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Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Eileen Appelbaum

In his January State of the Union address, President Trump called for $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next decade. If that amount materialized, it could go a long way toward meeting the nation’s infrastructure needs. But the release on February 12 of his detailed plan for raising and allocating those funds dashed any hope that this administration would address the nation’s acute need for infrastructure investment.

Did anyone really believe that Trumps plan would benefit our communities more than it would benefit private investors?

We drive way too much, fly too much, ship and truck goods around the world too much, at too high cost and impact. Retrofitting cars to electric and covering rooftops with solar panels are central solutions to pursue with ardent advocacy. But they can’t sustain our currently excessive, degrading, wasteful and economically inequitable amount of travel and transport. Air travel and air freight are mostly an exorbitant luxury, thus first to reduce to an essential use only. Travel by car is the next most obviously unsustainable, degrading and immoral abuse of technology. Trans-oceanic shipping and trucking international commodities likewise undermines national, state and regional economies built upon local economies that require far less fuel/energy to produce and distribute the same sort of essential commodities.

Yes, these are transport, travel and energy-related infrastructure projects, but they are atop the list of infrastructure needs most likely to be influenced by the filthy rich who will only invest to continue their car-dependency cash cow. Passenger-rail should replace air travel and need not be 200+mph HSR. Fuel economy and other economic benefits of passenger-rail, unlike air travel, are distributed to every station along a route. Municipal mass transit systems - especially replacements for the ‘4mpg’ 40’ standard bus is also important.
I recommend most bus fleets retire at least half of their albatross buses and replace them with new paratransit vans, low-floor for easy boarding on FWD electric and plug-in hybrid chassis to achieve an effective ‘30mpg’.
BRT bus routes may use these instead purchasing 60’ articulated buses.

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Hey! This is an important issue that reveals exactly where republican crooks and elected representatives want most public dollars spent. I go to rallies and marches not to protest what we shouldn’t do, but to propose what we should do instead. Transportation is the #1 issue that maintains corporate control. Automobile-related business interests: Finance, Insurance, FUEL/energy, road & sprawl housing construction, advertising (media corruption), parking moguls, manufacturing, sales, maintenance. If we can’t drive, fly, truck and ship goods as much as we do - think catastrophic climate change - every one must make an effort to reduce travel distances and dependence on long-distance shipping.

Trump is upfront about that:

" economic and social returns from the project count for just 5 percent"