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Title: Where Is Trump's Infrastructure Plan?
Source: Vice
URL Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... -is-trumps-infrastructure-plan
Published: Dec 8, 2017
Author: Mark Hay
Post Date: 2017-12-08 17:51:53 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 276
Comments: 29

He promised one within 100 days
of taking office. It's now day 322.

Infrastructure was essential to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. His enthusiasm for a $1 trillion building plan to overhaul America’s roads, bridges, and other vital facilities set him apart from his spending-shy Republican opponents, and the idea was also popular with voters. Last November, just after his electoral victory, he promised to have an infrastructure bill before Congress in his first 100 days in office. In a February speech to Congress, he reaffirmed his commitment to fast action on infrastructure.

But 100 days in, Trump had yet to release even a rough draft of his infrastructure plan. In May, the White House slipped a vague six-page sketch of a plan into its 2018 budget proposal, with little fanfare, and promised there'd be a full plan ready to go sometime in the fall. There’s been little visible action since, even as that deadline has come and gone. Just this Thursday, the White House promised that it would release a 70-page plan—still not a full bill, but a template Congress could use to create legislation—before Trump’s first State of the Union speech on January 30, 2018.

By now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump would hype up plans that don’t exist or propose timelines he can’t keep. “The administration has eliminated our ability to give them the benefit of the doubt” on timing, said Adie Tomer, an infrastructure expert at the Brookings Institute, by using “really bombastic language” but failing to act on it. Trump has taken some action on most of his other key priorities and 100-day promises, even if that action has been largely delayed, dysfunctional, or doomed. So where’s his infrastructure plan?

The common narrative is that infrastructure just got lost in the scrum of the failed effort to kill the Affordable Care Act and the ongoing slog to pass tax cuts. “As often happens, this long-term problem that requires a huge allocation of funding to make a difference takes a back seat to more politically immediate priorities,” said infrastructure policy wonk Joel Moser.

That, the narrative goes, was a hugely consequential decision. “Had they started with infrastructure,” said Marcia Hale of the bipartisan infrastructure advocacy group Building America’s Future, “we might be in a very different place with our politics.” Theoretically at least, it would have been a much easier legislative lift that might have drawn in Democratic support, proving that Trump could cut deals on Capitol Hill and get things done.

But, said Jacob Leibenluft of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “to say that this is an issue of being distracted by health and tax reform lets them off the hook a bit.”

It’s unlikely the administration had enough of a solid plan to move on infrastructure earlier this year. Trump tapped a couple of Manhattan real estate developers in January to form a council to help his team figure out where to direct infrastructure spending. But he didn’t actually form the council until mid-July, and dissolved it a month later during his post-Charlottesville meltdown. Steve Bannon, the person in the White House who was most publicly supportive of infrastructure spending, was fired in August.

The six-page sketch his team released in May focused on using $200 billion, from an unspecified source, to spur the development of $800 billion in private-public partnerships (PPPs), although it gave little detail on how that would be done. But in September, Trump bashed PPPs as impractical for funding many types of infrastructure projects on the same day that the White House’s key infrastructure guy, D.J. Gribbin, was touting them as the backbone of the administration’s plan at another event. Observers were not sure if Trump’s comments reflected a policy change or were just an offhand and unofficial rant. But it added to a months-long aura of uncertainty.

“The fact that there’s no indication, almost a year into this presidency, that there’s been even a serious attempt at an infrastructure plan, I think, is telling,” said Leibenluft.



Republican leaders in Congress also made it clear at the top of 2017 that infrastructure wasn’t one of their priorities. Congress fields regular infrastructure bills, pointed out Tomer, and the GOP is never hot on the large spending they entail. So there was no incentive for the Republican-led legislature to push more infrastructure unless the administration was pushing them to do so. Even that pressure could only go so far. But if the Trump administration started the year with no clear ideas, said Tomer: “It’s like someone being at a dinner party and saying, ‘So what does everyone think about this thing? But I’m not going to tell you what I think.’ So it got dismissed.”

