Skip to comments.Republicans Rejoice as They Spread the South’s Third World Status To Entire Nation (Rant-licious)
Posted on 05/18/2014 7:24:54 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Many Americans really have no comprehension of the importance of basic physical and organizational structures and facilities such as buildings, roads, and power supplies needed for the operation of an advanced society or enterprise. A great number of Americans mesmerized by Republicans anti-tax agenda may get exercised and complain when their power goes out or their teeth are shaken loose driving over pothole-ridden roads, but they are most likely the first to vehemently oppose any tax increase to repair Americas crumbling infrastructure. Apparently, Republicans and their supporters are proud that Americas infrastructure compares unfavorably with most advanced and even some developing nations because in their minds spreading the Souths third world status to the entire nation is a worthy goal.
Last year, the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness Report for 2012-2013 exposed Americas quality and availability of roads, railroads, ports, air transport, electricity, and telephones ranks 25th, behind nations such as Oman and Barbados, and only one spot ahead of Qatar. On Tuesday, the Obama Administration warned that failure to head off bankruptcy of the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) before summer will mean delaying over 112,000 roadway and 5,600 transit projects and cost the economy over 700,000 construction jobs within a year. No doubt bankrupting the highway fund, keeping over a hundred-thousand roads in disrepair, and killing nearly three-quarters-of-a-million jobs is appealing to Republicans who have no intent in funding infrastructure improvements.
The highway trust fund is the main funding source for state road and highway projects, and most of them will cease if it runs out of money that is looking likely because the federal gas tax which funds the HTF has not been raised in twenty years (1994). Currently, federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, but if it kept pace with inflation it would be about 26 cents per gallon and if it were indexed to increasing gas prices, it would be about 35.4 cents. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned that to keep Highway Trust Fund solvent, Congress will either have to raise the gas tax by 10 to 15 cents per gallon or find between $13 billion and $18 billion a year from other sources and knowing Republicans it will come out of social safety nets. President Obama has proposed infrastructure spending in the past, and once again proposed a $150 billion four-year plan to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, but Republicans refuse to fund anything the President requests.
One solution from the President is allowing states to charge a toll on Interstate highways as a last resort, but Republicans are as likely to go along with that idea as they are raising the gas tax or approving the Presidents infrastructure spending plan. On Thursday, a bipartisan group of Senators approved a bill to keep funding at current levels, but as was revealed this past week, Senate Republicans are enamored with obstructing bipartisan plans they support unless they can add an amendment or two forcing the President to approve the KeystoneXL pipeline or eliminating some clean energy standards for the Koch brothers; there is little to no chance the funding bill will pass the Senate. Even if Senate Republicans go along with the bipartisan funding proposal, House Republicans will not support anything the President proposes.
Americas infrastructure already rates a grade of D according to the Society of Civil Engineers, and the nation would need to spend $3.6 trillion within 6 years just to upgrade the nations bridges, roads, and waterways to keep pace, and be competitive, with the rest of the developed world. According to Standard & Poors, there are long term as well as immediate benefits to the economy by investing as little as $1.3 billion over the next year including adding at least 29,000 jobs, boosting economic growth by $2 billion, reduce the deficit by at least $200 million, and many more benefits over the long term. However, Republicans are not going to invest in infrastructure because they already cut federal spending on infrastructure by $60 billion that is at World War II levels.
To get an idea of the typical Republican opposition to spending even a penny on improving infrastructure when they can give the money to the rich and corporations, a good example is the proposed California High Speed Rail project. The project will be the greatest Earth-moving project in California history, create millions of construction and related jobs immediately and long into the future, improve air quality, and save California motorists fuel costs. The California Republican who is chairman of the House subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials said he has no intention of expediting federal funding for the project that will benefit his constituents or the states economy. He told supporters last fall he will continue blocking federal funding for the project because he claims the money is better spent on the rich because they know how to create jobs. The congressman, Jeff Denham, is firmly ensconced in the pocket of the Koch brothers and the oil industry and they will not allow any project to even start that creates millions of jobs, improves air quality, or reduces fuel usage.
