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Why Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Is A Huge Scam

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Why Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Is A Huge Scam

Trump's infrastructure plan

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

Progressives might think they can find some common ground with a Trump administration over a infrastructure rebuilding plan, but don’t be fooled, Paul Krugman writes in Monday’s column. It’s just another scam, kind of like Trump University. “Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, is a white supremacist and purveyor of fake news,” Krugman opens. “But the other day, in an interview with, um, The Hollywood Reporter, he sounded for a minute like a progressive economist. ‘I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan,’ he declared. ‘With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything.'”

But Trump’s infrastructure rebuilding plan is really just a scheme to enrich a few wealthy and well-connected people, with taxpayers once again footing the bill.

Of course, it could be done the right way, with the federal government able to borrow money quite cheaply and spending money where it is truly needed, on transportation, sewage treatment, building levees, etc… But that is not what is being proposed, Krugman writes:

Instead, (the Trump team) calling for huge tax credits: billions of dollars in checks written to private companies that invest in approved projects, which they would end up owning. For example, imagine a private consortium building a toll road for $1 billion. Under the Trump plan, the consortium might borrow $800 million while putting up $200 million in equity — but it would get a tax credit of 82 percent of that sum, so that its actual outlays would only be $36 million. And any future revenue from tolls would go to the people who put up that $36 million.

There is no reason to do it this way, Krugman writes. Infrastructure should be built the way it always has been, the way the Interstate Highway System was built, with public money. “While involving private investors may create less upfront government debt than a more straightforward scheme, the eventual burden on taxpayers will be every bit as high if not higher.” Krugman points out. There is also the fact that private investors will have no interest in building infrastructure that can’t be turned into a profit center. Privatizing these public projects is a gratuitous handout to select investors, who would be aquiring public assets for “just 18 cents on the dollar, with taxpayers picking up the rest of the tab.”

The inevitable corruption in what Trump and Bannon are proposing is a feature not a bug. Krugman’s suggestion:

The Trump people could make all my suspicions look foolish by scrapping the private-investor, tax credits aspect of their proposal and offering a straightforward program of public investment. And if they were to do that, progressives should indeed work with them on that issue.

But it’s not going to happen. Cronyism and self-dealing are going to be the central theme of this administration — in fact, Mr. Trump is already meeting with foreigners to promote his business interests. And people who value their own reputations should take care to avoid any kind of association with the scams ahead.

IMAGE: The George Washington Bridge toll booths are pictured in Fort Lee, New Jersey January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri



  1. kep November 23, 2016

    More lies and deception from the liberals.

    1. Zengo November 23, 2016


      1. kep November 23, 2016


    2. Thoughtopsy November 23, 2016

      Yet you offer no counter argument.
      It’s almost like you know nothing.

      1. Oddworld November 23, 2016


    3. I Am Helpy November 23, 2016

      yes all those lies and deceptions that must exist, because the dumb fraud you bigots elected can’t possibly still be a dumb fraud

    4. Oddworld November 23, 2016

      So kep, how you feeling about your hero Trump now? In case you haven’t heard,
      he is not, I repeat, not going to have Hillary prosecuted for anything. I know that was a fantasy of your’s and your right-wing friends. That’s one promise broken, let’s see how many more will follow.

      1. kep November 23, 2016

        I’m really disappointed, but then again, I was hoping to see both Hillary and Emperor Obama tried for treason and publicly executed. Guess I can’t have everything. Liberals losing their power over America will have to do. I am worried that there may be a shortage of coloring books and playdoh for you poor frail liberals.

        1. Oddworld November 23, 2016

          Your concern is very touching kep! Don’t worry about me though, I have bigger priorities than to worry about who the POTUS is. Besides, 4 years will come and go before you know it and there’s no telling what the mood of the electorate is going to be when the time comes.

          1. kep November 23, 2016

            Hopefully, there will never be another liberal in any government position. I know. Far too much to hope for, but if wecould manage to get rid of ths liberal commies, we could get our country back

          2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 12, 2016

            Desperate attempts to sway others—You’re 0 for “N”, where N is > 100.

        2. charleo1 November 24, 2016

          So ISSL I imagine was really disappointed. And those haters over at Al Qaeda, I’m sure were also displeased to hear Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama who brought so many of their purveyors of fear, and murder of innocents to justice, won’t be put in prison. Putin, the World’s top Kleptocrat, and huge Trump supporter, will not be pleased. So looks as though you’re in some fine company. Idiot.

          1. kep November 24, 2016

            All your Emperor has accomplished is founding ISSIS, and helping Muslim radicals. When he took one of his many failed tours, and was in Egypt, he would only meet with the extremists, not the moderates. He and Hillary helped to destabilize the entire regoin. The Emperor also supports our domestic terrorists, as in having armed Black Panthers at polling stations during his last election, and inviting BLM into the White House several times. Yeah, I’m sure terrorists here and abroad are concerned.
            As for Russia, Hillary and the Emperor both wanted to turn our country into a soviet style communist regime. I know you commie liberals arent happy to see your utopian dream get dashed.

