(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Trump's Infrastructure Plan
Hard Problems and Democratic Procrastination

Both parties agree that the country has serious infrastructure needs—but even with a new proposal on the table, we may end up with next to nothing.

Published on: February 12, 2018
Bruce E. Cain is a professor of political science at Stanford University and author of Democracy More or Less (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
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  • AnonymoussSoldier

    As long as you’ve got a large and growing trade deficit you’ll need to deficit spend, too. It’s not a coincidence that the federal budget deficit has met or exceeded somewhat the trade deficit. During the Clinton disaster years, outsourcing to rival powers was made easy, yet the economic illiterati bragged that he “balanced the budget” ie reduced federal deficit spending despite a growing trade deficit and resultant good job loss replaced by Walmart jobs. No surprise that private debt rose. In this perverse situation, federal deficit are not only necessary, but they might as well be considered the private sector’s lifeline. Shouldn’t be that way, but the economic illiterati has ruled the roost for some time now.

    • SeaAyeA

      You’re talking about sectoral balances, you’re right. The American-China deficit is America’s deficit, but it’s Chinas surplus, for example. You’ve got three basic sectors. Government. Domestic/Private. International.

      Clinton caused the international account deficit to grow, while at the same time putting the government into balance and actually surplus. That’s like pumping the brakes.

      It’s absolutely no wonder that private debt was in the rise. Money flowing out, government cutting spending not filling the void, and Main Street left to pick up the tabs. Problem is, Main Street doesn’t get to issue currency. Main Street can go bankrupt, and it does. Bad economics is synonymous with Clinton and the Washington Consensus and Neoliberalism

  • Otis

    “The catastrophic flooding that occurred in Houston could easily also happen in the San Francisco Bay Area in the near future…”

    Only if San Francisco gets hit by a Category 4 hurricane.

    • D4x

      Tsunami, after the earthquake.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Increased property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes and user fees are the plan.

    • Curt A.

      And….in the end ( whenever that date might be, perhaps by 2030 ) that is very likely to happen. I’m pushing 74, and that has been the pattern throughout my life for as long as I can remember.

  • Micah718

    I think the answer is, and stop me if you have heard this before, if we were to have confiscatory levels of taxation above an amount decreed by Comrade FG. Surely that would raise enough revenue to pay for Paradise on Earth.

  • ronetc

    “This question is further complicated by the challenges of climate change. Sea level rise, floods, droughts, and extreme weather events must be factored in.” Increasingly discredited theory treated as fact makes the resulting calculations irrational.

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