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.