Saturday, January 10, 2015

A water main break in Sioux City, Iowa, causes major problems. A WPA could have prevented that.

(WPA infrastructure work in Allegany County, Maryland. Photo taken in January 1936, and provided courtesy of the University of Maryland College Park Archives.)

A few days ago, a 100+ year old water main broke in Sioux City, Iowa, causing a road to buckle and collapse, which in turn broke a gas main and knocked out heating for several homes...just in time for the arctic blast that the nation received this week ("Water main break causes street collapse in Sioux City," WSAV3, January 5, 2015).

And this was just one of the hundreds of thousands of water line breaks that will occur in the United States in 2015, due largely to our aging and crumbling infrastructure. 

During the New Deal era, WPA workers installed 294 miles of new water lines in Iowa, and 16,000 miles of new water lines across the nation. We could do the same today if Republican politicians weren't so busy working on tax cuts and financial deregulation for their super-wealthy campaign donors (see, e.g., "The Republicans' sneaky plan to make it much easier to pass massive tax cuts for the rich," ThinkProgress, January 6, 2015, and "Kevin Yoder MIA after tucking Wall Street bailout into government spending bill," Huffington Post, December 16, 2014).

So, instead of assisting the country with infrastructure initiatives, our Republican Congress is about to do to the nation what Republican Governor Sam Brownback did to Kansas (see, "Kansas' ruinous tax cuts," New York Times, July 13, 2014).

Isn't that amazing?

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