Keeping the Highway Trust Fund out of money, and Americas infrastructure at levels below every developed country on Earth, really serves a variety of Republican goals. Whether it is killing 700,000 jobs, keeping America from competing with the rest of the world, retarding economic growth, or just letting the nation fall farther into disrepair, they have no incentive to fund infrastructure improvements. About four months ago a conservative economist Republicans revere argued that President Obama should propose, and Congress should immediately approve at least $1.3 trillion in infrastructure improvements to strengthen the economy, create millions of jobs, and bring the nation closer to some developing countriesinfrastructure. Needless to say, the conservative economist is no longer held in any esteem by Republicans.
President Obama warned that not adequately funding the Highway Trust Fund will bankrupt it, and it was probably succor to Republicans who have tried desperately to bankrupt the federal government and sell it off to the highest bidders. There is no telling how far Republicans will deliberately let this country slide into third world status to prove their racial hatred for this President, but if the Republican former Confederacy is any indication, they will not stop until America ranks below Yemen and Afghanistans infrastructure where bridges are non-existent and dirt roads are the norm.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesnt look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
But Vet, don’t we rank #1 in contributions to international mosque building projects?
You know, the Saudis, Sunnis and Shiites just need a little `hand-up,’ so we just float another loan from the PRC.
“There is no telling how far Republicans will deliberately let this country slide into third world status to prove their racial hatred for this President...”
FU. I don’t like his WHITE Commie half, EITHER! :)
What was that most recent TEN TRILLION of indebtedness for?
What planet is that idiot from?
Zen Buddhists are supposed to be laid back and “cool.” This guy is just a bigoted, arrogant, ignorant asshole.
the government has plenty of money. It just needs to prioritize its expenditures and eliminate the least necessary (practically all of them)
Lets take a look at the graphic again.
At 27. It says "Taiwan, China" and has the PRC Flag.
I am Missing Something? I didn't know we could lump Taiwan in with China, I mean I know those two countries claim each other, but does official data lump their economies in too? How about Military?
That seams very odd to me.
“Genius is pain!”
“God lives in Iceland!”
I think the article is nonsense.
Intelligence agencies have to deal with the underworld and all kinds of nasty people. That doesn’t mean they support them.
They also dealt with the KGB because that is who they were and what they did.
You know....shovel ready. That is where the money went.
Oops! I posted to the wrong thread.
Well we are currently importing more than 300 billion (more) from China than we are exporting to China, every single year.
America is losing our own manufacturing.
That is a huge problem. Bring back US manufacturing.
This is the left’s favorite bait and switch.
1 If you let us raise your taxes we’ll spend it all on infrastructure.
2 Duh Ok.
3 They give it all away to their constituency.
4 Go To 1
Your first sentence is 100% correct, however.
As a former member of two intelligence agencies, I tend to agree. My post was for humor.
World Economic Forum. Puts Taiwan on the list as Taiwan, China with a PRC flag.
Real credible, no agenda at all.
I guess leftists would probably lump Texas with Mexico too, lol
Another thing, many of those (Korea, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong) are tiny or city-states. Easy to have great infrastructure in such a small area. We are a huge country.
Yes. I noticed that as well.
And notice they refer to Hong Kong simply as Hong Kong SAR with the Hong Kong flag.
The other point to remember is that $300 billion in net imports from China does not necessarily translate into a loss of manufacturing. There are probably very few products manufactured in China that would be purchased in the same quantities by U.S. consumers if they were produced here in the U.S.
why does the federal gas tax need to keep pace with inflation at all? What is the Highway Fund spent on besides highways? What state funds are spent on highways from state gasoline taxes? What about those who have electric cars? Do they get to skip out on gasoline taxes? What are the backoffice costs (administrative/pension/etc) of the Highway Fund? How are frequent budget overruns handled? If gas tax is collected every minute of every hour of every day, both on the federal and state sides, how can the Fund possibly 'run out of money'?
Gotta be your white priviledge wacis mind going in to overdrive......
You must be from Wisconsin.
Great Minds think alike.
So they wouldn't Lump in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, but they will Taiwan. A complete separate (for all intense and purposes) country?
Lol. Hong Kong really is China too.
Maybe they should have tried to make S Korea part of N Korea lol
One of the few who PROUDLY did NOT vote for him! :)
It is pretty easy to have a high ranking infrastructure quality when you either have a dinky little country with limited infrastructure or a big country with limited infrastructure to maintain. Unlike most countries on the list, the US has both a large and dense infrastructure. Also the US infrastructure is older than most.