In recent weeks, the White House has tried to project more certainty on infrastructure, teasing elements of its 70-page plan. As of this week, officials have explained it focuses on using $200 billion to incentivize states and localities to come up with new funding sources, including deals with private entities. The $200 billion will also be used to provide block grants for projects in rural areas that might have trouble generating revenue, federal lending, and funding for innovative projects. Ideally this would lead to a total of $1 billion in infrastructure spending. This plan is more fleshed out than May’s plan, and quite different. “The administration’s done a lot more work on this than they’re getting credit for,” argued Hale. “They know what they want now.”

But few outside of the administration know the full details of this plan, leaving the public and many legislators with a slew of questions: How will those incentives work? What will the balance between these elements be? And where will that $200 billion in baseline federal funding come from? “Until you see it,” noted Tomer, “it’s easy to make changes. So until I see it, I really don’t know what you’re going to propose.”

Simultaneously, it’s become clear how little effort the administration has made to harmonize its other priorities with any potential infrastructure plan. Trump’s proposed budget would have cut, by some estimates, $55 billion more in funding for infrastructure than the $200 billion boost he’s proposed. Congress largely ignored that budget plan, but the disconnect was a bad sign.

Trump could have used his tax bill to carve out infrastructure funding; he backed a longstanding plan to use a tax on repatriated corporate funds, now idling abroad, for it as late as October. This would have smoothed over conservative concerns about spending and could have been a selling point for the tax bill, noted Leibenluft. But the White House apparently didn’t even try to marry the two bills. Instead the House tax bill contains a provision that would start taxing a type of bond that’s vital to many private-public partnerships. Both chambers’ bills, by reducing or eliminating state and local tax deductions, could lead states to decrease their taxes, shrinking a key source of revenue the current infrastructure plan wants to see increase.

“You want to do infrastructure and you want states and localities to take on a larger amount of responsibility,” said Hale. “But then you’re taking some of the tools away from them that they use to be able to do what they do presently, let alone what is going to be asked of them.”

The administration may insist it will start working on infrastructure as soon as it’s done with taxes, but don’t hold your breath. Trump has also said he wants to work on healthcare and welfare reform early next year, and Congress will likely be dealing with a funding battle in January. “There are probably 1 million things that could dislodge any proposed legislative vehicle,” or scuttle any timeline, said Hale.

Even if the White House does release a full plan in January and puts real pressure on Congress to act on it, there’s no reason to think a “switch is going to flip,” as Leibenluft put it, that would result in serious legislative action. After passing disaster relief bills and a tax plan that add massively to the national deficit, and with no clear source of funding in sight, Republicans will have even less incentive to move on infrastructure than they did in early 2017.

Trump could lean on the Democrats for a bipartisan bill. But there’s not much in his sketches, said Leibenluft, that would appeal to them “They haven’t put out ideas that are going to appeal to Republicans, who might resist putting in the resources necessary,” he told me. “And they’ve resisted proposals by Democrats.”

Even if, somehow, a bipartisan congressional coalition does form (and it’s unclear why one would), there’s no reason to think it’d pick up on whatever Trump’s final plan is. This means whatever Trump has in the works may be moot.

So will we ever get a Trump infrastructure plan? Perhaps in January. Or not. But even if we do, infrastructure is hardly as easy and unifying a cause as people made it out to be in the aftermath of Trump’s shocking win. At this point, says Leibenluft, it’s unclear if it “will ever become anything but a talking point.”

“My personal feeling,” said Tomer, “is that the clock runs out on this Congress to do something.”


Poster Comment:

And how's that Border Wall coming along?

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TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

Republican leaders in Congress also made it clear at the top of 2017 that infrastructure wasn’t one of their priorities.

Infrastructure, border wall and repealing Obamacare are all the same place: blocked by the Republican Party in Congress.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-12-08   18:41:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Vicomte13, *The Two Parties ARE the Same*, Deep State Don (#1)

blocked by the Republican Party

That's a load of Steer Manure!

The Dream Students still have sanctuary, and the debt ceiling continues to be raised to accommodate the Military Industrial Complex (Deep State), and those are the main things that the D&R party cares about.

hondo68  posted on  2017-12-08   19:14:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Willie Green (#0) (Edited)

And how's that Border Wall coming along?

