By on September 27, 2017

road highway

Last week, I defended the president’s honor and lamented that I probably wouldn’t have a follow-up opportunity for some time. As it turns out, that claim is in no danger of becoming a falsehood. On Tuesday, President Trump told lawmakers he was ditching a key aspect of his planned $1 trillion infrastructure package — namely, who is going to pay for it.

Spoiler alert: its going to be taxpayers.

The White House previously envisioned a strategy where private investors would be lured into rebuilding roadways, bridges, and rail networks with promises of federal backing and a less-daunting approvals process. But now it’s saying partnerships between the private sector and federal government might not work. 

“We spend $6 trillion in the Middle East and we have potholes all over our highways and our roads … so we’re going to take care of that. Infrastructure — we’re going to start spending on infrastructure big,” Trump said in February. “[It’s] not like we have a choice. It’s not like, oh gee, let’s hold it off.”

However, Trump did hold off and details on the plan were delivered piecemeal, lacking specific detail. Some even criticized the president for intentionally stalling on the infrastructure proposal while his administration focused on its repealing the Affordable Care Act. When it finally arrived as part of the proposed 2018 budget in May, the plan existed as a six-page fact sheet that outlined $200 billion in direct federal spending over the next decade. However, it wasn’t particularly coherent on how the money would be spent or where it would be coming from. Four months later and we’re only starting to see a clearer picture.

Reported by The Washington Post, the president is having difficulties envisioning how that $200 billion would be procured via private-sector partnerships. It seems the administration will likely force states and localities to foot most of the bill. However, the proposed tax incentives and streamlined approval policy will remain intact for businesses that want to take advantage of them.

I suppose there isn’t any real reason to be surprised by this turn of events. The administration’s infrastructure plan never had any concrete mechanism for ensuring incentives wouldn’t be used on projects that would have been built without them. In fact, the earliest proposals showed that investors could collect on tax breaks for projects already in existence.

It’s hard not to feel like you’ve been taken for a ride on this one. But assuming private firms would pour money into non-profitable government works projects was probably always a pipe dream. Businesses like to make money and the best we could have hoped for is a plethora of unnecessary toll roads.

One potential idea to circumvent that scenario involved forcing corporations to bring home the $2 trillion in profits secured overseas at a massively discounted tax rate. That money would then be allocated for infrastructure spending. However, the administration has given no indication it will pursue that option in earnest.

Instead, it’s throwing its hands up in the air and saying it’s leaving “all options on the table.” But, according to Bloomberg, Trump specifically stated that infrastructure spending wouldn’t be connected to any plan that would target offshore corporate profits on Tuesday.

While none of this amounts to an official decree, it does indicate there will probably be more pressure on individual states to repair their own crumbling roadways. But local governments don’t really have the kind of money necessary to do this. When the Federal Aid Highway Act was passed, states footed 10 percent of the bill while the remaining 90 was left for the federal government to pay for through taxes on fuel, automobiles, trucks, and tires.

Thankfully, gas prices are pretty low right now.

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87 Comments on “Trump Flips Script on Who’s Paying to Fix Our Crumbling Infrastructure...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    No MAGA for you!

    Seriously, this underscores the reason why the “privitization of roads” idea is pure bunkum: it’s hard to make money off of roads unless you’re tolling the living crap out of drivers, which tends to make them upset. And upset drivers have a way of expressing their anger on election day.

    If we want to get this stuff fixed, we’re gonna have to pony up to the IRS and do it. End of story.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      That and no company is going to finance infrastructure in sparsely populated areas. I’m sure lots of companies would be willing to take over and charge tolls on bridges running into NYC, or any major artery in a densely packed area. But in the majority of the fly-over states? They’d be on their own. No new roads, no fixed bridges, no updated water supplies.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      I really thought he was going to say that Mexico would pay for it.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Anyone surprised by this (oh, there are some)?

    It was always going to be the taxpayers and specifically, the upper middle/professional class and the dwindling middle class (but hey, another big tax give away to the 1%).

