America’s infrastructure now ranks 16th in the world...

Our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling. The Sherman Minton Bridge that spans the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky was shut down last Friday due to safety concerns after cracks were discovered in the bridge’s load-bearing parts. The Sherman Minton Bridge is just one of several bridges in danger of collapsing –- As the American Society of Civil Engineers points out, 34% of all the bridges in Kentucky are considered “structurally deficient.” Of course – Kentucky is the home state of Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – who opposed increased infrastructure spending in the 2009 stimulus bill – opposed it again when Republicans blocked a jobs bill in 2010 – and threw cold water last week on President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” that includes billions in transportation infrastructure products. According to a study by the Urban Land Institute – our nation’s infrastructure needs $2 trillion worth of repairs.

And America’s infrastructure now ranks 16th in the world according to the World Economic Forum. Yet another consequence of 30 years of Ronald Reagan’s “starve the beast” economics.

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Ursel Twing's picture
Ursel Twing 7 years 44 weeks ago
#1

Infrastructure Bank: A Bailout By Any Other Name

James E. Miller

// The night after a verbal trashing on his handling of the economy from the GOP presidential debate, President Obama took the stage in a Joint Session of Congress to reveal a new jobs initiative aimed at putting "Americans back to work."

Gee, where have we heard this before?

Included in this jobs plan rests the holy grail of liberal spending: an Infrastructure Bank. According to the teleprompter-in-chief, the Bank will provide "billions" to improve our roads, bridges, ports, and electric grids.

Easy translation: "We are going to throw more money at the economy and hope it works. Please believe in Keynesianism one more time."

In an effort to forget one failed stimulus effort, the President is hoping to co-opt both sides of the political aisle to back him on another government enterprise.

Unlike his effort to bring the unemployment rate down, Obama is succeeding on this front.

Both the AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce are backing the Infrastructure Bank. Since construction workers and large financial institutions benefit from this spending, both organizations see a prime opportunity to fill their coffers. And here in lies the true motive of the President's proposal. Like ObamaCare, Stimulus I, "cash for clunkers," and emergency loans to General Motors and Chrysler before it, the Infrastructure Bank is another bailout under the guise of "job creation."

When the financial crisis and Great Recession set in, state and local governments faced large shortfalls in tax revenue. President Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress came to the rescue with billions of direct financial support. With consumption down as many held their cash balances due to an uncertain job market, two of the big three of Detroit rushed to Washington in private jets to grovel for taxpayer money.

Who knew buying United Auto Worker votes cost a measly $80 billion?

The coup de grâce came when rising health care costs posed such a threat to the health care industry that our elected leaders decided to gift us by mandating the purchase of insurance. As former presidential candidate and expert primal screamer Howard Dean explained, "this is an insurance company's dream, this bill (Obamacare)."

Despite the calls of socialism, Obamanomics has always revolved around a collusion of big government and big business. With business reluctant to spend sufficient amounts of money, Obamanomics relies on bureaucrats to allocate capital who have no stake in profit or efficiency. Many times, they have no real experience even running a business. Just take a look at how wonderfully successful Solyndra, Obama's pet "green energy" project, has been with its recent bankruptcy.

Albert Einstein had a word for attempting the same thing over and over again expecting different results. But even insanity doesn't explain this administration's harebrained schemes for economic growth.

With the Infrastructure Bank, President Obama is looking to seduce two interest groups with one $60 billion cocktail. Wall Street will have a new mechanism to feed on taxpayer dollars. As Reuters points out, "private money is interested in being used for loans to infrastructure projects and guaranteed by the federal government and taxpayers. It's almost identical to senior bondholders who loaned money to too-big-to-fail banks. It's the best setup for private money because there is no loss."

Thanks to the Davis-Bacon Act which ensures prevailing wages for federal public works projects, unionized construction workers get to join the party. To wealthy special interests, the Obama administration has become the gift that keeps on giving. In the end costs go up, taxpayers lose out, campaigns are financed, and votes are purchased. Crony capitalism has a name: Barack Obama's presidency.

tim-mccoy's picture
tim-mccoy 7 years 44 weeks ago
#2

Big refinery closing in Philadelphia.

