“Can Congress Benefit Us All?”
Every day that I drive on Mexican roads in Tijuana and Baja California I complain about potholes and pure unadulterated bad roads and streets. When I cross the border into the U.S. my complaints don‘t stop, for many of the streets and roads I drive on are as bad as Mexican roads.
When I wander around the 18-month-old new Istanbul Airport 50 kilometers outside Istanbul I marvel at its size, its modernity and wonder why LAX in Los Angeles seems dwarfed and totally outclassed by Istanbul’s airport.
Before Mexico’s leftist President was elected in 2018 and before he canceled construction of a new design-awarded Mexico City airport, it might have become the finest airport in the Western Hemisphere, leaving Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and Kennedy way behind in utility and efficiency.
In Mexico City, poor working people are commuting to jobs by elevated cable cars that carry thousands of people-a-day to transportation hubs so they can cut commute time by hours for a nickel or so. New elevated cable car routes are coming online seemingly monthly. Nothing like that exists in congested American cities, nor do fast trains or monorails in and between American cities.
For example, California has three of the country’s largest cities – San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose. Is there a 500-mile rapid modern rail system between them? No. What does exist or is being built is either old or in the wrong place.
Into this terrible state of affairs are a group of 17 Republican senators that have teamed together with Demcorat senators to conjure up a 2500-2700 (or so) page infrastructure bill that will pour billions into roads, street, bridges, airports and internet broadband. If this bill passes it will dwarf any previous infrastructure bill ever passed. It will dwarf President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System he thought of in 1919 when he led a U.S. army convoy coast-to-coast. Even after it passed in 1955, it took 30 years to finish.
The Interstate Highway System made the country the best in the world roadwise. This bi-partisan infrastructure bill will return the US back to it’s number one position in the entire world. It will do what canals did before railroads and then what railroads did until the car came along, ditto airplanes.
New and improved airports, rail lines, driverless trucks and more rapid internet available in every square inch of the country will push us back to the top, where we belong.
All of these items and services that will be bought and paid for by this infrastructure bill will make life better in the U.S.
So, why delays in preparing a bill to vote on?
Political dealing, dealing required of any massive new efforts and paradigms. American history is replete with huge policy changes and status quo-shattering by bipartisan legislation. To reach such legislation, heads have to be banged together, minds changed and individual legislators romanced and led to drink water instead of bourbon.
Checks need to be written. Phone calls need to be made and letters need to be generated by people paid to gather such support.
The right to petition the government and to resolve complaints and seek redress of grievances must be fully implemented by groups and individuals bent on changing paradigms and the status quo. Doubt must be erased by coalitions of people and clear paths forward must be written into legislation like the bipartisan infrastructure bill to be voted on this week.
It’s detractors need to be ignored. One is former President Trump. It should be remembered that he failed to even propose an infrastructure bill though he told us month after month that he would produce one “soon,” “next week” or “next month.” He never delivered.
It must pass! Why?
Because as my then boss, United States Senator Thomas Kuchel (R-CA) told me in 1962, the legitimate purpose of government is to make available government services and institutions to as many people as possible. Education, for example.
It is possible that this proposed infrastructure bill and its massive coverage may positively affect every single American. That is what government and politics should and must do. That is why it should pass. Comprende?