    I’m sure the Republicans (outside of the wacky hard-right) will do an 180 and praise this after having fought Obama tooth and nail over infrastructure investment.

    As for private road, bridges, etc. – they rarely work. The operators cut costs by cutting down on maintenance and repair and if even if they keep up on that, they just jack up the prices of the tolls.

    Numerous areas where drivers take a longer detour on public roads b/c the privatized direct routes have such high tolls (plus, gas is pretty cheap these days).

    • 0 avatar
      fordcomm

      Another cute trick the private investors pull is to put a non-compete clause in the private/public partnership agreement that says that the state or municipality can’t widen or otherwise improve the alternate routes.

  • avatar
    OldGMGuy

    So add infrastructure renewal to the list of things that turned out to be not so easy.

    Private capital will invest in infrastructure, if you guarantee an acceptable (to them) rate of return.

    Just look at Ontario’s electrical energy mess. Privatizing traditional generation (nuclear, gas, etc.) and renewable with little to no public money required guaranteed returns for the investors. Whether the energy was needed or not.

    This is why infrastructure is best funded and operated publicly.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Highway #407 in Ontario is a prime example of what happens when private enterprise gets involved in infrastructure.

      Completed originally for a cost of $1.5 billion.
      The rights to it were ‘sold’ just over a year later, on a 99 year lease for which the government received $3.1 billion.
      These rights were sold/transferred 3 years later for 4 times what the government received.
      In 2014 the rights holder had a net profit of $223 million.

      Currently it has the highest toll rates in the world at a cost of 41 cents per kilometer in prime time. Plus either an administration cost of $4.50 per trip without a transponder or $1.00 per trip with a transponder which costs $23.50 per year. If you do not pay your tolls, then the license plate for the vehicle to which the toll is charged, will not be renewed.

      And if you want to learn about another private/public fiasco, just ask about the Skydome. :-(

      • 0 avatar
        DougD

        +1 to that. Short term gain for the provincial government and long term pain for us.

        That being said, it’s still worth the twenty bucks to use it on a Sunday afternoon rather than sit on the 401 for an hour. Cost/benefit is still there.

        And I always get a chuckle at the ridiculously cheap tolls on I-90 in New York State. I don’t think our American friends would react well to a $20 toll every time you want to go in or out of a major city.

        Anybody who says that there’s a way for someone other than us to pay for infrastructure is either kidding themselves or selling something..

  • avatar
    Fred

    How was private industry suppose to make money on infrastructure? The only way I can think of is tolls. I hate tolls. The first time I hit the tollway in Houston I got in the wrong lane. Yea I pissed off a lot of folks that day.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “We spend $6 trillion in the Middle East and we have potholes all over our highways and our roads … so we’re going to take care of that. Infrastructure — we’re going to start spending on infrastructure big,” Trump said in February. “[It’s] not like we have a choice. It’s not like, oh gee, let’s hold it off.”

    Cui bono?

  • avatar
    YeOldeMobile

    Coming from Hawaii, I never believed that PPPs would work out. Look where that got the white elephant that is the Honolulu Elevated Rail project. They are a cesspool ripe for corruption.

    I do blame the soft centrists in the President’s administration for this lowering the proposed budget on infrastructure though. Afraid to challenge the Senate orthodoxy and enact meaningful spending cuts to effectively distribute federal government’s income, including from repatriation, they’ve given us a watered-down proposal that means welfare will continue to suck the energy and vitality of the federal government and limit its abilities to effectively perform other, necessary functions.

    States will still try to update their infrastructure, and I think we’ll see more movement on this front, but it’ll be piecemeal and haphazard. I’m sure toll roads will see a return in some areas, and the roads will be much, much better than they are now. But it’s just going to cut into the positive economic effects of the lowered tax rate.

    Really what needs to happen is the removal of most of the crusty old fogeys in the Senate and some actual budgeting.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I was in Hawaii, Honolulu a couple times this year and I believe that the “El” should be expanded.

