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?


  1. Dallas says:

    It’s time we declare war on Detroit and then help rebuild it’s destruction.

    Can we get some Teapublicans amens on that?

    • NobodySpecial says:

      That’s ridiculous.
      First of all it’s nerly winter – it’s cold in Detroit and nobody likes fighting in the cold.
      All our gear is painted in desert camoflage and all the soldiers have nice new desert outfits

      So we simply need to start a war between, say Texas and California.

      • Derek says:

        We spent far far far far more than Bush ever spent on the war in Iraq…. BUT IT’S BUSH’S FAULT!

        This idiotic thought process brought to you by the public education system and the letter O.

        • noname says:

          Aside from the obvious waste of money, “BUSH’S FAULT!” caused allot of unnecessary deaths cause by BUSH’s war of choice and lies. Those families, are still suffering from that!

          American is suffering from the death of one of those who may have been a Steve Jobs or Einstein.

          Leave It to the republican’s military industrial complex to cheapen American lives to being Cannon fodder or forced to work for migrant worker wages.

          • Derek says:

            Look at this list of dirty republican’s who voted for the war in Iraq… oh wait….

            1. * Gary Ackerman (D-NY 5th)
            2. * Rob Andrews (D-NJ 1st)
            3. * Jim Barcia (D-MI 5th)
            4. * Ken Bentsen (D-TX 25th)
            5.* Shelley Berkley (D-NV 1st)
            6. * Howard Berman (D-CA 26th)
            7. * Marion Berry (D-AR 1st)
            8. * Sanford Bishop (D-GA 2nd)
            9. * Rod Blagojevich (D-IL 5th)
            10. * Bob Borski (D-PA 3rd)
            11. * Leonard Boswell (D-IA 3rd)
            12. * Richard Boucher (D-VA 9th)
            13. * Allen Boyd (D-FL 2nd)
            14. * Brad Carson (D-OK 2nd)
            15. * Bob Clement (D-TN 5th)
            16. * Robert Cramer (D-AL 5th)
            17. * Philip Crane (D-IL 8th)
            18. * Joseph Crowley (D-NY 7th)
            19. * Jim Davis (D-FL 11th)
            20. * Peter Deutsch (D-FL 20th)
            21. * Norman ***** (D-WA 6th)
            22. * Cal Dooley (D-CA 20th)
            23. * Chet Edwards (D-TX 11th)
            24. * Eliot L. Engel (D-NY 17th)
            25. * Bob Etheridge (D-NC 2nd)
            26.* Harold Ford (D-TN 9th)
            27. * Martin Frost (D-TX 26th)
            28. * Dick Gephardt (D-MO 3rd)
            29.* Bart Gordon (D-TN 6st)
            30. * Gene Green (D-TX 29th)
            31. * Jane Harman (D-CA 36th)
            32. * Melissa Hart (D-PA 4th)
            33. * Baron Hill (D-IN 9th)
            34. * Joe Hoeffel (D-PA 4th)
            35. * Tim Holden (D-PA 6th)
            36. * Steny Hoyer (D-MD 5th)
            37. * Steve Israel (D-NY 2nd)
            38. * William Jefferson (D-LA 2nd)
            39. * Chris John (D-LA 7th)
            40. * Paul Kanjorski (D-PA 11th)
            41. * Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI 1st)
            42.* Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd)
            43. * Nick Lampson (D-TX 11th)
            44. * Tom Lantos (D-CA 12th)
            45. * Nita Lowey (D-NY 18th)
            46. * Ken Lucas (D-KY 4th)
            47. * Steve Lynch (D-MA 9th)
            48. * Carolyn Maloney (D-NY 14th)
            49. * Ed Markey (D-MA 7th)
            50. * Frank Mascara (D-PA 20th)
            51. * Jim Matheson (D-UT 2nd)
            52. * Mike McIntyre (D-NC 7th)
            53. * Michael McNulty (D-NY 21th)
            54. * Martin T. Meehan (D-MA 5th)
            55.* Dennis Moore (D-KS 3rd)
            56.* John Murtha (D-PA 12th)
            57. * Bill Pascrell(D-NJ 8th)
            58.* Collin C. Peterson (D-MN 7th)
            59. * Earl Pomeroy (D-ND At large)
            60. * Tim Roemer (D-IN 3rd)
            61. * Mike Ross (D-AR 4th)
            62. * Steve Rothman (D-NJ 9th)
            63. * Max Sandlin (D-TX 1st)
            64. * Adam Schiff (D-CA 27th)
            65.* Brad Sherman (D-CA 24th)
            66. * Ronnie Shows (D-MS 4th
            67. * Ike Skelton (D-MO 4th)
            68. * Adam Smith (D-WA 9th)