          2. PrecipitousDrop November 24, 2016

            So, what else do you and your pals talk about during supervised time in the Day Room, kep?

          3. kep November 24, 2016

            What do you and your soviet handlers talk about, Comrade?

          4. PrecipitousDrop November 24, 2016

            Soviet handlers?
            HAW HAW HAW (Snort!) HAW HAW HAW (Gasp!) HAW HAW HAW

            Good one, kep. A real knee slapper.

          5. charleo1 November 24, 2016

            Fascinating! Tell us more about you Trump-ites who will now lead our Nation.

        3. Jan123456 November 24, 2016

          Oh, don’t get too complacent too quickly.

          1. Hillary got 2 million more votes than Trump. Regardless of the Electoral College, it means more people voted for her than him.

          2. More people voted for Dems in congress than GOP.

          3. The courts are beginning to see that the reason the Dems can get more votes and still lose elections is due to the GOP’s partisan gerrymandering of districts.


          1. kep November 24, 2016

            Illegal aliens and dead people do not count in the voting. Emperor Obama was instructing illegals on how to register to commit voter fraud. Liberals will do ANYTHING to keep power, but didn’t work this time. Grow up. You lost , even with the system rigged for liberals. The American people were smarter than you liberal commies thought.

          2. Zengo November 24, 2016

            you seriously believe that sh!t? There is no voter fraud in the US, but there is election fraud

          3. kep November 24, 2016

            Try doing a google search. I watched him do it on live tv. Just place ” Obama instructs illegals on how to commit voter fraud ” and check out the several links that appear.

          4. Zengo November 24, 2016

            EVERY ONE of the sites that comes up is a known far right propegana site. But that’s okay with you, you don’t want truth or fact, you want your fears validated

          5. kep November 25, 2016

            I know, right? Not your usual regime approved propaganda sites. So, because it is not an approved liberal site, will your teeth fall out if you look at it? NO. You won’t go blind, not that you arent already seeing you believe EVERYTHING you are told by those communist handlers.
            You may actually wake up if you stop listening to those that are guiding you in the WRONG direction.

          6. Zengo November 25, 2016

            Except that there is a difference between an opposing point of view and complete and utter fabrications. I am assuming that you have followed the others in this thread and the responses showing the altered video and the full cut, and how that kind of manipulation changes the story and creates something fake?

          7. kep November 25, 2016

            Nothing was altered. Now, if it were a liberal media outlet like CNN, ABC, NBC, it would be altered. That’s been made abundantly clear with wiki leaks. Liberals twist and turn everything into their narrative. Truth and facts have no bearing. Keep your eyes closed and your head up you butt. You seem happy there.

          8. Jan123456 November 24, 2016

            Emperor Obama was instructing illegals on how to register to commit voter fraud.

            No, he did not. I defy you to provide any evidence showing otherwise.

            There is an edited video out there with a woman who is concerned that since she has undocumented people living in her household that by voting she may be putting them at risk. Obama reassured her that by voting she would not. However, the right wing editing makes it appear that he is referring to HER and is talking about undocumented voting. If you look at the raw footage, you will see what really happened.

            And the myth about dead people voting is pretty much just that, a myth. Most of that comes from people who died AFTER voting, not before.

          9. kep November 24, 2016

            I will give you the benefit of doubt, but I find, and it is now out there, that the liberal media is far more likely to spin and distort truth. As far as dead people, not so much. Many cases of liberals voting several times for deceased.

          10. Jan123456 November 24, 2016

            You don’t have to give me the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt. Here is the full unedited video.


            Many cases of liberals voting several times for deceased.

            Please present any documented cases. Include date vote cast and date of death. Please.

          11. kep November 25, 2016

            I watched, and he did his PC dance, but the intent was clear, so he actually did encourage illegals to vote. Thank you so much for clearing that up. Once again, the Emperor feels he is above our laws, along with all the other liberals in power.

          12. Zengo November 25, 2016

            You are an idiot in order to get that message out of that video. Again hearing the message you want to hear. We are done here

          13. Jan123456 November 25, 2016

            Here is what he actually said. Tell me what about it encouraged illegals to vote.

            ” Not true. And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a
            citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls
            somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, et cetera.
            The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you
            voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then
            you have an even greater reason to vote.”

            It’s clear he says that citizens are those who vote and if citizens have undocumented in their households, they don’t come after them because a citizen voted.

            Where is your evidence about dead people voting? Oh, you have none? Why am I not surprised.

          14. kep November 25, 2016

            She commented that she considered illegals to be citizens, and the Emperor just followed her lead. So, yes, he did indicate that illegals could vote and not have to worry about being deported.
            Is this anything like “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor “? More lies and deception from liberals.