      Honolulu’s roads are very conjested for a small city.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Really what needs to happen is for We The People to figure out that if we want better roads, we have to actually pay for them. In our tax bills. Until we figure that out, nothing will change.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        I love this sentiment. The belief that we’re somehow undertaxed would be laughable if the people claiming this weren’t serious. No wait, it’s still laughable.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, yeah, we are undertaxed – we don’t pay enough in taxes to cover the things we’ve told our government to do. That’s why we’re running a deficit.

          Like I said…we want it all and don’t want to pay for it. Stuff like rotting infrastructure – and deficits – is what we get as a result. If people want to rethink what they want the government spending money on, then good – that’s a conversation worth having.

          But good luck on getting people to make hard choices when they can just push the easy button and keep running deficits. And don’t kid yourself – it’s EVERYONE in Washington, not just Republicans and not just Democrats, who’s guilty on this.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    “Last week, I defended the president’s honor” It is not possible to defend the honor of an unread (by his own admission), impulsive, con man, who gets his news and forms his opinons from watching fox news.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    So when 2020 rolls around and none of the empty promises Donny DeMango campaigned on have been fulfilled, how will he con people into voting for him again? That is, apart from the only two groups left who still support him:

    – People who think “patriotism” is just mindless flag-f**king and bellowing “USA! USA!” chants, and

    – People who look at how he acts and think to themselves “that is how I would be as President. Push people around, make them kiss my butt, and get rid of anyone who won’t play ball.”

    I’m also amused at how the people who were screaming to high heaven how Obama was going to be a dictator are suddenly (and suspiciously) keeping their mouths shut now while Cheeto Benito acts as though Congress and the Judicial system are subordinate to him.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      Oh please, when has any President or politician kept any promis?

      obama: “I will close GITMO” Still Open

      obama: “I will end the war in Iraq” Still going on

      obama: “I was elected to end wars not start them” Started wars in Libya and Syria

      and my favorite “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurgence”

      • 0 avatar
        OldGMGuy

        So your go to position is everyone lies?

        How do you choose who to vote for?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @mark

        Don’t forget Chalky’s civil war in Ukraine.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurgence”

        Freudian slip, or was there a typo on the Fox News website?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Are you really comparing Obama’s “lies” to Donny’s?

        As for Gitmo – there was broad political opposition from the Repubs.

        Iraq – Obama pulled out most of the troops.

        Obama didn’t start the wars in Libya or Syria and wisely did not commit any ground troops (the CIA was in charge of training the Syrian opposition); there were airstrike and an attempted rescue mission.

        Meanwhile on health insurance, during the campaign, the Orange One bragged how he had a “GREAT plan” that was almost finished.

        But after a few months in office, the the Twitter-in-Chief tried to excuse his incompetence by proclaiming “Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated?”

        Um, pretty much anyone who has looked into it (his having a “great plan” that was almost finished was a total lie).

        Even before the Orange One entered the political arena, he was already one of the BIGGEST LIARS in the world.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Even before the Orange One entered the political arena, he was already one of the BIGGEST LIARS in the world.”

          ik,r?

          that’s the whole thing. he has no real ideology apart from “the art of the deal” and “nobody’s gonna tell ME what to do.” His campaign was 100% telling everyone what they wanted to hear. “We’re gonna do the best, have the best, it’ll be great, fantastic even.” the “art of the deal” is making your opponent believe he’s getting what he wants, while you actually get what you want. e.g. telling you to go to he!! and convincing you the trip was your idea.

          then the look on his face when the election was called spoke volumes. he didn’t expect to win, he just wanted to make a bunch of noise and get attention. His first budget proposal was laughable and displayed a complete ignorance of reality. He treats appointees like they’re contestants on The Apprentice. He thinks he’s king and Congress is there to do what he tells them to do, and if they don’t some Twitter bullying should get them in line. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already asked his family… er, I mean “advisors” if he can fire Senators.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          @bd2

          “Iraq – Obama pulled out most of the troops.”

          Yeah, I went over there around that time. You know just because you report a war being over on the 6 o’clock news doesn’t mean the bullets shot at you don’t magically not kill people.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “Are you really comparing Obama’s “lies” to Donny’s?”

