Reveal: Trump vowed to fix US infrastructure, but his budget stiffs small towns

Reveal, December 18, 2017: Trump vowed to fix US infrastructure, but his budget stiffs small towns


Despite President Donald Trump’s promise to rebuild America’s ailing infrastructure, much-needed financial support for small communities is threatened by details deeply embedded in the Trump administration’s 2018 budget and tax plans.

Among resources slated for elimination or substantial cuts: the CDBG program, which has been zeroed out in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget; small programs for clean water at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture; and a pot of discretionary funds at the Department of Transportation, a potential source of money for small transit systems.

Trump administration officials have said that its budget proposal and tax plan would have a positive ripple effect across the U.S. economy, freeing up capital that could then be used by Wall Street to invest in fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – pothole-filled roads, poisoned water systems, broken sidewalks. Trump has called the plans “rocket fuel” for the economy.

But neither the budget proposal nor the tax plan offer much incentive for Wall Street to invest in small, local projects. Instead, the $1 trillion budget plan for public and private investment is focused on paying for big projects by attracting big investors, looking for a substantial return on their investment.


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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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