It’s Spring (no thanks to Punxatawny Phil), and you know what that means, right? Neighbors starting to mow their lawns again! Being able to break out light jackets most days! The Chicago Cubs being mathematically eliminated from the post-season by the end of the National Anthem on Opening Day!
And talk of infrastructure.
Sure, infrastructure isn’t the most exciting topic to talk about, but it’s become one of the central themes of the Biden Administration. Well, that and circling back on questions Jen Psaki isn’t prepared to answer at the time and then never circling back. It must have caught on because Leftists are talking about it almost non-stop. Everything from schools to health care is being touted as being infrastructure.
And we wouldn’t be talking about it if they weren’t trying to pull a fast one on us.
What the Left thinks it means – services essential to running America successfully
What it really means – stuff we should be spending money on instead of stupid stuff
For once in a great while, the Venn Diagram between what the Left believes and I believe cross. I do see there is an infrastructure problem in America, as the potholes big enough to cause echoes exhibit. Where we part company is in how we address it. The Left wants to throw enough money around to fill the potholes in perpetuity, while I want to actually, you know, fix the fracking potholes! And why do our approaches differ so widely? It’s simple.
The Left doesn’t want to fix anything. They would rather leave a pothole where it is, no matter how many cars get swallowed up whole in them. A problem solved is a funding opportunity lost. And when I say “funding opportunity,” I mean funding opportunities…for themselves. The Left has found a way to turn government projects into ATM machines where your balance is never zero and you always have millions in deposits being made by good ole Uncle Sam.
This isn’t to say the Right is any better. Instead of funding studies on the mating habits of the 14-toed albino shrub sloth, the Right spends money on war. With the billions needed to fix roads, bridges, and buildings, I think the Department of Defense could do without 3 or 4 screwdrivers for the cause.
Yet, without fail, when the temperatures turn warmer, politicians start thinking like Norm Abrams and thinking they should fix the problems they find. Their problem is they’re as good with tools as Tim Taylor from “Home Improvement” and their version of Al Borland is just as inept. And on this edition of “This Old Country” we’re going to watch what manicured politicians do when they’re expected to get their hands dirty: absolutely nothing!
When you really think about it, and I have because I lack actual hobbies, this humorous aside uncovers the reason why everybody in Washington talks a good game, but never plays the infrastructure game. How many DC politicians and/or staff have to drive on the same city streets you and I do? How many wonder if the bridge they’re driving on could collapse like Lindsey Lohan on, well let’s be honest, any day ending with “day”? And how many do you think would put up with buildings less stable than Gary Busey after a bender with the aforementioned Ms. Lohan? Oddly enough, the answer is the same for all three questions.
Zero. Nada. El Zippo. The Big Bagel. The amount of self-awareness Eric Swalwell has.
Because it doesn’t affect them, the DC types (especially Leftists) don’t care about who it impacts.
The funny thing about infrastructure is you can make an argument that anything is related to it. Remember the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It’s just like that, only more expensive and without a “Footloose” film credit. Even so, the Left’s attempts to shoehorn everything under the infrastructure tent are as bizarre as they are humorous. While some elements like high-speed rail or a pipeline would certainly fall under infrastructure, most of the Left’s additions, like paid leave, child care, and caregiving (according to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand) are more of a wish list than actual infrastructure.
Now that we’re over 700 words into this beast, maybe it’s time we set some ground rules. For me, infrastructure has more of a concrete and definite benefit to people and, in some cases, the greater societal need. Filling a pothole may not seem like much, but people will notice it when they don’t have to worry about wheel damage driving down a particular street. Rebuilding a downtown area affected by rio…I mean mostly peaceful protests or tackling a community project like building a park have tangible results that can be mapped out on a timeline.
While there is an argument to be made about child care, caregiving, paid leave, and other more esoteric ideas being infrastructure, I’m less inclined to include them for a couple of reasons. First, there isn’t a clear connection between the action taken and the result of said action. You can give a child all the love in the world, but if his/her aspirations go no further than being a YouTube celebrity, nothing of tangible value is gained. And you’d be hard-pressed to come up with an argument anything of esoteric value is gained, for that matter.
Second, and this is a big one, there is no discernable end-point. With rebuilding a bridge, you can not only see the progress, but you can see the end of it. With something like child care, there is no such indication we’re done. And when it comes to Leftists, if you do something for one group of people, it has to be spread out to every group for as long as they deem because if you don’t, you’re a bigot. (Of course, Leftists throw around the term like Randy Johnson in his prime, so…) So, no matter how deep you think your pockets are, be ready to keep turning them out with the Left’s idea of infrastructure.
For me, the biggest knock against the Left’s infrastructure calls is the Left doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to actual infrastructure. Remember “The Big Dig”? Sure, it’s one example, but it’s a disaster 25 years and several billion dollars in the making. Can you imagine what the Left would do with a bridge project? The Big Dig would look like a crack in the pavement, and it would be an eyesore and a financial drain for generations.
You know, like a Barbra Streisand concert ticket?
In the meantime, we need to resist the urge to throw anything and everything in the infrastructure bucket and focus more on what is infrastructure. Although most of what needs to be done is way outside of our respective paygrades, there are still some things we can do in our own backyards to fix the problems we see. And, the best part is we can do it without the federal government directing us. You will still have to deal with state and local authorities, but I guarantee they’re going to be a lot easier to deal with than the national folks are going to be.
As far as the Left’s Great Spending Spree Forward is concerned, just remember they aren’t above emotional manipulation to get what they want. And they will. Of course, they will also use absurdly stupid concepts to try to get what they want, so it makes it easier for us to a) recognize it, b) neutralize it, and c) laugh at it.
And extending Senator Gillibrand’s logic just a bit, mocking her is infrastructure!