I took my daughter to see the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Back when she was a teenager, I revealed to her my extensive comic book collection and ever since, whenever a superhero movie comes out, we see it together just the two of us. Among our favorite moments are (as with a lot of moviegoers) the previews of upcoming feature films. If you’ve seen enough of them, you know that they can either be quite accurate in portraying that a movie is as good as advertised; or that it’s already given you the best clips and the rest wasn’t worth the price of admission.
We have a preview of President Trump’s budget, and as it relates to infrastructure it remains to be seen if we can sit through the whole showing.
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The Association of General Contractors (AGC) has taken a close look at what’s being proposed. The budget request for fiscal year 2018 is called “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” One of the first things the AGC mentions in its summary of the proposal is that it does not offer any fixes to the Highway Trust Fund. Also, the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program doesn’t get any funding (it had $500 million in FY 2017), and the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) had its funding almost cut in half from $2.3 billion to $1.2 billion. Some see the cuts in those two programs as a signal to states to come up with their own schemes.
The president did include his promised $200 billion for direct federal spending on infrastructure, which the AGC says is status quo with previous year’s appropriations and budget requests—approximately $120 billion. It also contains significant funding increases for border wall construction and a $5 billion dollar down payment on the administration’s infrastructure initiative.
The AGC is also concerned that Federal Education and Training Programs are being hit hard with budget cuts. Contractors are already having a hard enough time finding and hiring a skilled workforce. The loss of career and technical education programs could make the situation worse.
Here is the link for the AGC Summary of President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal.
Will the president’s proposed budget live? Will the Highway Trust Fund ever find new love? Will the skilled labor gap swallow up willing participants? And will the $4.6 trillion price tag to fix the country’s infrastructure ever go on sale?
This does have all the makings of a really good cinematic preview.
And now time for audience participation. Please answer this question in the comments below:
Do you approve or disapprove of President Trump’s handling of infrastructure so far?