Policy Guide: President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Ever since announcing that he would run for the Presidency, Donald Trump has attempted to devise a plan that would rehab a quickly deteriorating American infrastructure.

Over a week of events focusing on America’s framework, President Donald Trump laid out his five-point plan to begin the rehabilitation of the United States’ ailing infrastructure:

Some Context – America’s Infrastructure is indeed very bad

Statistics from both the President’s administration and non-partisan committees show that America’s infrastructure is indeed very bad.

According to the President’s website, America’s infrastructure is ranked 12th in the world, something that his team finds “unacceptable.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a non-partisan organization that denotes a grade for America’s infrastructure every four years, gave America’s framework a D+ grade. Translation: The United States’ infrastructure is in poor to fair condition, and is deteriorating and in need of rehabilitation.

Judging solely by those figures, the United States needs a quick plan that will rehabilitate a vulnerable American infrastructure. However, President Trump and his team have devised an intricate five-part plan to fix the nation’s poor infrastructure.

Idea #1: Lower the Average Permit Time

Most of today’s infrastructure projects may take up to ten years to get the necessary approvals and permits needed to begin the project.

However, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan attempts to lower that number to two years, an eight-year reduction to “spur growth and investment.”

The President’s plan will form a single federal council to deliver the first and only “yes” or “no” to a proposed project. All proposed projects will be filed on a single dashboard for the council, and agencies that fail to hit deadlines will be penalized.

In addition, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan includes slashing many regulations that impede the progress of projects. President Trump exemplified this point during a speech on Infrastructure by dropping a 70-page binder containing a single environmental regulation that was stopping the building of a road in Maryland.

Idea #2: Rely on the Private Sector to fund Projects

While private companies spend about 4x more on infrastructure than the government (Private: about $2 trillion, Government: about $472 billion), the federal government still funds many public projects like bridges and roads.

However, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan hopes to encourage the private sector to fund many of the projects that were formerly funded by government grants.

The goal is to get private companies to invest both their large amount of collective cash and knowledge into the nation’s framework to rebuild much of the at-risk infrastructure.

Idea #3: Focus on Rural Infrastructure

Although President Trump is cutting a large amount of the funding of the Department of Agriculture in his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018, he is planning to invest a large amount of money into the areas’ infrastructure.

About $25 billion will go to rebuilding the “crumbling” infrastructure of rural areas as part of his initial $200 billion investment into America’s infrastructure. Over the span of his Presidency, Mr. Trump wants to spend at least a total of $1 trillion on rehabbing the United States’ framework.

Idea #4: Invest in “Transformative” Projects

While the President is unclear in the details of his plan, President Trump wants to invest $15 billion into “transformative projects.”

With the definition of transformative as “causing a marked change in someone or something,” it can be assumed that the projects the President is alluding to are of grand scale and will benefit a large amount of citizens.

However, neither the President nor his team have described what the projects will be.

Idea #5: Step up Number of Apprenticeships

An apprentice is a “person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages” (Source: Google Dictionary). Along the same lines, an apprenticeship is “the position of an apprentice” (again, Google Dictionary).

This system of apprenticeships is a large part of President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, as he wants to add 1 million apprentices in the next two years.

The goal: “make America ready for the future with a work-force training initiative focused on skill-based apprenticeship education.”

Sources

WH.gov – “President Trump’s Plan to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure”

Trump promises ‘massive permit reform’ in infrastructure bill

American Society of Civil Engineers – 2017 Infrastructure Report Card

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