Ralph Sierra: “Another issue to add to our list of infrastructure projects: water and sewer lines.”

. . . if the nation’s water and sewer systems begin to fail, life as we know it will too. Without an ample supply of water, people don’t drink, toilets don’t flush, factories don’t operate, offices shut down and fires go unchecked. When sewage systems fail, cities can’t function and epidemics break out.

. . . the vast majority of the country’s water systems are in urgent need of repair and replacement. At a Senate hearing last month, it was estimated that . . . it will take $335 billion to resurrect water systems and $300 billion to fix sewer systems. . . .

☞ If only we had people looking for work who could get on this. Oh, wait – we do! And putting them to work would not only get the job done, it would get the economy moving, tax revenues rising, unemployment checks, food stamps, foreclosures, and the deficit falling – a virtuous cycle.

How do we persuade Republicans that tax cuts don’t finance public works, taxes do. We need a decade or two skewed toward public expenditure.

As between living with taxes or living with sewage, I’d choose taxes.


(And please don’t tell me we should just slash expenses elsewhere in order to pay for infrastructure. Leaving aside the fact that the presumed Republican nominee says he would not cut the one place where meaningful cuts are possible and sensible – the military budget – slashing government spending now would only prolong or deepen our economic woes, which would only prolong or deepen our deficits.)

President Eisenhower understood this when, despite the nation’s sky-high national debt coming out of World War II, he launched construction of the Interstate Highway System.


Bush told everyone, over and over, that “by far the vast majority” of his proposed tax cuts would go to “people at the bottom of the economic ladder.” It was a multi-trillion-dollar lie – which even as big lies go is a very big one – but it worked.

Now comes Romney to portray Obama as “a president who lost more jobs during his tenure than any president since Hoover.” But the facts – and the two graphs in Paul Krugman’s response – tell a very different story. Bookmark it, because if that line tested well, I expect we’ll hear it again and again.


Nice guy, no doubt – but to hold the most important job on the planet? Really?

And what about his positions? If your daughter is raped, Rick Santorum would have the government require her to bear the rapist’s child rather than abort a day-old blastocyst. If your sibling happens to be gay, and married, Rick Santorum would have the government annul that marriage via Constitutional Amendment. He sees no Constitutional “right of privacy.” Has declared global warming “a hoax.” Would de-fund the United Nations. Require the teaching of “intelligent design” in science classes.

There’s more, no doubt; but as he’s unlikely to be the nominee, I’ll stop there.

Tomorrow: Rob Shook’s Checklist for Smart Living


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