Who’ll Pave the Roads?

It was great to hear the recent news that Albany’s Delaware Avenue would be repaved thanks to funds from the recent stimulus bill. That road, one of the main streets in Albany (NY), has been in sad shape for a long time.

Unfortunately, Delaware Avenue is not the only street around that needs a lot of help. Almost any community in the country has similar streets needing major work. And there are many other pieces of the country’s infrastructure – like water lines, for example – that are falling apart.

The Republican solution to any problem facing our country appears to be one thing: cut taxes.  As Republican Senator McCain said in discussing the stimulus:

“We need to make tax cuts permanent, and we need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes,” Mr. McCain said. “We need to cut payroll taxes. We need to cut business taxes.”

In a column praising Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker notes Jindal’s comments on the Today Show the day after Obama’s speech to Congress:

Praising Obama’s objectives — while conceding that Republicans have lost fiscal credibility — he emphasized his preference for policies that help businesses create jobs rather than government programs he fears will require a taxpayer feeding tube in perpetuity.

While it’s important that businesses are able to create jobs, that isn’t the only factor in the quality of life for a community or a country. In today’s complex, inter-connected world, our quality of life is a product of many factors. Having a job feels very important these days. But so are having decent streets to drive on and decent water to drink (among other things).

Republicans like to claim they’d rather let you keep more of your own money, because you’ll have a better idea of how to spend it. But they never talk about the effect reduced revenues have on the world we live in.

In particular, how does giving me a tax cut get the roads paved and the water lines repaired?

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About Dave Higgins

I've been interested in current events since at least the mid 1960's, and in ideas from modern science since the early 1990's. My website Quantum Age, which has been online since 1996, presents a basic framework for applying ideas from modern science to today's world. In this blog I discuss current events in the context of that framework.
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