Opinion Trump Doesn’t Give a Dam

04:50  13 february  2018
04:50  13 february  2018 Source:   The New York Times

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Donald Trump doesn ' t appear to give a damn. He frequently offers blatantly racial observations and pronouncements. They are generally delivered with a unique Trump vitriol, often unfettered from the truth.

Trump 's statement that "we don't talk about it anymore" is ridiculous. In fact, there are hundreds of massive hydropower dams under construction across the globe, and thousands being planned. Clearly, Trump doesn ' t know a damn thing about dams .

a group of people in a room: President Trump discussed his infrastructure plan with state and local officials at the White House on Monday. © Tom Brenner/The New York Times President Trump discussed his infrastructure plan with state and local officials at the White House on Monday.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump doesn’t give a dam. Or a bridge. Or a road. Or a sewer system. Or any of the other things we talk about when we talk about infrastructure.

But how can that be when he just announced a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan? That’s easy: It’s not a plan, it’s a scam. The $1.5 trillion number is just made up; he’s only proposing federal spending of $200 billion, which is somehow supposed to magically induce a vastly bigger overall increase in infrastructure investment, mainly paid for either by state and local governments (which are not exactly rolling in cash, but whatever) or by the private sector.

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Politicians to Trump : Don’ t relicense Oroville Dam until we know why spillway failed. But critics of the DWR and the water contractors say it’s important for the Trump administration to know why federal and state dam inspectors so badly missed clues that the spillway was about to fail before giving the state

Even if you wish to give Trump the benefit of the doubt—a courtesy that he has in no way earned—and frame his conduct as inept rather than malevolent, we are past the point at which he could have redeemed himself by issuing a simple, unqualified apology.

And even the $200 billion is essentially fraudulent: The budget proposal announced the same day doesn’t just impose savage cuts on the poor, it includes sharp cuts for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and other agencies that would be crucially involved in any real infrastructure plan. Realistically, Trump’s offer on infrastructure is this: nothing.

That’s not to say that the plan is completely vacuous. One section says that it would “authorize federal divestiture of assets that would be better managed by state, local or private entities.” Translation: We’re going to privatize whatever we can. It’s conceivable that this would be done only in cases where the private sector really would do better, and contracts would be handed out fairly, without a hint of cronyism. And if you believe that, I have a degree from Trump University you might want to buy.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is assisting state officials at the scene of the Oroville Dam crisis in Northern California, although President Donald Trump has yet to comment on the emergency.

And here is where the problem lies, the far left republicans and some not so far left just can't get it in their thick heads that trump is a liar and that he doesn ' t give a dam about the middle class and the poor.

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At one level, none of this should be a surprise. The current infrastructure nonplan looks a lot like the sketchy proposal the Trump campaign laid out in 2016, back when he was still pretending to be a different kind of Republican, less committed to the party’s economic orthodoxy. Even then he was claiming that he could do infrastructure on the cheap, that a relative pittance of federal money could somehow generate vast investment (although the mystery multiplier has gotten even bigger this time around).

Yet there is something puzzling about Trump’s failure to come up with a remotely plausible infrastructure plan. After all, there would be major economic and political advantages to such a program.

First, the economics: America desperately needs to repair and upgrade its deteriorating roads, water systems, power grid and more. True, we’re no longer a depressed economy that needs public investment to put the unemployed back to work; massive infrastructure spending would have been an even better idea five years ago. But it’s still something that needs doing.

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WIN_16_The_Beaver_That_Didn’ t _ Give _ a _ Dam _portrait. Trump Administration Silences Public’s Voice in Oil, Gas Leasing Near Parks. Feb 2018. Eliminates collaborative planning, limits requirements for environmental review.

And while Democrats and their mouthpieces continues to try and focus attention on the unverified frivolous claims within the dossier - as opposed to the illegalities of the dossier's production, collusion, and exhibition - The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins warns then that the Trump Dossier dam is

Where would the money come from? Well, if you don’t worry too much about deficits — and as we’ve just seen, Republicans don’t care at all about deficits as long as a Democrat isn’t in the White House — we can just borrow it. Despite a modest rise in interest rates, the federal government can still borrow very cheaply: The interest rate on inflation-protected long-term bonds is still less than 1 percent, which is below realistic estimates of long-run economic growth, let alone the Trump administration’s fantasy numbers. So borrowing now to pay for essential infrastructure would still be good economics.

And as I said, there would be political advantages, too. If Trump just pushed ahead with a straightforward, conventional public investment plan, he could trumpet the number of workers employed on new projects. Furthermore, he could surely find a way to stick his name on many of those projects. Historically, many politicians have had what’s known in the trade as an edifice complex — an urge to build big stuff to promote their personal brand and feed their vanity. Certainly Trump of all people would find that prospect appealing.

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crappy benefits they want the American people to pay for and Live with! they take care of their self’s and don’ t give a dam about our own people who pays their dam Condi,Thank you for your wisdom. Please take a chance and encourage Trump along the way. He needs that but doesn ’ t know it.

Trump fans are calling for Californians to drown amid concerns the Oroville Dam will collapse – even though the surrounding counties voted Republican. — Jason Bergkamp (@keksec__org) February 13, 2017. California has money to give illegal immigrants sex change surgery but none for

By the way, some Democrats feared that Trump really would go big on infrastructure, which might drive a wedge into their party and be highly popular besides.

Oh, and another point: Public spending can yield a lot of private profit. An infrastructure program involving real money could be very lucrative for Trump cronies, or for that matter Trump himself. Yes, there are rules that are supposed to prevent that kind of profiteering, but does anyone think those rules would be enforced under current management?

So why isn’t Trump proposing something real? Why this dog’s breakfast of a proposal that everyone knows won’t go anywhere?

Part of the answer is that in practice Trump always defers to Republican orthodoxy, and the modern G.O.P. hates any program that might show people that government can work and help people.

But I also suspect that Trump is afraid to try anything substantive. To do public investment successfully, you need leadership and advice from experts. And this administration doesn’t do expertise, in any field. Not only do experts have a nasty habit of telling you things you don’t want to hear, their loyalty is suspect: You never know when their professional ethics might kick in.

So the Trump administration probably couldn’t put together a real infrastructure plan even if it wanted to. And that’s why it didn’t.

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Paul Krugman wearing a suit and tie © Earl Wilson/The New York Times

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