Donald J. Trump is facing the worst of two worlds as he prepares to become president of the United States.
He wants to spend a trillion bucks on infrastructure: roads, bridges, airports. He once compared American airports to “third world” terminals; the bridges and roads are a “disgrace.”
So he has pitched an expensive program to fix it all.
Here’s this little problem. There’s no money to pay for it. Why? He also wants to cut taxes.
Let’s see: Introducing a big spending program while cutting tax revenue seems to be counterintuitive in the extreme. Don’t you think?
On whom does the president-elect depend to help him enact this idea?
Republicans who control both congressional chambers? Forget about it. They’re skinflints who aren’t about to borrow more money and, therefore, increase the national debt. Do you remember when Joplin, Mo., was leveled by that tornado in 2011 and then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia demanded cuts elsewhere to offset the expense of making one of our communities whole?
What about Democrats who otherwise might be likely to support a big infrastructure “investment”? They detest Trump even more than Republicans do.
Can Trump declare a “mandate” to do what he wants? Um, no, not with a 1.7 million (and growing) popular-vote deficit stemming from the Nov. 8 presidential election.
So, here we are. A political novice set to become president of the United States is getting an on-the-job-training lesson on just how little power he really possesses.
This ain’t a corporate board room, Mr. President-elect.