Don’t Think We Need to Fix Our Country’s Crumbling Infrastructure? Tell That to This Guy

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 10.07.03 PMOnce upon a time, the United States was the leader when it came to innovation and groundbreaking moments in human history.  We often led the way globally when the newest and the best technology came along.  Nowadays, that’s not really the case.  Especially when it comes to our crumbling infrastructure and horrible means of public transportation.

While other countries build state of the art bullet trains, or focus a lot of their attention on expanding their public transportation systems, we’re decades behind these nations.  Subways are only found in a handful of cities, and in many towns you can’t even find any kind of public transportation system.  Heck, even in some major cities (San Antonio is a prime example) the public transportation system is bus only.  Here in DFW, the train system is extremely limited and not practical for the vast majority of motorists.

Other elements of our nation’s infrastructure are no better.  Bridges are becoming less and less safe while our roads crumble beneath our feet.  It’s not uncommon for the average American to drive down a street within their city or town and run across a giant pothole that’s been there for weeks or even months.

And while most might not think much about our deteriorating national infrastructure (mostly caused by that party which seems to feel investing in America isn’t nearly as important as cutting taxes for the rich or giving big oil billions of dollars in subsidies), you might want to talk to Dustin Duarte.  While driving in Minneapolis, he hit a pothole that was so deep and eroded, the impact caused his car’s airbags to deploy – sending him to the hospital with a damaged cornea and a concussion.  It also totaled his car, which was his only means of transportation.

That’s ridiculous.  This man could have lost his eye because many cities around this country lack the proper funding (or motivation) needed to repair and maintain their infrastructure.  What was once a bragging point for the United States is rapidly turning into an absolute embarrassment.

For their part, the Obama Administration has continued to offer plan after plan for funding fixes and improvements to our nation’s roads, bridges and transit.  Every single comprehensive plan they’ve put forward has been laughed at and killed by the GOP.

It’s a problem that if it’s not fixed soon, I promise you major catastrophes are going to follow.  Because while a pothole might not seem like a big deal, wait until bridge collapses become commonplace within the United States.  Maybe then more people will pay attention to this huge problem.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Pipercat

    San Antonio, have you been to Houston?

  • strayaway

    “While driving in Minneapolis, he hit a pothole that was so deep and eroded, the impact caused his car’s airbags to deploy ”

    Umm, Minneapolis has elected a new DFL Mayor who is opposing light rail expansion and Minneapolis consistently votes for DFL candidates for city council, state and federal legislatures, Governor, and President. Maybe that is a reason for the pothole and the I-35 bridge collapse? Who on that list did you want to blame?

    Under the Obama administration, not only has our physical infrastructure continued its decline, I-35 is a federal highway, but Postal Service service has been slowed and NASA is being mocked by Russians.

    • getalife

      The Obama administration has tried repeatedly to fund infrastructure repair and development but has been stymied at every turn. The money comes from Congress. The Executive branch can’t spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. The House forced the Postal Service to fully fund its employee pensions for 75 years. This was political. There was no excuse except that the Postal Union is the largest in the country and Republicans hate unions. When Democrats ran congress NASA was well funded but due to sequestration and budget cutting Republicans NASA is running on fumes. Don’t blame Obama for Republican intransigence.

      • strayaway

        The Obama administration did try to accomplish some infrastructure projects when setting up its stimulus package. However, some on the left criticized it as producing too high a ratio of male jobs so it sent back to the drawing board and most of the stimulus money was instead given to school teachers and other government union workers. That incident was not caused by Republicans. But in the instance cited in the article, what has Obama and the federal government to do with fixing potholes or building local roads anyway? Minnesota elects a majority of Democrats at every level. Why didn’t the State of Minnesota take car of its own roads. Why are you blaming federal Republicans for not taking care of something that is a responsibility of the State of Minnesota?

        You are correct that Issa put an onerous burden on the Postal Service. But where have Democrats been defending the Postal Service? It must be pretty far down on their priority list. They fight for benefits for illegal aliens much harder than they fought to retain a viable Postal Service.

        You forget that under Obama, our space shuttle program came to an end, we now have to depend on Russia for rides, and the idiot he put in charge of NASA claims that one of the three reasons for NASA, according to the President’s instructions was to make Muslims proud of themselves. I could look up the exact quote if you would like. The President redireted NASA’s mission it seems.

      • Aaron Levesque

        Because the bridge collapse was on a federally funded highway, and all interstate highways and US routes usually get most of their funding from the federal government, not from state governments. I am thankful for the stimulus every day when I drive to work on a highway that is being doubled in size thanks to those funds.

      • strayaway

        Enjoy, Enjoy. If you do live in Minnesota, you can also take a federal interstate to Duluth where $6M of stimulus money was spent to make a snow making facility. According to the Washington Post, “the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.” The proposal is contained in a White House transportation bill. Congratulations, this bill will allow you to pay for your own road and help stimulate the economy.

    • Pipercat

      Pretty sloppy, even by your standards.

    • Edward Krebbs

      Just looked it up. I-35 bridge collapse was 2007.

      • strayaway

        Good point for your side! That meant that it happened on Bush’ watch. Other points still stand however. Why is a pothole in Minneapolis a national Republican problem when it’s Minnesota’s responsibility to fix unless it’s a federal highwy?

  • Sandy Greer

    I think we can all agree our Infrastructure is in sore need of repair. Some places, an overhaul. Also a given this sad state of disrepair hasn’t occurred during the last five years, but been a long time coming. And that we could put folks to work.

    Question is: Why not?

    Because it’s more important we point our fingers at each other – than it is we work together to solve our problems. And we can’t expect our politicos be any better than we ourselves are.

    ^^^JMHO, FWIW

  • Jim Bean

    No question we need to fix our infrastructure. Unfortunately, you can’t sell the repaired bridge to China for the cash meet payroll for the workers and since we are already spending way more then were taking in on other things, there’s no money to fund it. Its a blooming problem that will eventually become an epidemic. The industrial revolution built it but there is no such industrial revolution to sustain it.

    • Andy Kinnard

      The crux of that argument is, “other things”, and my response is, what ARE those other things, and are they all stuff the People really want or need.

      • Brianeweis

        That’s what I was thinking, Andy. We need to stop giving out corporate welfare, stop our wars and rebuilding other nation’s infrastructures, stop handing out billions to all nations.

    • Aaron Levesque

      The industrial revolution did not build our infrastructure. Most of the infrastructure the article is talking about was completed during or post WWII, for example: the Eisenhower Interstate System. The industrial revolution ended shortly after the American civil war.

  • Edward Krebbs

    And even as our infrastructure deteriorates (which repubs should note interferes with the ability of businesses to operate), my state is on a binge to cut taxes.