Donald Trump is the new President Elect for the U.S. and regardless of your feelings on the man, it’s a good idea to think about his possible infrastructure plans for the future. Infrastructure refers to roadways, bridges, sewer and water systems, and electric services that allow our society to continue to function. During Trump’s campaign, he compared the airport in New York to airports in third world countries. He stated that he was appalled by the lack of innovative infrastructure in this country and vowed that it would be improved if he became president.
So what is his plan? According to an article written by Robert Klain, former assistant to President Barack Obama, Trump’s infrastructure plan is a trap. Trump doesn’t expressly fund any new road building plans, rather he supports tax cuts for private sector investors that fund construction projects. The tax break would create $85 billion dollars in profit, but these profits would go directly to private contractors. Structures that absolutely need attention, like bridges and highways in disrepair, do not have any mention in Trump’s plan.
The U.S. absolutely need attention though. According to a report that came out earlier this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. a D+ grade when it comes to overall infrastructure. The society came up with a figure of $3.6 trillion dollars that would be needed in order to repair all of the infrastructure components needed for the country to run efficiently.
What complicates the process is the fact that not all the parts to our country’s infrastructure is actually owned by the U.S. Many components, like the energy and water companies are owned by the private sector.
The role of the government in infrastructure is not clearly defined, which makes the process of rebuilding abstract. The crisis in Flint, Michigan is a great example of how mismanaged the infrastructure really is. Forty years or so ago, the water sector was controlled by the federal government, but in recent years has been divvied out to local government and municipalities.