Trump’s infrastructure promises, explained

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In these divisive times, voters and politicians seem to agree on at least one thing: Our nation’s infrastructure is desperately in need of major upgrades, said Andy Uhler at Marketplace. “In fact, it was one of the first things President-elect Trump mentioned in his victory speech,” echoing earlier pledges on the campaign trail to invest as much as $1 trillion rebuilding U.S. highways, airports, and schools. The specifics, however, are murky. Who foots the bill and what projects get priority “are just a few of the details the Trump team has to work out.” Trump’s promise to refurbish crumbling U.S. infrastructure is a big reason behind the stock market’s post-election rally, said Paul Davidson at USA Today. His advisers have laid out a rough blueprint centered on public-private partnerships, which theoretically “would add nothing to the deficit.” That program, says Team Trump, would generate up to $1 trillion worth of investment over 10 years, creating 3.3 million jobs.

“The catch, though, is that Trump doesn’t really have a plan to do all this,” said Brad Plumer at Vox. At least not a conventional one. Right now, the idea is to offer some $137 billion in tax breaks to private investors who want to finance toll roads and bridges or other revenue-generating projects. The problem is, if every project needs to make a profit for its investors, a lot of pressing infrastructure needs won’t get funded. The monetized approach likely won’t work for repairing existing roads or replacing aging pipes in poor communities like Flint, Michigan, “where people can’t afford a big hike in their water bills.” Those projects require billions of dollars in direct public funding, which is a non-starter with …read more

Source:: The Week – Business

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