The border wall is Trump's infrastructure plan, with that blocked he may lack the will to tackle something more difficult. Perhaps after he has had his medical examination and he has dealt with rocket man and the crisis he caused in the middle east he will have time to consider it, but remember there are tax incentives for business to invest in all manner of projects

He is just not getting enough golf to relax

paraclete  posted on  2017-12-09   7:27:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Willie Green (#0)

Why bother asking when you don't really care?

This is just one tool for you to use to use to try to beat Trump over the head.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-12-09   9:23:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Infrastructure, border wall and repealing Obamacare are all the same place: blocked by the Republican Party in Congress.

ALLEGED Republican Party in Congress.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-12-09   9:23:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: hondo68 (#2)

blocked by the Republican Party

That's a load of Steer Manure!

The Dream Students still have sanctuary, and the debt ceiling continues to be raised to accommodate the Military Industrial Complex (Deep State), and those are the main things that the D&R party cares about.

That's a damn shame,and to think YOU worked so hard to support Trump by writing and calling your reps and demanding they vote for his agenda!

If Trump were to get what he wants it would make you suicidal.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-12-09   9:26:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: paraclete (#3)

Liar what crisis did Trump the Great cause?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-12-09   9:35:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: sneakypete (#4)

This is just one tool for you to use to use to try to beat Trump over the head.

You're just pissed because I told you before he was elected that he wasn't gonna keep any of his promises.

Willie Green  posted on  2017-12-09   9:37:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Willie Green (#0)

Federal infrastructure spending is a Democrat program. They love to spread those federal billions around to their friends to get votes.

F**k 'em. They won't work with Trump? Then no money.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   9:38:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: misterwhite (#9)

Federal infrastructure spending is a Democrat program

Exactly. Fuck the bleeding heart tree hugging WEAK snowflakes. That includes the hates whitey, Willie the potato Green.

Let the Snowflakes spend THEIR OWN MONEY on what makes them survive without a safe space room or screaming towards the sky.

We aren't all equal. We never were. We need the rich, middle class AND THE FILTHY POOR.

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-12-09   9:54:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: misterwhite (#9)

Federal infrastructure spending is a Democrat program.

Baloney... The Interstate Highway System was IKE's idea.

Willie Green  posted on  2017-12-09   10:25:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: misterwhite (#9)

There is nothing wrong with bridges and roads. It is in the countries interest to keep them up.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-12-09   10:51:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: A K A Stone (#12)

There is nothing wrong with bridges and roads. It is in the countries interest to keep them up.

Obama was given $830 billion by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the Stimulus Bill). After $830 billion the bridges and roads still aren't fixed? Where'd the money go?

Exactly. No one knows. The Democrats pissed it away. And they can't wait to do it again.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   11:03:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: misterwhite (#13)

Trump isn't Obama.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-12-09   11:05:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: A K A Stone (#14)

Trump isn't Obama.

Trump needs 60 votes. There'll be a price to pay the Democrats to get them. And don't think the Republicans in Congress won't piss the money away.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   11:11:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: misterwhite (#13)

After $830 billion the bridges and roads still aren't fixed? Where'd the money go?

You're misrepresenting The ARRA -

Consider :

President Barack Obama outlined the economic stimulus package during his 2008 campaign. Congress approved the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009.

The economic stimulus package ended the Great Recession by spurring consumer spending. It's goal was to save between 900,000 to 2.3 million jobs. Most important, it instilled the confidence needed to boost economic growth.

It also aimed to restore trust in the finance industry by limiting bonuses for senior executives in companies that received TARP funds. (Sources: "Letter to Senator Grassley," Congressional Budget Office, March 2, 2009. Recovery.gov)

How It Worked ARRA had three spending categories. It cut taxes by $288 billion. It spent $224 billion in extended unemployment benefits, education and health care. It created jobs by allocating $275 billion in federal contracts, grants, and loans.

Congress designed the Act to spend $720 billion, or 91.5 percent, in its first three fiscal years. It allocated $185 billion in FY 2009, $400 billion in FY 2010 and $135 billion in FY 2011.

The Obama administration did better than planned. By the end of FY 2009, it spent $241.9 billion. Of that, it spent $92.8 billion in tax relief, $86.5 billion in unemployment and other benefits and $62.6 billion in job creation grants.

