Columnist Gil Smart writes in “Bad roads are likely to get worse”:
“I think we’ll continue to see a continued slow but unmistakable deterioration as the state, and local municipalities, struggle to come up with the money necessary to keep the system functioning.
This, then, becomes a relatively minor yet significant signpost in our society. We can’t afford to keep our roads in shape. That may cost you money — for a new alignment, among other things — but more significant is the statement it makes: What we have now is unsustainable. And that which cannot be sustained will not be sustained.”
WATCHDOG: We fear he is right, but it need not be so.
It is easy to see why the United States has inadequate funds for maintenance and new initiatives and is in rapid decline.
We spend 18% of Gross Domestic Product for a health care system that is ranked with Cuba and is 7% more expensive than top ranked France.
We spend at least 2% in added defense cost because of senseless and disreputable wars, fought largely on behalf of the defense industry as was famously foreseen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his scathing reference to the “military / industrial complex.”
We waste at least 1% on a pig headed War on Drugs which has led to an unbridled police, judicial system and prison expansion. Locking people up has become big business.
Any nation that wastes 10% of its GNP will have no funds available for renewal and progress. It is as short and as simple as all that.
Insufficient funds are a root cause for extreme partisan politics today. Unless we adopt “Medicare for everyone” or some other form of a Single Payer System as has every other advanced nation, until we stop trying to rule the world, and until we cease to war against our young and minorities, Gil Smart’s forebodings will prove correct.
We will have done it to ourselves. What a tragedy!