The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a cry of alarm five years ago in the form of three separate report cards on the state of the nation’s infrastructure in 15 major categories — from bridges to rail lines, pipelines, dams, waterways, highways and all other publicly regulated facilities…

U.S. infrastructure repairs and new projects have been repeatedly postponed as defense requirements and two wars over the past 11 years took priority…

Infrastructure has been a key U.S. priority — on paper. On average, since World War II, the United States earmarked 3 percent of its gross domestic product to infrastructure. But this was cut by one-third to 2 percent since 1980…

As U.S. national priorities changed, the U.S. government gradually shifted the lion’s share of its infrastructure responsibilities from federal to state and local. Thus, the federal government moved an estimated 75 percent of public infrastructure costs off its books.

Years of deferred infrastructure costs followed.

Below ground, the United States has 2.5 million miles of pipeline — enough pipe to circle the globe 100 times. One-third of them are 40 years old or older and, says ASCE, they don’t receive the care they need…

The Federal Highway Administration says 11 percent of total highway bridges in the United States are “structurally deficient” and require “significant” rehabilitation or outright replacement.

The average age of a U.S. bridge is 42 years. But almost 200,000 of the nation’s 600,000 highway bridges are 50 years old or older. That number is expected to double by 2030. Almost $100 billion is needed “NOW!” to handle the backlog of deficient bridges.

Bridge safety is a top national priority, several congressional studies state, but federal programs fail to meet the need. Funding for wars — Iraq and Afghanistan — is at $1.6 trillion and still a climbing priority where needs are invariably met.

Congress, in yet another exercise in muddled thinking, spends only 13 percent of available funds on bridge repair and rehabilitation. Countless millions of vehicles are traveling across structurally deficient bridges…

ASCE’s overall bottom line: at current investment levels, losses will accumulate every year to a total loss of nearly $4 trillion to the national GDP and $7.9 trillion in lost business through 2040.

In general I try to make the appropriate semantic differentiation between ignorance and stupidity. But, we seem to have reached a point where the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican cherishes the sum of funds denied for infrastructure, social programs, aid to poverty-stricken families – even in the midst of the greatest economic collapse in over a half-century. Ideology completely overrules good sense.

And that is stupid. Stupid behavior. Stupid refusal to confront the essential requirements needed to maintain our economy – much less to encourage growth and global competitiveness.

Honestly, I really don’t understand why? Have these political hacks and their willing servants decided they don’t care what kind of country their children and grandchildren will live in? Are they so certain their own tidy little gated community is well enough off to thumb their noses at the majority of the American population?

Stupid.



  1. MikeN says:

    When will see a posts on the costs of liberal idiocy? Mindlessly believing the government will make things better, with no clue how business runs.

    “He once tried his hand at running a bed and breakfast and was appalled by the government regulation that made running a business so difficult. He was honest enough to say that if he had known this before serving in Congress, it would have altered his votes on a number of issues. ”

    George McGovern

    • DougS says:

      America is stuck on stupid, it isn’t just the Republicans. People buy things they don’t need with borrowed money.

      The two party system is so corrupted with corporate interests and we think we are still the greatest.

      We have become a stupid bully and we equate money to god. The more money we pretend to have, the more righteous we think we are.

      The rich are only rich as long as the 95% continue to pay the interest on the debt and borrow more.

      We equate a college education to being smart and valuable and then we have to wait a week for a plumber with a high school education who charges as much as an attorney.

      Stupid is an understatement.

  2. steve says:

    Thank goodness we have the democrats to save us.

  3. MikeB. says:

    So the cost of Bush’s wars are that you have to take screenshots of Apple maps?

  4. Dr Martinez says:

    So it the republicans bull-S–t the stupids Demos are = responsible I hope Romney can make a difference this guy in office has done nothing.If R does nothing and we continue in the same course we are truly screwed.

  5. Mike says:

    Why does Obama get a pass? He’s been in office nearly four years and these costly wars are still going on.

    I intend no defense of Bush’s decisions – they were his decisions. However, it is time to stop beating that dead horse. If you want to criticize any wars that Bush started, then accept that they are now Obama’s wars. He ran his mouth about them when campaigning four years ago, but we’re still there.

    • t_muckerman says:

      You use the plural form of wars….Iraq is over; and Afghanistan’s plan is to be finished by 2014 with a peaceful removal of troops to leave the Afghanistan army to watch over the country.