastructure as part of his plan to borrow for spending on infrastructure.

Comments: 182

  1. The Times keeps making arguments that verify Trump's horrific levels of incompetence. Whether the subject is military, energy, education, or any subject for that matter, none of his plans make any sense or are doable, even in the slightest degree. The GOP intelligentsia has even proclaimed his incompetence. His support has nothing to do with competence.

    His support is based solely upon the power of his personality and his hate filled tirades against those his supporters love to hate. There is no logic. No wisdom. No plan. Nothing. It's just him and his bombastic rhetoric.

    If every Trump supporter read this editorial, most likely not one would withdraw their support. They don't care about all this analytical stuff. To them, numbers can mean anything you want them to mean, so numbers mean nothing. You have your numbers and we have our numbers and we like our numbers better. End of argument.

    There is nothing left to argue because Trump has no arguments. Trump will be defeated on the field of alienation. By supporting the haters he is alienating over 50% of the voters. His latest rants against Miss Universe will cost him more votes than 1000 of these editorialized arguments. It's come down to just this. Trump is a hero to some and a jerk to many. That's the only thing that will put Hillary in the White House.

  2. Bruce, I also think Trump's support is based on his supporters who have very little education and don't seem to be the "sharpest knife in the block" intellectually (including 2 relatives of mine).

  3. To disparage all of Trump's supporters is not going to help either. I am sure that many who will vote for him this election cycle would vote for Daffy Duck or Darth Vader if they were the Republican Nominee. Some because they could never bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, even if it was George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and some who live in fear of a progressive Supreme Court majority.

  4. You are describing nihilism- supported by religious folk no less.

    Strange Times.

  5. Trump is a loser in every way except his fat. I'm against fat shaming, but this fathead jerk is shameless.

    Thanks for the careful and realistic review of what's in his plan. I'm afraid most people think if he says he makes the sun come up in the morning he must be right. Could it be because he's on TV, and TV is realer than the daily struggles of life?

    I suspect he and his TV supporters are mostly interested in tax cuts for the rich, since that's what's in it for them.

    Infrastructure is a serious problem, and anybody who wants to make us great again needs to be honest that patching up infrastructure and building huge fortunes while underpaying the peasants at the bottom of the pyramid is exactly how to make America small and mean.

  6. The robbing Peter to pay Paul approach to infrastructure development that Trump suggests would simply land up the country with more debt, huge budget deficit, trade deficit, and cuts in essential public spending- a case of worse cure than the disease. As for the Clinton plan of $250 billion self-renewing reserve fund for infrastructure overhaul, it's certainly preferable to the one offered by Trump, yet like a small grain seed in camel's mouth.

  7. Hey Trump supporters, Trump wants to give tax cuts for the really wealthy, i.e., not you.

    Trump will make people like the Waltons, heirs to the Walmart fortune, even wealthier by cutting their taxes. Trump will make his own children even wealthier. Trump won't make you, the vast majority of his supporters wealthier.

    Trump wants to eliminate the death tax. You think this is a good idea because you don't want to pay that tax. Thing is, you're being conned because the death tax was formerly called the estate tax before the Republicans changed the name to scare you into thinking you would have to pay that tax. In fact, 99.7% of estates are exempt from that tax. But Trump wants to cut it so Ivanka, Don Jr, Eric and Barron will be even richer, without doing a thing.

    Trump doesn't care about you, his supporters. Trump cares about himself and sees the presidency as merely another business opportunity.

  8. America made a decision by whom we elected over the past fifty years to spend most of what we tax – as well as debt – on social welfare. Much of the infrastructure spending that we relied on to keep bridges, tunnels, roads and other infrastructure elements maintained over the years was spent by the states. Many of those states are nearing effective insolvency by the demands of Medicaid and the retirement benefits of public sector employees. For the same reason, the quality of our public education has suffered, as well.

    Whether it’s Sec. Clinton’s plan or Trump’s, we are not going to be able to divert enough resources at the federal level to dramatically improve our national infrastructure without immense tax increases or simply spending a lot less on social welfare. For the foreseeable future, the House (at least) will remain solidly Republican and any proposals for tax INCREASES will be DOA.

    Sec. Clinton’s approach is merely the establishment’s kick-the-can-down-the-road that doesn’t engage the real issue of the sustainability of our social welfare spending; and would fail legislatively in any case. Trump’s “plan” may be irrelevant, as it’s not passable either, which would force him to go back to real causes – the states are fatally overburdened and we spend too much on social welfare.

    I don’t believe Sec. Clinton can get us to a better place because she lacks the willingness and priorities to address the real issues. Trump COULD make the compromises necessary to do that.

  9. I'd like govt workers to get 401ks like the rest of us and reform congressional benefits, but that is a small percent of spending. Local retirements dwarf federal payments. However, it is not retirement spending that starves infrastructure spending. It's intransigence about closing loopholes for the wealthy. We could do social and infrastructure spending by fixing our tax structure. It is not worth the risk that trump 'might' turn around from the incompetence he has demonstrated.

  10. Changes often happen behind the headlines. My wife is a retired teacher, whose compensation is, indeed, generous, and a public expense burden. But the younger generation who have taken her place at the school no longer have nearly the compensation that she has enjoyed. So those social welfare costs are being addressed.

    In the dwell interim between public policy changes, I personally, would like to increase my tax burden somewhat in order to make my national community a nicer place, with improved infrastructure, that does the same for all of us.

  11. You need to do some reading. A good start would be publications by the American Academy of Actuaries. While some of the program's you refer to require attention, there are solutions that do not preclude the funding of other discretionary spending. However, there is no responsible professional who would agree that Trump's tax cut accompanied by borrowing has any rational prospect of success. Your first clue should have been that Trump's preferred method of finance is OPM (other people's money).

  12. The only infrastructure project which Trump has devoted any time to is an imaginary wall paid for with a fantastical bill to Mexico.

  13. Correction, heavy government spending that leads to large deficits, in theory, weakens the dollar, it doesn't strengthen it as this editorial suggests

  14. Correction to your correction, it was in government spending that they were for two extra cream and the dollar. It was a trade wars that Trump has propose that was struck from the dollar. And um, that is true

  15. I thought the dollar would be weaker because of the recession Trump's policies and presidency would cause, and concern that the US government might not repay its creditors.

  16. Sure, we can do that, it'll be great.

  17. I live in Toronto where the electorate voted in Rob Ford, as mayor, an incompetent idiot if ever there was one. None of his math or plans stood up to scrutiny.

    I went through the numbers before the election with a few co-workers and neighbors. They didn't care. None of them had ever listened to any details at all. They just wanted a change and he seemed like the biggest change.

    Donald Trump is America's Rob Ford moment writ large. None of his voters care for the details, and have no interest in any one who talks details. They like the guy and that's it.

    I pray the sensible people in America get out and vote for Hillary. She's the last rational adult standing.

  18. @Buttons Cornell, Toronto

    "Donald Trump is America's Rob Ford moment writ large."

    Couldn't agree with you more.

    Those of us who will be voting for Mrs, Clinton, despite some reservations, are hoping the majority of the electorate will realize that Trump is not the savior he claims to be.

  19. Yes, Buttons Cornell, I agree 100%. Time to take The Con Don and friends down for tax evasion. Nothing says one has to have a social conscience or be remotely human but OUR law says everyone must pay the taxes they owe.

  20. The only thing real in Trump's economic proposals are the upper-end tax reductions; the infrastructure proposal is a sham. He has been paying little or no federal tax for years thanks to real estate accelerated depreciation allowances. Those allowances allow upper-end investors to defer taxes as Trump has apparently been doing for years. He wants to eliminate the estate tax, meaning that none of his accumulated wealth will ever be taxed, by Trump or his heirs.

    Taxes are for the little people, as Leona Helmsly once said.

  21. How is Donald Trump's staff supposed to distill this editorial down to his level of understanding? It has all kinds of really, really hard -- and I mean hard, very,very hard -- tremendous numbers.

  22. I love how Republicans have been harping about "the deficit!!!" for years. How does it make sense in their mind that they keep electing presidents that want to SPEND AND CUT TAXES at the same time yet they think they are the ones who are "fiscally responsible." What reality are they in? The most fiscally responsible presidents in recent history are Democrats.

  23. Republicans owned the entire government for the years between 2002 and 2006. All four houses.
    They did absolutely nothing about infrastructure, tax reform, prayer in schools, abortion restrictions at the federal level, or making government smaller and more efficient.
    In other words, they did none of the cultural war things they keep promising the rubes who vote for them that they are going to do when the "voters finally give them complete control".
    What the did is double down on their gifts to their handlers in the oligarchy while starting a new and illegal war.

  24. I am a Clinton supporter but I think her plan on infrastructure is underwhelming. We need much more investment there and we can borrow to do it. This is something that Trump has right actually.

    This article is a little confusing. It's not Trump's infrastructure plan that is the problem, it is his tax plan. I can't stand the guy but I think he's closer to what we need in infrastructure spending compared with Clinton.

  25. Right Frank. We can borrow from the public, thus locking in today's low or non-existent interest rates, or, even better, borrow from the FED which returns the interest back to the Treasury and allows us to roll the debt over.

  26. Put more succinctly - the fatal flaw to Trump's "Plan" is the mad hatter himself. There's no more plan than the plan guiding the legions of folks that show up to play the slots, the Wheel of Fortune, or bingo on Saturday night. It all great fun until your bag of quarters runs out. Even with that Trump could not make a go of it in the casino business - for some odd reason not everyone was willing to get stiffed by the Don. It comes down to the fact that there's no there there for the Donald outside of the genius of giving himself and his billionaire class another hefty tax break. Duh! Anybody who buys the Don plan should also consider the fabulous bridge investment possibilities in Brooklyn. Kudos to Rudy Giuliani for now occupying the Bernie Madoff Chair at Trump University.

  27. Total joker. Just trying to fool voters to become President with some silly colorful promises. And there are a group of fools very adamant to vote him in. The biggest problem with US today is, there is not enough revenue for rebuilding infrastructure, not just transportation, but new public schools, public universities, R&D facilities (NASA included), etc. We need to collect more taxes and build US economy through surplus spending, not by deficit spending (building more and more debt). Avoid the trap of Republican's voodoo economics.

  28. JSA - A simple question. When in all of US history has too much debt been bad for the economy? Too little debt sure has. In fact ALL of our 6 depressions were preceded by periods when the federal debt was significantly reduced.

  29. ...." the centerpiece of his economic plan is a huge tax cut for the wealthy."....no surprise here.

    Does Trump have anything -- ANYTHING (!) to contribute to America, really?

    I used to resent how long this presidential campaign has gone on. After all, Trump declared in March 2015. But now, I feel grateful that folks continue to have opportunity to see how dangerous and mentally ill Trump is.

