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Trump’s Failure to Fund Infrastructure One More Blow to Rural Base

Infrastructure should have been one of the easiest things on Donald Trump’s agenda to achieve. We need roads and bridges fixed now. Democrats were eager to help. But in his laziness and easy distraction, the current occupant of the White House can’t even rally the energy to push something that everyone agrees would be good for our country:

…what looked like the one can’t-miss deal of the Trump administration has gotten stuck in a deep rut. With budget deficits ballooning and interest rates rising, the odds of getting out aren’t improving [Donald F. Kettl, “Trump’s Failed Infrastructure Plan Is a Wasted Opportunity,” Governing, October 2018].

Included among the punished by this failure: Trump’s rural voters—

Why isn't this thing moving? Clap harder! (Photo: Jim Watson, Getty Images)
Why isn’t this thing moving? Clap harder! (Photo: Jim Watson, Getty Images)

To get to her home in Washington County, Miss., where many of the bridges have been closed by the state and declared structurally deficient, Lori Gower has to maneuver her Dodge Charger through farm fields. Once, after heavy rains, the engine flooded and her husband Mack had to come out to rescue her. Mack has his own road-related problems, as NBC News has reported. He’s diabetic and can’t get his insulin delivered.

The Gower family is an icon for President Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure pledge. The roads and bridges around them are crumbling. The Gowers live deep in the heart of Trump country, where voters went for him by a margin of 2 to 1. But the prospects for a big infrastructure program that could help with their real-life problems are becoming more distant every month [Kettl, Oct 2018].

Come on, rural voters. There has to come a point where the warm feeling you get in your gut from a Manhattan billionaire stroking your id gives way to the realization that his red trucker’s cap, the promises emitted from thereunder, and your township road budget are all empty.


  1. Jason 2018-10-05

    Congress is in charge of appropriation bills. It’s sad you don’t know this and are teaching kids.

  2. OldSarg 2018-10-05

    “Included among the punished by this failure: Trump’s rural voters” don’t you think it’s strange you picked out this one bridge out of the 500 that are closed across Mississippi? Do you think it’s strange the failure of all 500 bridges are basically being blamed on Trump? Do you think these bridges all failed in just the last two years? Which bill is Trump supposed to pass through Congress to get the funding being he is not in Congress? Why do you blame these and many things on a man, who is clearly not responsible for the failure of the infrastructure that has occurred over the last 20 years? Are you just exaggerating or is this just flat out a lie? At some point you have to realize that if someone as ignorant as myself can see through the hyperbole many others also see through it and it is disparaging your own reputation? You might have better approached this topic by speaking about what “you” would do specifically to address the issue rather than blaming the wrong party again. That all being said you could also go to your normal line of attack and blame the bridge issue on racism because , unlike Aberdeen, there are Black people in Mississippi. Yep, make it about the racist Trump. That better energizes your lemmings from out of state.

  3. mike from iowa 2018-10-05

    Congress is in charge of appropriation bills. It’s sad you don’t know this and are teaching kids.

    Which party of traitorous wingnuts controls all aspects of government, including funding? Which party controls spending and did so for 6 of Obama’s 8 years for which you accused Obama of doubling the debt?

  4. o 2018-10-05

    OldSarge, you are right the the blame for our infrastructure demise transcends President Trump; we have to trace that back over several presidents and both parties in the White House. However, attempts to really address the issue have been largely shut down by deficit hawks – GOP deficit hawks – GOP deficit hawks who voted for -uge tax cuts but not funding infrastructure revitalization.

    I do think that President Trump also has to take a hit for his $Trillion + promise to invest in infrastructure that he could not deliver on. As Mike points out, that failure is more keen given that he is of the party that controls both legislative houses. From this perspective, I suppose it would be far more accurate to vote out President Trump AND all the others who failed us with a lack of infrastructure investment. infrastructure revitalization work would mean jobs for US workers, sales for US construction suppliers, savings for US businesses (who ship nationally), and safety for US travelers. It might not be sexy politics, but infrastructure is the most real way to MAGA.

