Jump forward to another era, a few months to this past December. After having crammed through the Republican tax cut bill that added $1.5 trillion to the budget deficit, Trump postured about his next plan, and not only touted that he'd get infrastructure done, but bragged to reporters in the Oval Office that "I could have started with infrastructure. I actually wanted to save infrastructure as 'the easy one,' for the one down the road. So, we'll be having that done pretty quickly."
Note: Yes, this is the same man who said that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act would be a simple thing which he would do right away. It's a year later and we still have the Affordable Care Act, and all he's managed to do is hobble it with nothing better to fix his damage in sight.
That aside, for an administration that been crashing and burning since Day One it's probably not a great idea to call anything "the easy one," since it hasn't been able to even do something as actually easy as keep much of its staff around for more than a few months.
And so another six weeks have passed since then, and Trump gives his State of the Union address and again sashays his "easy" infrastructure proposal, something that turns out will merely cost $1.5 trillion. Although that comes with an asterisk. More on that in a moment.
First, though, senators from his own party come marching into the Oval Office days later to tell Trump that his "easy" infrastructure plans are pretty much dead. Already. (That's how "easy" it is.) The problem, you see, is that the supposedly balanced-budget Republican Party swallowed its hypocritical soul and had just passed a budget that increased the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion, and also raised the debt ceiling by another trillion dollars to $20.5 trillion all in one fell swoop, and that was basically the limit that former budget hawks can take, and so they told Trump that there was no way on earth he was getting his way with infrastructure.
So, that's not great, particularly when you've postured that this is "the easy one."
What's adorable, though, is that whole asterisk thing. That's because Trump, being Trump, liked to pump himself up and come across like The Great Builder who was going to build infrastructure across America with $1.5 trillion from Congress. A few things though --
The proposal only called for a paltry $200 million from the federal government -- though even that was a problem for supposed Republican deficit hawks who had already gone far-deeper into debt than they ever would have under a Democratic president. As for the rest of that $1.5 trillion tag, it was going to come from the states and from private business. But there is a big problem with that. You see, unlike the federal government, states must balance their budget and can't go into debt, so there won't be half a trillion dollars or so available from there. Nor is there any commitment in sight from private industry for any investment, let alone another half a trillion dollars of it.
Oh, one other pesky problem. The "easy" infrastructure plan of $1.5 trillion to fix infrastructure overlooks that experts have said that America's infrastructure needs $4.5 trillion to address what's required. And when you've already blown $1.5 trillion as a freebie giveaway to the wealthy, that makes fixing infrastructure all the more problematic.
And this is "the easy one."
And nothing more than just the swaggering, flim-flammery of a egomaniacal, incompetent con man.
Happy Infrastructure Weak. Again.