A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.' - Groucho Marx

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  1. #1

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    Florida Atlantic

    Default 19 American Bridges Deemed "Structurally Deficient."

    Business Insider's Henry Blodget recently wrote on the need for infrastructure spending in the United States.

    Something that drives that point home is how badly some of our essential infrastructure has decayed. As of last year, 11.5 percent of US bridges, crossed by an average of 282,672,680 vehicles daily, were graded as structurally deficient by the Federal Highway Administration.

    Private construction is way up, but reduced public spending is a drag on the economy.

    When we have 8.2 percent unemployment, historically low borrowing rates, and a stagnant recovery, we need to be fixing this and building better infrastructure for the future. Here's somewhere we can start.


    Click link for the rest of the article.
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  2. #2

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    George Mason

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    We've needed serious investments into infrastructure since the 80's.

    The problem is that to do it you're going to have to spend a few years lobbying and campaigning for it.
    Then you have to spend another year or two writing specific legislation to procure the funds to do it.
    Then you have to contract it all out in terms of planning, and eventually actual construction/maintenance work.

    By the time anyone around you has actually realized a real benefit from the work, you've been long gone from the position that allowed you to make it happen.

    You'll be thrown out of office because the people running against you when you're up for reelection will campaign on your 'wasteful' spending - and they'll be successful, because you'll have to spend billions to get this to go through and the results will not be realized for at least a decade down the road.

    Your projects will probably then be canceled or badly chopped off at the knees by the other party to make you look as bad as possible.

    And this is why noone will campaign on this and actually do it. It's political suicide. Because our general public is too stupid to understand the importance of long term plans and investment in our infrastructure.
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    James Madison

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    To be fair, the other side of equation, TShile, is the environmentalists, who seem hell bent on returning us to the 1800's - before cars. I am all for taking care of the environment, big supporter, actually, but only up to a point.
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  4. #4

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    so we can assume then that the billions in stimulus funds claimed to be spent on infrastructure improvements never happened. cool. got it.

    the general public isn't stupid. the general public understands that money is already in the system to pay for this stuff - but the will has to be in place to eliminate all the waste, fraud, abuse, political payoffs, excessive entitlements, huge income transfers....etc. just think....all that money wasted on payoffs to green energy donors......could have gone into your 19 bridges!
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    James Madison

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    ...or all the wasted sub-contracting the military does.

    Just sayin'.
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  6. #6

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    George Mason

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    To be fair, the other side of equation, TShile, is the environmentalists, who seem hell bent on returning us to the 1800's - before cars. I am all for taking care of the environment, big supporter, actually, but only up to a point.
    Agreed. I want to take care of the environment as well, but I think we also need bridges that provide extremely important connections from one area to another.

    I also want those bridges to not fall randomly.

    We're in a really really bad situation with infrastructure

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    so we can assume then that the billions in stimulus funds claimed to be spent on infrastructure improvements never happened. cool. got it.

    the general public isn't stupid. the general public understands that money is already in the system to pay for this stuff - but the will has to be in place to eliminate all the waste, fraud, abuse, political payoffs, excessive entitlements, huge income transfers....etc. just think....all that money wasted on payoffs to green energy donors......could have gone into your 19 bridges!
    I don't have hard evidence on what those funds were actually spent on. But my anecdotal experiences in the Northern VA area over the last few years is that:
    they were spent resurfacing roads... not even necessarily roads that needed it. i watched them resurface a **** ton of roads that weren't bad only to avoid other roads that were.

    so... yeah, it was probably wasted at the end of the day.



    and i'm sorry but the general public is pretty stupid. just look at the political discourse in this country and the route it's taken. go drive around and just observe how dumb people are.

    take a look at some of the decisions made by the general public that have put us in the situation we're in (the general public played a significant part in the recent financial disaster... taking out loans for vacations, gambling on their home with over priced and mortgages they couldn't afford 5 years down the road)
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    so we can assume then that the billions in stimulus funds claimed to be spent on infrastructure improvements never happened. cool. got it.
    No, you can't assume that from this link. You can assume that the funds weren't spent on any of those 19 bridges, but that's about it.
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    George Mason

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    I'd be interested in a report on where that money actually went... if anyone has one handle.

