Thursday, October 30, 2014

2.1 Trillion Gallons of Water Lost Every Year, As the Political Right Scolds the New Deal

(WPA poster, by artist Charlotte Angus, created in Pennsylvania, between 1941 and 1943. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)
New Deal policymakers invested heavily in America's infrastructure, creating work & construction programs that installed thousands of miles of new water lines, sewer lines, and storm drains.

Today, our infrastructure is falling apart. For example, NPR recently reported that America loses about 2.1 trillion gallons of water every year "because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters."

While our infrastructure has been aging and crumbling, right-wing politicians, pundits, and think tank "researchers" have made a sport out of scolding the New Deal. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) summed up their collective thinking when he said, "we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work." (Also see "Senate GOP blocks $60B Obama infrastructure plan")

So, what is working Mr. McConnell? 30+ years of trickle-down economics, the Forbes 400 adding $270 billion to their personal fortunes over the past year, and letting 2.1 trillion gallons of drinking water leak out of our crumbling pipes? Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think so, because polls are showing that Americans are preparing to hand Congress, and many state legislatures, over to Republican and Tea Party politicians (see, e.g., here and here) who will, of course, work towards (a) blocking infrastructure repairs and (b) giving more tax breaks and tax loopholes to millionaires & billionaires. 

We're living in amazing times.

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