  5. jerry 2018-10-05

    trump is going to get pretty close to the trillion he promised…about half of that will go to the Carolina’s, Hawaii and California for starters, just to clean up after climate change catastrophic events. Florida looks like it will need several billion to clean up the algae from the chemicals that we farmers send down the Missouri into the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, each day. Fires finally were extinguished in California a couple of weeks ago, after burning for couple of months.

    Yup, trump will hit the mark…without putting in a bridge. If we do get bridges and roads, we have to be tariffed our Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.

  6. jerry 2018-10-05

    Oh and there is this. Clean up on aisle 4, trump/Putin are taking care of the Russian loose ends. “A Russian official accused of directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met senior Trump campaign officials in 2016, has plummeted to his death in a helicopter crash.

    Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was exposed in a Swiss court this year for a plot to enlist another nation’s law-enforcement official as a double-agent for the Kremlin.” If you have ever watched the “Deadwood” series on HBO, you might revisit, we are regressing. America is fast becoming Deadwood in 1876.

  7. jerry 2018-10-05

    It still is “the economy stupid” “Even with unemployment at a historic low, average hourly pay increased just 2.8 percent from a year earlier, one tick below the yearly gain in August.” Folks, that is barely ahead of our inflation rate. Workers are not involved in a “booming economy” they have been as left behind as our ag producers.

    Without infrastructure, we have trouble getting our products to markets, if and when they open again. I see that imported textiles have taken another 10% average increase, this comes back to the American public who will be paying for this con job.

    Dump Dirty Johnson and put in Tim Bjorkman as our representative in Washington. We need help! Say NO to NOem who has helped drive the bus over the edge and now wants to continue spinning the overturned bus here in South Dakota. Put some honesty and integrity into your vote next month. Oh, and a vote for Cory in District 3 would certainly help Governor Billie Sutton clean this state up.

  8. mike from iowa 2018-10-05

    This past week two bridges in Obrien Co, iowa were washed out by flooding in a single creek. One on County Road B-53 and the other on County Road M-12 adjacent to Meadowbrook Colf Course near Hartley, iowa.

  9. OldSarg 2018-10-05

    “Without infrastructure, we have trouble getting our products to markets” ya know if we put boat locks from Pierre to Yankton how much industry would grow in South Dakota? That would be awesome.

  10. jerry 2018-10-05

    Russian, that is the start of a good idea. Flush the Missouri to bring back the lands taken from the tribes! Here, I thought you hated Natives, that is the most pro Native idea I have seen for some time. Putin rules!

  11. bearcreekbat 2018-10-05

    interesting piece – thanks mfi.

  12. jerry 2018-10-05

    Very good article mfi, thanks

  13. jerry 2018-10-05

    NOem did vote to support infrastructure plans and economic development in “s#!+ hole” countries in Africa though.

    “H.R. 5105 would authorize the establishment of a new development finance institution for the United States: the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC). USIDFC would promote economic development in less developed countries by providing loans, equity, insurance, and other forms of assistance to U.S. companies and other entities that want to invest and expand in those countries. CBO estimates that, on net, implementing the legislation would reduce federal costs by $77 million over the 2019-2023 period, assuming appropriation actions consistent with the bill.

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5105 would increase direct spending by $113 million over the 2019-2028 period. Because the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. The bill would not affect revenues.

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5105 would not increase net direct spending by more than $2.5 billion or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.”

    It’s only a couple to 5 billion a year, not like a real amount of money to fix roads and bridges here in South Dakota would take. NOem has plenty of money to toss around as long as it does not land here.

  14. RJ 2018-10-05

    OS..Your knuckles have to hurt from dragging.

  15. Debbo 2018-10-05

    That is a great link Mike. I’ve read Sheila Kennedy’s posts other times and she is not only very smart, but excellent at explaining legal issues to a lay person’s mind. Good comments too. Almost as wise as DFPers, with a few exceptions. 😉😉😉

    It’s such a pity that Bloviating Toddler didn’t keep one of the very few worthwhile promises he babbled. Such a dimbulb duncerooni.

  16. Debbo 2018-10-06

    In addition to being cruelly insane, Bloviating Toddler never fails to bring additional embarrassment on himself. Obviously his “best people” handlers are equally incompetent.

  17. Debbo 2018-10-06

    Oh. And thanks Rick. I think? 🙄

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