As this HBO produced (ie NSFW – for both content and length) John Oliver look at infrastructure points out – this is something that both the Chamber of Commerce and labor agree on, but neither Republicans nor Democrats can get to happen. Why? My guess is that 5 letter word – taxes.
Infrastructure – The Trailer
Unfortunately, paying for infrastructure maintenance is only one of the reasons our current transportation model is unsustainable. We’re not paying what it costs to move our cars or keep our computer screens on (not to mention heating our homes etc).
We are allergic to taxes as George H. W. made clear by kindly enunciating the 3 words that define the GOP so well we could all read his lips. 4 years later it turns out he broke his 3 word promise and ushered in the Clintons.
Pay as you go fees or taxes are inherently a conservative notion. We should be able to pay what our travel actually costs. If we do the actuarial work honestly we’d find out that we really should be paying more in line with what most of the rest of the world pays.
The most obvious example of our collective kicking-the-can-down-the-(ill-maintained)-road to later generations is our lack of attention or care to our infrastructure. It’s something the greatest generations built with leaders like Roosevelt and Eisenhower. Under a political framework still best defined by Reagan (any doubt, see the National 2014 Mid Term results) having a bureaucracy be proactive is not something leaders are willing to inform their voters simply needs to be done.
Here is the whole 20+ minute segment on John Oliver’s show. I’m not sure how long these full segments will be promoted by HBO allowing their entire view for free, but we should enjoy it while it lasts.
Full HBO Clip of John Oliver’s Infrastructure segment from 3/1/15