Another aging highway bridge falls, cars and people in the water… This problem was well-known and urgent years ago! But Republicans block it, saying fixing our infrastructure is “more government spending.” Fixing our infrastructure is also jobs and economic growth. And after you fix or build a bridge you have the bridge.
In Seattle another aging bridge has fallen. The American Society of Civil Engineers report America’s 2013 Infrastructure Report Card gives us a D+ and says we are $3.6 trillion behind in infrastructure maintenance. And this is just to catch up, not get ahead.
This work has to be done at some point but today we have a 10 million person employment gap. And today we can get the money to do this at close to zero percent. We have the double need — it needs doing and we need jobs — and we can get the money almost free.
The hiring and purchase of American-made materials involved in fixing the infrastructure would bring millions of jobs. It would boost the economy, increase the tax revenue and decrease safety-net spending.
Fix Or Build A Bridge: You Have The Bridge
And did I mention that when we fix or build a bridge we have the bridge? After we have updated the roads, bridges, electrical systems, dams, airports and everything else that means our economy is much more competitive and efficient. So the benefits continue. Compare that to the supposed benefits of tax cuts. After the tax cuts you are left with the debt they cause and less revenue with which to pay it off.
This is a trifecta of the urgent need to fix our aging infrastructure matched with all the good that it will do for us to do this now.
WTF is the matter with Republicans, that they won’t even let us maintain the country’s infrastructure? They call it “just more big-government spending.” In fact they force this sequester of cuts, and demand even more cuts! (More here, here, here, here, here, here, here.)
In this mornings post, Washington’s Literal Sinkhole, And Our Idiotic Fixation On Deficits — written before the bridge collapse — Bob Borosage laid it out,
There is an idiocy about our current national politics that is simply stupefying. We are sitting idly, watching, and suffering, as our nation disintegrates into a run-down backwater. Our airports are a global disgrace. Our railroads, broadband, energy grid are all outmoded by international standards. A bridge falls every other day. Our sewage systems are overwhelmed by normal use, and collapse in the extreme weather that has become the national norm. Sinkholes now are becoming a life-threatening peril.
At the same time, over 20 million people are in need of full-time work.
1) Urgent need to fix the infrastructure.
2) Urgent unemployment problem.
3) Fixing #1 fixes #2.
4) We can get the money for free.
5) It isn’t “government spending”; it is investment in ourselves because after we fix or build a bridge, we have the bridge - and all the things that does for the economy.