I proudly can't understand how he ever got on the ballot, not to mention I hope that Godzilla tears him apart limb by limb slower than the slowest instant replay ever....
Yes, it's been a bad day....
The North started electing Dems... the folks who used to run the South... and they wonder why they have corruption and failing infrastructure.
Yup. Pennsylvania is a textbook case of this bait and switch. We have the crappiest roads in the nation and one of the highest gas taxes. When Penndot gets around to fixing a pot hole, there are at least four people standing around for everyone actually working; all making a union wage for doing what most states which employ non-union labor do for roughly double the minimum wage without the standing around.
The South’s third world status? Is he talking about all those “third world” southern towns that are run by democrats? There are lot of them.
“The South’s third world status”?? Ummm...take a look at how you advanced sophisticated types are keeping your ghettos these days..
“why does the federal gas tax need to keep pace with inflation at all? What is the Highway Fund spent on besides highways? What state funds are spent on highways from state gasoline taxes? What about those who have electric cars? Do they get to skip out on gasoline taxes? What are the backoffice costs (administrative/pension/etc) of the Highway Fund? How are frequent budget overruns handled? If gas tax is collected every minute of every hour of every day, both on the federal and state sides, how can the Fund possibly ‘run out of money’? “
And, more fundamentally, two questions:
1. why don’t progressives stop wasting taxpayer money on social engineering schemes and spend it on roads? Colorado recently tossed $200,000,000 down the toilet on a crappy Obamacare exchange. After failing all their goals, the employees of the exchange are getting big raises and bonuses. Multiply that by 200 different corrupt agencies and that fills a lot of potholes and builds a lot of bridges.
2. Build the bridges and fill the potholes with non-union labor. It will cost a whole lot less.
Forgot to include that he is as stupid as the day is long
I would say “You got to be kidding me”, but I have listened to this crap for 6 years. So the president runs the place into the ground for 6 years and its the fault of others who point out his failure....because they are racist? At what point does this stop? Or does it never stop?
Ask long haulers which states have the best and which have the worst roads.
The minute you drive over the state lines of state like Penn., Calif, Ill, etc - you can tell by the rotten roads - ie., states that have been run by democrats for decades. Where all the taxes for roads goes is anyones guess - but it doesn’t go on the road - lotta heavy pockets
conversely, Pubbie run states are pretty much guaranteed o have good roads.
I recall a noticeable improvement going east from California into Arizona.
Leftists don’t acknowledge the existence of Taiwan because the believe it should be Communist.
Stupid. But if my taxes actually went only to those things, I would be OK with that. Fix my roads, fund an army, and that’s about all.
Thee is so much wrong with this venom filled hate piece. He obviously - and conveniently - omits the trillion dollars spent on “infrastructure” by his idol. He neglects to tell us that Elmer Fudd hasn’t submitted a budget that Congress won’t laugh at in six years. And how does a Republican become chairman of a committee in a RAT controlled CA government?
The strangest thing about PA is that they are really good at putting up orange barrels. I80 and I70 will often be cut down to single lane traffic for 20 miles or so, with no sign of any road work occurring. The barrels will stay there for weeks or months for reasons unknown.
More like the rest of the country’s going Third World as smart business people move their firms to the South. Oh, and the high-speed rail projects I’ve heard about here in California (Central Valley and Las Vegas are both chunks of poo, and frightfully expensive ones at that.
Why post the rantings of the criminally insane?
Liberal points of view can be determined in the first sentence or two, if not the first few words. In this case, he had to get into the second sentence: "...Many Americans really have no comprehension of the importance of basic physical and organizational structures and facilities such as buildings, roads, and power supplies needed for the operation of an advanced society or enterprise. A great number of Americans mesmerized by Republicans anti-tax agenda...
Because many people are against taxes being spent on health care and education for illegals, taxes to fund abortion, taxes to help middle easterners build mosques, taxes to fund the EPA and DOE, taxes spent to prop up unions, taxes on grants for idiotic purposes such as determining the sexual habits of the spotted morgwort and hundreds, if not thousands of equally offensive examples of spending money we don't have, that makes us "mesmerized" by a bunch of charlatans practicing ideological sleight of hand.
