Donald Trump has Updated his Infrastructure Plan

By Matthew McMullan
Oct 27 2016 |
Donald Trump has released a more detailed infrastructure proposal. | Photo by Gage Skidmore

No taxes included in his 10-year, $1 trillion proposal, Donald says.

Looks like we’ve got a new wrinkle to Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan!

The grand total has changed. The Republican presidential nominee once said he’d double Hillary Clinton’s infrastructure plan, which would have put him at about $500 billion. Now Trump has a nice, new, round number to propose; he wants to see $1 trillion spent on infrastructure over a decade.

Yowza. That’s a big wrinkle. But it’s not the only one.

Trump won’t raise taxes to pay for infrastructure. Instead, he’ll invite in lots of private investors, and the plan will focus on projects that are considered “riskier” (Yahoo! Finance’s word) that employ user fees – like tolls for bridges and tunnels:

Those sorts of fees guarantee cash flow back to investors that doesn’t normally exist on “free” resources such as parks or interstate highways. Wider adoption of toll roads and other facilities covered by user fees would amount, to some extent, to the privatization of America’s infrastructure.

Trump economic advisor Wilbur Ross told Fox Business that that private investment would be encouraged by an 82 percent tax credit, which Ross says would pay for itself:

Infrastructure is a very labor intensive activity; around 44 percent of the cost of infrastructure is labor. Taxing that income at 28 percent gives you most of the money back from the tax credit. You get the rest of the money back out of the corporate profits from the contractor charging them the 15 percent that’s in the Trump tax bill.  

So Trump wants to privatize some infrastructure, but wants to spend a heckuva lot of money on it regardless. That’s one way to go about rebuilding America. We still think that all federal dollars going into infrastructure projects should be attached to Buy America requirements.

Less than two weeks til Election Day, everybody!