Skip to main content

Republicans think that letting bridges
collapse is a great way to save money
(Joe Ferrer/
Washington Post:
Before the Democrats lost control of the House last year, the committee now headed by [House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John] Mica was discussing a $450 billion reauthorization bill.

The Obama administration has sought between $500 billion and $550 billion.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the public works subcommittee, is said to be preparing a bill that would maintain funding at the previous level for two years, with an allowance for inflation since that bill was passed in 2003. That would require augmenting the Highway Trust Fund, beneficiary of gas tax revenue, with an additional $12 billion from other sources.

The Mica bill is expected to provide between $215 billion and $230 billion over six years, according to congressional staff members.

To put that in perspective, House Republicans have proposed spending over $600 billion in military spending next year alone. Their proposed increase in military spending over the next six years is almost as much as their proposed transportation budget in total.

They claim they are proposing these massive cuts because they want to reduce our future national debt burden, but while their proposals might make our balance sheet look better, that's only because our balance sheet doesn't account for the costs imposed by a crumbling infrastructure.

Let me put it this way: over the long run, would it cost more to borrow money at a low interest rate to reinforce an aging bridge, or to let the bridge continue to get older and weaker until it needs to be completely replaced because it has collapsed in the middle of a rush hour commute?

The former is obviously the wiser solution, but because it adds to our official debt, Republicans refuse to do it. Instead they'd rather kick the can down the road (no pun intended), even if that means the bridge falls right on top of your head.

If Republicans get their way, I guess the one (albeit small) bit of good news here is that if you're someone who takes public transportation to work, you probably won't get hit by the falling bridge, because Republicans would rather force you to walk to work than take the bus, or, heaven forbid, the train.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site