Most conservatives are not against ALL taxes. They simply believe that taxation has wildly spiraled out of control and is destroying our industry, our economies and our lifestyle. Many of us believe in taxes to pay for our water and sewage treatment, fixing roads, etc.
But many of us also believe the federal highway funds are a source of tax money that are used to force states to buckle to the federal will.
Don't want to pass (insert an unpalatable liberal piece of law here) legislation in your state? The Federal government says "That's fine if you don't want to pass it. You are a state, and we in the Federal government cannot force you to. However, we hold the purse strings to the Highway Funds that are disbursed to each state by the federal government. If you don't pass this legislation that we want you to, we will withhold 10% of your highway funds. We therefore do not impinge on your right as a state to pass legislation as you see fit (NOTE: THIS PROCESS OFTEN INVOLVES LEGISLATION THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HIGHWAYS OR TRANSPORTATION, BUT MAY DEAL WITH EDUCATION, WELFARE, ETC) and so, you maintain free choice in your state legislation."
So, there is state independence, and then there is state independence. And you get liberals like this POS who wrote the article talking about how it is the evil republicans responsible for our drop in the worldwide condition of our infrastructure. Kind of the equivalent of "Do it for the children".
(This is a description of a small foray into what exactly some of those trillions of dollars were used for...)
And it illustrates why so many people are against uninhibited taxation. *********************************************************************************************************
I can't tell you how angry I was when I tried to find out how many dollars from the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" were used to build a state of the art visitor center on the grounds of a national park near me.
Sudbury, Massachusetts is near where I live, it is one of the wealthiest communities in the state, and is located some twenty miles due west of Boston. In Sudbury, there was an old, abandoned Army base that had been closed up for years, and sometime in the last ten years or so, it was opened to the public to be able to walk through. It was great.
Not many people knew about it or knew it was open, and one could walk on dilapidated old crumbling roads through the woods, punctuated by an occasional boarded up decaying building. Most interestingly, there are a series of huge concrete munitions bunkers with evidence of railroad (possibly small gage) that serviced the bunkers, and on a few of them, you could get inside to find old, empty metal desks, light fixtures in the overhead with old fashioned incandescent bulbs in them.
To anyone who has ever lived on military installations, it has that general air of decay you know you could sniff out in the remote accesses even on some large active bases. As someone who grew up as a military brat and spent many hours exploring such ignored areas, that type of thing has always had a kind of charm for me. Anyway, it was great, and always deserted. Just about two years ago, I began to see evidence of activity...backhoes, roads being paved and such. It was a real disappointment, and I stopped going there for a while. Then, last winter, my wife and I went for a wintertime snow walk there, and came across this facility:
Now, just seeing that sign makes my blood pressure go up, but as I looked over the facility, I got angrier and angrier.
There was apparently no expense spared to build this facility, everything built of the highest quality materials, I do believe there were solar electricity panels on the roof (not sure though) but it didn't look like they skimped on anything. As I looked through the windows of the closed facility, I think I even saw Herman Miller chairs in what looked like an office. Bottom line, I see this, and figure they probably spent at LEAST a million or two on this facility, probably more, and now have it staffed with a park ranger or two. All this money WE DON'T HAVE for one or two government employee FTE's. Don't get me wrong, I like parks and such. BUT YOU DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU HAVE TO BORROW TO BUILD THEM! If times are prosperous, just maybe you can do it, but when we have a debt burden of $500,000 per household in this country, it is INSANITY to spend money on this type of thing.
So I decided to try to find out just how much of the "stimulus" was spent on this boondoggle. There is a website in Massachusetts to monitor the distribution of the stimulus funds at Massachusetts Recovery Website as an an attempt to live up to the Obama administration's promise of "transparency".
On the site, you can dig around in a variety of ways to see data, one way to slice it is by project, another shows funds by zip code. Unfortunately, they make it so you cannot download all the funds for all Massachusetts zip codes, but at least you can download data for a given zip code for a given fiscal quarter. Now, I never did find out how much was spent on that facility. But what I did find out was interesting.