In the FY 2012 budget, the Congress allocated additional funding to raise the total to $840 billion. By December 31, 2013, the administration spent $816.3 billion. Of that, it spent $290.7 billion in tax relief, $264.4 billion in benefits, and $261.2 billion in contracts, grants and loans. (Source: Recovery.gov.)

Was It a Success? Many critics pointed out that Obama's stimulus package did not succeed because the economy contracted 2.8 percent in 2009. The Congressional Budget Office projected ARRA would stimulate GDP growth by 1.4 percent to 3.8 percent that year. That meant growth in gross domestic product would be 1.4 percent to 3.8 percent better than if Congress did nothing.

In fact, the CBO projected the economy would contract 3 percent for 2009. That's because it had already contracted 5.4 percent the first quarter, and 0.5 percent in the second. The Dow had fallen to 6,594.44 on March 5, 2009. By Q4 2009, GDP was up 3.9 percent, and the Dow had risen to 10,428. By 2010, the economy expanded 2.5 percent.

The economic stimulus bill was supposed to save 900,000-2.3 million jobs. As of October 30, 2009, it saved 640,329 jobs. (This is the most recent report. The Recovery Board stopped estimating job creation after that.)

Not all of that success was thanks to the Stimulus Package. Expansive monetary policy and active emerging markets boosted global growth. But by March 2009, monetary policy had done all it could. It was evident more fiscal policy was needed. No doubt, the economic stimulus package inspired the confidence needed to turn the economy around.

Once in office, Obama realized he needed to increase the fiscal stimulus from the $190 billion plan he proposed in his campaign. Some components of his campaign plan, such as enacting a foreclosure moratorium, had already been implemented by Fannie Mae. Others, such as eliminating taxes on seniors making up to $50,000, were still part of Obama's economic agenda elsewhere.

Obama's biggest challenge was to create enough of a stimulus to soften the recession, but not big enough to raise further doubts about the ballooning U.S. debt. Unfortunately, the plan was blamed for doing both -- failing to reduce unemployment below 9 percent, and adding to the debt. Even so, the stimulus plan was not condemned as much as health care reform, Medicare, and Medicaid for the debt.

How Well Did Each of the Three Components Work? Obama's tax rebates were supposed to encourage consumer spending, but many experts doubted it.

Why? The rebates showed up as less tax withholding. Unlike the Bush tax cuts, workers did not receive checks. As a result, most people weren't aware they got a tax rebate.

The Stimulus for Small Business helped create jobs, increased lending from the SBA and community banks and reduced capital gains taxes for small business investors. The aid helped, but many states were so underwater that their losses outweighed the federal assistance.

The public works construction was probably the most well-publicized. Signs were posted wherever stimulus money was used to construct roads or public buildings. It was estimated to retain or add 3 million jobs, many of which were sorely needed in the construction industry.

https://www.thebalance.com/what-was-obama-s-stimulus-package-3305625

So it wasn't $830B for roads and bridges as a promise that all would be made to be like brand-new...right?

"we are tartets from evil doers!!!" [ and ] U looked up birfer on the dcitionary. It isn't a movie.

"Listen piece of shit. Call me anti American again and your're banned. I don't like you." - aka stoned -

Jameson  posted on  2017-12-09   11:22:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Jameson (#16)

You're attributing every economic success between 2009 and 2017 to the stimulus -- job creation, consumer spending, economic growth. Obama's policies did nothing for 8 years. It was all due to the stimulus.

Well then, that makes what Trump is doing fantastic. We have all that (and more) and we haven't spent a dime on stimulus.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   11:40:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: misterwhite (#17)

You're attributing every economic success between 2009 and 2017 to the stimulus

I am doing no such thing - I am simply pointing out that asking "where did all the money go?" is a silly question.

"we are tartets from evil doers!!!" [ and ] U looked up birfer on the dcitionary. It isn't a movie.

"Listen piece of shit. Call me anti American again and your're banned. I don't like you." - aka stoned -

Jameson  posted on  2017-12-09   11:56:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Jameson (#18)

"Former President Barack Obama thanked himself in a speech at the Chicago climate summit Tuesday, saying his administration’s policies were the reason for America’s increased job creation and economic growth.
-- "http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/06/obama-takes-credit-for-economic- recovery

See? Obama hisself is saying HE was the reason for "America’s increased job creation and economic growth."

