How to Spend a Trillion Dollars on Infrastructure

Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D. Apr 5, 2017

Among the several domestic policy issues discussed during the recent presidential election were the candidates’ commitments to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure—Hillary Clinton proposed $500 billion; Donald Trump wanted twice that. Trump won the race, so a trillion dollars it will be, and Senate Democrats have already put forth their competing trillion-dollar plan with specific allocations to broad areas of the economy.

To date, no similar details have emerged from the Trump administration, although a 54-page/50-project glossy report—attributed to the Trump transition team—is circulating through the media and transportation policy circles. However, the Trump transition team denies it is their product.

 During the campaign neither candidate was very specific about where these billions would be spent, although references to “crumbling roads and bridges,” “failing water systems,” and “obsolete airports” were common to both campaigns. And both embraced the sense that we were confronting an existing or pending “crisis” that necessitated a bold and urgent response.