Trump budget plan already outdated after budget deal

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

He will highlight desperately needed infrastructure across the country and visit places where state and local governments have taken innovative steps to finance construction, showing the types of projects he wants to enable, officials said.

The other problem facing infrastructure development that the White House hopes to fix with its plan is "the broken permit system", that is part of the reason the US has fallen behind many other developed countries in infrastructure. "Additionally, we must find the correct balance between federal, state and local investments and private sector partnerships". "This is despite the federal government contributing a very small percentage of total infrastructure spending", it added.

Mulvaney, appearing on "Fox News Sunday", said the president's budget road map will set spending caps across several federal agencies, but also will restore money to the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency that administration officials originally set out to cut.

Democrats in Congress called last week for $1 trillion in direct federal spending, including $100 billion on schools alone as well as billions to expand rural broadband internet service, improve airports, mass transit, roads and ports, boost energy efficiency and improve aging water systems.

The plan should stimulate investment of 1.5 to 1.7 trillion United States dollars in new infrastructure, according to the White House. The White House hasn't been too forthcoming with details about what existing appropriations may be cut to pay for it-or if the the spending is entirely new.

The budget is expected to target spending cuts at social welfare programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, large segments of government spending that have always been eyed by Republicans for cuts.

Offering free ice cream at a summer camp could scarcely meet with greater enthusiasm than pledging to fix and renew the failing highways, bridges, and railroads that frustrate commuters and slow the economy. Water projects, for example, on average involve a 4% federal share and a 96% state or local government share. He will head to the Orlando, Florida, area on Friday to tout the plan, officials said.

And he said if local governments do engage in the Trump plan, it could result in an even heavier tax burden on residents in NY and other high-tax states where many taxpayers likely will pay more federal taxes because they can deduct only $10,000 in state and local taxes from their federal returns.

Just 10 days after the president first called for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan in a 2017 address to Congress, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued its quadrennial report card on the nation's infrastructure.

Trump chose infrastructure as his legislative priority for 2018.

"But I can tell you the real problem with this particular one is that our leadership caved".

"We're not proposing eliminating the Highway Trust Fund, or changing the state revolving funds", he said.

One senior administration official said that President Trump and his Cabinet will be traveling across the nation to sell the infrastructure plan. The rest state and local governments would have to come up with, but the president has said he has a solution.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential advocacy group for businesses, proposed in January raising the gas tax 5 cents each year for five years to generate $394 billion over a decade. Funding for federal-aid highways, including interstates, is usually allocated in an 80-20 federal-state split.

"So if you're licensed to perform a trade in one part of the country, you can move to another part of the country and transfer that license", the official said.

Infrastructure projects also would be the next major focus for the Trump administration in its theme to reduce regulations.