    I'll google it later when I can
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    t...disagree. the discourse is where it's at because the issues are so visceral. we have gone through this before - this is a battle of first principles that will be fought to the bitter end. like it or not...that is what is happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshile View Post
    I'd be interested in a report on where that money actually went... if anyone has one handle.

    I'll google it later when I can
    they don't know. "Sheriff Joe" never tracked every expenditure to the last penny as promised. there is no accounting for billions of dollars. but...not to worry...this administration is adept at making things up..especially when it comes to numbers. if they're smart..they'll assign the documentation task to the NLRB/Labor Dept!
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  11. #11

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    George Mason

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    Yeah, sounds like the bank bailouts.

    The ****ty thing is you keep trying to pin this on one administration or one party. The fact is it's a systemic problem that both parties and the bush admin also participated in.

    It's also something the romney admin will participate in, if given the chance.
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  12. #12

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    Speaking for myself, I can't even remember how many times a tax here, or there, was going to be used to repair infrastructure, only for it to never happen, so they raised taxes again. Rinse repeat. In my 50+ years, I know it's happened more than once. It's why every time another lyin, thieving politician tries to sell it again, it falls on ears that have heard it too many times before, and don't want to be fleeced again.

    And, since the fact is, we can't fix the roads, why would anybody trust the government to fix anything else. Yeah, I went there.
    Last edited by Ax; 07-03-12 at 04:27 AM.
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    James Madison

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    Ummm, you do realize government subcontracts out road construction and repair, right? So if govt doesn't pay for it, who does? Are we going to take it out of the govt's hands and wait for altruistic people to donate money to bridge repair funds?
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    not on private land it doesn't.
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    Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    To be fair, the other side of equation, TShile, is the environmentalists, who seem hell bent on returning us to the 1800's - before cars. I am all for taking care of the environment, big supporter, actually, but only up to a point.
    Bingo. Don't let an environmentalist hear you say that though. NEVER. ENDING. RANT.
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    It's ok, I don't like you either.

  16. #16

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    Florida Atlantic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    To be fair, the other side of equation, TShile, is the environmentalists, who seem hell bent on returning us to the 1800's - before cars. I am all for taking care of the environment, big supporter, actually, but only up to a point.
    I'm pretty sure this is a vast minority of environmentalists, and an extremist viewpoint painted by the right. Most environmentalists simply want nature to be conserved, not return us to a time before we polluted at all...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    I'm pretty sure this is a vast minority of environmentalists, and an extremist viewpoint painted by the right. Most environmentalists simply want nature to be conserved, not return us to a time before we polluted at all...

    and your evidence is?

    the founders of Greenpeace (who have subsequently left the organization) have stated otherwise.
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  18. #18

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    George Mason

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    I'm pretty sure this is a vast minority of environmentalists, and an extremist viewpoint painted by the right. Most environmentalists simply want nature to be conserved, not return us to a time before we polluted at all...
    Well, the term 'environmentalist' has many different meanings to different people.

    I think he's talking about the extreme side of it. I don't think he's talking about people who think pollution is bad and, in general, think it's a good idea to try to take care of the environment.
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    and your evidence is?
    I have no evidence, Al. Its purely anecdotal. I realize anecdotal evidence is only acceptable when you use it, but that's all I've got anyway. That, and simple common sense. Most people I know who consider themselves environmentalists or conservationists still drive a car, and don't have any plans on giving them up.

    the founders of Greenpeace (who have subsequently left the organization) have stated otherwise.
    So, you are putting forth the founders of Greenpeace as representative of all environmentalists?
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    James Madison

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    Quote Originally Posted by tshile View Post
    Well, the term 'environmentalist' has many different meanings to different people.

    I think he's talking about the extreme side of it. I don't think he's talking about people who think pollution is bad and, in general, think it's a good idea to try to take care of the environment.
    Yep, thanks TShile. I meant the far side of things. We recycle, try to get cars with greater gas mileage, etc. Environmentally responsible is a good description, perhaps. But I don't place protecting the environment at the top of all priorities for me, above all else.
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