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New Trump Infrastructure Plan: A Trillion Dollars for New Roads Without Spending a Dime

Trump plans to authorize $137 billion in tax credits to private construction companies to build projects with tolls and other future cash streams to them to spur building and the economy.
November 7, 2016, 2pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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In a campaign that has generated a great deal of talk about the importance of rebuilding American infrastructure, some have criticized GOP candidate, Donald Trump, for not providing specifics. On October 27 with less than two weeks left in the campaign, the Trump team released a document entitled "Trump Versus Clinton on Infrastructure" that fills in some of those details.

In his article for the Washington Post, Jim Tankersley, points out that this type of plan would not be in keeping with traditional conservative views. The document makes a Keynesian argument about the economic benefits of pumping government money into the economy, suggesting that the building boom that would follow would be a boon to the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, some on the left have expressed concerns about privatizing a trillion dollars-worth of American roads and bridges.

For their part, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro (the Trump advisors who authored the plan) suggest that it provides a best- of-both-worlds approach. Tankersley reports that they, "Calculate the added tax revenue would be enough to pay for the total cost of the tax credits."

However, Tankersley found that economists dispute this assessment, writing, "Alan Cole, an economist at the Independent Tax Foundation, said the proposal likely overrates the amount of tax revenue that would be generated by the private spending, partly because it appears to assume that every worker on the infrastructure projects was not working — or paying income taxes — previously."

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Published on Thursday, October 27, 2016 in The Washington Post
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