    I can't wait for Clinton's next zinger against Trump in the next debate although I truly will be glad when this campaign is over and we quit having to read about Trump and his narcissism in the NYT.

  30. The Editor's have a very unsophisticated understanding of finance, whether corporate, project, structured or public. As for their feigned anxiety over budget conformity, the Editor's otherwise lavish emotional championship of the GWOT, including US Congressional allocations to foreign entities, seems to bother them not at all. The run-rate (that is, the cash drain on the US Treasury) for the Global War on Terror is $18Billion per month. That's per month. That does not include off-balance sheet allocations to the Agency that has become the 6th Branch of the DOD. In the meantime, the US Treasury Secretary, a dual-citizen, has no formal finance experience or training. The GOP candidate has rightly called into question the reality of budget priorities and financial professionalism. In the DNC candidate's calculus, their is no budget, and project finance is a vague and distant concept next to taxation. As for an infrastructure "bank," that can be a coherent concept (one I advised Felix Rohatyn about); indeed there is such a bank (a trust) in Chicago (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-chicag... but it is largely a political canard, as would be the DNC candidate's proposal: another patronage agency with little if any public value. US corporate tax rates should be zero as a government discipline. See otherwise former AmEx CEO Harvey Golub's interview on Bloomberg.

  31. I read through this several times trying to find content, and the only thing I found is a statement that corporate taxes should be zero. Otherwise it's just a rant. The NyTimes is trying to have a real policy discussion. If there is an honest debate to be had, let us have it.

  32. Well you've hit the nail on the head. Projects that are good for workers, small businesses that depend on local infrastructure, and the American people in general, are always subjected to the cry that "there is no money," as when Sanders wanted to invest in healthcare, education, and infrastructure, proposals that were called "pie in the sky."
    But there is always plenty of money for war. We think nothing of lobbing million dollar cruise missiles around the world, but paying decent wages to skilled labor to maintain roads, bridges, and communications, educating the workforce, and keeping them healthy is extravagant.
    We are not the world's policemen. We are the global corporation's muscle. 90% of the things done in the name of national security are done to make rich people richer at the expense of everyone else. And when war is involved that expense is pretty much everything that they had. The war in Iraq was fought so we could hand Iraq's oil to global oil companies. We changed their constitution to do it.
    The Arab spring was created when the billionaires took their money out of the housing bubble they were about to crash and put it into a commodities bubble, doubling the price of food around the world. And they probably did it on purpose.
    Read Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, to see how disasters are created and manipulated to enrich the global billionaires, e,g. the Russian Oligarchs created with the help of Bill Clinton, plunging half of Russia into poverty.

  33. But lowering corporate taxes to zero just puts the onus on the workers to pay for their corporate wars. If a corporation is a person, with all of the rights of a person, why are they not paying the same rates as humans? Cutting rates for capital and its owners does not create more jobs. It never has over 40 years of supply side economics. When you tax work at a higher rate than capital, you devalue work. When you devalue work it cuts the pay of workers and lowers demand, because workers can't afford to spend as much. When demand goes down, investment goes down. So even though you were trying to increase investment, you have now decreased it. Without actual investing to do, and more cash in their pockets from paying less taxes, do the CEOs invest in public infrastructure to make America a better place to live, work, and do business? No
    They take their tax savings and use it to lobby government for more special deals, and manipulate markets like currencies (plunging entire economies into chaos so that they can buy them up cheap), interest rates (skimming off of your hard earned dollars), housing (they crashed their housing bubble then had to admit to stealing millions of homes), etc.
    There are two honest ways to get rich: build a better mousetrap, or make your mousetraps more efficiently. These take hard work. There are hundreds of ways to get richer dishonestly, including having your taxes cut to zero. This is why unregulated capitalism eats itself. It incentivizes cheating.

  34. Of course none of these plans are sustainable if a large portion of our tax revenue is never collected from people who use the tax code as a Three Card Monte scam. Since George W. Bush gave tax breaks to rich in 2000 the tolls at bridges and tunnels in America has doubled. These roadways need to be taken care of come Hell or high water so every time taxes aren't paid on the upper end, the revenue comes out of the pockets of the middle and lower classes. Not paying taxes doesn't make you smart, it makes you unpatriotic.

  35. “I went to the Wharton School of Finance,” he said multiple times in a July 11 (2015) speech in Phoenix, Ariz. “I’m, like, a really smart person.” (The Daily Pennsylanian 8-19-2015)

  36. Trump speaks like a child.

  37. The real fatal flaw lies in any effort to parse alleged policy statements from Donald Trump for logical, demonstrable, and achievable results. Of course his plan is nonsense as not only has Trump shown himself to be a lazy, superficial, and disingenuous thinker, but his inner circle, the "brain trust," is a thorough reflection of Trump. Of course his plan is flawed - his entire campaign and everything about him is flawed.

  38. Math has a liberal bias.

  39. That's what liberals say because they don't understand math. If you want to have a liberal's eyes glaze over, start talking numbers. There is empirical evidence to prove that.

  40. Why would the GOP congress support any infrastructure spending as long as the democrats demand that all of the work be done only by "prevailing wage" union members who cost 25% more than non-union workers but kickback most of their union dues to the democrats. The more infrastructure spending the more union kickbacks to the democrats.
    As a compromise, why not allow states with right to work laws use only non-union workers for infrastructure repairs and restrict the use of union workers to those states without such laws. The democrats would still get half of the union kickbacks they would normally get.

  41. Your logic might make some sense, but for the fact that non -union workers making 25% less than union workers results in an unnecessary drain of welfare benefits paid for by taxpayers. Example, Walmart, the biggest employer in the U.S., pays its employees so little that each store in the country requires taxpayer support for Walmart employees of $1.2 million. the purpose of unions is to assure workers that, among other benefits, they will get at least a living wage. The top 1% currently waltz away with billions of personal dollars in profits while we, the taxpayers, supplement their workers' ability to survive.

  42. There are no union kickbacks. You made that up. Union dues are not allowed to go to political parties. There is a separate fund that union workers must voluntarily donate to for political activity.
    You might want to look into lobbying by government contractors.
    After Hurricane Katrina in the South, Bush waved the requirement of "prevailing wages." The work was farmed out to Halliburton and a few other giant disaster contractors. Halliburton got subcontractors to hire subcontractors to hire subcontractors who hired workers shipped in from South America to do the job for at most minimum wage. Each subcontractor took a piece of the pie for doing nothing, then paid its shareholders and CEOs. Halliburton also has a huge lobbying operation (that gets help fom Dick Cheney among others. All of these players make donations to political candidates, both Republican and Democrat.
    Meanwhile the people in the South that desparately needed some work at prevailing wages to rebuild their neighborhoods got shafted, and the work that was done was shown to be shoddy, and even dangerous.
    The attack on unions, which was even aided and abetted by many union workers, the Reagan Democrats, has decimated the middle class. The savings from lower pay doesn't go to taxpayers, it goes to already rich CEOs and shareholders.
    Every time we shift government functions to private corporations with fat government contracts (usually cost plus) we take money from the middle class and give it to the rich.

  43. Charles,

    Any infrastructure bill will be funded and allocated by Congress, which last time I looked is, and will be for the next two years at least, controlled by the republican party. They will be in charge of infrastructure spending and accordingly should apply oversight to the disbursement of the funds. And most if not all of the right to work states are controlled by republicans.

    That's if they can squeeze in some time between Benghazi hearings.

  44. Older readers might remember a time when infrastructure spending was not controversial and we had Federal and State taxes on gas and diesel dedicated to pay for it. Things have changed.

    Federal gas tax at a fixed $0.18 per gallon hasn't changed since 1993, when gas cost $1.10, while inflation has increased construction costs. If it were inflation adjusted, it should be about $0.30. If a fixed % of gas price, it would be over $0.40.

    To compound the problem, Federal and State highway trust funds were raided to balance budgets. Kansas and Texas diverted 25% or more to pay for education and health care as they cut other taxes.

    Restoring and dedicating the gas tax at a time when gas prices are low would favor more fuel efficient cars and trucks, which would in turn keep pressure on global oil production that funds extremism funded by Saudi Arabia and others.

    And then there is that climate change thing. So let's call it a carbon tax and dedicate some revenue to reducing congestion, bus rapid transit and other cost effective transportation measures.

    This will happen at the state level in certain states, while others like Kansas will remain mired in tax slashing and budget maneuvering.

  45. The one percent were paying 80% tax when during the Eisenhower years and I-75 was built. Why don't we just quit giving people other people's money and there would be money for roads. We take care of our sick, elderly and children and help people during the bad times. Then they get jobs and pay tax and help fix the roads. Taxing anyone that much is pure rape.

  46. "We take care of our sick, elderly and children and help people during the bad times."
    Do you really think we do that? have you looked at the quality of public education today, or the quality of care your typical medicare patient receives as compared to the care the wealthy can afford? And I'm sure there are many people from New Orleans and other disaster-ruined towns and cities who would question your claims. The maximum tax rate should be at least 50% not the 35 or 38% it is now.

  47. Your post makes sense, except that government is not supposed to cure every problem. That's been tried, but communism is now dead. We also need to get the private sector involved. Taxing everything in sight is not the only solution. Yes, some people will get rich. So what? All people will be better off.

  48. Has Donald Trump ever had a realistic idea in his life? Nope, he's built dreams for the rich at his golf courses and for the poor at his casinos. He is smart enough not to pay taxes though.

  49. "Other gigantic tax cuts carried out during the Reagan and George W. Bush eras — driven by supply-side theories — resulted in bigger deficits and did not promote broadly shared growth."

    Gee, I wonder why? In theory, trickle down should spur growth, but it underestimates the greed of many who want to sit on their cash or drive it off shore to avoid even more taxes. And business is loath to expand without consumer demand, and our stagnant economy has made consumers cautious.

    The tragedy in Hoboken should make everyone wake up to just how bad our infrastructure is. Ever ride under those creaky bridges on I-84 and 128, the ring around Boston? Every state in the country has a bridge or structure a minute from tragedy. States must be like NJ that has underfunded its transportation resources for years in order to balance its budget and keep gas taxes low.

    Infrastructure reminds me of world peace: every pol yacks about it, but every pol makes it worse.

  50. Massachusetts is only now just beginning to paint the highway bridges it quit painting back when Romney was governor.

  51. During the debate, when Mr. Trump said he would cut taxes across the board (especially for the wealthy) and then rightly complained about the terrible state of the nation's infrastructure, my inner economist said you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    But Mr. Trump contradicts himself in both obvious and subtle ways. And that's only in the rare case when he puts forth anything substantive. Most of the time he is blowing hot air.

    We need to ask ourselves what's wrong. How is someone like Mr. Trump not only getting the nomination of a major political party, but coming dangerously close to being elected?

