Small Hands/Small Infrastructure

The initial response to Trump’s infrastructure plan has been justifiably critical.  Jennifer Rubin, my favorite conservative columnist, says the plan doesn’t pass the straight-face test.  A good deal of it is designed to encourage privatization of infrastructure or to eliminate environmental safeguards for new projects.  I want to focus on a different aspect of the plan, however, the focus on revenue generation.  Or in other words, user fees and beneficiary taxes, whether paid to state governments or private firms. In the case of a road, for instance, the new revenue would come from tolls or from taxing nearby residents or businesses whose property values are increased by the new road. This is a feature of the plan that has been a bit misunderstood.  Many reports say the plan will cover 20% of the cost of new infrastructure.  That’s not right. If you look at p. 5 of the full text, it says that grants for projects will be limited…

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