          Yes

  • avatar
    Loser

    I’m sure the Con-mander-in-Tweet will have Mexico pay for it. Believe me, will be the greatest, the biggest and the best.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “Con-mander-in-Tweet” Aww did you think that all by yourself? You must be very proud

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        He’s already fighting to pay for infrastructure.

        He’s going to raise corporate taxes from 20% to 35%. That’s your trillions right there.

        He has a plan guise…

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “He’s going to raise corporate taxes from 20% to 35%. That’s your trillions right there.”

          wow. I’ve never seen such a bald-faced lie. you have that exactly backwards:

          http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/nation/2017/09/27/tax-overhaul-trump/106063782/

          “Corporations. Inflamed Carbuncle’s plan would LOWER the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. This would be a huge tax cut for most corporations, even if their tax breaks are severely limited.”

          any more lies you want us to swallow?

          • 0 avatar
            TonyJZX

            You were supposed to let the Trumpettes here explain…

            You would think anyone who was so particular about that 20/35% thing would juxtapose that for the effect.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        Thanks, glad you approve. To quote Trump, “I know words, my words are the best words”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The White House previously envisioned a strategy where private investors would be lured into rebuilding roadways, bridges, and rail networks with promises of federal backing and a less-daunting approvals process.”

    “Federal backing” means the taxpayers, so while yes there was a change in script as it were, and it may be newsworthy, “we” were always on the hook. Next write about the U.S.S. Maine.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This article lacks any specifics as to how the end result is different than the main goal. Planning for one budget is just that, a small set of time, it isn’t the last spending bill. The entrenched career politicians that low information voters keep putting in office would never allow a bill to pass that’s truly perfect.

    By the way mentioning the WaPo as a source is less credible than sourcing material from the state run media in Venezuela. Of course the ridiculous line we hear from the monkeys is wah wah Fox News viewer wah wah. Anyone that thinks Fox is right leaning has never watched the programming. 2-3 right leaning individuals do not balance out the far left views of all the other a**hats.

    This president has done more good for this country in 8 months than the last did in 8 years. Trying to justify an unrealistic world view you may hold doesn’t qualify anyone to make an informed “guess”.

    Of course I’ll get plenty of blowback by people that still support the DNC after a decade of failures. B&C all you want but I can make a hard list of promises kept and Trump successes (not RNC).

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      https://imgoat.com/uploads/16a5320fa4/30656.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        Add to the list:

        – Raising the heat of rhetoric with a child emperor, over an Asian peninsula we’ve already spilled too much blood upon, to the point a (possibly nuclear) war–unintended or otherwise–has gone from a distant possibility to even money.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree. I am also curious as to why now it suddenly becomes of such concern. Un has been in power since 2011 and in control since 2013, and the country has had atomic weapons since 2006. Something doesn’t smell right. I suspect MIC is looking for a new quagmire since Ukraine didn’t work out and Syria is a stalemate, and the President made a deal to play along for whatever reason.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Why is it suddenly a concern? Because Trump’s one and only approach to policy is to do everything differently than Obama…even if what Obama was doing was rational and sensible.

            Therefore, instead of the rational approach of containing North Korea, take the balls-out approach of confronting it militarily. Who cares if it’s like tossing rocks at a hornet’s nest? Who cares if the North Koreans decide to use ’em instead of losing ’em and L.A. ends wiped off the map?

            It’s *different*, isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “Because Trump’s one and only approach to policy is to do everything differently than Obama”

            That is why he was elected. Not to mention is the correct approach to 99% of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Geeze, another one who gets his “news” from Faux News, Breibart, etc.

      The Orange One has been a total disaster for the US and has made this great country a laughing stock around the world.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Love the MM/NPR talking points guys your really making Pedosta a happy man. Until you can come up with a rational argument against Trump that doesn’t include whining that his lack of PC talk is hurting your fee fees, go back to your safe spaces. I’m sure NPR could use some more speakers in their echo chamber.

        bd can’t even read my post before his pre-programmed talking points come drooling out. Fox News? Really did I suddenly go to the far left? Breitbart? Is that the new go-to?

