GOP Infrastructure Plan: State & Local Tax Hikes; Toll Roads & Bridges

Are you ready for private toll roads and bridges in West Virginia and Maine? How about state and local tax hikes in Mississippi and New Hampshire? Get ready for it, because that is exactly what Rural States from Georgia to Idaho can expect if the Trump infrastructure plan comes to fruition.

Oh, the White House talks a great game, promising that a quarter of its $1.5 trillion “plan” to repair bridges, repave roads, buttress dams, dredge waterways and renovate water pipes will be dedicated to Rural America. What the Trump administration doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about is the fact that its formula only calls for putting up about 20% of the cash to rebuild a crumbling America.

The Trump scheme calls for state and local governments to raise taxes and private contractors to take control of roads, bridges, and waterways and charge tolls for their use by American consumers.

A more traditional infrastructure blueprint would have the federal government putting up 80% of the money and states come up with the remaining 20%. We can thank the GOP tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans for making it virtually impossible for Uncle Sam to do his job and maintain the vital American infrastructure.

As CEO Joel Moser of infrastructure finance and privately equity company Aquamarine Investment Partners, points out in Forbes, state, and local lawmakers would be hard-pressed to raise taxes after the GOP tax scam just all but wiped out the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

“By proposing less federal money, Trump is playing a shell game, pushing the responsibility to raise taxes to governors and mayors, and right after signing a tax bill that eliminates the deductibility of state and local taxes, making it just about impossible to raise taxes. He gets to claim fiscal purity on this issue and pass the blame to others—because the problem will not get fixed,” Moser writes.

It gets worse. Trump’s proposal is based on ”competitive grants” that would greatly favor wealthy East and Coast “Blue States” over Rural “Red States,” meaning Rural Areas would likely be left behind once again by the Trump administration.

“There are a bunch of us that want to work on infrastructure, but it can’t be overly reliant on tolls from blue areas of the country and leave red areas of the country behind,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

‎We’re going to be hearing an awful lot about how the GOP tax cut giveaway to their fat cat friends on Wall Street and corporate boardrooms have crippled services and lifestyles for the vast majority of Americans. Just this week the Congressional Budget Office warned that the federal government is once again going to have to raise the debt ceiling because federal revenue already is slowing to trickle thanks to the GOP tax cuts.

Raising the debt ceiling means selling more debt to buyers like China for the federal government to pay its bills. But what it really means is American infrastructure is going to continue to crumble, —and Rural States will take the biggest hit of all.

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