Tag Archives: infrastructure repair

Infrastructure is too big to ignore

Of all the policy pronouncements that Donald Trump has made since becoming a politician, two of them ring true to me.

Yeah, I know. It’s just two. One of them involves judicial sentencing reform. The president is pitching the idea of getting rid of federal sentencing standards that too often, he says, send people into the federal prison for longer terms than they deserve.

However, I want to discuss briefly the other notion. Infrastructure repair, rehab, rebuilding, renovation.

He wants to spend a lot of money. What’s the cost? A trillion bucks? Two trillion? More than that?

The details of how much money it will cost or how the government will find the money to spend remain murky. We need to repair our bridges, our highways and our airports. Those are the three elements of our national infrastructure the president has mentioned specifically.

Yes, he is dealing with an extremely hostile Congress. The hostility runs red hot in the House of Representatives, which now is being run by Democrats. If you believe the media, you presume I suppose that every one of the 235 House Democrats detest Donald Trump deeply. They don’t want to do anything to advance a legislative agenda item. At one level, I cannot blame them, given the manner in which he “governs,” which is to say he doesn’t have a clue.

On another level, though, the nation needs to build things again. It needs to re-charge its energy level to improve the quality of our ground and air transportation.

I see studies almost weekly that tell us about crumbling bridges. In Texas, where I live, we are passionately in love with our motor vehicles. We need safe highways and bridges over which to drive from point to point.

The Texas Department of Transportation is hard at work rebuilding and renovating bridges and highways throughout our state.

However, TxDOT funds only go so far. We are part of the United States of America. Every state, even one as big and rich as Texas, ought to be able to lean on the federal government for funds to renovate part of the national infrastructure.

The president and congressional Democrats are supposed to meet this week to talk over the issue of how to come up with the money they might need to rebuild this essential element of life in our country. Don’t ask me for a clue. I have none.

I do know that life in 21st-century America requires enabling its citizens to get from point to point safely and without worrying whether the street or the bridge on which they are traveling won’t collapse under the weight of their vehicle. Airport service needs to be maintained at the highest level possible; currently, it isn’t.

How do we get there? From where I come from, I believe it’s called deploying “good government.”

Trump running headlong into D.C. reality


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.