I’ve written in the past about how I think infrastructure is sexy. As a fan of the New Deal, I love the idea of the government investing in public works and public goods and public arts. This, apparently, makes me a Socialist. A few years ago, I’d have probably just been called a Democrat.
Because of my love for infrastructure spending, a little tidbit caught my eye (which I initially heard reported on NY1 — and quick aside, I very much appreciated NY1′s level-headed Hurricane Irene coverage). Chris Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, was giving a speech about the progress of construction at the World Trade Center site, and it was expected to be a fairly dry affair.
But then, Ward shifted gears, speaking pretty harshly about not only the Tea Party’s anti-spending ways but also how it was a trend that goes back to President Reagan, who convinced Americans that government was the problem, not the solution. He also tossed in a little jab at Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America.
It’s never made sense to me why the people who claim loudest to love this country most won’t also invest in our country. I mean, it makes sense to me that they’re a bunch of hypocritical Dickheads. I’m just not sure you get to wrap yourself in the American flag and talk about off-setting hurricane relief funding with spending cuts to the social contract, while continuing to support spending money on foreign wars and tax cuts for really, really rich people.
But now I’m getting bigger than my original idea for this post. Which is this: Investing in public works is a terrific way to create jobs and actually have better roads and trains and electricity and water systems and forests. And it should be something that many, many people hammer home constantly. It starts with an appointee of the New York and New Jersey governors. Who will take up the baton?
I mean, shit. I’ve seen the video of a gorgeous covered bridge in Vermont getting washed away by a flooded river. I’d like to see it rebuilt, thanks.