            69. * John Spratt (D-SC 5th)
            70. * Charles Stenholm (D-TX 17th)
            71. * John S. Tanner (D-TN 8th)
            72. * Ellen Tauscher (D-CA 10th)
            73. * Gene Taylor (D-MS 5th)
            74. * Karen Thurman (D-FL 5th)
            75. * Greg Walden (D-OR 2nd)
            76. * Henry Waxman (D-CA 29th)
            77. * Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY 9th)
            78. * Robert Wexler (D-FL 19th)
            79. * Albert Wynn (D-MD 4th)
            80.* Max Baucus (D-MT)

            1. * Evan Bayh (D-IN)
            2.* Joe Biden (D-DE)
            3.* John Breaux (D-LA)
            4. * Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
            5. * Jean Carnahan (D-MO)
            6. * Tom Carper (D-DE)
            7. * Max Cleland (D-GA)
            8. * Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
            9. * Tom Daschle (D-SD)
            10.* Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
            11.* Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
            12. * John Edwards (D-NC)
            13. * Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
            14.* Tom Harkin (D-IA)
            15. * Fritz Hollings (D-SC)
            16.* Tim Johnson(D-SD)
            17. * John Kerry (D-MA)
            18. * Herb Kohl (D-WI)
            19. * Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
            20. * Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
            21. * Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
            22.* Zell Miller (D-GA)
            23. * Bill Nelson (D-FL)
            24. * Ben Nelson (D-NE)
            25.* Harry Reid (D-NV)
            26. * Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
            27. ** Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
            28.* Robert Torricelli (D-NJ)

          • noname says:

            Certainly! Would they have voted for Bush’s War had he not LIED! We know the republicans would, they wanted war!

            It’s true, the democrats where stupid to believe BUSH would not LIE!

            The democrats where stupid to think GWB would not waste AMERICAN blood and MONEY to kill one man, “the guy who tried to kill my dad”!

        • noname says:

          Look what the cat dragged in, PP(pointless pedro).

          PP are you really aimless and lonely as they say you are?

          Are Docs pills clearing up your mental confusion?

          • noname says:

            What reality is that PP(pointless pedro)?

            Reality is you’re a troll desperately trying to make up for feelings of inferiority.

            It’s obvious I am indeed confronting and not avoiding you!

          • MartinJJ says:

            Wars were started because nobody was paying attention and still isn’t now.

            But given the pathetic level of discussion, that is probably a way too difficult subject to think about.

            My advise for a cure is with John and Adam.

  2. spreeuw says:


    • KHAAAAAAN says:

      on interstate 80 …

      no but seriously, out here in pennsylvania in the city of Harrisburg (state capitol) the city couldn’t afford to replace burnt out light bulbs on bridges and street lights, and a charity (I forget which one) had to collect funds and fix it for the city … A while ago, there was a headline in the local paper saying the city is 1.53 BILLION in debt … just this city ,,,,,, and thats BILLION with a B

      • NobodySpecial says:

        Borrow another Trillion and you will be too big to fail and get a bail out.

  3. kmfix says:

    At first I thought that was a fucked up google map image.

  4. McCullough says:

    How many more countries can we afford to “democratize”? And by that I mean literally destroy. The terrorists are winning by bankruptcy.

    Thank you George W. Obama.