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          Do you truly feel Trump has even come close to acting presidential? I knew he was a buffoon but I hit the reset button on January 20 since he was elected as our president.

          I really never expected him to be this incompetent on so many levels. If it wasn’t impacting our lives daily I feel more entertained.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Do you truly feel Trump has even come close to acting presidential?”

            yes he does, because he’s one of those people I alluded to above who would act the same way if they were president. Someone disagrees with Trump, he blasts out the usual script of calling his opponents “over-rated,” “failing,” “fake news.” Disagree with Hummer, he blasts out the usual script of “PC,” “fee-fees,” and “safe spaces.”

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “If it wasn’t impacting our lives daily I feel more entertained.”

            how, exactly does Trump impact your “life daily”

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Hmmm…more box-checking…

          Trump opponents are whiners. Check.
          More liberal media. Check.
          PC. Check.
          Far left. Check.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “*those* voters can easily swing back (D) if the Boiled Ham in a Wig doesn’t deliver on all those things he promised.”

          Do you spend most of your day thinking of derogatory names for Trump?

          Those voters are gone forever. The Democrats are the party of the wealthy, the elitist and the any special interest group they can name. Hell, even West Virginia’s Governor switched to the Republican party.

          All the Dems have to offer is identity politics

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ” The Democrats are the party of the wealthy”

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            Orwell couldn’t have written this any better.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “” The Democrats are the party of the wealthy”

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            Orwell couldn’t have written this any better.”

            Party of the wealthy

            “Fleischer continued by saying that President Obama and Democrats, such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who has received approximately $8.7 million from Wall Street since 1989, should stop taking campaign donations from Wall Street banks if they are so offended by their actions.”

            https://www.yahoo.com/news/obama-attacks-banks-while-raking-wall-street-dough-044804642.html

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        His supporters (who at this point are scared old white people and obese reddit trolls) don’t care what the rest of the world think of us. They’re too busy calling themselves “patriotic” because they can wave flags and chant “USA! USA!” over and over again.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “His supporters (who at this point are scared old white people and obese reddit trolls) don’t care what the rest of the world think of us. They’re too busy calling themselves “patriotic” because they can wave flags and chant “USA! USA!” over and over again.”

          This is exactly why Trump will win in 2020, you still refuse to understand what happened last year and your only answer is to insult and put down anyone who voted for Trump.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I understand perfectly why he won last year. He paid attention to the blue-collar states and convinced voters there to go “oh, what the heck, maybe this guy will do something for once.” Plus Hillary was off-putting to enough people to get them to stay home.

            *those* voters can easily swing back (D) if the Boiled Ham in a Wig doesn’t deliver on all those things he promised.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “The Orange One has been a total disaster for the US and has made this great country a laughing stock around the world.”

        At least come with some new talking points, this is same canard dragged out every time a guy with an R after his name wins…..

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “*those* voters can easily swing back (D) if the Boiled Ham in a Wig doesn’t deliver on all those things he promised.”

          Do you spend most of your day thinking of derogatory names for Trump?

          Those voters are gone forever. The Democrats are the party of the wealthy, the elitist and the any special interest group they can name. Hell, even West Virginia’s Governor switched to the Republican party.

          All the Dems have to offer is identity politics

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Haha Hummer, you’re a card. You should take that act on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I miss BTYTS…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Let’s see how many boxes this checks…

      -Liberal media. Check.
      -People who oppose Trump are “monkeys.” Check.
      -Blame the DNC. Check.
      -Jedi Mind Trick attempt (i.e., Trump has been incredibly successful…thanks for the morning chuckle). Check.

      (I’m surprised there wasn’t a “I’m happy Trump makes liberals so deranged” or “But…Hillary” crack.)

      You know, at some point, folks like this are going to stop BS’ing themselves and figure out Trump has no plan aside from massaging his own ego. That’ll be an interesting day.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Hummer, are you a professional stand-up comic or just a very good amateur one?

