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Thread: Trump could find Latino support on infrastructure

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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    Trump could find Latino support on infrastructure

    Trump could find Latino support on infrastructure

    02/13/17 08:48 AM EST

    Less than a month into his presidency, President Trump has moved quickly to fulfill his major campaign pledges on trade and immigration but has yet to announce an infrastructure program.

    The details of an infrastructure proposal are murky, particularly given Republican opposition to any move that could heavily increase spending.

    But such a bill could find Trump common ground with Democrats, who have so far opposed his government at every turn, many of whom could benefit from an influx of infrastructure spending but have thus far felt alienated by Trump's immigration actions.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27.3 percent of all construction workers in 2015 were Hispanic. Comparatively, Hispanics make up about 17 percent of the total population of the United States.

    “People are talking about infrastructure in different ways, some are talking about development projects, others about repairing the infrastructure that we have, and others are talking about digital infrastructure,” said Eric Rodriguez, vice president of the National Council of La Raza.“We look at all those things in terms of whether they’re going to benefit the economy directly,” he added.

    While Latinos and other low-income communities could benefit from a spending uptick, that would only happen if development projects happened in their communities and hired workers within those communities.

    Rodriguez cited former President Barack Obama's stimulus package after the 2008 financial crisis as an example of spending on projects not benefitting those most in need.

    “In the case of the stimulus package, the Latino community and African-American community were the least to benefit from the stimulus in projects,” he said.

    Those groups instead benefitted from the tax credits offered by the package, which allowed them to have more liquidity and spend money in their communities.

    “It’s smart to make institutional and federal investments if in fact they’re investments that generate economic activity,” said Rodriguez.

    Even if Trump successfully picks investments that generate growth, he'll have to pair his proposal with deep spending cuts to keep Republicans on board.

    “I am typically resistant to doing something without any benefit, so I would have to see what the proposal is, and I'm hoping this administration would have some proposals the includes how to reduce spending,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

    And any spending project is likely to meet even tougher resistance from the GOP's conservative Freedom Caucus in the House.
    Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus, said “everything has to be paid for.”

    House Democrats, meanwhile, are quickly losing faith in the president to make good on those campaign promises where Democrats were hoping to lend an assist, and infrastructure is among them.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this week that Democrats would jump at the chance to move “a real investment in infrastructure,” but she’s not ready to support the public-private approach Trump and the Republicans favor, which she deems “a tax break for his rich friends.”

    “So far we haven’t seen anything from the administration that would justify any kind of cooperation,” Pelosi said Wednesday during the Democrats’ annual strategy retreat in Baltimore.
    “They have put forth nothing.”

    Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, piled on, saying the public-private approach would be a deal-breaker.

    “That’s not a partnership. That’s a transfer of ownership responsibility and liability,” she said. “If it really does look like that, that’s going to be a problem, and I would guess that that would be a huge problem for the Caucus.”

    Rodriguez warned that those kinds of partnerships could even prove counterproductive, because costs passed down to the final user are relatively more expensive for low-income individuals.

    “Fees and tolls are regressive,” Rodriguez said.

    A failure to move a bill this year would be a lost opportunity, Lujan Grisham added, because the local projects supported by such a bill provide a quicker economic boost than most other federal spending.

    In terms of bang for your buck, she said, “infrastructure’s the fastest.”

    “It typically has bipartisan support; it gets to our priorities immediately; it’s easy to recruit workers,” she said.

    But Rodriguez said other policy issues could get in the way of recruiting workers.

    “We’re in a new environment, which is there’s a good deal of fear and anxiety in communities about raids and deportations," he said. "Nobody knows where that’s really going to go, but that’s bad for business."

    And the choice of projects would affect whether they stimulate the economy or simply maintain employment levels.

    “You’d look at communities with high unemployment rates and target them and prioritize local hiring, rather than reinvesting in already developed major areas of cities,” he said.

    “You’d want to have a job training component to it so you wouldn’t have workers coming from other communities.”

    But given the deep chasm between Trump and Democrats on most issues, infrastructure spending is likely to be one of the few areas where they see eye-to-eye.

    “I would take any economic investment, but infrastructure really moves the needle quick, and it also then creates local jobs as a result,” said Lujan Grisham. “Retail pops up; other businesses move in. And so it really gives you the biggest bang for your buck I think in the shortest amount of time.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Another article you have to read between the lines.....

    The only thing DemoWacks care about is illegal aliens getting hired for the infrastructure projects.
    Judy, Beezer and Mayday like this.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    We don't care what "Latinos" think about our government policies unless they're real US citizens. Americans don't determine their support for a policy based on their "ethnicity". We determine our support for or against a policy on what we know or believe is best for our country and ourselves.
    Beezer, Mayday and lorrie like this.
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