The Discerning Texan
All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, August 03, 2007
Our Crumbling Infrastructure
As Nicole Gilenas writes in City Journal, the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis is a symptom of a much larger problem: the unavailability of funding for infrastructure upgrades, because the social entitlement programs for which we have been borrowing against our future ever since the 1960's has become an untamed, resource-sucking monstrosity. If there is any one thing to blame for our deteriorating infrastructure, this would be it:
It’s easy to see how this happened. If the fifties were the decade of infrastructure, the sixties were the decade of entitlements and social services—and the sixties haven’t ended. Just five years ago, a Republican Congress scrambled to add a huge new prescription-drug benefit to the 1965 Medicare program. Even when we do spend money on infrastructure, it often suffers from confusion of purpose. Congress treats federal transportation bills as opportunities for political earmarks, rather than for rational growth. And states see infrastructure projects as ways to funnel money to politically favored contractors and powerful construction unions, rather than as worthwhile undertakings to be done as efficiently and effectively as possible.This problem will continue to haunt the country until someone has the courage to set different priorities--and I've got news for you: soaking the taxpayers for a prohibitively expensive socialistic health plan will blow any needed infrastructure improvements right out of the water. We are still paying for Johnson's "Great Society". It seems the only thing we can do now is to keep the entitlement-mad Democrats away from our wallets.