      The sole reason for Fox News being launched was to present a ‘right wing’ viewpoint. And they do.

      As for the WaPo, count the number of Pulitzers that they have won, stories that they have broken which have proven to be true. The ‘legacy’ media are a keystone in defending democracy.

      As to the POTUS’ accomplishments, your stating that he has “done more good for this country in 8 months than the last (sic) did in 8 years” is truly the punchline. The POTUS has appointed judges. But with a majority in the Congress and in the Senate he has not been able to pass any major legislation. His keystone programs of ‘building the wall’ and repealing ‘Obamacare’ have both stalled/failed. Instead he has inflamed the population, created a major controversy over North Korea whose leader keeps knocking the chip of Trump’s shoulder without Trump being able to respond, experienced a revolving door among his staff, had a number of his colleagues come under investigation, seen his vaunted economic advisors disown him, and greatly increased racial tensions in the country. Not exactly positive accomplishments.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        “… greatly increased racial tensions in the country …”

        To his supporters, that IS an accomplishment.

        This just in, on the Orange One’s tax ‘plan:’

        “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan advocacy organization that promotes balanced budgets, released an estimate of the proposal indicating it would increase the federal deficit by about $2.2 trillion within the next 10 years. According to the group’s estimate, the proposal would increase the national debt to more than 100 percent of the gross domestic product, an all-time high.”

        – Salon.com

        Before you right-wingers start screaming ‘libtard’–you really need to come up with another epithet; that one’s getting really tired–please re-read, and try to comprehend:

        “… The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a BIPARTISAN advocacy organization that promotes balanced budgets …”

        So much for the GOP being the ‘party of fiscal responsibility.’

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Marching toward bloodshed is not an accomplishment.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “Before you right-wingers start screaming ‘libtard’–you really need to come up with another epithet; that one’s getting really tired”

          Sure, as soon as you come up something to replace the tired and well-worn “Orange One”

          “Moreover, before Obama there had never been a deficit anywhere near $1 trillion. The highest previously was $458 billion, or less than half a trillion, in 2008. The federal deficit for the last budget adopted by a Republican controlled Congress was $161 billion for fiscal year 2007. But the budget deficits for Obama’s four years were reported in Obama’s own 2013 budget as $1.413 trillion for 2009, $1.293 trillion for 2010, $1.3 trillion for 2011, and $1.327 trillion for 2012, four years in a row of deficits of $1.3 trillion or more, the highest in world history.”

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/06/14/president-obama-the-biggest-government-spender-in-world-history/2/#ca6cf653cb7c

          And you pretend to be concerned about 2 trillion over 10 years….

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            markf is spouting ***fake news*** from the biased rightwing media.

            Here are the actual figures from the Congressional Budget Office:

            https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/recurringdata/51134-2017-06-historicalbudgetdata.xlsx

            Fiscal year:
            2008 – 458.6
            2009 – 1412.7
            2010 – 1294.4
            2011 – 1299.6
            2012 – 1087.0
            2013 – 679.5
            2014 – 484.6
            2015 – 438.5
            2016 – 584.7

            (Forbes also conveniently tags Obama with the s**t show known as the 2009 budget…which was finalized before Obama even took office. That’s right, Forbes, the federal government sets its spending a year in advance…amazing that the guy whose name on the masthead, who had actually run for president himself, conveniently forgot that, isn’t it? Damn liberal media…)

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “markf is spouting ***fake news*** from the biased rightwing media.

            Here are the actual figures from the Congressional Budget Office:

            https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/recurringdata/51134-2017-06-historicalbudgetdata.xlsx

            Fiscal year:
            2008 – 458.6
            2009 – 1412.7
            2010 – 1294.4
            2011 – 1299.6
            2012 – 1087.0
            2013 – 679.5
            2014 – 484.6
            2015 – 438.5
            2016 – 584.7

            (Forbes also conveniently tags Obama with the s**t show known as the 2009 budget…which was finalized before Obama even took office. That’s right, Forbes, the federal government sets its spending a year in advance…amazing that the guy whose name on the masthead, who had actually run for president himself, conveniently forgot that, isn’t it? Damn liberal media…)”

            Do you understand what the numbers you copied and pasted mean, because you clearly illustrated the point that the mainstream media and their brainwashed puppets are full of it when they pretend to care about Trump’s deficits. Obama’s mother couldn’t come up with a scenario where he added less than five trillion dollars to the national debt.