    The answer is that the Republican establishment has forced, and the Democratic establishment has allowed, increasing wealth inequality to starve the middle and working classes of financial security. This has dampened consumer spending, which has in turn dampened economic growth. The backlash is voter anger and political instability.

    Mr. Trump is just the tip of the iceberg of the political instability that coincides with wealth inequality and relative poverty and despair.

    Wealth inequality is a moral problem itself, but even for those who care only about the economy, wealth inequality leads to various forms of political instability and long term economic stagnation.

  52. Yes, Hillary's infrastructure plan makes sense. All her plans make sense and she's proven in public office that she's effective.
    Of course she's flawed (the new meme now. Flawed but better.) but no more than any politician (or person) and less in fact, than most.
    Email? I'm glad she had her own server. The state department server was hacked many times. The poor judment would have been to use it. Her server was never hacked. If she has a flaw it's caving to stupid narratives and not properly standing her ground when she actually made the best choice. Nothing meaningful has come out of the email investigation just as nothing meaningful has come out of the Benghazi investigation. In fact the only meaningful thing that's come out of years and years and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investigation of her and her husband has been his sexual impropiety with a consenting adult and lying about it.
    Meanwhile, we've got a candidate who's spent her life working for policy that helps the least advantaged in the world. Has she made some compromises along the way? Of course! People seem to have forgotten that that's how you move the ball forward in politics and politics is how you move a country forward.
    Why is America so blind to what the whole rest of the world plainly sees? She's not the better of two poor choices. She's a great choice and we're lucky to have her.

  53. I think Trump bought a degree in economics from Trump University, claimed it as a tax offset, made a profit on his own tuition fees and the staff who did the administration at Trump University are still waiting to be paid.

    No teachers there are waiting to be paid however as there are obviously no classes and thus no teachers at Trump University to begin with.

  54. My first job when I turned thirteen was tracing draftings of roads and bridges prepared by my father, a civil engineer, in the basement of our home. He taught me that those drawings were not just blueprints for roads and bridges, but for the jobs and the economy -- each project would employ thousands of people -- and I later learned that every dollar spent on infrastructure in America yielded two dollars in return to the economy. It is one of the best deals in government investment.

    Trump's infrastructure plan doesn't add up. You can't cut taxes on the rich, reduce the budget on infrastructure, and also say that you are going to improve quality. That is, for lack of a better word, a lie. The math just doesn't add up.

    What does add up is a long list of inconsistencies in Trump's pattern as a businessman -- a man who has a history of stiffing his vendors, suing his partners or the people he does business with (or being sued by them), not paying his taxes (or bragging about the fact that he doesn't), and abusing the public's trust by trying to influence public officials through outsized donations, lobbying, gifts, and other questionable practices.

    America needs infrastructure spending because it is healthy for our economy, and because it will create jobs. Trump's plan only addresses the reality that we need to spend, but isn't serious about how to do it. America can't afford that kind of lie.

    Ordinary Americans need more jobs, not bigger tax cuts for the rich.

  55. Sanjay - Thru the FED, the federal government can print money, so your math is not correct.

  56. Tenable plans? We don't need no steenking tenable plans. All we need is a loud-mouthed buffoon shouting about making America great again. When will his supporters finally open their eyes and see what a joke Trump is? The answer, I fear, is that they will only realize it if he is elected and then, predictably, fails to deliver on his ridiculous promises. Alas, they'll probably blame his failures on Barack Obama.

    Based on Trump's past performances, it is fair to say that America will achieve its promised greatness when Donald Trump declares it to be so. That is all it will take. A simple declaration by the biggest liar and exaggerator in the history of American politics.

  57. If we want to remain relevant as a major player on the world stage we need to start investing in our nation or we are going to fall behind. Technology has changed our infrastructure needs. Not only will a major infrastructure overhaul create jobs, it will allow us to continue to advance new technology in a changing world.

  58. It's not just Trump's stupid and inverted idea that lowering taxes magically creates economic growth that magically provides infrastructure and other essential resources to help "the people" improve their lives. The State of Kansas since 2012 perfectly demonstrates the idiocy of Republican doctrine that lowering taxes creates economic growth. Trump has never thought about these issues but is happy to promote any theories that mean more money for him. (In other countries this is called corrupt kleptocracy.) Evidence from every previous Republican effort to do this at state and federal levels show the same negative results as in Kansas. The saddest thing about this for all Americans and particularly for Kansans, is that in the face of evidence that consistently shows this concept NEVER works, Republicans are elected agaon and again in cities, states and federally to perpetuate the insane delusion that cutting taxes creates economic growth.
    Voters have only their deluded selves to blame for believing the fairy tale.

  59. I find it both ironic and shocking that as American made bombs and weapons are used by Allies and the U.S alike to destroy the infrastructure of other countries helping to turn them into failed states with large populations of displaced people fleeing as immigrants to Europe and housed in hastily built refugee camps, all the while whilst American Infrastructure is long overdue for repair and rebuilding to such a degree that a real crisis is developing.

    Worse still is the fact that America has spent Trillions of dollars to bomb, invade, and degrade foreign countries to such a degree , the remaining Infrastructure they have not destroyed by their actions or allies is completely insufficient to cater to these countries continued existence.

    Whilst back in America , despite the urgency, money to repair and upgrade U.S Infrastructure has not been available or if it has been , not used for that purpose.

    In fact, one could say: " America is spending so much money overseas to destroy other countries infrastructure, it has no money left to fund repairs and upgrades long overdue for its Own Infrastructure."

    Very disappointing.

  60. Yes, yes, but again, why Trump's proposals are mutually and internally contradictory is that they are not connected in his narcissistic mind, his own and only reality, as Hillary put it. When he proposes something, he thinks it will please a target audience. In our reality there are many and various "audiences" who are actually "constituencies"—parts of a larger whole. But in his own reality they are united only as objects of his self-conceived allure. He thinks they will all admire him because he has spoken so attractively to each of them. In his reality they do not talk to each other, or put 2 and 2 together. The special quality of his incompetence is that inability to see the parts as components of any larger whole than himself.

  61. Support for Trump is the result of religious interference in the critical thinking process of uneducated masses. If all the people have gone to college to start thinking full-time for once in their lives for a span of 4 years, people like Trump would not stand a chance. Most young people have gone to college and appreciate facts, data, and Science far more then the previous generations.

    After Brexit, Stephen Hawking said we need to rethink the role of wealth in our society. We don't need a Trump victory to say we need to rethink the role of religion in our society. The history of the Dark Ages I think will suffice for that argument. The ignorance of Trump and his supporters (especially for use of nuclear weapons) is an existential threat to mankind.

  62. It should be no surprise that Il Trumpolini's plans amount to stuff and nonsense.

    HIllary's plan to create a revolving fund for infrastructure investment is a step in the right direction. But it is not nearly enough.

    We Americans were seduced by the 'free ride' supply side rigamarole some time ago and it has gained us nothing. We have deferred, kicked the can down the road, swept things under the rug for much too long. Time to face up to our responsibility's and obligations.

    Raise the necessary money from a tax increase limited only on the wealthy and the Corporations and don't forget to force the Finance Industry to start paying transaction fee's as well. Stop worrying so much about the deficit and reinvest in the country in a large and meaningful way. Do it now while money is cheap.

  63. Donald Trump knows very little about macroeconomics. This seems to be a Republican Party requirement for membership.

    No doubt, like many members of the G.O.P., Trump is very knowledgeable about microeconomics. He understands how individual consumers and individual investors behave; businessmen need to understand microeconomics, even if they do not know what it is called. But Trump, like most Republicans, is totally ignorant about macroeconomics; he is clueless about the relationships between inflation, budget deficits, trade deficits, currency valuations, monetary policies, and the level of employment.

    I have found, through observation, that Trump's supporters are also vastly ignorant about macroeconomics, including the professional *economists* who support him.

  64. We need to invest in infrastructure as our roads and bridges are collapsing and we have no new investment in modern age transportation. This would create a massive number of jobs, but Republicans have vetoed all attempts by President Obama to allocate money for these projects. I can only say that Trump does not believe in helping to pay for any infrastructure or improvements for any federal spending, as he pays no federal income taxes either.

  65. Neither Donald's nor Hillary's infrastructure plans are the right solution.

    I agree that Trump's plan is unrealistic when coupled with his "huge tax cut for the wealthy", but he is definitely right about the borrowing.
    It makes sense to borrow money to fund these projects now, while interest rates are low. We have to repair the infrastructure anyway, and we can do it now or wait until more bridges collapse and spend twice as much.

    Mrs.Clinton might have "a realistic plan for doing anything about it", but just anything won't do.
    The American Society of Civil Engineers most recently gave America a D+ rating in terms of infrastructure, citing dilapidated roadways, insufficient waterways and "a pressing need for modernization." The group estimates $3.6 trillion would need to be invested into U.S. infrastructure by 2020 just to raise the country's support systems to acceptable levels.

    The only problem is the solution is the exact opposite of what the neoliberal Mrs.Clinton and her laissez faire economists want to see happen.
    Quantitative Easing would be an option, as would taking monetary authority away from the Federal Reserve. The government could issue funds, interest free funds that would not add a penny to the debt, and finance these projects effortlessly.
    But of course there would be no profit for the banks, so such simple solutions won't even be considered.

    Only the Green's New Deal, similar to what the WPA did, can address the country's problems, incl. infrastructure.

  66. One could very, very strongly make the argument that the Republican Party, since Ronald Reagan, has been a one-issue party:
    Lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, no matter what the current rates are.
    All else is mere window dressing, as the triumph of the Donald has made crystal clear.
    This newspaper, and many others, needs to take a strong look into the mirror: where is its investigative reporting and consistent editorializing?
    Trump should never be able to skate over the personal tax issue. Every day he refuses to release his returns, a number should be posted (similar to the hateful rendering that occurred during Jimmy Carter's tenure over the far-less-critical hostage "crisis"). This isn't just another issue, this holds the key to Donald Trump, the man.
    And what of his wide-spread real estate holdings in E. Europe? Could those possibly hold the key to his amazing, anti-American, and traitorous embrace of V. Putin?
    Let's please focus less on his ill-thought out, knee-jerk "policy" proposals. They all but insult the reader. Rather, let's take a closer look at the man, himself.

  67. I think the Republican Party is a two-issue party or maybe a one and a half-issue party. They love low taxes for the rich, this is true. But they love low wages for the rest of us even more.

    Everything else (abortion, guns, religious "liberty," bathrooms, etc.) is a smokescreen for their true agenda -- the redistribution of wealth from those who earned it by working to the rentier class. The GOP's "cultural issues" are the equivalent of me yelling "Squirrel!" to my dog to distract him from something I don't want him to have. Many Americans fall for it. The difference is that eventually my dog learned that it was just a distraction. Why can my dog learn something that so many Americans cannot?

