Infrastructure hype is just that – hype!


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In his victory speech, Presidential Reality Show® champ Donald Trump declared, “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none,” while promising to “put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it” and spend “$1 trillion over a 10-year period.”

Iron ore and copper prices spiked 5 and 8 percent respectively on the news. “It would be a big mover for our business, no question about it,” said Martin Marietta Materials CEO Howard Nye, who saw his company’s shares jump 12 percent since Trump’s announcement. Some 45 percent of Martin Marietta’s business is infrastructure-dependent.

Across infrastructure-related industries, products and resource-sectors stocks and commodity prices rose on Trump’s promise “to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools and hospitals.”

One trillion dollars over 10 years? According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, it will cost more than $3.3 trillion to keep up with repairs and replacements of nation’s aging infrastructure over the next 10 years… let alone making it “second to none.”

One trillion dollars over 10 years or $100 billion a year from a projected 2017 budget with outlays of $4.15 trillion “to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals?”

NATIONAL ATTENTION DISORDER
While the media and Wall Street boast of great rewards from Trump’s infrastructure-rebuilding plan, forgotten is President Obama’s $831 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That promised to create jobs by investing in infrastructure, education, health and renewable energy over 10 years. While funds were earmarked for spending beyond infrastructure, as with most government-stimulus programs, final results fell far short of bravado political pledges.

Moreover, on a grander scale, with a US defense budget of nearly $600 billion a year accounting for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending… and which Donald Trump vows to expand… $1 trillion for infrastructure repair over 10 years pales in comparison and will achieve limited results.

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