The Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 years old this weekend. When somebody or something reaches one of these milestones it is time to reflect. If we needed to build something like this bridge again, could we? Would the building of such a bridge become mired in partisan politics? I know we can build bridges to nowhere, but have we lost the capacity of actually helping the American people?
As we look at how to get our economy back on track, we have to look at infrastructure spending. We have to figure out what is the best way to update our infrastructure. How do we do this in a cost-effective manner? How do we do this quickly? Which projects go first and which should wait? We need to rebuild bridges, roads and railroads. Our water and gas lines need to be rebuilt also. We simply cannot have year-old pipelines exploding.
A gas pipeline explosion shook residents in eastern Ohio a day after a house explosion in neighboring Pennsylvania took the lives of five residents and destroyed several homes in Allentown.
The explosion occurred about 10:30 p.m. A television station initially reported one house caught fire but Robert Newberry, a spokesman for El Paso Corp., which operates Tennessee Gas Pipeline, said there were no structural fires. One house was damaged, however, the company said. Newberry said only one nearby resident was evacuated. (more…)
Dear Congressional Democrats/Independents:
I’m not sure what it is that you’re focused on but America needs jobs. We need a lot of jobs. The number of people who are unemployed or underemployed is astronomical. Big business has rolled up big profits yet they’re not hiring. Medium-size businesses have also made money but like large corporations, they’re skittish about the future and are not hiring. Tax breaks are not to make corporations all of a sudden have a rosy outlook for the future and begin hiring. We need more.
For some time I’ve been talking about green jobs. I’ve been talking about major investment in solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and any other sustainable energy. Yet, our investments have been modest.
We need major investments in our infrastructure. We need to rebuild roads, bridges and schools. Maybe investing in a light rail system is exactly the infrastructure project that we need. California, Texas, Florida and the Northeastern corridor desperately need efficient ways to transport large groups of people around their states. This would be a public works project that would put millions of people back to work. I am positive, that each state, already has plans for such a project. Investing in infrastructure be something that cannot be shipped off overseas. It would put Americans to work. This is exactly what we need.
I understand that the American taxpayer is tired of writing checks to everyone but themselves. I also understand that millions are frustrated. In my opinion, the source of the frustration is that most of the American people have not seen benefits to their efforts. After forking out over $750 billion, the stimulus package has reduced the unemployment rate from an astronomical 11.5% to the current 9.5% (new unemployment numbers should be coming out tomorrow). The stimulus package has saved or created over 3 million jobs. This is great but it’s yesterday’s news. We have to do more. You have to do more.
Finally, there seems to be a fixation on Capitol Hill in retaining both houses of Congress in the hands of the Democrats/Independents. Americans are in a Janet Jackson mood, “What If You Done for Me Lately?” If your answer is we almost reformed Wall Street, we bailed out the big banks, we’ve almost pulled out of Iraq and we sort of fix the economy, that’s not good to cut it with the American people. If you want to save your jobs, you’ll put America back to work. The unemployment rate has to be below 7%, in my opinion. Good luck.