    Trump is vile. But the establishment Republicans who came before him are no better. Just different.

  68. Public services require investment at the local, state, and federal levels. This is how modern societies work - public benefits from tax dollars. Public schools, law enforcement and public safety, fire departments, infrastructure development and maintenance connecting rural communities to towns and to cities, sports and convention complexes, municipal development, parks and recreation - all impact out lives for the better and draw small and large businesses to grow local and state economies.
    Simple cause and effect suggests cutting taxes reduces sources of revenue for investment in public services. This action has caused neglect to atrophy public growth. Some state legislatures and Congress appear to think in the short-term, and planning for American society requires a consensus long-term approach.
    Today, we are experiencing the imbalance resulting from decades of short-term thinking and neglect. Consider the only possible alternative to public services we all enjoy, many at no additional cost, is private services, which will be provided to those who can afford them.
    The economic class distinction suggested is something Americans have traditionally rejected as unwanted and unfair. All people, rich and poor, should have the same access to vital public services we appear to have taken for granted.
    It is our responsiblity to elect leaders who think in terms of what has worked, not focused on economic theories that have been demonstrated failures.

  69. This is the Trump way. For a man who relies on the bankruptcy courts as a standard means of extricating himself from his own foibles, this should be no surprise. Another example of this man's shallowness is when he withdraws money from his own charitable Foundation to contribute to other charitable causes, giving the false impression that his personal generosity knows no limits when, in fact, he is using other people's money, never his own. The man is a fraud, pure and simple. How anyone can vote for this selfish cretin to be our next President is beyond understanding...They must have an irrational hatred for Hillary. I think this philosophical divide between the two political camps goes all the way back to our early colonial period where the Whigs (Democrats) and the Tories (Republicans) were the principal political parties. The Whigs favored a democracy where power was distributed and not centralized in a single authority; the Tories, on the other hand, favored a more authoritarian style and remained loyal to the King of England. The divide between our two parties today is very similar. We seem to be wired differently and it is frustrating to think that the divide so often seems impossible to bridge.

  70. "Of course, Mr. Trump claims that his tax cuts would largely pay for themselves by unleashing economic growth of 4 percent annually."

    I always have to ask where are the investments and jobs after the last time the taxes were cut on wealthy and corporations. I mean the savings weren't horded into expanding the gulf between the 1% and the rest of us, funneled into off-shore tax shelters, and expanded pay and bonuses for the CEOs. I mean we are all benefiting from the magnanimous growth bestowed on us from those that directly benefited from the tax cuts based on trickle-down economics, right? So let do it again! It can only get better for us.

  71. We will see a lot of economic growth once congress gets off their lazy rumps and votes for some infrastructure upgrades. This has been proven over and over that any money spent on infrastructure improves the economy. When we invest in fixing our roads, bridges, etc people are hired to work a full work week. They get good paychecks and because they have the money, they spend it which improves the economy and then it multiplies because the stores that the workers spend their money in become busier so need to hire more workers or give more hours to current employees. The frustrating part of our current politics is that no matter what plans Hillary may have to get the economy moving, she will still have the same do nothing congress that is willing to stifle all of her plans, just like they did Obama's.

  72. Sadly there are no shovel ready projects. Even with zero interest rates and a president Clinton the time required for planning and permitting will delay many projects do much that by the time they are implemented they are antiquated in design , material or just too late. Better late than never but an enhanced facilitation system is needed.

  73. But an "enhanced facilitation system" would require the elimination of all the useless, parasitic bureaucratic vermin that infest all levels of government. As the saying goes "expecting efficiency or accuracy from a government bureaucracy is a definition of insanity".

  74. So, what do we do with the "bushels of deplorable" and morally bankrupt and idiotic Trump supporters after the election? We still have about a month to go before the election, but assuming the "fathead" doesn't change his hairdresser before the election and somehow win, he'll fade into the woodwork, but we'll still have all those "bushels of deplorables" to deal with. Can we establish one state to let go of and let them to there and secede?

  75. Reva, Better to reinstate the draft in some form or another and shape them up when they are still in their impressionable late teens.

  76. If we are going to establish a separate state for the "deplorables"how about another one for all of the functional illiterate, black, criminal underclass? Black males comprise only 7% of the US population yet commit 50+% of all crimes and of course always support the democrats.

  77. I keep hearing him talk about lowering taxes, and while that might seem appealing on the surface, all the services that the government provides -- the military, roads and bridges, police, public schools, libraries, etc. -- all get funding from taxes. So, at its foundation, it just doesn't make sense. How can our country be "great" without a military, roads, bridges, police, schools, and libraries? Because, the vision of a country without any of those things seems pretty bleak to me.

    But, then again, this is from the man who criticized Clinton for not spending the last 30 years helping to create jobs for people...but, that's not what senators and secretaries of state do, is it? Perhaps one of the criteria for being president should be actually understanding how the government works.

  78. Anything Trump suggests is fatally flawed for at least two reasons:
    1) I doubt he really understands any of the issues, so he fabricates proposals to pander to an audience, and not because the proposal itself has any merit,
    2) Trump has no ability, let alone temperament, to implement any of his proposals!

    I wish that the media had exposed Trump for being so unqualified one year ago, so we would be spared the absurdity of his proposals and his character.

  79. There is an assumption in the comments here and maybe in the editorial itself that Trump and his supporters read or have any literacy skills. To date, there is no evidence that is true. They can listen and they restrict their listening to Fox and Limbaugh, which means they can indulge in confirmational bias to hear what gives them confirmation of their bias. If they read, you can see their publications of choice at your grocery store checkout line. And when you want to know what the GOP is thinking, look to the Texas GOP where they propose the prohibition of teaching critical thinking skills because it makes their youth question authority, a category in which they place themselves. And so it is.

  80. Mr. Trump's jingoistic campaign theme is "make America great again".

    While there is considerable debate about what that actually means, one thing seems clear: Mr. Trump can't even rely on basic math to support his vague policy proposals. I suppose math is just another version of reality Donald Trump has decided he can live without.

  81. If whatever Donald says is an insult or stupidity, then it follows that he is stupid and unfit for any state office job.

    Personally, I think he is either a primitive, or, if that was not his personality before, then likely suffered a stroke or a minor brain damage recently.

    I truly do not understand why are media so impotent to call him what he really is. Are they all bribed?

  82. Trump can propose his shaky financial scheme only because the banks have lent him large sums that his private corporation has welshed on repaying. Here in Chicago he borrowed over $600 m to build his 92-story monstrosity, and paid back about $65m before defaulting. Then somehow he sells one unit for $30m and another, so is eventually able to throw some money back at Deutsche Bank, itself a dubious player in the financial world. Trump is an irresponsible rogue whose insanity manifests itself most terribly in his ability to believe his own lies through their mantra-like chanting and repetition...those who support him also stand for the complete dissolution of the American empire as we know it.

  83. Dear Richard: I'm afraid you are misinformed as to where our tax dollars go. Not for social welfare : for the military.
    By taking a fraction of what is spent on warfare and the pentagon we could have free healthcare and education for everyone. An unhealthy uneducated populace does not make a thtiving economy and allows vile buffoons such as Trump
    To gain popularity. 4 trillion spent by Bush on Iraq and Afghanistan: are you aware of that?
    I've paid into SS and Medicare my whole life.
    Those are not "entitlements". That is my hard earned money and I deserve it. And need it. Trump will take that away.

  84. The inept Democrats have allowed the Republicans to name or label our debates as they wish. Consequently we have SS and Medicare labeled "entitlements", anti-abortion is Pro-Life, police overreach is Law and Order, healthcare is Obamacare, and so on.

    They clearly appeal to emotions and not facts and arguments. I agree with all the comments that point out that Trumps supporters will not read these editorials let alone the NYT. They will not change their minds about Trump no matter what "facts" are stated about his plans. They will not change their minds regardless of what Trumps reveals about himself in his Tweets, comments and rants. It's a pointless exercise to try and convince them otherwise.

  85. In article after article, speech after speech, it is ever clearer the only person a Trump presidency would benefit is Trump. If ever there was an analog to "Mr. Potter" from "It's a Wonderful Life" it's Trump.

    We will all become the dazed and confused figure of Harry Bailey, staggering down the main streets of our town, dodging taxis and drunks, freshly impoverished by their local PayDay Loan Casino.

    Those voting for him have got to be on flashbacks induced by some recent Russian-backed MK Ultra plan to swap our reality with theirs.

    The deeper you go into Trump's facade (and boy, what a neon and rhinestone-studded facade it is) the more tragically dangerous it becomes for all of us. We will all be pouring our tax dollars into his slot machines - while he reminds us he's smarter for not spending a cent on the wars he causes, the vets we owe homage to, the roads he rides, and airports he uses.

    I await the second week of November with great urgency in that judging from the ill health of his business, and the hit he'll take with all the negative publicity of this election - we will be able to pick up his assets for pennies on the dollars and put them to use to make Americans great.

  86. "it is ever clearer the only person a Trump presidency would benefit is Trump"

    And the only thing a Clinton presidency would benefit is her corrupt foundation.

  87. I comprehend, fully, that there is subterfuge an back-door dealings with Clinton, as well. This cannot be denied.

    But in the choice between the two evils, I'm going for the one that doesn't sacrifice my children's well-being. At least there's a possibility of things like healthcare and lower-cost college educations with Clinton.

    It's just that the contrast between the two makes it obvious to the most casual observer that there isn't even the possibility of a "halo" affect with Trump's plans - beyond those enjoyed by those in the same 0% tax bracket, who under the guise of "job creators" live off the rest of us, who have no choice but to pay taxes to keep the country running.

    I must agree. as painful as it is: with the WSJ, USAToday, the Arizona Republic, and others, who have come out in favor of holding one's nose and voting for a candidate I don't particularly respect to keep the nation from suicide. A couple of supreme court nominations can't possibly justify turning our backs on our NATO allies while Russia laughs at us for considering a president who would commit that outrage.

    The guy cares more about making sure we think Miss Universe is fat an ugly, than jobs, security, and the economy - subjects he has proven to know little about.

  88. "The ability of any president to carry out a plan..."

    That qualification in of itself eliminates Trump whose record of plans is simply to borrow, build and then default.

  89. Crooked lying Trump is just a chatterbox, relying on supply-side economists whose proposals have never worked for the general public, nor for the vital infrastructure renewal proposals. By cutting taxes to the 'rich and powerful', he would make the U.S. sink in the 'red' and raise everybody's taxes so to pay the huge debt so generated. Why aren't his feet held to the fire on this incredibly irresponsible lie?

