We’ve Got Issues: White House infrastructure plan relies on state and local gov'ts

Apr 9, 2018

President Donald Trump’s plan to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure hasn’t gone anywhere yet. 

Earlier this year, Trump proposed investing $1.5 trillion in the nation’s roads, bridges and other systems. However, only a fraction of the money would come from the federal government in the plan. Instead, most would come from state and local governments. 

 


Potholes on Eighth Street in Traverse City
Credit David Cassleman

That’s a bad idea, according to John Austin, who directs the Michigan Economic Center. Austin was formerly the president of the state Board of Education.

“This is not going to work to solve the big problems,” says Austin. 

He argues in a commentary in Bridge Magazine that the federal government should be spending more on infrastructure under any plan. 

"That's where the money can be raised," Austin says. 

Austin says states like Michigan don't have the resources to invest the billions of dollars that are needed into infrastructure.