- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

President Trump’s proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan would pay off with not only gleaming new highways but a significant boost to the U.S. economy, according to a analysis released Wednesday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The council estimates that the 10-year infrastructure program could add between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage point to average annual real growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

That’s tens of billions of dollars to America’s more than $19 trillion economy.

Mr. Trump will be touting the report Thursday when he visits Ohio to drum up support for the plan that’s currently mired in Congress.

He’s calling for $200 billion in federal spending to leverage a total of $1.5 trillion invested in rebuilding America’s crumbling highways, bridges, railways and seaports.

Capitol Hill Democrats balked at the plan, saying it shifted the burden onto state and local government. They prefer $1 trillion in direct federal spending.

The council’s study found major benefits for U.S. workers from the president’s proposal.

The president’s plan would likely result in the employment of 290,000 to 414,000 additional infrastructure workers, on average, over a 10-year window, although these employment gains may be offset by losses elsewhere in the economy, according to the study.

It noted that infrastructure jobs are particularly lucrative for, and disproportionately employ, workers with a high school degree or less.

Infrastructure workers with a high school degree or less earn 14 percent more in median hourly wages than non-infrastructure occupations, while a subset of these workers, in skilled trades, obtain an even higher median hourly earnings premium of 32 percent, according to the study.

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