Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scam alert: Trump's $1tn 'infrastructure plan' is a giveaway to the rich

Robert Reich, writing for The Guardian on Trump’s infrastructure scheme, says “America’s infrastructure is in dire need of investment. But nothing Trump is proposing will do anything to help.”

Here are the first few paragraphs of Reich’s opinion column:

“At a roundtable discussion with state transportation officials on Friday, Donald Trump said America’s ageing roads, bridges, railways, and water systems were being ‘scoffed at and laughed’ at. He pledged that they will once again be the envy of the world.

“This seems to be a core theme for Trump: America’s greatness depends on others envying us rather than scoffing and laughing at us.

“He said much the same thing last week when he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. ‘At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us, as a country? We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. And they won’t be. They won’t be.’

“To be sure, America is in dire need of vast investments in infrastructure. The country suffers from overflowing sewage drains, crumbling bridges, rusting railroad tracks, outworn roads, and public transportation systems rivaling those of third-world nations.

“The American Society of Civil Engineers, giving America’s overall infrastructure a grade of D-plus, says we would need to spend $3.6tn by 2020 to bring it up to par.

“The problem isn’t that we’re being laughed at. It’s that we’re spending hours in traffic jams, disrupted flights, and slow-moving trains. And we’re sacrificing billions in lost productivity, avoidable public health problems, and increased carbon emissions.

“But what Donald Trump is proposing won’t help. It’s nothing but a huge and unnecessary tax giveaway to the rich.”

 Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP
Scam alert: Trump's $1tn 'infrastructure plan' is a giveaway to the rich

By Robert Reich