By JoAnne Powers. This article was first published on Labor Radio.
President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposed trillion-dollar infrastructure plan has come under heavy fire from both sides of the aisle. Rather than spending directly on building projects, Trump has proposed funding infrastructure through tax credits for private investors. While Trump argues that the plan will pay for itself, economists are doubtful, causing fiscal conservatives to express reservations over supporting a plan that could increase the deficit. Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders described the plan as a “scam” that only benefits billionaires and large companies, and has promised to re-introduce his own trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, the Rebuild America Act, which would invest directly in building projects.
Mike Locker, a consultant with building trades unions in New York, expresses similar concerns:
[Mike Locker]: “Infrastructure is for the common good. It’s not for the private good. Whether it be hospitals or roads or utility construction, we need a tremendous amount of infrastructure re-built in this country. We’re way behind. And it goes all the way back to the New Deal, when you spend a lot of money on building, you generate a lot of work, you generate a lot of jobs, you generate a lot of economic activity. You know, if we try to make it into a profit-making venture alone, I’m very afraid we’ll tilt the building and the priorities in a direction which really don’t benefit most of the people, but benefit the corporations. It’s more of this socialism-for-the-rich. Economically, this is going to benefit large construction companies, engineering firms. These are people he’s very close to and he can enlist in his campaign to get this stuff through. They will be the biggest beneficiaries.”