Book Excerpt: Donald Trump's 'Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again'
The latest book from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
— -- Excerpted from "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," by Donald J. Trump, Copyright 2015 Threshold Editions.
OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS CRUMBLING
Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems— our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it. According to engineers, one out of every nine bridges in this country is structurally deficient, approximately a quarter of them are already functionally obsolete, and almost a third of them have exceeded their design lives.
Some of these bridges have already collapsed. Our infrastructure is terrible, and it’s only getting worse and more expensive to fix. It’s already costing the American people an estimated $200 billion a year in reduced productivity.
Instead of being at the office or in the factory getting work done, Americans waste countless hours every day sitting in traffic jams or waiting for stalled trains. Our airports? Are you kidding me? A disgrace.
Our power grid, the infrastructure for electricity that keeps everything operating, is way out-of-date. Our highspeed Internet access is only 16th best in the world. When I travel internationally, I see magnificent places you wouldn’t believe. I see properly maintained bridges, tunnels, and airports. I see great highways and unbelievably efficient power systems. Then I come home and I get caught in traffic, and when the car moves, it bangs over potholes.
Why can’t we get these problems fixed? The answer is that the people we put in charge don’t know how to fix them.
We’re spending billions of dollars protecting countries that should be paying us to do the job yet we can’t build roads in our own cities. We can’t build schools in our own communities. I’ve been to China numerous times, and everywhere you look there are cranes reaching toward the sky. The Chinese build new cities over there in about 12 minutes, while we take years to get the permits to add a dormer window to our own homes.
The World Economic Forum ranks the US infrastructure as only the 12th best in the world. We don’t spend enough to fix, build, or maintain our “plant.” Europe and China spend as much as 9 percent of their GDP on infrastructure projects. We spend 2.4 percent.
When you talk about building, you had better talk about Trump. There is no single builder in this country who has his name on as great a range of projects as I’ve constructed. New York City wasted seven years trying to get a skating rink done. I did it in less than four months—and got it done under budget. There was a huge railroad yard overlooking the Hudson River that nobody could figure out how to develop. Drive by there now and you’ll see thousands of magnificent apartments, all with the same name on the buildings—Trump.
Think about 40 Wall Street, one of the greatest buildings in New York City. For a brief time, along with the Chrysler Building, it was one of the two tallest buildings in the world. But it had fallen into disrepair. It was awful. They couldn’t rent office space there.
I bought 40 Wall Street and completely redid it. Now it is a classic—and by the way, 100 percent rented and a very profitable building.