            “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan advocacy organization that promotes balanced budgets, released an estimate of the proposal indicating it would increase the federal deficit by about $2.2 trillion within the next 10 years. According to the group’s estimate, the proposal would increase the national debt to more than 100 percent of the gross domestic product, an all-time high.”

            Anyone who believes this believes CNN. Obama left office with the national debt at 106.1% of GDP. Cloward-Piven was his school of economics. Now you want me to believe that you care about deficit spending? Maybe the government should spend more stolen money to promote shame.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “As for the WaPo, count the number of Pulitzers that they have won, stories that they have broken which have proven to be true. The ‘legacy’ media are a keystone in defending democracy.”

        hahahaha do you work for WaPo? (“Democracy dies in Darkness” LOL)THe legacy media defending Democracy, like Dan Rather using forges ANG papers to try to take down Bush? Like the Legacy Media calling Breibart a liar when he broke the Weiner Sex pics story? (no phones in prison) Like when continue to peddle false narrative? “Bush lied, people died” “Hands up, don’t shoot

        Or this: http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/05/15/mcmaster-didnt-happen-trump-russia-classified-info-sot.cnn

        Or this: http://freebeacon.com/politics/754936/

        Or this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4014386/Washington-Post-appends-story-accusing-Russia-spreading-fake-news-saying-does-not-vouch-experts-findings.html

        We are lucky we still have a somewhat functioning Democracy despite the Legacy Media

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          And what of all their accomplishments?

          How can you ignore them?

          And what would you replace them with?

          The problems in America are not the fault of the legacy media.

          The American primary and secondary public education systems are obviously failing as demonstrated by the lack of knowledge so many Americans have regarding world history, geography and politics.

          Without the legacy media there would be no public commentary that at least tried to be objective and in-depth.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “The problems in America are not the fault of the legacy media”

            False

            “And what of all their accomplishments?

            How can you ignore them?”

            So fake news is ok just as long as there are a few truthful stories once in while.

            “Without the legacy media there would be no public commentary that at least tried to be objective and in-depth.”

            They don’t even try to be objective. Geez look at the tongue bath obama got when he was running and after he was elected…..

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            This is the part where markf saye he didn’t believe one word of the stuff that the mountain of negative crap the media reported about Hillary Clinton…consider the source, right?

            (Newsflash, folks…markf’s problem isn’t media bias. It’s that the media isn’t biased towards his viewpoint. Ditto for every other anti-media whiner.)

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “markf is spouting ***fake news***”

          TRANSLATION: Anything that doesn’t conform to my liberal world view

  • avatar
    caljn

    The repercussions and costs of W’s ill-advised wars and irresponsible tax cuts will be felt for generations.
    In the meantime the nation literally crumbles.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Not to mention the Prescription Drug Plan (and the giveaway to big pharma – banning Medicare from negotiating volume discounts) – all UNPAID for.

      The Republicans like to brag how they are the “fiscal conservatives” but they are the last thing from it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Meh…Bush isn’t to blame.

      We The People are to blame. Why? Because in the end, the government will generally do what the American people tell it to…as long as we put our money where our mouths are, and agree to spend our tax dollars. But we won’t agree to spend our tax dollars. We want better infrastructure but won’t pay for it.

      So, nothing gets done. That’s the bottom line, and has been for some time.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @Freed,

        I have to disagree, ultimately it will do whatever it wants. From lessons of Vietnam, they know it is important to get public buy-in for their pre-planned schemes. Iraq was a great example, they wanted to go into Iraq in 1991 but stopped. Later they got in after they whipped the nation into a fury. After 9/11 we wanted blood, and they delivered. I was young, I was stupid, and I did too. None of this is coincidence.

