In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued a report card for the state of U.S. infrastructure. The overall grade was a D, with roads and water management systems earning a D-. Today, it’s not much better. To say that America’s infrastructure, our roads, bridges, sewers, and transportation systems, is crumbling has become something of a cliche.
We may complain about potholes and traffic, but few Americans actually have perspective on how much there is yet to be done.
We may not include infrastructure as one of the most pressing issues of the election, but as the graph above demonstrates, we probably should. 78 billion dollars in revenue and time LOST because our government prefers to bicker over gay marriage and birth control? Shameful.
Infrastructure has been grossly underfunded for decades, and it’s hurting our competitive edge in the global marketplace. This funding comes largely from taxpayer dollars, so before you vote this year, it’s a good idea to know where your party stands on both taxes and infrastructure funding…Not what they SAY they’ll do in speeches, but what their platform actually outlines.
September 20, 2012 in Economy, Infographic, Life, Lifestyle, People, Politics
Tagged America, American Society of Civil Engineers, Bridges, Election, Infrastructure, Roads, U.S. Infrastructure
While following the budget discussion over several news channels, I feel the need to comment on this. Let’s step on the devil’s tail and focus on facts that are already established and need no discussions. After that, we can discuss actions our government and parties want to take.
The country is in debt! Deep debt! We are at a point that we can’t pay for it anymore. If you have children, look at them, they will have to pay for it. If we continue to do what we do, and that includes the stuff what they just came up with, we can start looking at our grandchildren to pay for it.
Our health care system is ridiculous! Over 10% of the population without health insurance! We claim we are the best in the world, but we are unable to provide health care and sufficient health care for ALL. If you have a parent that needs medical care and is struggling to pay for it, or needs to discuss for weeks and months until the provider finally decides to pay a share, look at your parent and think about what they did all their life that they have to go through this. Also, as it stands, prepare yourself for worse to come. If you don’t believe it, wait until you are retired, you might want to die.
Our infrastructure is in complete disarray and needs fixing and several new add-ons. Bridges, roads, airports, sewers, drinking water supply lines and lots of other stuff are closing in on third world status. We need hundreds of billions of good old dollars to catch up on that issue.
Our defense budget is the highest in the world. Not by a few bucks, but with great distance to the second we are leading the list in defense spending. As an example, our defense budget is 3 times higher than the budget of China and Russia together. Almost $700 billion!! Some of our politicians want to increase it by $5 billion. What is that for? To finance the checks? Our 3 most important allies, GB, France and Germany together can barely together reach a quarter of our spending.
The newest warning signal about “The Real State of the Union” is S&P’s downgrade of the outlook, which at one point leads to a downgrade in credit rating.
So, that’s quite a list of issues we have here (There are more issues out there, but lets just focus on those for now). With that, we can look at every single one and then discuss what we want to do with it. But first, let’s go over some of the ideas our leadership in D.C. came up with.
Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin came up with what he believed is a great idea. Besides others, he wants to cut taxes for the rich and affluent and cut and privatize Medicare. His idea is, if he cuts taxes for those that have enough money, they will reinvest it and it will bring additional tax revenue. Maybe. How about investing it before getting taxed, so that you can save taxes? Not so popular with the people who want to cut taxes for the above reason, because that would mean they would have to follow up with action, rather than coming up with “toilette paroles” and then cash in. This is what people do in so-called “high tax” countries and they do very well with it. Compare the economies in these countries with ours.
In regards to Medicare, some want it to go away. Health care is expensive, that is nothing new either. So, first they will cut certain services and then they want to privatize with the idea that it falls off the government books entirely. If its that easy, why don’t we outsource our defense completely, and pay some mercenaries when we need them? I mean more than we already do.
Our population is aging. That means we have increased health care costs in the future. Either we pay it on our own, or we get support from the government in form of Medicare or Medicaid. While there are lucky people amongst us who can pay for their own health care after they retire, the majority of us won’t be able to do it. And that is not a political phrase, that is just as clear as water. We might, as long as we don’t get sick or get sick and don’t go to the doctor. It is up to everyone to evaluate these options at an age of 65 and older. The old news in this case is, expenses will rise and with the proposed nonsense we will now save for health care entirely.
Health care is business. That means that those providers will increase prices for service on a regular basis. Not only will we face more people needing medical services, we will face the pressure of the medical providers to make more and more money. Not really a good recipe for saving money in retirement. The result will either be astronomical cost in well fare or a huge humanitarian crisis. Which one would you like?
We need to cut our defense budget by half and increase taxes. With the money we save and the increased tax income we can tackle important issues such as debt cutting, infrastructure, health care and education. And while we cut in such drastic numbers, we wouldn’t have to wait until 2050 or so, to see results. The quicker and more intense we start, the shorter the period of “suffering” will be. On top of that, we wouldn’t have to take away important government services that we need in order to avoid a complete humanitarian fiasco down the road.