Now that step two in Trump’s disastrous tax plan has arrived it’s clear his infrastructure plan will have a very large bill. Waiter, the check please. Mr. Trump’s plan is to pay for this extravagant dinner through the forced sale of American assets while cutting food stamps, housing and healthcare to the poorest Americans. And it appears that our Governor Hogan is a big fan.
The plan cuts the budget of the Food Stamp program by $17.2 billion. Details are light but the new program will in part replace food stamps with a canned dry food delivery service. In an Orwellian twist the program will be called “America’s Harvest Box.”
Many Republicans believe the program is abused, allowing the poor to purchase steak and lobster with their food stamps. This idea seems to be based on one odd instance of a California surfer, living on a beach, followed by a Fox news crew, who once used food stamps to buy lobster on sale. “I’ll eat whatever is on sale,” said California resident Jason Greenslate. Meanwhile, the current food stamp program provides $125 per month to more than 40 million Americans.
The Trump administration’s solution for the HUD budget is to eliminate any funds for capital repairs. Like all cities across this nation, Annapolis has experienced problems with infrastructure at low income housing. Last summer’s heat wave saw progressive Annapolis activist Da’Juan Gay raise $10,000 for air conditioners at Eastport Terrace. HUD currently has a 40 billion dollar backlog for the repairs to low income housing.
Trump’s plan will also eliminate Medicaid Expansion, currently in use by 33 states. In 2021 the Trump infrastructure plan is to end the very subsidies which help 4 of 5 Americans in the Affordable Care Act pay for their health insurance.
The Republicans expect to raise additional monies by selling off Dulles and National Airports. George Washington Parkway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, both run by the National Park Service, would also go on the auction block. Presently proceeds from such Federal sales must be transferred to a land and water conservation fund. That requirement will be rescinded and individual agencies will be allowed to keep the proceeds, incentivizing the sale of public properties. The Trump administration claims that its $200 billion infrastructure spending will spur $1.5 trillion in investment.
“The Trump plan has the skin of an infrastructure plan, but it lacks the guts,” Democratic Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, adding that “the lack of direct investment would leave out large parts of America.”
State Sen. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) said, The president is “turning Northern Virginia into his plaything. Seriously, what’s next? We’re going to build waterfront condos along the Potomac?”
There appears to be one administration that loves this plan, and that’s Maryland’s own Governor Larry Hogan. His Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn is eager to take control of the Baltimore Washington Parkway. “I think it’s a great idea,” adding the state would add toll and carpool lanes.
Peter Cane is a professional photographer.
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