Saturday, June 3, 2017

Trump's Road To Ruin

So you remember Trump's "Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Plan" that was going to make America yadda yadda?  Turns out that was a massive lie too, and you're the one who will pay for it.

President Trump will lay out a vision this coming week for sharply curtailing the federal government’s funding of the nation’s infrastructure and calling upon states, cities and corporations to shoulder most of the cost of rebuilding roads, bridges, railways and waterways.

He will also endorse a plan to privatize and modernize the nation’s air-traffic control system. That plan, which is to be introduced on Monday at the White House and the subject of a major speech in the Midwest two days later, will be Mr. Trump’s first concrete explanation of how he intends to fulfill a campaign promise to lead $1 trillion in United States infrastructure projects. The goal is to create millions of jobs while doing much-needed reconstruction and updating. But the actual details of the initiative are unsettled, and a more intricate blueprint is still weeks or even months from completion.

What the president will offer instead over the coming days, his advisers said, are the contours of a plan. The federal government would make only a fractional down payment on rebuilding the nation’s aging infrastructure. Mr. Trump would rely on a combination of private industry, state and city tax money, and borrowed cash to finance the rest. It would be a stark departure from ambitious infrastructure programs of the past, in which the government played a major role and devoted substantial resources to paying the cost of large-scale projects.

“We like the template of not using taxpayer dollars to give taxpayers wins,” said Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and an architect of the infrastructure plan, in an interview Friday in his West Wing office.

His language evoked the corridors of Wall Street, where he previously worked. “We want to be in the partnership business,” Mr. Cohn said. “We want to be in the facilitation business, and we’re willing to provide capital wherever necessary to help certain infrastructure along.”

As a model for the approach, Mr. Trump plans on Monday to send a proposal to Congress for overhauling the nation’s air-traffic control system. He would spin it off into a private, nonprofit corporation that would use digital satellite-based tracking systems, rather than land-based radar, to guide flights in the United States. There would be no cost to the government, Mr. Cohn said, because a newly formed corporation would finance the entire enterprise, using loans to handle the initial costs of equipment and other needs.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cohn said, the president will travel to the banks of the Ohio River to deliver a speech about overhauling the nation’s infrastructure, including the inland waterways that are in dire need of attention.

The philosophy undergirding the speech, administration officials said, is that melding public and private forces to rebuild the nation’s physical backbone will vastly expand the resources available to pay for doing it. The concept — a discussion of which helped cement Mr. Cohn’s hiring by Mr. Trump late last year — has driven infrastructure policy in the United States for many years. But Mr. Trump is proposing a far smaller federal investment than many Republicans and Democrats have long thought is necessary.

So yeah, you'll get your roads.  And they won't cost "taxpayer dollars".  But if you plan to actually use those roads (or airlines) you'll be paying tolls, fees, and surcharges every time you drive or fly, and you'll have no choice in the matter if you want to get to where you're going.  These roads and flights have to make profits, after all.

Profits off of you and your family.

Enjoy paying by the mile, America.

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