Heard this fabulous story on the drive home (Time to Overhaul America's Aging Bridges?) which both infuriated me at our political mess, and reminded me of the amazing nature of NPR. No shouting, no names, just a thoughtful and informed discussion on the issues.
But the subject got me thinking about our political impasse today. As I have suggested many times, most conservatives conceptualize tax money as undeserving and lazy people getting free stuff. As I have pointed out to people, the safety net (outside Medicaid) constitutes only 14% of our budget, and surely even conservatives don't believe that all or even a majority of those receiving aid are lazy. Do they?
Back to bridges. This subject more than most reminded me of our unbalanced discussion on taxes. Imagine what an infusion of tax money would mean for the 8,000 bridges that need substantial repair. It would, first and foremost, update our infrastructure to make it more reliable and less risky. So, we would get something tangible even if we, personally, don't drive on that bridge. It would put thousands of people to work. Those people would then pay rent, buy groceries and purchase clothing and cars. That would help the struggling retail market, car sales, and possibly even help with some of the mortgage situations.
That infusion of tax money would help thousands and ripple through our economy. And of course, we would get new bridges that won't collapse into the river.