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"It's Crap": The Trump Administration's Budget Is a Highway to Privatization


#1

"It's Crap": The Trump Administration's Budget Is a Highway to Privatization

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

"Private companies should fund, build, and run more of the basic infrastructure of American life."

That's how the Washington Post sums up a key tenet of the Trump administration's thinking on infrastructure, in an article Wednesday that outlines the White House's push to privatize "some public assets such as airports, bridges, highway rest stops, and other facilities."


#2

A modern day 'Enclosure of the Commons'! Trump is like a 17th century Noble that has been transported to the future. Stomp the peasants and all that! Once most villages had land which the villagers shared in common. Then the Nobles 'enclosed' these commons claiming that they now owned them outright and either evicted the villagers or raised rents or otherwise using the land. Famines were often the result.

We the citizens already own this infrastructure and we have paid to build it. Usually once the cost of that construction is paid through tolls etc. then the tolls are removed or lessened. They merely want to transfer ownership (and the right to charge tolls) from us to the wealthy after which we will then have to pay tolls forever so that these 'investors' can see a profit on their investment.

How about these investors building new infrastructure? That is far less profitable than getting an already built highway or tunnel at a deep discount price and then raising the tolls!


#3

When you can steal the public commons cheaper than producing something of value you buy a president to spur on your efforts.


#4

Profit -- provide as little as possible for the most money. Health care is a good example of a privatized system. How's that working out for us? Republicans absolutely hate the idea of a stream of money that they cannot get their grubby, greedy hands on.


#5

"Trump's budget would take existing dollars from cities & states that pays for roads, bridges, and transit and give it to billionaires and corporate interests. "

Another great business decision by the CEO of the U.S.!

Trump has a reverse Midas touch, because it seems everything he touches turns to crap!

There is so much acerbic, vitriol by me and others about Trump, that I think it is about time I said something good: Trump is immutable proof that this saying is true: ANYONE IN THE US CAN GROW UP TO BE PRESIDENT!


#6

As if this hasn't been the national project for about 35 years, right?

I can tell you, the attempt to privatize the VA is going terribly. But we're losing the battle, as it were. My own case is being fought over as I resist attempt to have me shoveled off to private providers for their profit. The result to me personally has been little short of devastating.

It's amazing how tiny the constituency is to defend what has the potential to be a model for a national health system if it were not subject to nearly daily sabotage, even from employees in the system who would lose if their jobs were outsourced!


#7

Capitalism is suicidal -- and it's taking us all down that suicidal path.

Looks like Trump is working from a corporate list of favors they'd like to see passed.


#8

All I know is that I will be paying more and getting less under this deal. Also only infrastructure projects for densely populated areas will be built, no profit in lightly used infrastructure (even though it's critical for rural folks). Why not pay and build infrastructure for the people owned by the people.


#9

Like Social Security. They drool at the thought of getting their greedy little paws on it.


#10

Ellen Brown is absolutely right in her criticism and critique. These projects are just an end run ( yet another one ) by the same billionaires who hate unions, hate the watchdog agencies who catch them cutting corners on building code specs and the like. Their contracts are riddled with " alternative/equal to " substitutes with inferior oversight and research data, often times. I have personally been a technical rep and witnessed some of these shenanigans. Caveat Emptor in spades, from Wall St. and the Mega-Contractors Crowd, as would be expected from Trumpster the Developer. What we don't need on public works projects is something akin to the Chinese drywall fiasco or the residential siding disaster, to name just a few. Lawsuits and court battles, with the public getting the shitty end of the stick, again.
Most of this discussion is/will be about $$$ until bridges and highway overpasses collapse, then it will turn into another" buying a pig in a poke " screaming match. We've been there, done that, folks.
We're being hit from so many sides by this privatize everything, billionaire blitzkrieg, it's hard to see all the harm being done by this current crowd of American Kleptocrats and Crony Capitalists. Hang in there, fellow travelers.


#11

Trump has reminded me of what he did many moons ago in Manhattan. The ice skating ring in Central Park was being renovated slowly and he was given the job to finish it. When it got done the ticket price to get in was no longer affordable to say the least. And that is the point of privatizing. Make all necessities impossibly expensive to extract the highest profit for a few and make it necessary for people to work until they drop dead so they can pay their bills.

NO! Time for total, Gandhian non cooperation!


#12

Again, make the public private by incorporating what is public before other corporations privatize it. Issue equal, non-negotiable stocks in all public property to each citizen and pay us equal dividends from its uses.

