Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trump Is Lying to His Base About His Infrastructure Program

One of the main things motivating Trump’s election win was his attention to the needs of the middle class worker who was either unemployed, underemployed, or whose wages have stagnated for the past 40 years.  He promised them jobs.  During the campaign there were two main avenues through which he stated he was going to meet that promise.

The first and more direct means was through Federal financing of a massive $1 trillion infrastructure program.  It has just been revealed, however, that that plan has essentially been trashed.  Instead, the Federal government will invest only $200 billion and seek to use that to leverage the rest.  The other $800 billion will have to come from states, cities, and corporate sources.   

This is highly unlikely to work since most states and cities are just keeping their heads above water financially as it is.  And corporations will not foot the bill because it will detract from their bottom line profit, which investors will not support.  

But Trump is still deceitfully calling it a $1 trillion program and using it to rally his base.  It’s all smoke and mirrors.  Another example of Trump's mendacity.

This decision I’m sure resulted from a reality check.  Given his desire for a major tax cut for the wealthy and a major increase in defense spending, there just wasn’t money left for a big infrastructure bill, even with cutting many programs that directly help those in need, including the working poor and many of his supporters.   

The second means was by drastically renegotiating NAFTA and other trade agreements which had been a major factor in the loss of American jobs to other countries.   While he withdrew American participation in the TPP (which had not yet taken effect), he has not moved boldly on NAFTA.  He has signaled that he wants to renegotiate, but his intention as communicated to Congress amounted to no major changes. (see New York Times, “Trump Sends NAFTA Renegotiation Notice to Congress,” May 18).  All he has done is cudgel executives to bring back jobs with the promise of major tax cuts.

Thus he is reneging on his promise to create jobs through a major Federal infrastructure program.  He is cutting programs that provide a vital benefit to many of his supporters.  And he is not making major changes in NAFTA.  Plus we cannot forget the impact on his supporters if Trumpcare passes.  

This will be a huge betrayal of his supporters.  One can only hope that they will finally see him for the fraud that he is and remove their support.