        I hate to quote the Clinton News Network, but:

        “Suskind said O’Neill and other White House insiders gave him documents showing that in early 2001 the administration was already considering the use of force to oust Saddam, as well as planning for the aftermath.

        “There are memos,” Suskind told the network. “One of them marked ‘secret’ says ‘Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.\'””

        cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/10/oneill.bush/

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          You kidding, 28? The folks who wanted us in Vietnam were prepping the American people for it for YEARS before the Gulf of Tonkin “incident.” With all the anti-communist sentiment going on at the time, they didn’t have to work too hard to whip people into a frenzy about Ho Chi Minh.

          If anything, what Vietnam and Iraq both prove conclusively is that if a large-scale, long-lasting war doesn’t deserve to get fought, but gets fought anyway, it succeeds in doing nothing but dividing the populace.

          Lord knows us losing in Vietnam didn’t make Asia “go commie” (in fact, China and Vietnam actually got *FAR LESS* communistic in short order after the Vietnam war ended), and “winning” in Iraq didn’t make the jihadi dimbulbs go away – they just got more nihilistic. There was no reason to fight either war, as it turns out.

          But both wars succeeded grandly at making the American people more distrustful and divided.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I think that the narcissistic ManBaby is brain-damaged.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Lemme guess … Hwy 120 heading west to Lee Vining?

  • avatar
    ReSa

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/38/bd/5d/38bd5dd1b9e0083fe8dd3215caf077db.gif

    Actually, make that the rest of the world…

  • avatar
    markf

    “The repercussions and costs of W’s ill-advised wars and irresponsible tax cuts will be felt for generations.
    In the meantime the nation literally crumbles.”

    I guess when the Left runs out of ammo they can always fall back on “Buuuuut Bush”

    obama spend more than all other Presidents combined, what do we have to show for it?

  • avatar
    yanks49

    The choices for president for many years, including Clinton, have been so bad. The only reason Clinton even got elected was because of Ross Perot and the disdain for politicians. Then you have Clinton/Dole Bush/Gore, Bush/Kerry, Obama or Clinton/McCain, Obama/Romney, Trump/Clinton. Horrible, horrible choices and it makes me sick that we have had to pick any of these people.

    The problem is, is there an actual solution? Do we not have a single person in this country capable of seeing both sides of an issue and able to make a case that works?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    “Real Clear Politics” this ain’t. However, with a clickbait headline like what we got, I suppose the ensuing melee was inevitable. A long time ago, the funding of roads and bridges was set up as a paygo enterprise. Motor fuel taxes were supposed to pay for it, and the Federal Highway Trust Fund was the pot that held the money. Arguments about funding were pretty much limited to disputes between car owners (represented by the AAA) and long haul truckers as to whether the truckers paid their “fare share” given the extra wear caused by their vehicles’ heavy weight.
    Now the Trust Fund pays for things like subways and other mass transit projects, and bike routes and doesn’t have enough to pay for roads.
    And electric car owners get to use the roads for free, including the HOV lanes.
    And we all think we pay too much taxes, so an increase in the motor fuel tax is a non-starter in both state capitals and Washington. Of course the reason people think they too much taxes is because, when they look around, they don’t see much to how for it.
    And the reason for that is that, unlike any time in the past, the bulk of the federal budget goes to “transfer payments”: welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. Not guns, planes, space ships, parks, bridges and other tangible stuff.
    So, it’s no wonder that everything is a giant clusterfk.
    Private companies are legally precluded from engaging in the kinds of dishonest accounting routinely practiced by governments at all levels. So if they’re going to pay for a road, their financial calculations need to be sound-which means the project has to have a reasonable certainty of paying for itself within the defined time period. So . . . Tolls.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Set your deadline far enough in the future, and I suppose anything’s possible. JFK saying “we will go to the Moon in eight years” was ambitious, and achieved. Nichols saying “all new cars on sale in California by 2050 will be electric” is not so ambitious by comparison, given that we’re talking about a 33 YEAR TIMELINE and technology that’s already commercially available off the shelf.

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