Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
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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