Direct Democracy


#13

The commons belong to the citizenry! It is what we as a group have fought for from the Declaration of Independence to the hills of Afghanistan and they must be nourished by Our government in such a way as they will be as useful and up to date as we, as a progress loving nation. can make them. Those looking to control them for profit will not have our interests at heart and those who would give them away are the very pieces of human waste that has allowed them to decay so that their paymasters can profit.
What happened to our rail system? It was started as a private venture and given huge swaths of land to make this fledgling effort viable. Once the easy profits from land sales was gone the railroads began to decline to the point where the nation had to buy them back so that they could be maintained. Privatization only benefits those directly involved and the Tax payers foot the bill.


#14

The public needs to incorporate and privatize public property to accrue benefits and dividends. We can beat them at their own game.


#15

The thing about private infrastructure is: A before and after picture must be taken into consideration. Before - we could take the piggies to task in a Senate, or in a Congressional hearing - or both! But after - not if a damn privately-owned bridge collapses or a nuke plant melts-down,( like the decrepid one in the Perry, Ohio). Just like in single-payer healthcare. Our government as the payor can be held accountable. A private insurer cannot be trusted.


#16

We got a crazy man driving the pain train....seems all the stupid republicans are also on board with this insanity....You can never have quality in public service when you add profit to it....Then it all becomes nothing but corporate skullduggery and scams and fraud on a large scale never seen before in the USA to relieve taxpayers of all their money...REPUBLICANS are evil EVIL I say...Each and every one of them is planing or contriving to screw this nation...Shame on all those fkn crooks...

If you support them then your ignorance is above and beyond...


#17

THere is one major point that has been missed. Corporations are limited on liability. The term LLC, means Limited Liability Company. The purpose of this lowest level company is that it takes the liability off the owner to an extent. As you go up the ladder liability becomes more limited. How many times has anyone heard Nike owns or uses children as slaves to make their shoes. The CEO can't be prosecuted because he is not liable to laws outside whichever country's laws. With LLC, you can shut down and disappear. There was an article that mentioned a lot of LLCs buying up Trump property. Why is that an issue? Because you can't follow the bread crumbs to who owns it due to how quick it can be shut down. But the biggest point i want to make is that no company is has to actually finish any project. One might use the argument that the owner/CEO can be sued, but so what. They can only be sued under specific conditions and/or they have an offsjore account that can't be tapped into under US jurisdiction. So you sue fir 4 million dollars and drains the account, while they have 2 billion stashed away. Ans while and that bullshit is going on, the project isn't finished and the politicians just took however much tax dollars to make the law suit. And guess what, now it's time to look for a new contractor which takes more tax dollars for finding a new contractor...3 years later. Hey, look at my right hand, while the left is taking money from out of my back pocket. At this point, i dont tgink ISIS wants to kill us, but take us over. Our country is filled with people easily duped. Why kill when you can rule over the ignorant, or is this the reason why our politicians send us to war?


#18

Michigan has had a program for the last few years that seems to be similar to privatization, for access to previously unlimited use of public roadside parks, hiking and skiing trails, boat launch facilities and other locations that were previously free to use for all Michigan residents, and out of state tourists.

As an example; nearby, there is a river with a small natural waterfall on state land. Until about 10 years ago, you could drive into the parking lot, go view the falls, go hiking along the river, even fish, or launch a canoe for a day on the river. Some State
administrator decided that it would be a great idea to spend taxpayer dollars to make improvements to the site with a larger parking lot, easier paved access to the falls to accommodate handicapped, and a few other improvements. To drive in and park, you now need to have paid for an annual Recreational Passport sticker for your vehicle. It's only a few dollars, but it makes State residents and taxpayers into second class citizens. It doesn't matter that I'm a Michigan resident, even a resident of the township where this site is located, I need to pay extra to access the site. A nearby Great Lakes boat launch and parking lot which has existed for the last 50 years requires the same access sticker. It doesn't matter that you're launching a boat that you've paid an annual registration fee, bought a State fishing license, and paid a registration fee on the car and trailer, you still need to pay extra to enter and use that facility.

Almost seems to be similar to the trickle down theory for improving the economy, except the trickle comes from the taxpayers being charged a nickel here, a dime there to use previously free public facilities. Next, I'm expecting to be required to pay a fee to pick berries or mushrooms on state land, even just walking in the woods.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_55798_73477_73481---,00.html


#19

Indeed that is exactly what is going on! It is a modern day Enclosure of the Commons! Good on you for pointing that out!

This is also a ploy to restrict the freedom of movement for low income americans. Talk about keeping the serfs on the manor! If you don't have enough money to pay the tolls as you travel, you won't be able to travel. This will restrict Americans' mobility.


#20

This land is your land, this land is my land
This land was made for you and me

Its still an important political statement today.