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The report cards have come out, and I’m afraid we’re just not making the grade.
I’m talking about the “Infrastructure Report Card,” issued every four years by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The engineers do an analysis of the condition of 15 categories of our country’s crucial infrastructure – including roads, drinking water, parks, schools, and levees. The latest report scores us a big fat D.
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Our actual performance is even worse than this poor grade indicates, for America was rated a D+ in 2001, meaning our officials have let these public assets deteriorate further in the past eight years. The engineering group says that our leaders ignore essential upkeep on our national house, relying on what the group calls “patch and pray” fixes. The group reports that it’ll take a concerted national effort costing $2.2 trillion over the next five years to lift America to a grade of A, where we belong.
That’s 18 times the size of the infrastructure funding in President Obama’s current recovery plan, but at least his plan makes a significant start for moving our country in the right direction. Meanwhile, there’s another plan that the Obamacans are said to be considering that has special merit. It’s a grassroots proposal to reactivate the enormously successful Civilian Conservation Corps that Roosevelt launched in the Great Depression.
The revitalized CCC would enlist thousands of young Americans in all 50 states, putting them to work on the huge backlog of reconstruction projects so urgently needed on the 700 million acres of both urban and rural public lands across our country.
Let’s put American’s to work on jobs that really need to be done, building national assets for future generations. For information on the CCC idea, and to sign a petition in support, go to www.wecantakeit.org.
“Poor infrastructure fails America, civil engineers report,” www.cnn.com, January 28, 2009.
“For Stimulus, Is Obama Mulling Creating a New Conservation Corps?” , January 2, 2009.
“Posts Tagged ‘Civilian Conservation Corps’,” www.usw.org, November 10, 2008.