  90. On Mr. Trump's Wharton School degree, my memory of Penn in the 1960s is that Wharton was where they stashed the football team. And Wharton was still helping shape the direction of big Philly industries - like the Pennsylvania Railroad.

  91. No wonder....The Republicans do not care about infrastructure. They are willing to bail out banks bankrupted by their policies, effectively giving money away to their bussines cronies. They would not invest in education, infrastructure and health. They do not care about public well being. They caused economic crisis and social regression, both through policy and control and manipulation of courts.

    How could anyone believe what they say? Americans were not reading or thinking from 2000 onwards?

    The Democrats, with the opposition of a Republican Congress, and despite and against it, have managed to improve the situation.

    And their are people still unable to grasp such simple facts. Perhaps deep in we all want to be lied to, to be cozy for a few weeks, until chaos settles in,,,

  92. I have said this before. As soon as the National Infrastructure Fund/Bank is established allow U.S. Corporations to return 50% of their off-shore profits tax free, as long as that money is placed in the NIF/B where it can earn the same return as the Fed's 30 year bond. Then, if so desired, the remainder of their off-shore profits maybe returned at a 17.5% tax rate. This would force these companies to invest in AMERICA a large portion of their of-shore profit, whereas the last time there was a "tax holiday" only something between 10-15% of the money when into plant up-grades/expansions and the rest went into stock buy backs, increase in stock dividends, an Executive Bonuses.

  93. Good plan. A variant of this, the Rebuild America Act, has been introduced in the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

  94. Keep dreaming. They want to pay the same tax rate that Donald pays: 0%.

  95. Huh?!

    Please repost; you have run on sentences, missing verbs and adjectives, and jumps from one point to another.

    The connections are unclear. Why should any corporation bring home dollars, when they can "hide" them or park them overseas and save themselves huge amounts on taxes? Why would an infrastructure investment bank pay them 17% rates of return on their money?! It doesn't add up; it doesn't make sense!

  96. Tax cuts don't get the rich to spend more. They also wipe out incentives to make charitable donations. The rich don't even have the time to spend the all the money they have now.

    "Supply side economics" is a stupid lie and a proven failure.

  97. Sadly, Mr. Bolger, you seem to live under the illusion that money has to be "spent" to help the economy. You are ignoring, or are ignorant of, the entire second half of the equation: saving and investment. Those two have a more pronounced long term effect on an economy's well being than spending. Unless you believe that the rich stuff their billions in mattresses, your post makes no sense.

  98. As "she" said: Trumped up trickle down economics. I love that phrase--IMHO all of Trump is trumped up.

  99. Trump is right that many U.S. airports are gradually taking on the aura of Greyhound bus terminals. But he doesn't seem to connect that problem to the fact that people (and corporations) like him are "smart" enough not to pay any taxes.

  100. The trillions needed for US infrastructure according to American Society of Civil Engineers have probably to be doubled if the US wants its infrastructure to be resilient enough to cope with the looming climate catastrophe. This demand of trillions of dollars is also present in other countries, particularly those in the South that presently have very poor infrastructures and have financial demands in other sectors such as food production.

    The time seems to have come for the US and other nations to consider a radical new financial system that give the money creation function back to public sectors rather than have over 95% of present money supply created by privately owned banking systems. They would become utilities competing on service. An initial piece of US legislation in this regard was proposed by Denis Kucinich on September 21, 2011 in HR 2990, the NEED Act. Cf. http://www.monetary.org

    Besides this financial transformation nations should also consider the transformation of the unjust, unsustainable and, therefore, unstable international monetary system which can be done by basing it on a carbon monetary standard such as a specific tonnage of CO2e per person. The conceptual, institutional, ethical and strategic dimensions of such carbon-based international monetary system are presented in Verhagen 2012 "The Tierra Solution: Resolving the climate crisis through monetary transformation" and updated at www.timun.net.

  101. Mrs. Clinton wants to continue the expansion of the size and power of the central federal government at the expense of state decision making. She is motivated by social engineering and not project efficiency.

    In several editorials about infrastructure needs, there is a consistent NYT political preference for Washington to decide what projects are approved, what states get the money; and what union, pro-gay, wage and bathroom regulations must be met as a condition of federal funds. States and localities with more conservative social laws are superceded by Obama-type regulations that accompany any federal funding. This can be seen in the federal approach to education funding that has enabled Washington to dominate all aspects of primary, secondary and higher education at the expense of private institutions.

    The key difference with Trump infrastructure programs is that the regulations and micro management of the projects would be eliminated. Repairs would more likely be made on time and below budget without all the unnecessary "social" engineering, union and EEOC red tape. No regulations are needed for our existing Civil Rights laws to be enforced by the plaintiff’s bar and the courts.

    As for tax reform, we simply need to tax wealth and income inversely. Let high earners pay lower income taxes if they are willing to pay higher wealth taxes – and vice versa.

    Trump and Bernie Sanders share the bond of being the only national candidates to support a wealth tax at one time.

  102. The government worshiping "progressives" can never have too much government or the useless, parasitic bureaucrats that compose 90% of all government. In their ideal world, everyone would work for their great god government, just like in the old Soviet Union.

  103. Tax cuts for the wealthy are bad because rich people spend less of their money in domestic commerce (thus it has lower velocity) & spend more on financial speculation (thus increasing risk).

    But the assumption that deficits & the debt are bad for the economy has been shown by history to be wrong over and over again. As an extreme case lets see what has happened when we eliminated deficits for more than 3 years to significantly paid down the debt. We have done this 6 times & each of these periods have ended with a real gut wrenching depression.

    Now lets look at the federal debt. Since a debt of a million dollars, say, had a lot bigger effect in 1916 or 1816 than today, to compare the debt over time we have to look at the debt ratio, the debt/GDP. The largest that ever was was in 1946 when the debt owed to the public was 109% of GDP which is 47% larger than it is today. Did that enormous debt wreck the economy and impoverish the children of the Greatest Generation?

    On the contrary, from 1946 to 1973, GDP growth averaged 3.8% and real median household income surged 74%. Did we pay down that debt? No, we had deficits for 21 of those 27 years, & the debt in dollars increased by 75%. BUT since we invested in America, the debt became insignificant.

    The debt ratio was also high after WWI, but we had surpluses for 10 years and reduced the debt in dollars by 38%. And the debt ratio was only 16% on 10/29/1929.

    Clearly deficits are necessary (but not sufficient) for prosperity.

  104. Read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine before the election. It is very well researched and sourced. And it shoes how, over and over, global capital is looting nations by taking advantage of disasters, natural and man made.
    The looting is bipartisan and our crumbling infrastructure is a direct result.
    According to the Treasury Department, the Great Recession, caused by global banks, resulted in a 40% transfer of wealth to the .1% from the rest of us. Then they used that disaster as an excuse for the Fed to lend the global banks $4 trillion in brand new cash, at zero percent interest, for a net profit of $1.5 trillion. This is at the same time that these same banks were admitting to stealing millions of homes, and manipulating currencies, world interest rates, commodities (prices of food, energy, and raw materials), the labor market, etc.
    A few million of the hundreds of billions of dollars that they steal are used to lobby government for more breaks for their global corporations, which have no loyalty to our country, so that can write the laws that let them pay slap-on-the wrist fines for their crimes, while poor people go to jail when they can't pay a ticket for loitering in front of their own homes. (See the Justice Dept. report on Ferguson, for example).)
    Obama regularly has the CEOs of these global corporations to White House dinners, just like Bush did.
    Both Parties have sold us out. Read between the lines of corporate media.
    Vote Green and hit the streets to end the madness.

  105. While of course perfectly true, it is getting tiresome to over and over read about Mr. Trump and how clueless he is, how his polices are just make-believe and will never work as intended if ever put into action. I do understand that many people, including the Times Editorial Board, are quite aware of the damages a Trump presidency would do to America and they are doing everything to steer people away from Trump, to open people's eyes and show them how Trump's policies will, in the end, work against America.

    But right now all those good intentions are just "preaching to the choir." Clinton supporters will, without doubt, agree with all that has been said and Trump supporters are too fact-resistant to be reached by an article like this one. And most undecided voters will be undecided about voting for Clinton or a third-party-candidate, I doubt there are many people undecided between Trump and somebody else.

    It is a frustrating situation. Frustrating to see that a showman like Trump could amass that much support, and frustrating to see how many of his supporters are blinded by his promises, ignoring facts and reason. This election could change America for a long time to come, not only the four years of a possible Trump presidency. Go on, write about Trump, but to reach his supporters write about his hypocrisy, misogyny, and emotionally accessible wrongdoings, don't rely on policy facts. His supporters clearly don't.

  106. Trump's supporters can't deal with the reality of policy; they want "magic."
    There's no magic in Trump, just smoke and mirrors. But the GOP base does not realize that they have been gamed for years.
    Art and literature also offer a good commentary on reality...or even predict it. Take Tennessee William's great "A Streetcar Named Desire," where Blanche DuBois tells her brother-in-law, "I don't want reality, I want magic!" That aptly describes the hapless GOP base.

  107. And so he blathers on, and on. He makes no sense. Nobody believes a word that he says, except Trumpettes. Yet people take him seriously. I don't get it. What happened to good old American skepticism? How did so many get so dumb?
    Its a mystery.

  108. Thank you, NYTimes, for your attempt to talk about the candidates' policy proposals. We are close enough to the election that both Trump and Clinton (not just Clinton) should have put forth policy proposals that voters, the media, and analysts should try to understand and compare. I realize it is an uphill battle with Trump, but let's play the game and pretend from time to time that his proposals are real and might be implemented. They are scary. We should all be very scared.

  109. One of the cornerstones of citizenship is paying taxes to build and maintain infrastructure, provide for defense and help the less fortunate. I've always felt good about paying my fair share in the roughly 35% range. Now comes Donald, seeking the Presidency while boasting of paying zero taxes, saying that tax dollars are wasted anyway and implying that guys like me are chumps.

    On taxes as in other things, a President sets an example for the nation. A President must encourage individuals and businesses to pay taxes so there is money to run the nation.

    If Donald wants to be President he needs to pivot on his pride in tax avoidance and not only disclose his tax return but propose how he'd close the loopholes that enabled him to pay so little. One of the few truths he's spoken is that he knows how the corrupt system works because he's been one of its biggest corrupters. Now he must explicitly explain how he'll use his special knowledge to benefit us all.

    Now is a perfect moment for Donald to put his money where his mouth is. He should disclose his tax avoidance schemes and then explain how won't be able to get away with them if he becomes President.

