Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump's Infrastructure Scam

I am going to hold off on commenting on Trump's "trillion dollars"infrastructure plan until the details are out.

But I fully agree with Paul Krugman when he writes:
Trumpists are touting the idea of a big infrastructure build, and some Democrats are making conciliatory noises about working with the new regime on that front. But remember who you’re dealing with: if you invest anything with this guy, be it money or reputation, you are at great risk of being scammed...

Again, all of these questions could be avoided by doing things the straightforward way: if you think we should build more infrastructure, then build more infrastructure, and never mind the complicated private equity/tax credits stuff. You could try to come up with some justification for the complexity of the scheme, but one simple answer would be that it’s not about investment, it’s about ripping off taxpayers. Is that implausible, given who we’re talking about?
Since he is a Keynesian, Krugman is much more sympathetic to the idea of government infrastructure  programs and spending but he is correct about what is being reported as Trump's method of financing his plan. It's "complicated private equity/tax credits stuff." And it is a scam that appears will be done in a manner that will indeed screw the average citizen.

More when further details emerge.



  1. The Dems and Roger Altman have been talking up an infrastructure bank for several years.
    Check out The Hamilton Project. I suspect Krugman would be silent if his side had won.
    That being said, the merits of such (an infrastructure bank) public/private partnerships, toll charges, etc. may be wanting.

  2. Well it could be worse... At least Krugman's not saying something like "Trump's infrastructure proposal may be a scam, but we should do it anyway to boost aggregate demand."

  3. As if Krugman's whiney comments are worth the ink they're printed on....