In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse we knew it was just a matter of time before the usual suspects gathered for another round of one way fingerpointing regarding the cause and of course offering the usual solution which has been a colossal failure to solve ANY problem.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, always ready to carry the water for Democrats couldn't help but invoke the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina and blame Republicans for the collapse of the bridge:
Thanks Jesse for reminding us that Louisiana was the largest recipient of Corps of Engineers grant money for projects in the state. Yet, repair to the levees which failed in Katrina were not a priority.
A lot more than one bridge could crumble under GOP
by Jesse Jackson
Chicago Sun Times
August 7, 2007
A 40-year-old bridge collapses into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Levees give way in New Orleans at the foot of the Mississippi. An 83-year-old steam pipe produces an eruption that terrorizes Manhattan. As our infrastructure literally crumbles beneath our feet....
What happened at both ends of the Mississippi and is happening in cities across the country are tragedies, but they aren't random accidents. They are the direct price of the right wing in power. Scornful of government, intent on cutting taxes and slashing spending, they systematically have shorted public investment in our basic infrastructure -- in bridges and roads, in rail lines and air systems, in parks and schools.
Democrats, even some Republicans who have their hand in the same cookie jar, are eager to raise gas taxes. But it's clear that in the past, these funds have been used for pork projects that provide a visible symbol that Congressmen are bringing home the bacon with flashy high profile projects in their districts. Shutting down traffic lanes on bridges so vital maintenance can be performed isn't going to get anyone re-elected.
In an in depth post on increasing available energy supplies from domestic sources we also covered the huge amount of gas taxes already collected by the Federal government. In a chart supplied by the Tax Foundation, we learned that Federal gas taxes dwarf oil industry profits.
The problem is NOT that we don't tax enough for transportation needs. Like the levees in New Orleans, the problem is that we don't spend money on the right things.
President Bush was asked about a raise in gas taxes and had this response:
President Bush News Conference
The White House
August 9. 2007
PRESIDENT BUSH: You know, it's an interesting question about how Congress spends and prioritizes highway money. My suggestion would be that they revisit the process by which they spend gasoline money in the first place.
As you probably know, the Public Works Committee is the largest committee -- one of the largest committees in the House of Representatives. From my perspective, the way it seems to have worked is that each member on that committee gets to set his or her own priority first, and then whatever is left over is spent through a funding formula. That's not the right way to prioritize the people's money. So before we raise taxes which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities. And if bridges are a priority, let's make sure we set that priority first and foremost before we raise taxes.