  110. Trump brags that one of his greatest insights into finance is OPM (other people's), which probably explains why he thinks borrowing money at the same time as you eliminate revenue bears some relationship to rationality. Of course, in his world it probably does. One simply skims money off the top and then declares bankruptcy. Unfortunately the federal government can't declare bankruptcy just as it can't do the other hair-brained things he has suggested, like negotiating with U.S. creditors to take a haircut on the national debt. This man has no business getting anywhere near the country's financial system. Even his much vaunted business acumen does not rise much above the level of a Mafioso in a Brioni suit. Voting for Hillary does not require you to like her. It just requires an IQ somewhere above 80.

  111. Ain't it grand that the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy were made permanent? After the Citizens United decision? Now Trump's tax proposals would disproportionately benefit the ultra-wealthy-- who would'a guessed?

  112. Since Reagan cut the umbilical between taxes and services, the political mentality is to rage against taxation while promising to fix things.

    Sustaining our standard of living and safety with the advent of all the harm climate change will bring, means that big expensive infrastructure changes will be needed. Things like coastal protection and developing new water supplies will not come cheap, but will benefit tens of millions of people.

    We have to change the political mentality to reconnect the umbilical between taxes and services so that we can face the challenges ahead with deliberation rather than the current mode of vacillation.

  113. What disappoints me in these infrastructure plans is that it simply maintains the status quo. China is building high speed trains. We are dragging our feet on implementing controls to prevent accidents on our ancient system. I was in Chicago this week and was amazed at the intensity of traffic. Our current transportation strategy is unsustainable on many fronts. We need candidates who will move create opportunities and set the stage for innovators like Elon Musk to create the future. That is where the jobs will come from. How about applying some of the resources from our military to domestic problems. It seems to me that a lot of the work being done there is transferable to transportation. Why not swap the paradigm and fund that with the idea that the tech could be transfered for defense if needed. Eisenhower understood that a good transportation system was part of a good defense strategy. It is time to look at things differently. Neither candidate is doing that.

  114. You forgot to mention that Trump also advocates a significant increase in defense spending that would make matters even worse.

  115. I recently heard an economist say that to reach the kind of economic growth Trump is talking about, each American would have to buy a new U.S. made car, every single year. That's never going to happen.

  116. Under President Trump the United States of America will slowly dissolve into a new entity, the Kingdom of Trump. He will indeed run it "like a business", as he has long promised -- the same way that he runs his nebula of businesses, charities and arcane interlocking partnerships and "relationships" with secret foreign investors, many possessing mysterious pedigrees. Run it unaccountably, without regard for truth, legality or even moral propriety. Like it's his own private fief. His children will become American dukes and duchesses. Countless "business opportunities" will flow their way from mysterious quarters, followed by equally mysterious, often inexplicable government actions. Observers will only dare whisper about it and the benefits they reap for fear of what might happen to them in the reign of terror.

    King Donald will never justify or explain anything because no one can make him. King Donald will address those situations the same way he answewd questions about those two mysterious unnamed detectives he supposedly sent to Hawaii to investigate President Obama's birth certificate. After proclaiming they discovered "incredible things" he refused to divulge them and still does, along with their names, or any proof that he actually sent them or they actually exist except as figments of his fetid imagination. Here it will be the same. He will lie, stonewall, threaten, slander, insult and brutalize all doubters, inquisitors and critics alike, while Rome burns.

  117. The flaw is not only the plan, but also the man. Elect common sense across the board please.

  118. The buffoonery, chicanery, stupidity and borderline seditiousness of the Republican Party is writ large in the Donald. Taxes pay for civilization. If I can't find what I want to purchase that's says "Made in the USA" I try to buy German - because at least they are all unionized and make a good product. The Trumps/Waltons/Walmart/Apple Inc.tax dodgers truly make me sick to my stomach with their greed.

  119. Many Republicans say they want a "change" from the way things have been for eight years. Putting a white man who will reintroduce trickle down is not change. Electing a woman who understands the needs of families and actual Americans is refreshing.

  120. We as a Sovereign People have the power to tax. We can tax the billionaires who got rich moving their goods on our infrastructure, communicating on our infrastructure, advertising on our public airwaves, using technology created in public universities with public tax dollars, etc.
    The idea that the government must borrow was created by bankers who wanted to get a piece of the tax dollars. It is a scam. If you want to cut deficits, tax the billionaires instead of borrowing from them. It's that simple.
    Raise taxes on the super rich. (Their whole "job creator" myth is a big fat lie. They only create as many jobs as they need to fulfill demand. And demand is created by workers who have wages to spend.) Invest in human education and healthcare, and in the infrastructure that makes work possible. Japan has free high speed internet everywhere that is twice as fast as ours. Their phones work everywhere.
    We have been fed a bunch of propaganda by a corporate mass media that knows its job is to make its billionaire owners richer. Sometimes it runs stories that are contrary to its mission for profit, but eventually it calls those stories, and the people in them "crazy" and goes back to demanding tax cuts and deregulation for its corporate masters.
    Read between the lines.

  121. The original government was a bunch of thieves that realized that instead of killing everyone and taking their stuff, they could just drop by and collect a "tribute" once a year. That is the origin of taxes. They got very rich and called themselves kings and taxed the poor to make themselves rich. They built infrastructure to make their slaves more productive. "All roads lead to Rome," because Rome built roads to every land it conquered, to move its armies and its loot, and its commerce.
    After about ten thousand years of being conscripted into armies to control and loot other poor people, the slaves, serfs and the small business people got sick of make the rich richer and they rebelled. After failing about a million times, they deposed their kings and created democracy. The People took over the decision making, and bent the government to their will, and started taxing the people who had been taking most of their productivity for ten thousand years.
    The rich were not happy with this arrangement, so they bought up all of the newspapers, radio stations, and TV broadcasters, and made sure the editors knew who they worked for. Then they created the idea of "unfettered free markets," and "trickle down economics" so that they could make the People believe that the workers and the government they had spilled so much blood to reign in and finally control, were their own enemy and that the "job Creators" were "really smart;" and that taxing the rich to spend money on humans was bad.

  122. Neither Trump nor Clinton have any credible significant infrastructure improvement planned strategy.

    Donald Trump's income tax cut plan for corporate plutocrat oligarchs is the return of Reagan era trickle down economics. The elder Bush called it "voodoo economics" and Reagan economics adviser David Stockman labeled it a farce.

    Hillary Clinton's tiny tepid $275 billion initial infrastructure reflects the Clinton era Republican light pedigree. By deregulating Wall Street banking allowing investment banks to own commercial and retail banks banking has become a reckless gambling industry. The Reagan era income tax scheme was maintained by the Clintons sending our jobs and their corporate plutocrat oligarch money overseas. The Clinton's were and are well to the socioeconomic political right of FDR and LBJ as expected but Ike and Nixon as well.

    Neither Trump nor Clinton have a massive humane effective liberal progressive infrastructure improvement plan. Comparing the Clinton plan as being marginally better than Trump's recalls the adage that" in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king". Hillary's one-eyed infrastructure plan is not worthy of being taken seriously. Both of their plans are fatally flawed.

  123. The NYT editorial is right on the mark about the stark differences between Mrs. Clinton's and Mr. Trump's plans to improve our infrastructure, but the message is not getting to the voters.

    Mrs. Clinton should be leading the chorus about jobs, jobs and more jobs! And she should be doubling down on the size of the program.

    Her program will create good paying jobs for tens of thousands workers for decades; jobs for the unskilled to the highly skilled; jobs for Americans. An investment on America and its future.

    But neither she or her campaign know how to get her message across to the voters. Her messages keep getting lost in the loud roar of lies that gets spewed from Mr. Trump and reported as news by the media.

  124. So what else would you expect from a buffoon who has filed for bankruptcy six times, conned students with Trump University, sued for racial discrimination, calls women "pigs" and "slobs", and won't release his tax returns because he has something to hide?

  125. Well, first let me thank President George W Bush. From what the article states the money he wasted on his middle east campaign would have given us a new country, a new US!! Second, this article, and concept, is way to technical and advanced for Donald Trump to understand. If he were president I wonder how his staff would brief him??

  126. Trump is a business man. Successful in his own mind. He likely thinks that if he runs up the tab to high with his borrowing to build, he can do as he did in the private sector; claim bankruptcy and move on.
    The world trembles at the thought, but I'd bet that's the Donald's big "plan". He isn't a rocket scientist, you know?

  127. For a guy who spends all his time touting his outsider status - touting how different he is and how he is for the little guy - Trump's actual and rare policy statements sure sound like the stale dogma of trickle down.

    Only his dogma will be bigger, better, huge. He will have the best people, the smartest people running things and cutting taxes, not like we have now, but really smart, smart like his kids, and good-looking too.

    How is it that people hear his schtick, but don't hear that the "details" are not even re-packaged GOP boilerplate? Trump isn't a breath of fresh air, he is just an old HVAC system on re-circ.

    Trump will do for our roads and bridges what he has done for his investors. He will promise big, stiff contractors, slap a big gold logo on it, and walk away from it before it falls apart.

  128. When you're "smart" enough to pay no income tax like Trump and many of his fellow mega rich, and can travel by helicopter, private jet, and chauffeured limo, I'm betting our crumbling infrastructure doesn't exactly keep you awake at night.

    "Infrastructure" - it's only for the little people.

  129. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: Both the editorial staff and guest columnists need to write more about Hillary Clinton and less about Donald Trump. Today's paper was all about Trump's tweets and his attacks on the Clintons' marriage. Nary a word on what Hillary said while campaigning in Florida! Unless we begin to hear more about Hillary and less about Trump, we all will wonder how Trump got elected, not realizing that the press inadvertently helped him get there.

  130. The problem is that Trump's "colorful" comments sell newspapers. Hillary is too factual, boring, dull and sensible. Not a seller. But a rational choice for president. Trump is a good choice for court jester.

  131. Somehow the majority of media air time will be spent reminising about Monica Lewinsky and cigars. When Trump starts on Bill Clinton and woman could the media pleas say we've done that and we've got the tee shirt and then talk about economics. Please. I know this isn't truly my business but NAFTA was hard on Canada in the beginning but we adapted and threats to start over are too awful to imagine.

  132. We can all safely hold our collective breath until Mr. Trump's next 3:00 AM sleep-tweet when he will reveal a more sustainable plan to address the nation's growing infrastructure degradation, all within Twitter's 140 character limit.

    www.endthemadnessnow.org

  133. Hail the latest GOP financial illusion conjured by the Whizzzz-erds of self-serving delusion. Supply-Side Zombies lurch through the Land: Wall Street Wise Guys. Madoff Made Men. Tweetie Bird Donald - our new Bald Eagle. And you can be sure that any financial horror they manage to implement, Donnie Boy will come out A Winner!

  134. I heard a comedian the other day comparing Trump to a seventh grade boy and it would have been hilarious except for the fact that it was so startlingly spot on.

    And he went on to compare Trump's campaign promises to those of a seventh grade boy running for President of his class - you know, two lunches every day and free soda machines in every classroom.

