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New York Times: “Derailment proves infrastructure plan is needed”
With $1.7 Trillion in tax cuts, infrastructure improvements will fall to the states

Amtrak’s Dec. 18th derailed cars being removed from the scene.
Photo credit Ruth Fremson, The New York Times.

Story highlights
* Report: new infrastructure spending will be shifted to state and local governments,
* This will not work.
* The recently passed tax bill creates difficulties for state and local governments to raise new money because citizens will no longer be able to deduct state and local taxes from their federal income taxes.

– “The Amtrak Derailment Was Caused by a Collective Failure”
“The halting progress [of railroad safety improvements] is emblematic of the country’s larger transportation problems — its potholed roads, dysfunctional subways, dilapidated bridges and shabby airports. Some had hoped this would change under President Trump, who promised during the election to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure. Last week, he wrote on Twitter that the Amtrak derailment ‘shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly,'”

“It is hard to take this declaration seriously, though, given his administration’s lack of effort. The White House raised hopes when it held an “infrastructure week” in early June. It’s understandable if you don’t recall anything about that week; it was all smoke and mirrors. The one document from which we might actually learn something about the administration’s intentions — the 2018 budget — proposes a long list of cuts. Grants to Amtrak would be slashed by $630 million, or 45 percent; the Capital Investment Grants program, which supports rail and transit projects around the country, would lose $928 million, or 43 percent; a popular $500 million transportation program known as Tiger, which invests in road, rail, transit and port projects, would be eliminated.”

“If Mr. Trump were serious, he would get Congress to increase direct federal spending on infrastructure and pay for it by repealing some of the giant tax cuts it just handed to corporations and wealthy families,” by Editorial Board of The New York Times.
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Posted by Steve on December 29, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

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