What does that say about supply and demand for gasoline?

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 7 years 44 weeks ago
#3

I give up!! What does it say?

gadamo's picture
gadamo 7 years 44 weeks ago
#4

Thom,

I believe it's Norquist who wants to "starve the beast." When it comes to Reagan, I think the comment should be rephrased: Starve the beast and feed the pigs.

bmkr92's picture
bmkr92 7 years 44 weeks ago
#5

America's infrastructure?! The sickening irony. Even America's infrastructure get's outsourced to China!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8602786/New-San-Fra...

People should be rioting in the streets by now!

TxPeon's picture
TxPeon 7 years 44 weeks ago
#6

Well read, Ursel Twing post. This prevailing attitude is why the infrastructure is crumbling, along with everything with an American label. Maybe Kentucky will get lucky, Mitch McConnel will drive across one of their sorry bridges, and it will fail. Then they can blame it on Obama...........lol.

TxPeon's picture
TxPeon 7 years 44 weeks ago
#7

More efficient cars??????? Of course, there hasn't been a new gasoline refinery built in 20 years in this country.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 7 years 44 weeks ago
#8

America could always sell fruit on the freeways of Mexico City.

woodie's picture
woodie 7 years 44 weeks ago
#9

Since the big corporations refuse to put their profits and tax credits into the American economy-won't step up to create jobs and employ American workers- what is our government supposed to do to get the economy moving? Should workers take over empty factories like workers in South America have tried in past failed economies there? What alternatives to bankruptcy and starvation are "conservatives" and anti-government Tea Partiers in Congress and elsewhere offering to laidoff, longterm unemployed and their families?? The local Food Banks, shelters, and community charities can't provide for the millions affected by this 3 years and counting financial sector caused debacle. If conservatives are also bankrupt of ideas and recovery plans for this country as they run for government office, they need to step down, get out of the way, of people who will present their ideas and plans to rebuild this nation.

el cid returns's picture
el cid returns 7 years 44 weeks ago
#10

If infrastructure is outlawed; then only outlaws will have infrastructure!!!

jdjay's picture
jdjay 7 years 44 weeks ago
#11

Hey Thom,

I just wanted to pass on some info. in case you have not heard about it. There is a dwarf star in our solar system that seems to be generating earthquakes when it is in alignment with the earth and the sun. They say it is simply due to the magnetic pulling that occurs when all three are in alignment. It is said that this particular dwarf star has actually caused the earth's axis to shift on several occasions now. This dwarf star called Elinen was in the above mentioned alignment on the dates of Feb. 27th, 2010, Sept. 4th, 2010 and March 11th, 2011. Those are the dates of the earthquakes in Chile (mag. 8.2), New Zealand (mag. 7.2) and Japan (mag. 8.9). The next date of alignment is said to fall on the 26th or 27th of this month. Go to http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=september+26+2011 if you want to investigate it for yourself. The best explanation I have found has been the one titled Planet Elenin-Nibiru Brown Dwarf star is Co...10.04 . It seems like it may be legitimate. Better safe than sorry.

have a good one

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 7 years 44 weeks ago
#12

It's going to take a catastrophe worse than the I-35 bridge collapse.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 7 years 44 weeks ago
#13

How do you account for an increase in cars each year. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the number of motor vehicles has increased 3.69 million per year since 1960. In 2001, 38.3% of cars are older than 10 years, 22.3% between 7 and 10 years, 25.8% between 3 and 6 years and the remainder, 13.5% less than 2 years old. This same study found 60.6% were older than 7 years in 2001.

