Friday, October 28, 2011

Politically and Morally Incapable of Maintaining our Civilization

Michigan urgently needs infrastructure investment. At least a billion dollars worth. That's where Governor Snyder and I agree. And if we don't do it now, it's going to cost us WAY more than that to play catch-up.

And now comes the task of paying for it. Snyder's idea is to dramatically increase vehicle registration fees by $120 per year.

$120 more per year to drive my car. That's a spicy meatball.

But hell...

As annoyed as I am that they'd give 1.6 billion in tax cuts to midsized and large businesses in Michigan at a time when Michigan is in desperate need for infrastructure investment, I would cheer our leaders for doing the responsible thing. I may be annoyed that the dude driving the Hummer and the dude driving the 1994 Honda Civic beater are paying the same vehicle registration fee....but whatever. We need these roads. I'd cheer our reps for actually RAISING the revenue needed to do the right thing and maintain our foundational infrastructure.

But I strongly suspect they won't. They're already fleeing from the notion of raising revenue. I've come to believe Michigan's congressional Republicans are politically and morally incapable of doing what needs to be done to maintain even the most basic foundations of our civilization: our roads. Our bridges...

Even the matter of bridges, the matter of building stronger more expedient trade routes with our largest international trade partner, is a contested one. The Maroun family owns the one bridge between Detroit and Canada and they're not giving up their effective monopoly without a fight. They've got most Michigan congressional republicans in their pockets....forget about the 10,000 jobs constructing a second bridge would create, forget about a new bridge connecting to an actual highway, forget about the fact that CANADA is going to pay for it, forget that business leaders, our governor, most citizens, pundits, editorial boards, cities, and three year olds and their stuffed walruses are in favor of the bridge...

Michigan congressmen like Senator Goeff Hansen are bought and in the pocket of the family who owns the Ambassador Bridge. They will sell out Michigan's future and nearly 10 million people just to keep a relationship with a rich family that doesn't even live here.

Michigan's Republican congress simply doesn't have the political or moral capacity to carry our state maintain even the basics of civilization.

No comments: