President Donald Trump is beginning what his White House is referring to as "infrastructure week" with a plan whose goal is to avoid having the federal government actually pay for the infrastructure in question.
The infrastructure plan will decrease the federal government's role in funding those projects and instead place the burden on both private corporations and state and city governments, according to a report by The New York Times. His plan will include privatizing America's air-traffic control system — announced Monday — which he would also modernize by using a digital satellite-based tracking systems instead of land-based radar. Trump's plan would also come up with methods for repairing America's bridges, railways, roads and waterways.
As Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn told the Times on Friday, "We like the template of not using taxpayer dollars to give taxpayers wins."
Cohn added, "We want to be in the partnership business. We want to be in the facilitation business, and we’re willing to provide capital wherever necessary to help certain infrastructure along."
Many of the infrastructure program's critics claim that it amounts to little more than a giveaway to the wealthy.
"Bold, job-creating investments in our crumbling infrastructure system can and should be a bipartisan priority," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement. "However, Trump’s ‘infrastructure week’ appears to be little more than a Trojan Horse for undermining workers’ wages and handing massive tax breaks to billionaires and corporations."
This echoes a criticism made by former labor secretary Robert Reich back in January, who said, "What Donald Trump is proposing is nothing more than a huge tax giveaway for the rich."