I downloaded the data for 01776 (oh, the IRONY at that zip code) in successive passes for each fiscal quarter and got them all into an Excel spreadsheet. Once there, I used a pivot table to slice the data in a variety of ways. The column on the left is a general category, and the categories from left to right are subcategories of that. I specified that I only wanted to see the top four, and specifically excluded the Police and Firefighter components, but since the total money awarded was $25.2 million and this table shows an expenditure of $23.13 million, that means all other expenditures for this community that I didn't show totaled just over two million dollars. So my table below shows the lion's share.
(I only showed money awarded, not money used, but gee whiz, is anyone concerned they would get awarded the money and not use it? I'm not...)
As I went through the data, I kept seeing an entry for Minuteman Nashoba Heath, and it was a large chunk twice a year. Doing a search on the Internet showed this website: Minuteman Nashoba Health Group. They describe themselves as such:
"The Minuteman Nashoba Health Group (MNHG) is a coalition of Massachusetts towns and school districts that have joined together to purchase health benefits for their employees, retirees, and their eligible dependents. Joint purchasing of health benefits gives the participating governmental employers purchasing clout to help keep costs under control. The MNHG has been operational since 1990 and has added several towns to its membership in the last several years." I don't know what the cost for healthcare is for teachers in that town, but it looks from a couple of things I have seen that teachers might contribute between 20-30% of their own money towards their premium. Bottom line, you folks down in Texas, all you Freepers in California, even you Sooners out in Oklahoma, your tax dollars are all paying for the health care of unionized Massachusetts teachers.
I am not choosing Sudbury, MA for analysis because of some perceived corruption. I don't believe it is any more or less corrupt than any other community in this country. It just happened to be the community I was looking at to find out about something else, and this fell out of it. I fully expect that if I were to do this analysis on my town (which I will do) or any other locality in this state or throughout the country, we might find similar activity. What is unspeakable in my opinion is the fact that we took hundreds of billions of dollars we didn't have, and opened the coffers for every community around the nation to dip their hands into. To me, this is the equivalent of a family that cannot meet their mortgage (or their second and third concurrent and outstanding Home Equity Loan) pay their car insurance or keep up with any of the other bills they have incurred, taking out a fourth home equity loan, withdrawing it in cash and distributing it throughout the family. "Hey everyone, I'm going to buy a new boat, Mom is going to get a sports car, you kids can take the rest of this and spend it on whatever you wish! Computers, video games, clothes, whatever you want! You don't have to tell me precisely what you are doing with it (and even if you do tell me, I'll just wink and approve!) and you won't have to pay any of it back! This is FREE MONEY, and we are going to have a great time with it!" We have heard people say the whole stimulus bill is a scam. From day one, I have believed it. We have heard many say that this stimulus was supposed to provide "shovel ready jobs" that would stimulate the economy, but from looking at the expenditures, it is clear that, in one of the single, wealthiest communities in Massachusetts, 25 million dollars of stimulus money was spent, and the vast majority of it appears to be spent not on "shovel ready jobs" (whatever the HELL that means) but instead for paying for unemployment benefits, benefits for teachers and other "unspecified" educational costs (that detail could not be teased out of the spreadsheet, since it is not broken down that way). Spending the money on unemployment benefits may or may not be the best use for that money, but I think there should have at least been a dialogue about the wisdom of using it. It might indeed be the best use of our taxpayer money, but nobody got to even discuss it. It was just used to pay for these things...AND THOSE USES WERE NOT WHAT THE "STIMULUS" WAS SOLD AS. Brain dead liberals think that pumping borrowed/printed money back into the hands of the unemployed so it can be used to pay bills actually STIMULATES an economy. (Ask Nancy Pelosi...SHE thinks it does, and has said so.) It doesn't, but people who believe in socialism think it does. And socialists are running the show now.
Many of us recognize that the stimulus was a bill of goods, being used primarily by many communities to cover shortfalls, and who could blame those communities for doing so. But the unimpeachable idiocy of declaring that this money was going to stimulate anything is apparent, and it is yet another instance of the dishonesty of the liberals (and so-called "conservatives") who not only supported this expenditure the first time around, but are now pushing for more money WE DON'T HAVE to be thrown down the rat-hole.
And I do mean "Rat-Hole".
And it is a UNION Rathole. Using MY money to pay for it.
Just look at how much money Bush and the GOP spent on infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Haven’t you figured out that the purpose of those barrels is to advertise that Panndot is working? Somewhere. And they will eventually get to it. Someday.