The $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Lots of Rhetoric. No Reality.
Push came to shove on May 22 in a 3-minute non-meeting in the White House between President Donald Trump and Democratic party leaders and the 2 trillion infrastructure plan collapsed, blown apart by the tornadic winds from the President’s mouth. The demise of the alleged plan was predictable, because from the start it was built not on strong pillars with deep pilings, but on a house of cards in which the joker was wild.
The victim of all of this was the nation’s infrastructure, which will continue to crumble and decay and to be legislatively ignored, as it has been for the past decade and more. This condition continues in the face of widespread cross-cutting support for an infrastructure bill. For example, on May 21, strange bedfellows Thomas J. Donohoe, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, published an op ed in the Washington Post calling for “action on infrastructure, not more talk.”
Trumka and Donohoe got what they called for on May 22, but not in the manner they requested. President Trump’s action was to throw a tirade and storm out of the so-called infrastructure meeting, with no talk permitted from the Democrats.
In the Rose Garden of the White Hose, Trump explained that he did this because of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments to reporters before coming to the White House that he was “engaged in a coverup” on the Mueller Report. He declared that he could not proceed to work with the Democrats “under these circumstances.”
The President was probably partially accurate in citing this as a reason for not going forward with the infrastructure discussion. But “these circumstances” are only the tip of the iceberg; there were other circumstances below the waterline that would have sunk a $2 trillion plan that may also have contributed to the President abruptly doing an about-face.
Looking at this subject in a broader and more holistic context, what has been going on — or we should say not going on — with the infrastructure provides an insight into the gridlock that has intensified in Washington, D.C. during Trump’s tenure as President. Let’s examine this retrospectively, beginning with the April 30 meeting between President Trump and the Democratic…