GOP Put “Obamacare” Tantrum Above Infrastructure And Jobs.

In March of this year, President Obama called for Congress to approve a $21 billion package designed to update our crumbling infrastructure and create jobs. “Let’s get this done. Let’s rebuild this country we love. Let’s make sure we’re staying on the cutting edge,” Obama said, calling for a “partnership to rebuild America.”

As part of the package, Obama proposed creating an infrastructure bank to help seed major projects. In addition, his proposal would invest $4 billion to support the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) designed to leverage private and non-federal funding for projects of regional or national significance through loans, loan guarantees and lines of credit. The proposal also called for tax incentives meant to support state and municipal bonds for infrastructure modernization projects. The president noted that both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions back infrastructure spending.

It was met with indifference by Republicans in Congress.

Speaker John Boehner questioned how such projects would be funded. “It’s easy to go out there and be Santa Claus and talk about all the things you want to give away, but at some point somebody has to pay the bill,” he said.

Keep in mind the cost of the package was $21 billion…$3 billion less than Republicans and their Tea Party parasites squandered by shutting down the government for 16 days! Who’s going to pay that bill?

Wait! I already know the answer. If the GOP follows it’s usual protocol, the money will be taken from food stamps, kids and the working poor.

What Is Our Real Legacy For Future Generations?

Much has been written about the national debt that is being left to future generations; how that debt is the greatest threat to the future of our nation.

I beg to differ.

Not that the debt isn’t a serious issue, but our nation faces many more daunting problems. For example, our infrastructure is crumbling.  Roads and bridges are in disrepair. Our electric grid is woefully inefficient and unreliable – approximately half of all the electricity generated is lost in the grid. Our rail system is antiquated. Ports and canals need to be expanded and remodeled. And our computer systems are increasingly vulnerable to hackers.

In addition, the vast majority of the world’s scientists – real scientists – are sounding alarms about global climate change. Their computer models show that our dependence on burning fossil fuels will raise sea levels by as much as three feet by 2100, drowning some of the world’s largest cities, many of them in the US.

These scientists aren’t politically-motivated. They aren’t beholding to corporations. And they aren’t making unsubstantiated claims. They say that human-caused climate change is as proven as gravity.

Making the investments to address these issues now makes infinite sense. Not only are interest rates at all-time lows. Making changes would create an enormous number of high-paying jobs. And when more people make more money they purchase more and pay more taxes. All of which will help reduce the deficit and debt.

In fact, Nobel laureate economists tell us that such investments will do more to reduce our debt than austerity measures.

So what are we waiting for? Why do we listen to Wall Street-financed politicians instead of economists? Why do we listen to oil-soaked politicians instead of climate scientists? We have been shown a road map to the long-term health of the United States and the globe. These are not Democratic issues or Republican issues. They are human issues.

Isn’t it as important to leave future generations with a safe, efficient infrastructure as with a surplus? Isn’t it as important to bequeath them a sustainable planet as with a reduced debt?