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Paul Krugman @paulkrugman
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Journalists need to stop talking about Trump's "huge", "$1.5 trillion" infrastructure plan. He's only proposing $200 billion in federal money, which is somehow supposed to jumpstart almost 8 times as much total spending 1/
Furthermore, his budget slashes $178 billion in transportation funding, billions more from water, energy, and so on. So the real net spending on infrastructure being proposed is basically zero. All that's left is an effort to privatize things that can make profits 2/
The interesting question is why he won't go for a few hundred billion in actual stuff. I mean, he could get some credit from voters; he could stick his name on things (plenty of past politicians have had edifice complexes for that very reason) 3/
And given a complaisant Congress, he could waive lots of rules and turn infrastructure into a big profit center for cronies, very much including his own family. So why is there nothing here but a big fat zero? 4/
One answer may be that much of the Congressional GOP hates doing anything that might convey the impression that government is good for something. But I have a personal theory that something else is going on: Trump is terrified of trying to make actual policy 5/
After all, a real infrastructure plan means deciding what needs to be built; it requires that somebody in the administration have some professional expertise. And this admin actively hates employing such people, either because they weren't loyalists in the past 6/
Or because people who actually know what they're doing in any field other than propaganda -- be it defense, diplomacy, science, economic policy -- might, you know, turn out to have independent minds and even consciences. They're dangerous! 7/
So Trump won't produce a real infrastructure plan because he doesn't dare employ anyone who would know how to do that. 8/
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