  5. gquaglia says:

    Bush’s wars? Obama isn’t any better. Typical liberal headline from a typical liberal elitist.

    • Dallas says:

      You’re only allied one ‘neener noener’ comment a week. You’re done for now.

  6. MikeN says:

    Biden complained about how Ryan voted for two wars on a credit card, and he voted against all that. Except he voted for the wars. His statement on the Senate floor regarding Iraq was particularly strong. Apparently he was wrong about WMD and Libya, but he’ll know exactly when Iran is close to a nuclear weapon .

  7. scandihoovian says:

    I had the pleasure of driving across the 35W bridge in MPLS 3o minutes before it fell into the river. At least in this state we’ve already learned this lesson the hard way. Good luck to the rest of you, I sincerely hope you don’t fall in a river.

  8. BracketCreep says:

    Increased population increases wear and tear of infrastructure. The lion’s share of population increases these days is through immigration. If the USA would curtail immigration, infrastructure could last longer. But since our ruling plutocracy wants slave labor like Madonna wants publicity that will never happen.

    • NobodySpecial says:

      Or they could just lose weight.
      300Million Americans lose 100lbs each that’s a lot of wear and tear savings.

  9. George says:

    That image is from the 1989 Loma Prieta (San Francisco) earthquake. Not Bush’s fault.

  10. Da Brad Man says:

    “He who dies with the most toys wins”.

    Since most of the Republican’ts believe the Rapture is coming, it’s important they hoard all their material possessions as that will determine their standing in heaven, right?

    No need to plan for the next generations, since there won’t be any…

  11. dusanmal says:

    “Have these political hacks and their willing servants decided they don’t care what kind of country their children and grandchildren will live in?” – unfortunately we have elected legislators and Presidents who promised “gimmes” since 1960’s. Gifts that were unrealistic and unsustainable. Those are true political hacks and they AND those who elected them are guilty of not caring what kind of country their children and grandchildren will live in. At GDP=Debt we have only one sustainable way out: Dramatic cuts in size and scope of Government together (and ONLY together) with dramatic liberalization, deregulation and decentralization. Consequences are in infrastructure and average lifestyle for any group of people – dramatic downfall. But these are NOT consequences of “not caring people who want to take such course”. It is consequence of people who borrowed and spent as loony toones and those who elected such idiots. We are about to pay the price for growing Government beyond reason and rhyme. But, this course can restore healthy balance and economy. Tax and spend more will smash us into grounds of Weimar and Zimbabwe because there is nothing left to spend. Left fails to realize that, refuses to realize that. Proof: Tax the “rich” 100% and all you get is 2 MONTHS, 2 MONTHS(!!!) of what Government spends… As for blaming the wars: 10% of Obama Administration deficit is from wars. Remove wars and 100% taxation of the rich yields… 66 DAYS of Government spending. No more of other people’s money is left. That is the reality. There is nothing to “invest” into Solyndras and Finnish Fiskers (250Mil$ and not a SINGLE US job…). Enough of stupid ideology. The only thing left is individual effort and excellence. Fortunately that is all truly needed to get out of this. Not the Nanny with inability to count.

  12. Admfubar says:

    not the bush wars… this is corporate america’s wars… look for american business to be moving to the middle east as soon as the pesky Muslim fundamentalists are moved outta the way by the lovely us military forces that are paid for you and me, and not by corporate america.. (remember all the tax breaks they get??? and now they collect all our tax dollars building weapon systems??)

    ever wonder why afganistan??? there are tons upon tons of valuable rare earth minerals that are needed to make all them fancy tablets.. 🙂 time to strip mine afganistan..and the plus there? no environmental regulations.. weeeeeee profit all the way…

  13. msbpodcast says:

    I live next door to Manhattan (and its crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels) in Jersey City (and its crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels.)

    To listen to these guys go on about national transportation you’d think people inside the beltway would be listening, but they aren’t.

    When the apocalypse (zombie, man made or natural,) comes this country, its so fuckin’ doomed that it brings a smile to my apoca-lips.

