Washington – President Trump has unveiled a $1.5 trillion plan to fix America’s cracking infrastructure. This was one of the few, if only, converging points for the otherwise polarizing 2016 election. Candidate Trump was amongst the first to bring up this issue and advocate for US tax-payer money to be funneled towards modernizing domestic infrastructure, as opposed to investing money abroad. Since, he has repeatedly blamed the “crumbling” state of the US economy on the nation’s poor roads and highways.
This will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2018
After unveiling a $4 trillion budget plan on Monday, the Trump administration has steered away from a long-standing Republican ideology of slashing the deficit. In the short-term, this means the federal deficit will rise past the $1 trillion mark.
The plan will also rely heavily on state and local governments for funding. Specifically, $200 billion of the $1.5 trillion would be federal dollars allocated from “reductions in other areas of the budget. This funding will match local spending and provide “incentives” and expand loan programs.
A major focus of this plan is to invest in rural America, which includes transportation, broadband, water, and waster/flood management systems.
What is truly amazing about this plan is the slashing of red-tape that has shackled Washington for all these years. The permitting process can take up to an astonishing 10 years today. This is seen as “fundamentally broken” by the White House, according to a senior official. The proposed plan will slash this to just about 2 years, by commissioning a single federal agency that makes decisions on such bids. This will also curb “duplicative” efforts, delays, and other problems that arise because of such timelines.
It is clear that the President is opting for an ‘addition by subtraction’ method here. Short-term, the deficit will grow, but in the long-term, positive effects on the economy will nullify the initial investment.
This will also be a test for Democrats and will be interesting to see whether they get on board with a plan that is clearly beneficial to the American people or they resort to their ‘#Resist’ banner.
Watch this space.