Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bush's Report Card Comes In

And things do not look good for his 'legacy'. The I-35 bridge in Minneapolis demonstrates it is built on a rotten foundation:

Dams (D+) Since 1998, the number of unsafe dams has risen by 33% to more than 3,500. ... $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address all critical non-federal dams--dams which pose a direct risk to human life should they fail.
Drinking Water (D-) America faces a shortfall of $11 billion annually to replace aging facilities and comply with safe drinking water regulations. Federal funding for drinking water in 2005 remained level at $850 million, less than 10% of the total national requirement.
Wastewater (D-) Aging wastewater management systems discharge billions of gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. surface waters each year. The EPA estimates that the nation must invest $390 billion over the next 20 years to replace existing systems and build new ones to meet increasing demands. Yet, in 2005, Congress cut funding for wastewater management for the first time in eight years. The Bush administration has proposed a further 33% reduction, to $730 million, for FY06.

There is no excuse whatsoever for the wealthiest country in the world to be unable to educate its children or get rid of its feces. Yet this is the pass that Norquist-esque "small government" types have brought us to. We are $1.6 trillion behind in needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. The President's passed $1.35 trillion in tax cuts since 2001, and is constantly pressing for more. Meanwhile, the illegal and counter-productive war in Iraq has siphoned off another $600 billion - at least, above-board. And in every legislature and a thousand odious 'think tanks', the 'drown it in a bathtub' set continue to push for more tax cuts that lead to further neglect. From Katrina on, every collapsed bridge and every wastewater overflow is another example of their vision of America.

Edit:A Minnesota State DOT report(.XLS) indicates that this bridge was slated for repairs in 2006, but those were deferred until 2007 for reasons of 'efficiency'. The bridge was last inspected in 2001; that inspection report can be viewed here(.PDF).


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