After President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, his administration and the Republican-majority Congress could have used their unified control of the federal government to act on Trump’s campaign promise to allocate $1 trillion for rebuilding the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure. Instead, during one of the several iterations of Trump’s Infrastructure Week, the Trump administration rolled out a blueprint that proposed to actually cut federal infrastructure funding while encouraging the privatization of critical public assets and the expansion of highway tolls. Congressional Democrats rejected the proposal to privatize public assets and cut to federal infrastructure spending. At the same time, Republicans in Congress chose to focus on undoing worker and consumer protections, including many put in place following the 2008 financial crisis. Their primary legislative accomplishment was, of course, a tax bill that will increase the deficit by $2 trillion over the next decade and overwhelmingly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Tax cuts for the wealthy could have covered the cost of investing in the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.