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The $1 Trillion Promise

Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he is going to invest $1 trillion to upgrade America’s roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and water and sewer systems. That certainly is music to the aggregates’ industry’s ears.

The question is, now that he has been elected president, how will he pay for it?

Will he entice private investors or reap a revenue windfall through an overhaul of the tax code? A one-time 10 percent tax on offshore business income? Will he look at the creation of an infrastructure bank, as has been floated previously? How about a massive network of toll roads? Or here’s a novel idea: How about raising the gas tax and shoring up the Highway Trust Fund?

There are a lot of creative ideas out there designed to pump much-needed dollars into adequate infrastructure spending. But the big question is, will Congress go along? Despite the passage of last year’s $300 billion FAST Act, we have seen many naysayers over the past eight years, despite the fact that greater infrastructure spending has wide bipartisan appeal and strong support of people all over the country.

Now we are hearing a lot of congressmen and senators say that greater infrastructure spending might not be a bad idea after all. Which begs the question, have they been holding adequate infrastructure spending hostage for eight years, deliberately depriving the aggregates and construction industry of investment and jobs, and the national economy of a shot in the arm, just to play politics?

Trump’s $1 trillion promise – an amount that would be spent over 10 years – could usher in a golden era for the U.S. aggregates industry. There are some who said we would never hit the 3 billion tons-per-year mark ever again. That $1 trillion of investment could make the aggregates industry soar well beyond it, especially if dollars for The Wall are tacked on in addition to that.

We, as an industry, have an obligation to hold President Trump to his word. There is no time like the present to start. 

Mark PhotoMark S. Kuhar, editor


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