You know the line: “Move along, nothing to see here”

While America-the-people wallows in mid-term election grizzlies and gossip, America-the-country is dissolving around us. I heard the top dog of Tea Party Express on CSpan this morning say that the movement (as usual) is about stopping any new taxes and reducing the deficit. It’s nonsense: contradictory goals – a waste of his breath and the airtime. But sadly people believe it’s possible.

It’s not. And 30 years of deregulation and insufficient taxation – and a growing belief that in fact raising taxes is to practically trample on the Constitution and side with the terrorists – have brought us to a sorry state of affairs. While we subsidize everything that ends up costing us in the long run – sugar, gasoline, corn syrup, highways etc., our infrastructure and our educational credentials (see next post) are falling apart.

It’s as though we’re trying to devolve.

Bob Herbert today (my new favorite columnist) talks about water systems.

” . . the truth is that the nation’s water systems are in sorry shape — deteriorating even as the population grows and demand increases. Aging and corroded pipes are bursting somewhere every couple of minutes. Dilapidated sewer systems are contaminating waterways and drinking water. Many local systems are so old and inadequate — in some cases, so utterly rotten — that they are overwhelmed by heavy rain. “

“If this were a first-class society we would rebuild our water systems to the point where they would be the envy of the world, and that would bolster the economy in the bargain. But that would take maturity and vision and effort and sacrifice, all of which are in dismayingly short supply right now.”

“Improving water systems — and infrastructure generally, if properly done — would go a long way toward improving the nation’s dismal economic outlook . . . . every dollar invested in water and sewer improvements has the potential to increase the long-term gross domestic product by more than six dollars. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created . . .

“The nation’s network of water systems was right at the bottom of the latest infrastructure grades handed out by the American Society of Civil Engineers, receiving a D-minus. Jeffrey Griffiths, a member of the federal government’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council, told The Times: “We’re relying on water systems built by our great-grandparents, and no one wants to pay for the decades we’ve spent ignoring them. There’s a lot of evidence that people are getting sick. But because everything is out of sight, no one really understands how bad things have become.”

But the gays and the terrorists are out to get us. So there’s really no time for this stuff.

This is a massive failure of government at every level, a failure of both parties. Ultimately however, it’s our own failure.

You get what you ask for. (Of course we’ve managed to convince people to pay for their water in bottles, so maybe it’s okay!)

5 responses to “You know the line: “Move along, nothing to see here”

  1. Damn. Now I can’t decide if I should risk getting sick by drinking iced tap water, or just buy bottled water and create more landfill. Decisions, decisions…

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    • Johnny Walker Red – and you’ll be as safe as a puppy in my lap.

      People under 30 look at me like I’m nuts if I fill a waterglass at the sink faucet. They’re fine with paying for what is free.

      Or is it ‘was’ free? And what’s ‘free’ anyway? And OMG, I’m caught up in some circular conversation with myself somebody shut me down somebody shut me down somebody shut me . . . .

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  2. ” And 30 years of deregulation and insufficient taxation ”

    New Jersey, New York, California, and Washington D.C. all have ginormous budget deficits because they under taxed businesses and citizens. In the words of Harry Hoo ( Get Smart TV show ) , when Maxwell Smart said something unbelievable , ” Amazing “.

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    • I don’t know abut the others, but California shot itself in the foot about 20 years ago with Proposition 13 when they basically shut down their primary source of revenue. And now the seventh largest economy in the world has a weak revenue stream in even the best of times.

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  3. Ms. Holland,

    I like that you are consistent. I believe the exact opposite. The more the public sector grows out of control, the more it strangles the private sector. California is probably the clearest example I could cite. And within a totally corrupt State, Bell is outstanding in it’s public sector corruption.

    The two states who have Governors that actually have a clue how to undo decades of big Government mismanagement are Indiana and New Jersey. If these two States Governors can take on the corrupt public sector unions and turn around their economies, there is hope for our country.

    I don’t doubt their policies, but nothing is in the bag. Special interests are derailing all they can. These two governors are setting the template for the future.

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