by Daveda Gruber:
President Trump was on seen on FOX News speaking from the White House early Monday afternoon.
As part of a $4 trillion-plus budget plan unveiled on Monday, Trump is calling to pump $1.5 trillion into fixing America’s infrastructure. He will be streamlining the burdensome permitting process.
Trump said in his budget message to Congress, “World-class infrastructure is possible for the American people.”
Before he spoke, the president also tweeted:
This will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2018
With a recently passed spending deal and broad tax cuts, the budget would see the federal deficit once again rising past $1 trillion in the near-term. The fiscal 2019 blueprint does not seek to balance the budget over the next decade.
The federal funding would be used to match local spending, provide “incentives” and expand loan programs while the plan calls on state and local governments and the private sector to put up most of the funding.
The new plan proposed $200 billion of the $1.5 trillion in spending would be federal dollars. A senior administration official said the money would come from “reductions in other areas of the budget.”
In addressing criticism from some Republican senators that the Trump administration’s initial pressure on public-private partnerships would do little to help those areas there was reasoning. The plan also would boost investment for projects in rural America. This would include transportation, broadband, water, waste, power, flood management and ports by $50 billion.
A senior administration official described the current course as “fundamentally broken.”
The new plan aims to cut the permitting process for new projects from of sometimes over 10 years to just two years.
That’s a big reduction.
To accomplish this officials envision a single federal agency making decisions on infrastructure bids. decision-making would consume about 21 months and permit consuming the remaining three.
Officials said, this would remove “duplicative” elements that at this moment lead to second-guessing, delays and other problems. This happens when multiple agencies weigh in on the same decision.
In remarks last week to Republican lawmakers at a West Virginia retreat, Trump emphasized efforts to “streamline the horrible approval process… roadways that take 12, 13, 14 years to get approved.”
That long is absurd. It must be cut down.
Trump said, “We used to build them in three months, and now it takes years and years of approvals. We’re going to bring that down, ideally, to one year. Two years is our goal, but one year is our real goal.”
Reaction to the proposal has been divided.
Jay Timmons who is president of the National Association of Manufacturers, saluted Trump “for providing the leadership we have desperately needed to reclaim our rightful place as global leader on true 21st-century infrastructure.”
Some Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pushed the administration to commit far more federal dollars to be funded by tax increases or by closing tax loopholes. Naturally, environmental groups expressed worry about its impact.
Shelley Poticha of the Natural Resources Defense Council said, “President Trump’s infrastructure proposal is a disaster.”
Many in Washington believe that Trump should have begun his term a year ago with an infrastructure push. That could have brought bipartisan support or, at least, placed Democrats in a predicament for opposing a popular political measure for both sides.
Maybe the Democrats would have found reason to be opposed anyway. Now they are not in a good position.
Trump has continued to blame the “crumbling” state of the nation’s roads and highways for preventing the American economy from reaching its full potential.
Trump also will ask for a $13 billion increase over two years for opioid prevention, treatment and long-term recovery.
A request of $23 billion for border security comes too with $18 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Money for more detention beds for detained immigrants, is also a part of the budget.
As he promised during the 2016 campaign, Trump would spare Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare.
The budget projects tax revenue would plummet by $3.7 trillion over the 2018-27 decade.
The fiscal 2019 deficit would hover around $1 trillion, about double what was projected for 2019 last year.
The new budget sees deficits of $7.2 trillion over the next decade.
Trump officials put emphasis on that they’re still working to balance the budget.
Here is the FULL BUDGET:
Budget office head, Mick Mulvaney said, “The budget does bend the trajectory down, it does move us back towards balance. It does get us away from trillion-dollar deficits.”
I have faith in the Trump administration and believe they will get the debt down.