    I thank my sense of foreboding that I live at the top of a tall bluff a mile or so from the shore so I can watch the tsunami coming in over the Atlantic ocean from La Palma and wash over the entire eastern seaboard.

    I may be an alarmist nut job but my heirs will be thanking me.

  14. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    I would’ve thought that RICHos would be interested in this kind of infrastructure: safe roads, bridges, airports==afterall THEY use them right along with the rest of us so why are they risking their lives to deferred maintenance?

    ….. or is this down to the top .01% and they really do fly by helicopter from point to point?

    ………..OR=====are they just as short sighted and stupid as they appear to be?

    Silly Hoomans…. much too much like eating one’s seed corn.

  15. Captain Obvious says:

    It’s obvious that the US doesn’t have to worry about roads as long as they keep buying SUV’s. The drinking water on the other hand, that could become a problem.

  16. NewYorker says:

    Much of NY Hudson bridges and major roads have tolls. I’ve lived in other states where free major roads with more traffic are better maintained. It’s plain and obvious toll bridges and roads are not maintained any better, in-fact they are worse for wear.

    NY has some of the highest cost of living in the country, taxes, gas taxes and yet the infrastructure is some of the worst in the country. Whatever they are doing with the taxes, they are not doing it very wisely.

  17. bignumber says:

    Fucking incredible, Bush’s wars. I expect for the stupidest line to be in comments here, not the title, some ignorant bullshit.

  18. McCullough says:

    Lip-service Liberals bitch about the cost of wars, then support their war-mongering Prez. Talk about a bunch of hypocrites.

    And Rmoney is talking about supporting the “rebels” in Syria, just like the idiots in the Obama admin who are responsible for putting Al-Queda in power in Libya. Rmoney will take us to war with Iran, and some Libs on this blog will favor it.

    And NO Liberal wants to talk about the NDAA and the theft of liberty. I bring this up time and time again, and no one comments, is it a boring subject to you Libs? Obama wanted it, Obama signed it, and the sheep are silent. By that, I have to assume that Liberals and Conservatives WANT their Civil Rights to disappear. Are we really that frightened of Muslims?

    Independents / Libertarians wonder what happened to Liberal ideology? Just because you support a black president…that does NOT make you a Liberal.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      McCullough–NDAA==who wouldn’t be against “the government” being able to lock you up without charges without notice to anyone else and the due process if any to remain subject to national security claims and you don’t even get to talk to an attorney.


      No one ever comments on how hot the sun is or how wet water is either. Actually–there are more comments on how dumb Alfie is.

      Thats gotta give you pause.

  19. Brian says:

    But thank god we have our freedom!

  20. MikeN says:

    No the bloggers won’t favor it. The liberal Senators might vote for it even though they are against it, as they did with Iraq and Afghanistan. The bloggers pretended to support Afghanistan War so long as they could use that as a means to bash Bush for ignoring the ‘real war.’ But it was all a lie.

    What do wars have to do with infrastructure, when you have deficits of over a trillion dollars? Did Clinton spend on infrastructure exactly to the amount needed, or are these nuts going to claim he sent the money to Kosovo and Bosnia?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Clinton was at least reversing the deficit.

      The administration’s insistence on going to war since 2001 and refusing to pay for it wiped out the United States as surely as the voodoo economic madness of the 1920s.

      Bin Laden actually won.

      We’re spending billions of dollars and getting e-strip searched by a bunch of semi-simian potential prisoners to make up for lousy design. (Airplane cockpits could have used separate external doors which would have been much cheaper and could have been legislated back in the 1970s when the first wave of hijacking was happening.)

      • MikeN says:

        What does the deficit have to do with anything? Did Bill Clinton spend on infrastructure as needed or not, according to these guys’ calculations?

      • Thomas says:

        At best you can say that Clinton was getting close to reversing the deficit or that he was actively working towards it. He never actually reversed it. The closest he got was an 18 B deficit.

  21. MikeN says:

    Oh and of course spending goes down when you go from building an interstate highway system, to not building one.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Its a lot easier to control your population when they can’t get up and move too.

