Trump’s Infrastructure Scam Amounts to a Massive Tax Hike on Poor & Middle Class Americans

While Donald Trump mentioned “rebuilding America’s infrastructure” throughout his campaign, he didn’t really talk about it all that much during his first year in office. That all changed this past week when he unveiled his long-awaited plan to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

Sadly, it’s nothing but a giant scam that’s going to end up being a massive tax hike on nearly every American, especially the poor and middle class who’ll carry the biggest burden — like always.

Trump unveiled a plan that will shift $200 billion over the next decade from other federal programs, yet somehow this is all supposed to lead to a plan that will cost around $1.5 trillion.

If that math doesn’t make much sense to you, it shouldn’t, because it doesn’t.

And that’s the scam.

Trump’s plan is largely dependent on local funding to complete these projects, along with a new push to raise the gas tax. In January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce proposed raising the gas tax by 5 cents each year for five consecutive years to create an estimated $394 billion in revenue.

To do a little math for everyone, if that were to happen, the average American with a 15 gallon gas tank who refills their vehicle once a week would pay $39 more in taxes for gas in the first year and $195 by the fifth.

Okay, so that’s not that much money, right? It’s not. However, if that proposal were to be enacted, that gas tax hike cancels out most, if not all, of the “big tax break” poor and middle class Americans received from the GOP’s tax scam.

Ah, but that’s just the beginning.

As reported by USA Today:

The federal government traditionally provided 80% of funding for qualified highway construction. But Trump’s incentive funding is projected to provide 10% or 20% of a project’s cost to generate $500 billion to $1 trillion in total investment, according to senior administration officials. The loan programs could generate 40 times the federal investment, officials said.

While the federal share would fall, senior administration officials said the change will reduce the reliance on the federal government for a broader variety of worthy projects. Only 28% of all highway construction and only 4% of water projects nationwide get federal funding, the officials said.

Local matching funds could come from sales or property taxes, or user fees. The city of Los Angeles adopted a sales-tax referendum in November 2016 to generate $120 billion over 40 years for infrastructure, which administration officials said could serve as an example for others.

Tolls would be one way to spur private investment in roads or bridges. But they wouldn’t be financially justifiable everywhere.

And there it is.

Local funds would likely come from higher sales and/or property taxes, while many areas could see a huge boom in toll roads and fees.

So, just after Republicans passed a massive tax cut where the richest among us are the primary beneficiaries to the tune of $1.5 trillion, Trump’s proposing an infrastructure plan that will rely heavily on:

  • Raising the federal gas tax.
  • More private funding for roads (aka tolls).
  • Raising property and sales taxes.

Meaning that tiny tax break middle class Americans just received from Trump’s tax plan will get erased, and then some, if this infrastructure “plan” gets passed as it’s currently laid out.

See, this is how Republicans screw the poor and middle class to help the rich. Every. Single. Time. 

They’ll dangle a small tax break for most Americans out there, hoping to distract people from realizing that the $50 or so a month they’re going to get back is nothing compared to the millions and billions the Top 2% will rake in from the GOP’s tax cuts.

Then when it comes to funding vital aspects of our government, since these tax cuts greatly reduce the amount of money our government takes in, Republicans push for cuts to programs that most poor and middle class Americans benefit from. Meanwhile, they shift various burdens to local and state governments which then leads to — you guessed it — higher sales and property taxes to make up for the loss of revenue from the federal government.

That means, at the end of the day, the “big tax cut” Trump and the GOP promised Americans ultimately ends up costing the majority of Americans more money out of their pocket when local and state governments are forced to raise taxes to cover the funds the government is no longer receiving thanks to the massive handouts Republicans just gave the rich.

Donald Trump’s infrastructure “plan” is nothing more than a scam that, if passed, will lead to an even greater burden being placed on poor and middle class Americans, leaving us further and further behind, while the Top 2 percent and big business continue to get richer than ever before.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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