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Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ, where the highways meet.
Route 66, America's "mother road," was built in large part by the federal government. This includes funding and efforts going back to the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 and the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921. In the 1930s, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt put thousands of unemployed young men to work completing Route 66. Likewise, America's Interstate Highway System was constructed pursuant to the 1956 National Interstate and Defense Highways Act envisioned and signed by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. All of this federal highway construction has brought about tremendous benefits for Americans, from commercial to recreational, and it could not have been done without politicians from all sides participating in Good Government for patriotic reasons.

Today, however, we live in a time where one political party, the Democrats, believes in Good Government, but the other party, the Republicans, believes in No Government. That's one reason why America has no long-term infrastructure bill to fix its roads and bridges, and instead Congress merely passed a paltry, short-term, patchwork highway bill that only takes us until next May, while it rushed off for another month-long taxpayer-paid vacation. How short-sighted and unpatriotic!

The Republicans' No Government rhetoric sounds attractive at first blush, because it allegedly costs less, especially in terms of promised tax cuts for individuals and businesses. The reality, however, is far different. We know that No Government still means lots of government, such as an absurdly bloated military budget. We know that when Republicans are in power, they spend as much or more as Democrats, only they don't pay their bills. We know that those Republican tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans, while the rest of us get stuck with the bill.

The party of No Government also ignores the tremendous benefits of having first-rate roads and bridges, and the huge costs of letting them fall into disrepair. American businesses from Amazon to Apple to UPS depend on good roads and bridges to move their goods safely and efficiently. Road and bridge repair reaps the win-win benefit of thousands of good construction jobs. American commuters also need those good roads and bridges to get to work in a reasonable amount of time (they also need good public transportation and fast trains, but we'll save that discussion for another time). And Americans who work hard and cherish their leisure travel time or their family visits, as well as businesses located at tourist destinations, depend on those good roads too.

The pathology of privatization won't build or maintain our valuable federal interstate highway system. Only Americans coming together with a sense of patriotism and Good Government can do so. America's infrastructure is too big and too important to fail.

Photo by Xomiele, used under Creative Commons license.

[Originally posted at Messaging Matters. Copyright 2014 -- All rights reserved]

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oklahoma: Worst bridges & roads in 'Merica (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and they're lowering taxes because, ALEC, we don't like them libral taxes; taxes are evillll

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 08:07:20 AM PDT

  •  +4/Rec'd for "pathology of privatization" /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:26:05 AM PDT

  •  Yes, Good roads do come from good government. (0+ / 0-)

    Right now we have a serious shortage of both.

    " Armageddon could be knocking at my door. But I ain't gonna answer that's for sure." - Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, Kristen Hall

    by rustypatina on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:40:35 AM PDT

  •  I was recently let go from my job. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MessagingMatters, Villabolo

    I am a transportation and environmental planner, employed until the second week of July by one of the largest civil/architecture firms in the US.  We simply could not sustain my position here in our local office, nor nationally, given the funding situation created by our do-less-than-nothing Congress (hey, House of Representatives: I'm talkin' to YOU!).

    Thirty-five years in my career, starting as a municipal planner at a small Dallas suburb in 1979, and 15 years at my last firm working on major light rail, streetcar, and other transportation projects around the country.  By my calculation, I have worked on planning and environmental impact documents for about 93 miles of light rail projects on five systems around the country, and about 20 miles of streetcar projects in three cities.

    No funding for long-range planning, short-term project implementation and construction, and states, local agencies/cities strapped to cover operating and maintenance costs for transit systems.  And Congress' collective failure to lead and govern at the expense of our infrastructure, employment, and future economic health in this country is beyond scorn, contempt, and fury.

    I will search for employment as long as the UI holds out, or will find something for fewer hours, pay, and headaches.  Meanwhile, my experience, talents and professional know-how lie fallow, as do MANY others' in our country.  I will not starve, and if prudent could probably retire now and have few worries personally.  

    The next generation will have to pay more, sooner, and work harder to catch up to the needs that the past few years of failed governance have made worse.  The costs of replacement, repair, and new facilities to accommodate the population growth in the US are only going up, with deferred maintenance, repair, and new projects bogged down for lack of funding.  That catch-up curve is only getting steeper and more expensive.

    The gap between what we could do and what has been delayed, deferred and ditched is disappointing to me personally and professionally.

    /personal piss*d-off rant, and meta political gripe.  Back to your regularly-scheduled diary and comments.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:36:12 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for your personal story (0+ / 0-)

      And let's remember, Republican President Eisenhower pushed for the Interstate Highway System after serving as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe in WWII and seeing the modern, efficient, yes, German, Autobahn. There's plenty we could learn from Europe and elsewhere if we are willing to have some imagination, and Republicans, we're talking to you!

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