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It is easy to forget that bad policy ideas aren’t limited to one particular political party. Recently, Hillary Clinton proposed $275 billion in infrastructure spending over five years and $225 billion in loan programs through a national infrastructure bank. Not one to be outdone, Donald Trump pledged to double Clinton’s proposed spending, saying in an interview with Fox Business, “We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure.”
As it stands now, neither candidate is looking at other ways to address our country’s infrastructure by empowering states to prioritize projects based on their needs, without the influence of bureaucrats and special interests. The top-down, federally-driven approach to infrastructure will be preserved.
The plans put forward by Clinton and Trump are not too dissimilar from the neo-Keynesian thought that drove President Barack Obama, in 2009, to ram an $830 billion so-called “stimulus” plan through Congress. An afterthought in these plans to ramp up spending are the taxpayers, current and future ones, who will be forced to bear the burden.
When Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2009, the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. It has skyrocketed by 82 percent, to $19.4 trillion during his two terms in office. This is on top of the 85 percent increase in the national debt under his predecessor, George W. Bush. The fiscal future the United States presents even more very serious challenges for our economy. Budget deficits are beginning to rise again and, absent real entitlement reforms that encourage economic growth, the public’s share of the national debt will eclipse the size of the economy in less than 20 years.
The current path we’re on as a nation is fiscally unsustainable. Outside the box solutions are needed to address public policy issues, such as infrastructure. Americans don’t need more of the same -- more government, more spending, and more debt. But the plans currently offered will be prioritized by government bureaucrats and undoubtedly be a feeding trough for rent-seeking K Street special interests.