Blog initiated 1/28/17
The High Cost of Deferred Maintenance
President Joe Biden's first legislative victory was the passage of the Covid 19 rescue
bill at a cost of $1.9 trillion. Now, he is following up with an infrastructure bill that
has a price tag of $3 trillion. Predictably, fiscal conservatives are already screaming
about the deficit, which, by the way, expanded significantly under Donald Trump with tax
cuts whose benefits largely served the already-haves rather than the have-nots. A
Republican-dominated Congress during the Trump years passed these tax cuts with its usual
glee not only at helping its wealthy campaign supporters but also starving what it
considered an overgrown federal government.
I am struck that Trump promised a focus on infrastructure in his
own campaign for the Presidency - but, after the campaign, never mentioned it again. So
it's doubly ironic for Republicans to resist Biden's efforts to focus on infrastructure now.
Meanwhile, the potholes that used to be the annual axle-breakers on local and county
roads have now become high-speed bone-jolters on the nation's interstates. Because the
nation lacks equitable access to high-speed internet, millions of families were unable to
participate in work and school during the pandemic's stay-home economy. The electrical
grid is so fragile that every wind that blows or branch that falls or wire that ices up
causes widespread and increasingly longer power outages. Fires burn the West down while
floods drown the East and record and unprecedented cold freezes the Southern half
of the country.
Republicans are inclined to style Democrats as "tax and spend liberals." But a less
partisan read on what's happening here is that the bill has finally come due - as sooner
or later, it inevitably must - on decades of deferred maintenance on a variety of material
and social problems: from the U.S. ability to respond to pandemic threats to the nation's
crumbling infrastructure, from racial justice to climate change, and from runaway health
care costs to the growing income gaps between the 1% at the top of the income pyramid and
those stuck at its base. There is almost no issue facing the nation that hasn't been
affected by underinvestment in alternatives. There are material and social costs to kicking
the can down the road as America's main political strategy, and those costs dwarf whatever
price tag is required to deal with them now - because, don't we know by now, the price of
deferral will just keep getting higher.
More Peg's Blog Posts
· The Unacceptable Cost of Deferred Maintenance
· American Voters and the Cult of Celebrity
· We Have Met the Enemy and the Enemy Is Us
· Wanted: A Working Government
· The National Divide: Immediate Gratification vs. Future Gain
· The Trouble with That Anonymous Trump-Circle Editorial
· What "Telling It Like It Is" Really Means
· Breaking News: We're All "Values Voters!"
· Monuments Flap Is Not about the Monuments
· Have We Always Been the Disunited States of America?
· A Humble Defense of the Constitution
· The Trump Presidency: Bigotry's Cause or Only Its Effect?
· Race, Class, and Access to Women's Health Services
· Trying to Learn from the Holocaust
Peg's Blog Spot ·
Re Antiques & Collectibles ·
Editing and Revising ·
Writing for Non-Profits
The logo banner for this
site was generated at Cool Archive (http://www.coolarchive.com/) and
the side border graphic was provided courtesy of Pambytes (www.pambytes.com).
Special thanks to the late Monica L. Stewart for the matching logo design. Buttons
at the bottom of the page were texted using graphics provided
courtesy of Button Generator (www.buttongenerator.com). All photographs and
text content on this site are © Peggy Whiteneck. No reproduction
of any part of this content is permitted without express permission of the
web site author.