      Too bad about all that cheap and easy transportation of goods.

      But think of the possibilities for re-establishing the railroad baronies again. 🙂

      Trains good, cars bad. <whoo hoo>

      Kiss interstate and intercity transport goodbye. (There’s the main reason electric vehicles are going to happen. [You’re not going to need vehicles that go over 200 miles per charge. Interstate/intercity is all going to be by rail. {Electric high-speed rail lines consisting of train routes between state capitals (except Hawaii) is very feasible plan, regardless of how many poor people are expropriated. (You know high-speed rail transport vehicles are not running in rich, aka white, people’s neighborhoods.)}])

  22. MikeN says:

    Check out for more of his ramblings. He gets in a swipe at Bush because Ireland is due to become an oil exporter. And he has a post of a Republican precinct captain who voted in two states, but no mention of a Democratic candidate for federal office who did the same.

    • The big e says:

      It has become clear to me just from the comments posted on this blog that Eideard is hopelessly biased and not a credible source of information. It’s really too bad since I have such a high regard for JCD. I am glad to see that I am not the only one who has noticed this.

  23. Radar says:

    But hey !
    How bout that high speed rail.

    • msbpodcast says:

      As the road bridges crumble (and the highway administration will be too broke to pay for the necessary repairs/replacement,) I’m looking for existing suburbs to get turned into a waste land as cities reshape themselves to accomodate. [There’s plenty of free space available in downtown Detroit. :-)])

    • Dallas says:

      We have none 🙁

      The cost of repaving America is nearly impossible due to the crushing weight of expansion. We need narrower highways (yeah, make the stopped traffic longer), and replace it with high speed rail.

      In addition, make highway access as pay as you go with electronic billing :

      $$ = (vehicle rate x length of travel x time of day) + (speeding fee) – Corporate Discount

      1/2 the money if to pay for high speed rail and the free internet provided on the train.

  24. .... says:

    The coming war with Iran will cost more than Iraq and Afganistan combined in terms of dollars and lifes.

    • MikeN says:

      But not for us. Israel will just drop some nukes and that’ll be that. As long as they give us a heads up we can move the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to a safe distance.

  25. tomdennis says:

    This nonsense started when Ronald Reagan started cutting the Federal Budget and kept repeating that we needed a smaller government.
    Before Reagan the country had warehouses. Those warehouses stored everything needed to maintain the river systems, air ports, roads and bridges. After Reagan everything was pushed to the next year and we were told to wait.
    We have been waiting 30 years for the maintenance money and they just showed us their empty pants pockets.
    The Bush wars and tax cuts just nailed the coffin shut.
    Don’t weep if you vote for more cuts.

    • MikeN says:

      What budget cuts did Reagan pass? Spending was way up when he was President. You may have heard about a 4 trillion dollar debt.

  26. MikeN says:

    So if the Amer Soc of Defense Contractors issues a report saying defense is being neglected, with Obama’s focus on stimulus, are you going to post it?

  27. sargasso_c says:

    As I unreliably understand, most if not all of the US Government’s national infrastructure was built by relief workers following the great depression, WWI & II and as a subsequence of the cold war. They all happened, ages ago. And a crisis seems to be the only way to get things done.

  28. John says:

    One has to wonder how we can pass such a huge stimulus package shortly after Obama too Office. What was it? 850 billion?. Yet we have a crumbling infrastructure? Go figure.

  29. Steve says:

    I thought that Obama was going to walk into the Oval Office on day one and stop the war in Iraq… Obama didn’t help the Iranians but he did “Lead from Behind” in Libya and has sent troops into Jordan to bolster that regime. John all of the wars that were begun under the Bush Administration have been continued by Obama and will still be going on under a Romney Administration. So much for the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Nobel Peace Prize — what a JOKE it has become.

  30. duh365 says:

    Politicians will only care about this issue if one of their family members dies on a collapsing bridge. Then it will become the “insert politicians name” Bill.


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