          15. Jan123456 November 25, 2016

            That is not what he said. Although you’re going to continue to refuse to recognize that.

            There is nothing about the ACA that does not allow you to keep your doctor. It’s your insurance company that does that. They didn’t keep their word that they gave during negotiations.

            The GOP said they would not support it if there was a public option (which would have taken the insurance companies’ say out of it) and when, in a spirit of bi-partianship, the Dems withdrew it, the GOP pulled a Lucy Van Pelt and the football stunt.

          16. kep November 25, 2016

            If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Americans will save at least 2500 dollars a year per family. Just how blind and stupid are you people? Can you not see what the liberal commies have done to our country? America, home of the brave, land of the free. Under liberal rule it has become home of the timid and weak, land of political correctness that allows terrorists into their White House as advisors.

          17. Jan123456 November 25, 2016

            You really have to stop getting your primary information from Breitbart, Drudge, Newsmax and wnd.

            Obama got Bin Laden. That’s timid and weak?

          18. kep November 25, 2016

            The Emperor didnt do anything. The military had standing orders to go after that primary target. Seal team 6 took Bin Laden out. Then he anounced to the world exactly who each member of the team was, placing a target on the backs of every member of ST6. All the Emperor has done is dismantle our military, help form ISSIS, and totallt destabilize the midle east. Did you know that on his trip to Egypt, he would only meet with the extremists, not moderates? He supports antiAmerican behavior. He supports racism. He feels he is above our laws, and has disdain for our Constitution. And what about his apology tour? Where he traveled around and bowed and scraped before other world leaders promoting ill feelings for America?
            Perhaps you should try SEEING, instead of just following blindly?

          19. Jan123456 November 25, 2016

            I repeat, you need to stop getting your information from Breitbart, Drudge and WND.

            Yes, the military knew Bin Laden was a target. However, SOMEONE had to take responsibility for approving that particular mission. Like Jimmy Carter sent rescue mission for the hostages. The success or failure is on the back of POTUS as he is who has ultimate responsibility . Had the mission failed, you can bet you would have hung the failure on Obama.

            Show me a quote from Obama in which he named the members. Who did he tell and when? The only ones whose identity are public are those who offered that information for their own fame.

            He does not support anti-American behavior.

            He does not support racism.

            Please support your assertion that he feels he is above laws and has disdain for the Constitution. What exactly has he done?

            What did he do when he “he traveled around and bowed and scraped before other world leaders promoting ill feelings for America?” Like specifics please.

            If you, like so many of your right wing brethren, simply tell me to do the research myself, then you have surrendered. And I accept.

          20. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 13, 2016

            Yo, kep! What’s up, homey? The Emperor is still as haughty as ever, proving daily his ineptness to do the job even before offcially ascending the throne gift-wrapped for him by his dear friend and yours, Vladimir.

            And you, being such a dutiful myrmidon to the con artist, will get your biscuits.

          21. kep December 13, 2016

            Finally, after 8 years of having to endure a tyrannical Emperor Obama, America has elected a PRESIDENT. Your head is so far up obama’s butt, you cant see.

        4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 12, 2016

          Kep, your man-love for Trump is an obscenity and X-Rated. Some day you’re going to have to find some alternate way to get your kicks.

          1. PrecipitousDrop December 12, 2016

            Oh, wow.
            kep got out?

    5. PrecipitousDrop November 24, 2016

      What “lies and deception”, kep?
      Have you read the infrastructure plan?
      Why do you flatly announce that this article misstates any of the plan’s provisions?

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 23, 2016

    Trump is too connected to the Establishment not to to propose anything that doesn’t primarily benefit the upper classes. The GOP credo is money first, their gospel is fiscal responsibility(“from your pocket to my pocket and to that of my well-placed peers”), and their new prophet is Trump.

  3. bernicemowrey November 23, 2016

    1 year have passed since I abandoned my old work and I never felt better in my life… I started doing a job on-line, over a site I found on-line, several hours each day, and I earn much more than i did on my office work… Last payment i got was for 9 thousand dollars… Awesome thing about this job is that i have more time with my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  4. PrecipitousDrop November 24, 2016

    So… Toll roads and bridges will no longer be making money for the community, or the state, but for a handful of well heeled investors instead. Investors who only paid 18 cents on the dollar to build em?
    Yup. Sounds like a Republican plan.
    Sure does.

    1. charleo1 November 24, 2016

      The mantra of privatization is but one of the vehicles the monied investor class is using across the board, from transportation, to education, to incarceration, From our National Security apparatus, to the military. In order to continue the unprecedented transfer of that wealth now belonging to the people, into the pockets of an ever richer, ever more powerful monied aristocracy. And when that day comes, when the public’s wealth is gone, sold out for pennies on the dollar, so also will be gone the ability of the American People to democratically govern themselves. I hope Americans will feel the possibility of saving a few miserable tax dollars, that never materialized anyway, never saved a dime, was worth it.


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