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Congress’ boneheaded right-wing leaders keep insisting that our growing national needs must be sacrificed to their god of budgetary-whacking wackiness. For a slap-your-forehead example of what their dogmatic purity is doing to America, consider this: The roof of our nation’s Capitol is leaking. A lot.
Yes, the majestic dome – one of the most recognizable symbols of our people’s democratic aspirations – has succumbed to the mingy, fiscal shortsightedness of Congress critters so obsessed with the price of public programs that they’ve lost all sight of value. Owners of even the most modest houses know that you must tend to roof leaks, lest the whole structure deteriorate, yet these stewards of the nation’s house have failed Caretaking 101.
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The Capitol dome has some 1,300 cracks and breaks, causing chunks of the exterior to break off and water seepage to endanger the treasured artworks on the interior of the rotunda. The architect of the Capitol warns bluntly: “The dome needs comprehensive rehabilitation,” ominously adding that, “It’s a public safety issue.”
The cost? About $61 million to repair and restore the exterior. That’s all? Come on – the right-wing’s tax giveaways to the superrich cost us more than that every single day! Yet, while U.S. Senate appropriators okayed the dome repairs in August, the ideological wingnuts in the House said “uh-uh.” No money is available, they claimed, America has to cut back, we can’t afford to fix our nation’s roof.
What a metaphor for their overall gross mismanagement and pusillanimous failure to meet America’s most basic needs! No wonder that our roads, schools, water systems, parks, and other components of our essential public infrastructure are in dangerous decay – the nutballs in Congress won’t even fix the roof over their own heads.
“Capitol Dome Is Imperiled By 1,300 Cracks and Partisan Rift,” The New York Times, August 28, 2012.