    He knows he can't deliver on these "changes". The rest of the kids know he can't deliver, too. But they like the fact that he had the hubris to stand up there in front of the teachers and administrators and promise he would do it. With a straight face. And he was sure a lot more fun to listen to than the girl with the glasses who always busted the curve - and made more realistic campaign promises that the teachers smiled at - and she might actually get done..

    Do they press him on how he'll pay for the lunches and sodas? How he'll get the School Board to ok his plans? What part of the curriculum will be dropped to allow for two lunch periods? Don't be silly. They'll slap him on the back - tell him how great he his - and talk about how stupid and ugly she looks with those thick glasses.

    Seventh grade - it was a tough time for smart girls with glasses. But wait 'til she grows up. The boy never did. It worked alright back then, didn't it?

  135. Yes but who are the teachers in this metaphor? The billionaires. They smile at Clinton's proposals, because they know the one's that will actually get done are the one's that make them richer. They don't want Trump because they are afraid that if one of them gets the presidency he will use it to increase his power at their expense. So they get their neocon warhawks to back Clinton, who will take their money and get things done for them.
    Look at Bill Clinton's actual accomplishments. It was a billionaire wish list. Cut welfare, cut regulations on global banking, increase mass incarceration and funding for the war on drugs, which has now morphed into the war on terror.
    Just like Obama, Clinton will complain that the Republicans won't let them do anything. But will they organize mass protests to get their supreme court nominee through? Of course not. The democrats don;t believe in the power of the people. The believe in the power of the well connected. Tha's why she spent August in the Hamptons.
    And if Trump gets elected, will they block his supreme court nominations? Of course not. That would be rude.
    No wonder the teachers are smiling.

  136. If one looks at the states that vote Republican one finds that many of them are 20-30% black (and have substantial Hispanic populations). President Obama needs to use his organizer and chief skills and identity collateral pulling all of those states into the Democratic fold. Trump's loss needs to be a crushing denunciation of his smarmy, robber-baron capitalism. Get to work POTUS!

  137. Readers. NYT. Why do we waste time with analysis and facts? There is only one truth we need to know: Donald J. Trump is a disgraceful excuse for a presidential nominee, which makes the Republican Party deplorable.

    The evidence that Mr. Trump is unfit to be president is a boiling sea of witches brew submerging America, causing most--the sane--to choke, while some thirstily drink the foul brew.

  138. Because., while Trump is obviously a lying thief, the evidence and facts show that Clinton works for his colleagues, the other billionaires. Tat is why she puts forth a token increase in infrastructure spending.

  139. Wouldn't it have been great if all those "Deficit Hawks", gorging on pork barrel, had given President Barack Obama the full Fiscal Stimulus Package that he had requested, back in early 2009. With interest rates where they are, Fiscal, not Monetary, Stimulus would increase jobs, expand the Infrastructure and, perhaps, we could reduce these Infrastructure Nightmares: Amtrak derailment outside Philadelphia; freight train in L. A. Area, bridge in Minneapolis and, now, this week's catastrophe at the Hoboken, N. J. station.

    Just thing of the volume of passengers and freight that traverse our Northeast Corridor--between Washington and Boston, on a daily basis. Much of that passes through tunnels, under the Hudson River (between NY and NJ), which are over 100 years old.

    Cleaning-up the Hoboken Station--although a piece of cake for first responders, engineers and work crews--would be much, much more devastating if those crews had to go several miles, through tunnels, to get to the crash scene. Additionally, that important artery might be shut-down for months.

    https://thetruthoncommonsense.com

  140. Trump doesn't think so bigly good.

  141. I think he was trying to say "big league". Either way, he's an abominable candidate for anything BUT a reality tv show (emphasis on tv show).

  142. Click on "has proposed" and you will read that Trump's proposal includes cuts of 29% to programs he has said he would improve, such as border security, child care and infrastructure. And these cuts would only pay for one-fifth of his tax cut for the wealthy. The remaining four-fifths is supposed to be made up by a growth level the economy hasn't experienced in the past 50 years. So, it won't happen - just like we've seen recently in the fiscal disaster when the Governor and legislature of Kansas did the same thing - massive tax cuts, spending cuts and assumed growth would make up the difference.

  143. The Times says that Trump's target GDP growth rate of 4% could not be attained without massive immigration. Of course this rate is dubious on several grounds, but if more workers are needed to increase GDP it would probably be best to get them from the current population. The employment rate for prime age (15-64) has fallen by more than 5% since 2000:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LREM64TTUSM156S

    If the peak rate could be recovered, this would mean an addition to the work force of at least 10 million.

    Using the current work force rather than immigrants to increase production would mean an increase in per capita production. Why exactly would it be desirable to increase total production by immigration if it does not increase the amount of goods available to each person? Immigration would have the advantage to big corporations and employers in general of reducing wages, since immigrants are generally willing to work for much less than natives. There is an obvious and strong class bias in the Times' suggestion.

  144. I agree that the editorial didn't make it clear why immigrants would be a necessary part of Trump's equation.

    I believe that the answer was raised in an article earlier this week. A diminishing birth rate and aging population means that there would not be enough bodies for the 25 million new jobs that Trump''s plan requires.

  145. It is an economic fallacy of the highest order that "there will not be enough workers". That is pure nonsense.

    By the way, Trump is not against immigration ... as far as I can tell he is against illegal immigration.

  146. Paying for infrastructure doesn't require taking the money from elsewhere. What it requires is a tax system that is more efficient and effective. As a percentage of GDP, U.S. tax revenues are among the lowest relative to other developed economies. Yes, that's correct: tax revenues need to rise, not be reduced. That's the reality of a truly modern, wealthy society.

    Eclectic Pragmatist — http://eclectic-pragmatist.tumblr.com/
    Eclectic Pragmatist — https://medium.com/eclectic-pragmatism

  147. The problem isn't Trump's infrastructure plan per se, it's his tax cut policy.

    As for the comment that foreigners would buy U.S. infrastructure bonds: the bond market is global. Foreigners would buy U.S. debt under a Clinton presidency, too.

    That said, an infrastructure program could be financed through savings bonds sold to the American public, much as Victory Bonds financed World War II.

    Another approach, already embodied in bipartisan legislation before the House and Senate, is the Rebuild America Act, which would repatriate overseas profits at a favorable tax rate if a percentage were invested long-term in an infrastructure bank.

    It is appropriate to criticize Donald Trump's tax cut plan. His infrastructure plan: not so much.

  148. Anetliner--Trump is accustomed to never paying for anything (not his contracts, not his employees, not his taxes, not his advertising,) so he probably thinks things get done magically, but has no idea how they get paid for. If you believe in magic, Trump is the "man" for you.

  149. Borrowing money to spend on infrastructure makes sense, even if it increases the deficit and adds to national debt. That, and spending money on education in a similar way also make sense, except that when you build a bridge or an airport you have a bridge or an airport, but when our government spends money on education it is largely wasted by the education bureaucracy complex - sadly, little of it actually improves education. Privatizing education would fix that, because competition cures all ills and monopoly creates an ill every day. (Yeah, I know, I must be a right wing extremist for pointing out that truth).

    Infrastructure and education are the two things that have a long term positive effect on productivity, which means a better standard of living for every citizen. If the next president focused on just those two, plus security for this country's citizens, the rest can wait. To be more precise, do not provoke culture wars over secondary issues (yes, secondary) like SCOTUS, Roe, Citizens United, sexual identity, race, marriage, health care, and global warming (among others) - you will alienate most of the people you need to work with.

    A wise person sticks with a handful, a very small handful, of attainable clearly stated objectives that have maximum impact. Transgender bathrooms, as laudable a goal as non-discrimination is, are not it. The president has little time.

  150. While I agree that taxes spent on education are largely "...wasted by the education bureaucracy..." I don't agree that privatizing education is the answer on such a large scale, nor have I seen any proof of this. On the other hand there is evidence that privatizing public needs that encompass a broad spectrum of diverse populations such as prisons or health care satisfy the profit needs of the private company awarded the contracts while diminishing the overall needs of the public. Corporations are bureaucracies too.

  151. I chuckled when I read this. The NY Times advocating for paying for stuff. You almost can't make this up.

    Last I looked the economy isn't growing and long term borrowing cost for our government is about as low as it can possibly go. With infrastructure we actually have something after the debt comes due. It actually makes sense to borrow money to build stuff that will outlast the interest and borrowing.

    When was the last time you heard a Democrat who wants to raise taxes actually tie it to a budget? Both parties continue to talk about taxes in a vacuum as if they had nothing to do with revenue or spending. The reality is without knowing where our economy is going tax schemes, any tax scheme is highly unreliable for predicting revenue.

    Lets see the budgets as a package and then argue about whats a reasonable deficit and what's a reasonable amount to borrow. I suspect both depend on the strength or weakness of private sector growth. There may be times when the government should be spending and their may be times when the government should pull back. I suspect we have squandered a long period of very low long term interest rates to build things that will serve society for a very long time. This is the kind of thinking that has held us back.

  152. History shows that most of the U.S. infrastructure is either privately owned (e.g., the electrical grid, railroads) or built by the separate states. The Interstate highway system was built by providing "federal" tax money to the separate states, who actually contracted for construction of the roads and bridges it comprises. This seems to me the proper paradigm for rebuilding the infrastructure, whether we're talking about sewer and water systems or highways.

  153. Wouldn't it be remarkable, refreshing if either candidate in this sordid, endless campaign said that 1) we all know that the nation's transportation infrastructure is dangerously crumbling from age and lack of maintenance, and 2) therefore, we need to add pennies per gallon to the federal gas tax to build up a fund to maintain our transportation infrastructure? Is this nation so afraid of proposing a needed, directed tax that neither Party's candidate can even utter the words while our roads, bridges, and airports fall apart?

    Evidently, we now have an answer to this question. In New Jersey, a fatal train accident was just too, too much and forced Gov. Christie's hand yesterday to immediately increase a state tax on gasoline. So, all we need is the appropriate disasters at the federal level to get some action. It shouldn't be too long then, even if Clinton or Trump are afraid that their supporters are unable to understand its need at this moment.

  154. I'm not familiar with the Wharton School of Business but I have to wonder whether Trump's proposal reflects the efforts of an "D" term paper, at best. Perhaps we should be demanding his college transcripts.

    Note to Clinton Campaign: Trump's people are effectively selling "we're going to cut taxes, she's going to raise taxes". The middle class is not hearing the part that it's the rich who face tax increases. Time to stop bashing Trump and effectively deal with getting your economic plan/message in front of Trump-voters.

  155. Is anyone surprised? If only the problem could be described and solved in Tweets. Clearly even with the help of staff Mr. Trump has difficulty understanding, let alone mastering, longer format discussions. Worse, he doesn't see the need.

