I spent the night in Memphis last month.
I just traveled across this bridge into Arkansas as usual with my family.
“NASHVILLE — It was meant to be a routine inspection. But when an engineer climbed out onto the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River this week, what he saw led to an urgent call to 911: “We need to get people off the bridge immediately!”
He had spotted a crack. He could not miss it, really. A critical beam was fractured to the point of being nearly severed.
The Hernando de Soto Bridge, which reaches from downtown Memphis into Arkansas, is inspected every two years, so the crack could have been there for weeks, months or well over a year. But in that moment, the inspector stressed to the 911 dispatcher on Tuesday, the bridge needed to be shut down right away to avert a disaster.
Since Tuesday, vehicles have been blocked from crossing over the bridge and vessels from passing beneath it. Officials are unsure just how long the shutdown will last, stirring fears of delays and disruption that could reach far beyond Memphis …”
“Child care is infrastructure, according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Health-care aides for seniors are infrastructure, say Democratic activists. “Anti-racism” is infrastructure, we’re told. But these things aren’t infrastructure; they’re just things Democrats want funded with taxpayer money.
You know what’s actually infrastructure? Bridges and pipelines. On that front, we’re not doing so well.
The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline this week demonstrated that our actual infrastructure is vulnerable and that our lives can be disrupted quickly when it fails. Hackers, undeterred by the FBI and Homeland Security officials who are supposed to be protecting critical infrastructure, managed to lock down the pipeline controls with ransomware. Fuel deliveries stopped, gas lines formed (shades of the Jimmy Carter era), and prices went up, all within a couple of days.
Fresh from blocking construction of another major pipeline (the Keystone XL), the Biden administration flailed, while a nation that just a year or so ago became a net oil exporter found itself facing fuel shortages. That’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the Interstate 40 bridge across the Mississippi River also failed this week. The Hernando de Soto span connecting Memphis to Arkansas on one of America’s most important interstate highways is closed until further notice after dangerous cracks were found. Now all traffic is being routed onto the single alternative bridge while officials play catch-up on maintenance. That’s infrastructure.
When the Democrats (with plenty of GOP help) passed the pork-laden “stimulus” bill in 2009, we were promised that infrastructure — actual infrastructure, “shovel ready” stuff in President Barack Obama’s words — would be a priority. That didn’t really happen when Obama administration officials and Democratic activists, as Christina Hoff Sommers reported, realized that most of the “shovel ready” jobs would go to white male construction workers. …”
Do you know what virtually everyone agrees on in this country?
Do you know what commands overwhelming political support? It is taxing the wealthy and corporations and closing loopholes in the tax code in order to invest in real infrastructure like roads, bridges, ports and airports. It is the politicians in Washington who can’t find a consensus on this issue!
National Review wants to hold the line.
Fiscal conservatives should not accept the premises of fiscal profligates!
“Minority Leader McConnell has signaled that he may be interested in passing a smaller infrastructure bill than the one President Biden covets, and that his ceiling for such an endeavor would be around $800 billion. This is a mistake. Republicans should oppose Biden’s proposal in its entirety.
Americans who oppose more federal spending are often asked, “Well, okay then, what is your plan?” But it is not incumbent upon fiscal conservatives to accept the premises of fiscal profligates — as if, once a president has proposed spending a trillion dollars, the only question is whether the measure will actually be a trillion or a little less …”
79% of Americans are fiscal profligates who have no problem in taxing rich people and corporations to invest in roads, bridges, ports, airports, etc.
The populist and nationalist objection to Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan isn’t investing in real infrastructure which we wanted to do when Trump was president and Mitch McConnell stonewalled him. It is calling all of this other stuff “infrastructure” even when it is a climate change bill masquerading as an infrastructure bill and paying for it with deficit spending instead of taxing Wall Street and billionaires.