❝ President-elect Donald Trump has proposed spending up to $1 trillion over a decade to make America’s infrastructure “second to none.”
Except for China that is.
❝ The world’s second-largest economy has already topped that this year alone, with $1.4 trillion splurged on roads, railways, bridges, telecom networks and other infrastructure in the ten months through October.
❝ Trump’s plan for an “America’s Infrastructure First” policy mirrors China’s build-it-and-they-will-come model, except on a much smaller scale. China has spent about $11 trillion on infrastructure in the last decade — more than 10 times what Trump is proposing…
That building binge has transformed China’s continent-sized economy. Its 20,000 kilometers of high-speed railways account for more than 60 percent of the world’s total, and it’s not done yet, with plans to boost that distance to 30,000 kilometers by 2020. The U.S.? Don’t ask.
To be sure, as a developing nation, China still has much potential for more building compared with an advanced economy such as the U.S…
Not if we’re talking infrastructure. We haven’t been serious about interstate highways since the Eisenhower Administration. That was 60 years ago. The last major new U.S. airport was completed in 1995.
❝ Trump’s plan “does offer the potential of supporting job creation in the short run, more importantly supporting and expanding the economy’s capacity in the medium run,” said Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary…economic adviser to President Barack Obama…
But when it comes to infrastructure, “America First” is actually a distant second.
Trump’s Congressional troops, establishment, tea party or otherwise, probably aren’t likely to temper their contempt for folks who’ve paid up for Social Security and Medicare. They will ignore the salient fact that these so-called entitlements are insurance programs that taxpayers have already paid for. I have no doubt the sleaze patrol from Paul Ryan to Stephen Bannon will ignore any attempt to bring the tax base for corporate barons back to something approaching responsible. They will try to tax the working class to pay for safer transport of profit-making goods and services.