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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is to Spend Less on Infrastructure

David Dayen
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When he finally unveiled his infrastructure plan on Monday, President Donald Trump offered cities and states negative $40 billion. Most media accounts have described it as a $1.5 trillion deal, but the plan’s proposed $200 billion spending must be weighed against the $240 billion in cuts to infrastructure laid out in Trump’s proposed budget, which was also released Monday, including $178 billion in cuts to transportation spending alone.

President Trump tried to sell this “deal” of taking away federal money for infrastructure by stressing how unimportant the issue is to him. “What was very important to me was the military,” Trump said during the announcement Monday. “What was very important to me was the tax cuts. And what was very important to me was regulation. This is of great importance, but it’s not nearly in that category.”

The halfhearted approach to infrastructure definitely shows. In fact, this is one area Democrats feared Trump would force them to make a hard choice between good policy and partisanship. But that dilemma never materialized, because it turns out that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress don’t care enough about it to construct anything but a shell game.

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