Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Debate Obamacare, Ignore Infrastructure

A commuter train derails in the Bronx, killing four and injuring scores, while Congress squabbles over health care reform.

No connection? Only for those who were politically asleep for the past three years while the GOP in Washington brutally stripped budgets that might have allowed states and municipalities to perform minimum maintenance on a crumbling American infrastructure.

No matter what turns out to be the proximate cause of the Bronx disaster, untold similar “accidents” are waiting to happen on rail lines, roads, bridges, in tunnels and other aging features of a man-made public transportation system built by a robust American society and now dangerously decaying under a cowering one.

What are we doing to America or at least guilty of letting happen to a nation that was once the envy of the world?

Falling apart is a weak description. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned a D grade to the nation’s infrastructure, estimating it would take $2.2 trillion from all levels of government over five years to repair it to adequacy.

With that deadline coming up the end of this year, the Tea Party has assured a grade of F if the examination is repeated.

As investigators look at the track, signal system, crew performance and other factors in the Bronx derailment, one thing is certain: The underlying conditions for such events are growing worse by the day, and no report will address that.

“Accidents will happen,” fatalists may shrug. But ideological neglect is no accident. While the Tea Party savors possible political gain next year over Obamacare woes, will voters hold them to account for the unseen loss of lives they have intentionally inflicted on Americans going about their daily business?

Someone should connect those dots for them.

1 comment:

Frank Moraes said...

The hypocrisy of conservatives is stunning. According to them, America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. But somehow we just don't have the resources to maintain a modern economy. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that conservatives hate America. What they love is some vague notion of a time when white men controlled this country. And if they can't have that, they want to destroy the whole damned thing. I just wrote this:

Conservative Elitists Cry Elitism!

It's about how elitist conservatives spend so much time complaining about "liberal elitism." Liberals are the ones who actually love this country. All conservatives provide is lip service. "It's the greatest country but we can't invest resources in improving it!" I guess we liberals are elitists because we admit the country needs maintenance.