  156. When the NYT can't blame a policy it has advocated since the start of Great Recession, that is borrowing money at this low interest rates for rebuilding infrastructure, with mr. Krugman in the first line, then it blames mr. Trump for proposing it.

    Now, if a policy is good, let it be. If it's bad argue why it should be never applied.

    Currently, mr. Trump proposal would add up to a *projected* deficit's increase. However even if mr. Obama would have passed it with the Congress approval, it would had added debt too. Maybe the only valid opposition could have been that interest rates have increased, and will probably increase before the plan to borrow money for infrastructure could be expedited. That of course will have explained also why mr. Trump attacked mrs. Yellen as a political actor in the last debate. But of course that would have made mr. Trump looks not so bad at the post-debate analysis.

    Now to be fair the NYT should had specify also the consequences of mrs. Rodham Clinton's plan, how the creation of an infrastructure bank under federal oversight, that is under some appointee by mrs. Clinton, could be another way for financial districts to get back in the game.

    And how this bank could effectively offset the estimated cost of 1 trillion dollar, better than mr. Trump's almost double amount under his plan.
    Unless the NYT is more interested in budget spending in administration's years and cut spending in election years, which will be very a peculiar attitude.

  157. The Editorial Board has missed the forest for the trees. A logical funding flaw is not a big deal during a campaign. What is a big deal is that both candidates favor increased infrastructure funding. If their parties are behind them, then major infrastructure funding is a done deal, which is a huge step forward.

  158. "Donald Trump, by contrast, has said he would simply borrow several hundred billion dollars to 'at least double' the amount that Mrs. Clinton proposes to spend."

    Massive tax cuts and "borrow and spend" are recipes for disaster, as we all should know from recent history.

    Trump has used the "borrow and spend" strategy and has declared bankruptcy when things didn't work out. The nation, however, cannot afford to declare bankruptcy.

  159. It is pretty clear from this that he has failed to learn much from his prior bankruptcy situations. I don't think we should hand him the keys to the US Treasury to hone his financial skills any further. A sign of intelligence is being able to learn from past experience. Not seeing that here.

  160. Not paying his taxes, believing that makes him smart. Saying that to 100 Million Americans on national TV. While at the same time trashing our fraying infrastructure?

    That's like stiffing the contractors who will put on the new roof your bank says must be fixed if you want a mortgage.

    But Don would convince the bank that he can fix the roof and his building will be a yuge success!

    Afterward, he would declare bankruptcy and make the bank take a haircut?

    But that's not gonna work with the national debt. And Don (and his sycophants) are willfully too ignorant to understand that.

    A pony. And pie in the sky. For all Donny Boy voters!

  161. Why would anyone think Trump's interest in infrastructure is any less or greater than his interest in other vital issues, which is zero. Trump's only interest in in self-aggrandizement, in putting down anyone who is not a sycophant, in tweeting his venom the moment his fragile ego is nicked. His hokey slogan, "Make America Great Again" should be "Make Trump President So He Can Destroy the Country."

  162. While The Editorial Board does not discuss it, very few people or businesses pay for long-term assets out of current in earnings. There is no reason why a bridge that will last decades needs to be paid out of current tax revenues. For the same reasons, very few of us would buy a home and pay all cash for it. Most of us would take out a mortgage, and, for many of us, that mortgage would run for 30 years. It is a closer question when you are buying a car that you intend to keep for only a few years, but, even then, many of us would lease the car or finance it.

    We have wasted many opportunities over the last eight years or so. Interest rates have been historically low, and had governments borrowed more money to build new infrastructure and improve existing infrastructure, we would also have gotten the impact of all the employment this would have caused.

    Trump is taking a business approach. Properly handled, it should work quite well. The Editorial Board sounds like it knows nothing about business. It does demonstrate, however, that it has a profound dislike for Trump. The Editorial Board does recognize one reality, however. We desperately need new and better infrastructure and existing infrastructure is often in serious need of repair. We have to start working on that without delay.

  163. Speaking of business acumen, I take it that you have no monthly mortgage payements?

  164. The way I see this being played out is Christie gets convicted for Bridgegate, gets sent to a federal penitentiary for 3-4 years, is immediately pardoned by President Trump before he serves a day and then is appointed U.S. Attorney General by him, where among other things he will be responsible for prosecuting corruption in government and the bridge building industry.

    And all the while, Trump’s supporters are loving it.

    Trump will not run again in 2020, because of his need to make more money on account of the fact that Melania is always buying stuff and his highly overrated kids have run Trump Tower into the ground and the banks are calling in his loans.

    By this time, bridges, roads, dams, water treatment facilities and nuclear power plants are collapsing all across the country, and Christie runs for President promising to fix all the stuff that Obama failed to repair because he was weak and sick and never was a real American.

    Kellyanne Conway is his choice for Vice President.

    They win in a landslide over Michael Bloomberg and Chelsea Clinton whom they brands as crooks and liars because of the money they stole from their charitable foundations.

    Sounds pretty much on target, doesn’t it?

    Who says America needs to be made great again? Aren’t we already the greatest, saddest, most awful carnival act that ever was?

  165. You're going to give me nightmares!

  166. Trump just mimics the very familiar fifty year old republican “supply-side” tax-spend formula: cut taxes on high wealth incomes, slow down federal borrowing, and cut federal spending on national interests, such as maintaining infrastructure.
    The corrolary of this formula is highly predictable: a slow national economy and an increasing population wealth gap. Just more republican economic voodoo as President George H. W. Bush pointed out at the end of the Reagan years.

  167. Trump is a unelectable man with facially-appealing but fundamentally bad ideas. He has jammed our information super highway with vast quantity of nonsense. And his greatest crime is the reintroduction of sewer politics in America. I cannot wait until November to see this man being soundly defeated and disappeared from the mass media.

  168. Infrastructure? What does that have to do with our congresspeople or the rich? They don't rely on it (VIP lounges in Airports, private jets, helicopters to the Hamptons, bottled water, etc.).

    And about the 40% of the dolts who Rump just don't see that the joke will be on them. If he is elected president, they'll be the ones like the bride waiting on the church steps looking for her no-show bridegroom, who found a richer, younger and skinnier bride and skipped town.

  169. I notice in the banner across the top of my on line subscription that there are 7 Trump-related articles and one Hillary related article. Even when the Trump articles are mostly negative he receives coverage for virtually anything he spouts. The operative words here are that "...he receives coverage." In the week since the debates I've probably read 5 articles in the NYT reporting on how Mr. Trump is going to get rougher with Bill Clinton's infidelities. I don't understand why this is news even once...but to be repeated 5-times or so lends a lot of credence to the oft-repeated theory that major news medias such as the NYT are interested primarily in using Mr. Trump to sell papers. This is not a service to the readers or the electorate. If he is elected, you guys are going to have to own this.

  170. Does anyone get it that Trump is insane?

  171. That's really unfair. He could be intensely stupid and ignorant. Or he could just be spreading manure around for the suckers, and really only innarested in massive tax and regulation cuts for the wealthiest.

  172. YES!! The puzzle is: How come so many don't.

  173. Four decades now of this top-down economic excrement that spews from the mouths of the intellectually challenged and still---STILL---almost half of this country continues to have its head buried in the sand. This is a---and I can hardly even make myself say it----a "movement???" REALLY?

    The only "movement" this represents is the continued backward decline and complete decimation of the U.S. as we knew it, that began with the Reagan-inspired plutocracy/theocracy that is now our "system." This essay wouldn't even be appearing in NYT this weekend were it not for the abstract economic philosophies and "strategies' of the past 40 years that have abandoned local investment. And no, it's not that we're now a welfare state that a few, in the their unending wisdom and brilliance, have postulated already in this forum. We---WE----continue to pump ungodly amounts of money into a military infrastructure, for example (the ONLY American infrastructure that ever gets any attention), that's still geared for the conventional front-line/naval warfare of WWII. Yet, we're STILL brought to our knees by a few thousand Islamic extremists with guns and grenades, while our bridges literally collapse into the Mississippi (note I'm from Minneapolis---35W collapse, 2007).

    Someone, ANYONE, please explain how this year's Clowned Prince of the Establishment Party represents any sort of anti-establishment "movement." We have yet to hear an adequate answer to the question.

  174. We may be shrieking and running around in circles much too much, but we're hardly on our knees.

  175. It doesn't matter what Trump's plan is. This paper is going to make sure Hillary's is better whether it is or not. This woman has done NOTHING while in office aside from lie cheat and steal. Our democracy is now on track to be destroyed. Do you seriously want her to finish us off? Do you seriously want the UN running your country so Obama can get back in and run the UN? What is wrong with the people of this country?

  176. Any sane person would rather have Clinton or Obama running this country than Trump.

  177. I do know what is wrong with Trump supporters. They beleive a dishonest businessman with multiple bankrupties can manage this country. They believe that minorities are favored over whites. They believe that women are inferior to men. They believe in the Black helicopters if the UN taking over our country. They believe that the rich will take care of us. They don't believe in pollution. That is why so many believe in Tump.

  178. Exactly why would that be? We've already seen what she has done TO our country without holding the office. Time for fresh blood. I would say the same about anyone that votes for her.

  179. It's hard to believe there could be any flaw in any plan conceived by The Donald. Are you sure you got the right Trump? The Right Wingnut job? The racist, chauvinist pig, odious uncouth blowhard billionaire who loves all things gold-plated with his name on it. That guy? You've got to be joking.

    That's not the Trump I know. I'm a poorly educated white working class slob. I know the Trump running for president, the guy who "tells it like it is". I'll admit sometimes he's a bit impolite. That's because he's not Politically Correct, like all those other politicians, who lie and get nothing done. The Donald is going to fix all that. He promises to bring back coal mining, the steel industry, all the old manufacturing jobs that went to China, a country he says is the root of all our problems.

    The Donald is going to read the riot act to China, and Russia, and North Korea, and Iran. He's on good terms with Putin and admires his "strength" and "Stamina". Putin's got "Stamina", unlike Crooked Hillary. Hillary has no "Stamina". Trump made that clear in his crushing Monday night debate with Hillary. He pulled in big numbers that night. He killed, and destroyed Hillary.

    As for Hillary sneaking in that thing about the huge beauty queen at the end, trying to zing The Donald, well, as you saw this past week, Trump wasn't fooled or flummoxed for a minute. He's stayed up all week, day and night, tweeting his tremendous replies. He's winning again. That's The Donald I know.

    DD
    Manhattan

  180. Dear Trump supporters. Please give consideration that everything he is proposing is going to end up working against you. The rich will be richer and you poorer. His entire makeup is to treat the average Joe as a sucker. If not paying his bills to the average small business and then proclaiming that it will cost you more to sue me surely should give you pause. Who's interest is this man looking to satisfy?