The New York Times has a good piece today asking eight of the candidates who dropped out of the presidential race what they’d be talking about if they were still in the game. I liked two of them — the one by Joe Biden on Afghanistan and Pakistan and another by Chris Dodd on the need for national infrastructure investment.
On Aug. 1, the bridge carrying Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River buckled and broke. Thirteen people were killed. More than 100 were injured.
Afterward, we learned the frightening facts: 160,570 of our bridges are in just as dangerous a shape; a third of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition; some of our biggest cities depend on water and sewage systems over a century old.
With every bursting pipe, potholed road and derailed train, the conclusion became inescapable: America’s backbone is decaying.
It wasn’t always this way. Year by year and ton by ton — from the great railroads to tens of thousands of miles of Interstate — great American engineers built the foundations of our prosperity.
It is interesting that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are co-sponsors of the Hagel/Dodd bill establishing a National Infrastructure Bank — but John McCain isn’t.
There are a lot of reasons Rome fell, but one of the biggies is that Rome overspent on its military and the maintenance of empire and underinvested in its core, which slowly rotted.
John McCain’s embrace of empire and his oft-expressed decision about the inevitability of “more wars” for the United States furthers the build-up of America’s military machine while the home front further deteriorates.
— Steve Clemons