Saturday, March 24, 2018

ineffectual Infrastructure

Image result for infrastructure cartoon1.3 trillion dollars may not sound like a lot of money and in relation to what this country needs, it is not. 

I trillion is 1000 billion, a number that is unfathomable to most.  When our minds are excited to find a forgotten $5-dollar bill in a pair of pants the leap toward thinking about a trillion is well beyond our ability to comprehend. 

My wife and I drive the greater Los Angeles freeways and have done so for over 40 years.  The quality of these roads has plummeted and, in many cases, has degraded to dangerous levels.  Just yesterday while driving up the 215 to the 60 I thought we had blown a tire.  The car was wobbling, and I was forced to slow down from my usual 65 or 70 to 50 mph.  I was driving in the HOV lane at the time and the traffic was heavy.  As the car started to shake I was sure that our front tire was about to disengage, fly off and careen across lanes, plowing through some unexpecting drivers windshield and cause a major traffic event.

The wobbling and shaking slowed a bit and then subsided as the quality of the road improved.  But as you drive the extensive highway system around Los Angeles you soon realize that the new roads or improved roads are rare with most roads and highways far from safe. 

Due to years of neglect the roads and interstates systems, the water systems, dams and levees need to be rebuilt at a staggering cost of up to 4.6 trillion.  If we include power transfer systems and an upgraded military, Dams, river and streams and the local needs to upgrade sewers and water delivery the costs sore to beyond unfathomable levels to impossible to obtain levels.

We all understand that we need to fix our country and upgrade our infrastructure but the question of why was simple maintenance allowed to lapse?   The simple answer is, those in power did not see the value of spending the billions needed at the time, passing the buck of responsibility down the road until we now are faced with a critical mass of issues that if not fixed will result in catastrophic consequences. 

You may not agree with Trump signing the budget but when you look at the national security issues facing this country and the associated infrastructure needs, the crumbling roads, the failing sewer systems and our vulnerable bridges, dams and power grid, what choice did he have, especially in relation to his dual-party opposition to anything Trump?

We all know that most of the money in this bloated budget will be wasted and spent on political maneuvering, but Trump was able to increase our nation’s Military readiness and in so doing is able to start some of his projects that will hopefully move this nation toward a solid backbone of infrastructure and community readiness.  Somebody had to step up and take the hit, take the responsibility and make the hard decisions to secure our future.  Trump did what he thought was right.  You may not agree but at least he did something and that’s a lot more than his predecessors have done over the last 26 years.

Imagine buying a house and then finding out that the structure of the house is riddled with problems.  Termites have been feasting on the support beams, water damage has eroded the foundational slab, the heating system works but just barely because it was never cleaned or maintained.  The water system gurgles and spurts cloudy water and most of the outside of the house has gone unattended for years leaving the property exposed.

I would buy the house because I can fix it, but most could not because the cost to restore the house is beyond their budget and beyond their financial means.  Our country is that house, it needs to be repaired, upgraded and restored.  Failure to act now will result in catastrophic failures like the wobbling tire of my car as it drove over uneven roads. The damage to our security, our freedom of movement and our ability to move about freely will all be compromised if nothing is done, as nothing was done to secure our safety under the last three, two-term Presidents.

Both parties are blaming each other for this lack of past concern of kicking the can but from the standpoint of who was in control and how the dollars approved were spent the GOP has less culpability than does the Dems.  Social programs are important but are they more important than being able to access fresh water, more important to cross a bridge to get to work or being able to flip the switch and turn on your power?

Both parties are to blame for not acting when they should have acted and not acting in our best interest.  Both parties squandered their responsibilities for false power and empty promises and both parties are following the blame game in an attempt to further their agenda of self-interest rather than choosing America for Americans.

At least Trump is thinking about us…Don’t you agree?

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