[Originally Published in Januray 2017]
I have some pretty terrible news pertaining to Trump’s infrastructure plan. Mainly because it’s not going to help the majority of American families. It will help investors and already wealthy people, using your tax dollars.
Ronald Klain, who oversaw the 2009 American Recovery and Renewal Act, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. Here, he observes that the plan isn’t a direct funding infrastructure plan for new roads, bridges and water systems. Instead, it provides tax breaks to the utility and construction private investors, which is “a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors”. A key note for this plan: It "funds" projects that already exist, or have already been contracted.
So pause here for a moment. This plan gives more money to investors whom have already been promised government money for their work. The plan offers a 10% pretax profit margin, for projects that already exist now. That amounts to an $85 billion dollars after tax profit for contractors, “underwritten by the taxpayers”- without the requirement to add a single new job.
Unfortunately, Democrats (not Progressives) are already playing the game, calling this abomination of an infrastructure plan a “jobs plan”. According to the article, the plan makes no requirement to hire more workers or even how investors should use the $85 billion. They can shift the money to unsubsidized projects, they can pocket the money and let it sit there or invest in other things. As it is un-funded, this plan will simply inflate the deficit by an additional $137 billion dollars, without promising new job dedicated to improvements in public or non-profit, infrastructure. An actual infrastructure plan is desperately needed to assure your bridges don't collapse on your way to work, or that you and your children’s drinking water isn’t poisoned with lead. He goes on to mention the devastating reality of Trump's published plan: the rich investors profit while the poor see no benefits. It's one of the same rich-get-richer-poor-get-poorer plans that many in Washington readily adopt.
Not only does it fail to create jobs. The plan's deficit inflation will be use to justify cuts to social programs. This is in similar fashion to what occurred 30 years ago, when David Stockman justified deficit-driven cuts to social programs, caused by the Regan tax cuts.
This is the direct result of continually voting for corruption: real threats positioned against social programs that are used for your health care, hospitals, children, the disabled, elderly, and people already hurting and disadvantaged.
As Independent Progressives, we see government spending in education and help for the needy as an investment. This investment is for the good of the people and the longevity of a prosperous nation. When you treat those things as burdens that need to be curtailed, believing that tax cuts for the wealthy will balance the budget instead, you’re on the wrong side of facts. This curtailing only shifts society's burdens to the weakest members.
This causes everyone to suffer. For example, now, only the rich can afford access to a good education, while you are stuck with failing public school systems and un-affordable state-run colleges and debt. And the country angrily sees this discrepancy.
To the Trump supporter: Unfortunately, you’ve put your faith in the wrong person to help you. Trump’s only interest is to make himself and his buddies richer. The Democrats put their faith in the wrong person too, as Clinton spoke little to none about these issues.
We'll readily admit representatives like Bernie Sanders have the voice and the ear of the people. He understands this corruption and speaks against it. People like him represent true Independent Progressives. Sadly, he was pushed out of the primaries thanks to a corrupt and out-of-touch Democratic committee.
Now we have corporatist democrats backing up this (not-really-a-) “jobs” plan. Our representatives aren't all leaders. Many are sheepish followers who bow down to corporate interests and, now Donald Trump. Trump, who only has one goal in mind: make money for himself on our dime. He has gotten rich off of the government, by being a business failure and con-artist. We may see stock market and Wall Street growth, but that growth will be at the expense of the people. Thanks to this ideology we are becoming an increasingly impoverished nation.
One last point: we recently reviewed income and poverty statistics in the last 50 years. During the Reagan years, poverty rates sharply increased, and the number in poverty has nearly doubled since the late 60s and early 70s. One of the few poverty rate drops was in 2014, decreasing in 2015. If history can tell the future, this may repeat under Trump, as the burden of government spending gets passed to the poor, and the rich receive Bush Tax cuts 2.0 (a Trump promise).
This makes me wonder: What were you voting for? I’m told it wasn’t the racist rhetoric and bigotry, but he announced his plan for taxes well before the election, and it in no way benefits the vast majority of Americans, so what was it you voted for? If you voted for better taxes, a real jobs plan, and lower taxes on the middle class, call your representatives and stop letting Trump and the other corporatists get away with this. Start calling about progressive issues, and stop letting them compromise at your expense.
And please, don’t say you weren’t warned about Trump being a con-man.
~ Amanda ~
An Independent Progressive