Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I saw a right-wing commentator on local TV the other night who said "this is not a partisan issue."  And in some ways, he is right.  There are really only two kinds of people--the kind who maintain bridges and fools.  Those businesses in Northeast Minneapolis are run by conservative Republicans who have been hit by a fiscal disaster because their transportation problems just got 10 times worse.  THEY understand.  Some of the most serious maintenance freaks I know are Republicans.

But the Republican governor of Minnesota MADE maintenance a partisan issue so as to impress the big boys of the Republican Party.  And THEY are pirates--and privatization has been the most profitable piracy since at least the Reagan era.

And are they rest of us going to let pirates kill and destroy us?  Not if we can help it.  Will the DFL keep beating the Republicans around the head with this issue?  OF COURSE!!!!  Will the Republicans complain?  Yes they will.  Will we ignore them?  Well D'uh.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 03:07:01 AM EST
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What crap. Of course it's a partisan issue. Only crazy republicans are saying 'No more taxes - and if you die in an infrastructure accident caused directly by poor maintenance, fuck you.'

It's going to take a personal tragedy to wake these fuckers up. And even then they'll spend more time feeling sorry for themselves than wondering if just maybe perhaps they had something to do with the problem.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 at 06:01:52 AM EST
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There was a time during post-World War II in the 1950's and early 1960's when infrastructure development in the United States was visionary and vibrant. In New York you had a master builder, Robert Moses, who led a dramatic change in the metro New York highway/bridge and tunnel system. Unfortunately we are still living with that post World War II development. The major cities in the United States are long, long overdue for more vibrant infrastructure redevelopment.

To accomplish that requires sources of funding and that funding must come from government and therefore taxes. The debate over taxation in the U.S. for decades by both political parties has focused on the regressive nature of taxation. If you talk to the average conservative you would think that all taxes (except those spent on the military) are bad and wasteful.

I was hoping in this prolonged Presidential campaign that at least one forward thinking Democrat would come out and provide a vision that the use of tax dollars in certain directions does provide a benefit - an investment - into job creation and a better climate for business development. Investment into transportation redevelopment (not just patchwork fixes) will lead to greater employment and will create the conditions favorable for retaining and attracting new businesses and therefore greater long term employment. I was hoping that the disaster in New Orleans would generate a Robert Moses like project that created an engineering feat never before seen. Unfortunately all we are getting are the same quick fixes.

I will admit that there are many uses of taxes that are wasteful but we should not declare all taxes are wasteful. It should be the government's role to invest in the future whether it is alternative energy sources or infrastructure redevelopment. We need to have leaders here who do not use the word "can't" as in the governor you cited. The only government leader I have seen who has stepped forward with such a vision has been New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has recognized how out-dated the NYC infrastructure is and is pushing measures and taxes to improve it.

It should be the role of the U.S. federal government to promote future development and not just patchwork fixes.

by BJ Lange (langebj@gmail.com) on Thu Aug 9th, 2007 at 11:27:13 AM EST
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