NOT the $830 billion stimulus. Meaning the $830 billion was pissed away.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   12:15:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Jameson (#18)

I am doing no such thing

Sure does look like it. I don't see any caveats like "the stimulus increased job growth by 27%". Rather, you simply credit ALL job creation to the stimulus. Same thing with consumer spending and economic growth. The stimulus did it.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-12-09   12:22:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: misterwhite (#20)

Sure does look like it.

Yeah, look - I'm not making any point about the relative success of the ARRA - I am simply pointing out that YOU said $830B was "pissed away" and the roads and bridges are not better. and "where did the money go"?

This article points out how the ARRA money was spent. It was NOT all spent on Roads and Bridges.

"we are tartets from evil doers!!!" [ and ] U looked up birfer on the dcitionary. It isn't a movie.

"Listen piece of shit. Call me anti American again and your're banned. I don't like you." - aka stoned -

Jameson  posted on  2017-12-09   12:42:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: A K A Stone (#7)

what crisis did Trump the Great cause?

The one in Israel now, take off the blinkers

paraclete  posted on  2017-12-09   16:07:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: Willie Green (#8)

You're just pissed because I told you before he was elected that he wasn't gonna keep any of his promises.

Truthfully,I don't remember that,and wouldn't have cared. I voted for him BECAUSE HE WASN'T ONE OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS. I honestly didn't give a damn if he didn't accomplish ANYTHING he said he wanted to do,as long as he DIDN'T do anything the Bush or Clinton Klans would have done.

AND.....lo and behold,but he is actually TRYING to do what he said he was going to do while campaigning,and the only thing preventing him from doing it is the people you support doing everything they can do to prevent him from rocking their boats.

If he does nothing else other than serving as a temporary roadblock to the goals of the establishment politicians,he will have done a great thing everybody said couldn't be done.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-12-10   5:35:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: paraclete (#22)

The one in Israel now, take off the blinkers

You are either being dishonest or you are ignorant.

Did you know that the law from 1995 said that is the position of the United States and presidents have just deferred it?

Why do you think Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-12-10   17:39:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Willie Green, Trump 250 MPH Railroad (#0)

Donald Trump promised Willie a 250 MPH railroad, but what did he get .... a Taco Bowl from Trump Towers Grill?

hondo68  posted on  2017-12-10   18:15:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: A K A Stone (#24)

Why do you think Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel?

It doesn't matter what the US thinks, or what I think, If the Israeli want Jerusalem to be their capital it is a matter for them alone. The US can respond any time and set up an embassy there, it doesn't need a Trump fanfare, or the EU to endorse it, or the UN either. I think Trump was just bored, and being a bore, having to be noticed since rocket man wasn't cooperating in the war of words.

paraclete  posted on  2017-12-11   16:33:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: paraclete (#26)

It doesn't matter what the US thinks,

If that is true than tell me how Trump could have caused anything.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-12-11   20:35:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: A K A Stone (#27)

Because the Arabs (Muslims) are programmed to violently protest anything they don't like. Look at what is happening in Lebanon and Turkey, it really has nothing to do with them. Trump gave them an excuse to go ape, and they don't need much of an excuse, you only have to look at them, but Trump, wanting to distract from his problems at home, said look over there, and he got someone killed

paraclete  posted on  2017-12-11   21:23:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: sneakypete (#23)

Truthfully,I don't remember that,and wouldn't have cared. I voted for him BECAUSE HE WASN'T ONE OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS. I honestly didn't give a damn if he didn't accomplish ANYTHING he said he wanted to do,as long as he DIDN'T do anything the Bush or Clinton Klans would have done.

AND.....lo and behold,but he is actually TRYING to do what he said he was going to do while campaigning,and the only thing preventing him from doing it is the people you support doing everything they can do to prevent him from rocking their boats.

That's the most common sense I've ever seen you post. Keep up the good work. You do have the ability to somewhat think normal. All you gotta do is stop defending the pickle smoochers.

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-12-11   23:21:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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