The refinery being shut down, was opened in 1902. In 1902, crude oil was still be pumped out of the ground in western Pennsylvania and other areas close to the refinery. The refinery is located in downtown Philadelphia, near the airport. It has lost money in 8 out of the last 10 quarters, for a total lose of $772 million since 2009. How much do you think it would cost to bring that refinery up to todays standards? Don't you think it would be less expensive to build a new refinery on the Gulf coast somewhere, closer to the supply of crude? Plus, most if not all of the southern states are right to work states. The Philadelphia employs union workers. I don't believe demand has anything to do with shutting down the refinery. It's all about dollars.

ragingdemo's picture
ragingdemo 7 years 44 weeks ago
#14

Dear Thom and friends.. I totally agree with you thom on so many matters all except ONE very big one, it's your complete and total misinformation about the FACTS and realitys of what actually took place on 9/11. Infrastructure you say ? has everyone gone Mad ? Hold up your hand if you know what they have been doing with the Ultra Exploded defense budget all these years ? Now how many of you think deep down that kerosene put the WTC in it's own basement in 56 minutes really ? how many of you were awake and functioning when Ole # 7 did a free fall into its own basement ? how many of you really think that 4 Big fat Boeing passenger aircraft took a joy ride around America without any real radio contact with ATC or ground without FAA guidelines being followed and ANG alert aircraft being scrambled all under the watchful eye of NORAD who by the by can see every single aircraft flying period yet didn't scramble alert aircraft ? Why not ? how about melvin Bush and the security company who's contract was to expire on 9/11 ? how about the "elevator renovation" that oddly took 9 months ? how long do you think it took to Rig #7 to implode while mysterious out of control fires raged inside? Thom what says you about the crazy 9/11 Put options ? and you people want to know about Infrastructure while our country is being plundered and looted and driven into chaos so the Amero and the NWO can go into effect ? How about the Next Boogieman attack that they MUST play out in order to allow FEMA to place us under Marshall Law and open the camps ? Are you fellas really that blatantly naive ? have you NOT figured this out yet ? do you really think our elected officials have even come close to acting in our best interest say in the last 30 or so years ? Has not one of you even taken notice of the Multi Zillion dollar Denver airport out in the middle of nowhere USA or whats being built under it ? looking back do you really think they have been slowly chipping away at our constitution for nothing ? If not for yourself , you folks MUST take off your blinders because what is around the corner is NOT GOOD ...just look up the next time theres a freakish storm and count the number of Chemtrail planes or the next time they start up HAARP . I'm deeply ashamed of everyone who's alive and breathing and can't seem to see the forest cause the tree's are in the way. but please DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS..do some of your own research and get it like I did about 1 hr after WTC 1 turned to dust . Good luck..

el cid returns's picture
el cid returns 7 years 44 weeks ago
#15

The topic of infrastructure collapse reminds me of the "Mothman stories." The "Mothman creature is often seen before disasters like the famous Silver Bridge collapse in West Virginia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothman see also: http://qsl.net/w5www/mothman.html. Let's get building; we don't want Mothman coming around.....

Samuel Bryan 7 years 44 weeks ago
#16

Thom, what would Hamilton say about an Infrastructure Bank to subsidize the consumption of the product most closely connected to our two unconstitutional wars?

Increase the gas tax to pay for roads and bridges.

Create a bank to help small manufacturing. Subsidize only solar.

Jeffthinx 7 years 44 weeks ago
#17

No, I don't think infrastructure repairs will occur...until there have been numerous collapses and hundreds killed.

Blatz's picture
Blatz 7 years 44 weeks ago
#18

Interesting that some of the most heavily Democratic states have the highest percentage of bad bridges:

http://www.statemaster.com/graph/trn_bri_per_fun_obs_or_str_def-percent-...

In fact, Kentucky is in the middle of the pack. Remember that a lot of bridge maintenance is local and state in nature -- one can't blame everything on the feds. So where were the state and local governments of Hawaii, DC, Massachusetts, Rhose Island, Connecticut, Vermont, etc., all pretty liberal states, when it came to maintaining their bridges?

Also, one cannot blame this on Reagan particularly. We had 8 years of Clinton, 3 of Obama, so the Dems had a fair shot at rebuilding the country. What all the presidents had in common was bloated defense budgets, or, I should say, bloated offense budgets.

What Do Democrats Really Want?

Thom plus logo Thomas Friedman, the confused billionaire, told us decades ago that "free trade" is what made the Lexus a successful product when, in fact, it was decades of Japanese government subsidies and explicit tariffs that did so.

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