This Tax and Spend Liberal Has a Plan to Move America Forward
October 16, 2010
(ChattahBox Celebrity News) – As I sit and write this it is an early Saturday morning. The sky outside is a brilliant blue, and with the temperature flirting with the freezing mark, I am reminded not only about a changing season, but all the things that make fall wonderful. The smell of burring leaves, the carved pumpkins on every porch, apple cider and donuts everywhere you go, and the wonder of crisp, clean air that wakes us up inside. In a bit I will go off to watch my grandson play soccer as only six year olds can, and I will begin another Saturday filled with anticipation of how important my family is to me.
Last night I watched as my youngest son’s high school football team lose a heartbreaking game in double overtime and with that loss their chances of making the playoffs come down to a math equation that I can’t understand or trust.
It is a time of year where we begin to turn our attention to slowing down. We will put away all the summer furniture and winterize the house. Some seasonal traditions are unremarkable but necessary. But like most people, I would guess this time of year also is the beginning of fewer distractions of the things that allow us to take our minds off of the weight of what is happening around us. I do spend a lot of my time in the warmer months working my yard; cutting grass, weeding, and generally finding outdoor projects that keep me busy and accomplish something visual. But when Mother Nature turns down the thermostat and those activities are best remembered than actually done, I turn inward and I begin to wonder.
I do not consider myself to be philosopher my any measure, but I am a man who is contemplative about a variety of things. I am not a one topic person and although I have varied interests, I do look at the world every day with a sense of what is to come. Over the course of my seventeen years in radio it was my job to be informed and I was thrilled to have a job that paid me to read and research. But I came to understand how critical information and knowledge was in pursuit of truth. I discovered that there is a certain burden to being a person who shared and shaped ideas, there was also a responsibility to that as well. One that I embraced.
I am new to this site and my first week has been enjoyable. Not unlike when I was doing radio the misinformed and uninformed have been steadily pounding away at me both in their posts and in personal e-mails to me. I appreciate the comments and the affirmation that what I am writing resonates, but my small opportunity to share with you on a daily basis my interpretation of what is happening in our collective worlds is one that I am embracing with a sincere sense of gratitude. Why? Quite simply, as you will read in a moment, is that I believe that there are many discussions we need to have to move us toward what matters and those things that show remarkable progress and changes the process as well.
Some of what I plan to write as we move forward will enrage you. Some of it will inspire you, if I do my job correctly, and some of what I write I hope will get you thinking about a truth that is uncommon and honestly, risky. And as much as I abhor clichés, without great risk there cannot be great reward.
So here is but a small taste of what to expect as we move forward. So buckle up and open your minds because it’s time we start attacking issues head on with hard truths and rowdy debate.
I want to be crystal clear on this before I embark on what will be the fist of many extreme ideas to move the country forward. I am and I do believe in taxing and spending on infrastructure. Yes, I will say it for all of you: I am a tax and spend Liberal and it’s a tag I wear honorably, but for sound reasons.
I am not afraid to admit it and foundationally I believe that what I propose today is critical to moving the country forward and modernizing an American that is aging and falling apart at the seams.
Boston’s Big Dig, a road project that costs billions of dollars and was severely over budget was the right thing to do. The current tunnel project between New Jersey and New York is yet another multi-billion dollar project that is critical to the growth in that region and will provide over 6000 jobs while updating and expanding access to thousands of commuters every day. That project is temporarily mothballed while the Governor of New Jersey gets the Federal government to pony up on more money, which they will eventually and should do, but the net effect of this project will reduce pollution, save commuters time and dollars, and create more investment in that area to meet business and commuter demand. It’s exactly the kind of project that keeps American moving forward.
There isn’t a state in this country that couldn’t use Federal dollars to rebuild decaying roads and expand their transportation systems. Here in the Detroit area where I live we badly need cash for road improvement and billions more to build a light rail system to move people along. We need this, not want this, but there is no cash available to do it.
I know with great certainty that if we were to put as much money into infrastructure as we have into war, unemployment would be at about 3% nationally. We need to upgrade our electrical grid all across the country. We need to invest in alternatives for energy creation, and we need to start now. We also must do a better job of and provide more funding for updating our railroad system in this country.
It will take many billions of dollars to do all this and I am just talking construction investment, not to mention other areas I will get to in the upcoming weeks.
For those who are rolling their eyes and saying to themselves, there goes another Liberal spending money we don’t have, this time you are right. I am proposing we do just that. And I am also proposing that if we don’t do this soon the costs not only increase at multiples that should scare you , but that as the leader of the Free World America is not really leading anymore, and in fact, we aren’t evening following.
So many countries around the world are light years ahead of us in terms of modernizing their roads and infrastructure. They understand that the investment they make today means billions of dollars saved later. We, on the other hand, keep putting off the critical decisions that make us more vulnerable in the long run. We know that a major infrastructure collapse can happen at any time and we also know our electrical grid system in this country is ripe for terrorist sabotage and yet we do nothing.
At what point do we start to have a real conversation about making dramatic and lasting change to the way we invest in our future? Why is it so easy for us to freely throw money at wars that were unnecessary to begin with but when we talk about rebuilding America, we balk? How the hell does that happen?
I don’t want to create more debt, but I cannot see with any kind of reality how we can make these needed changes without great risk. And for those of you who are going to insist that my thinking is the kind of thinking that will make us even more beholden to foreign governments, so be it. We already are and will be for years to come, but, and I want you to really and seriously think about this, how many real jobs can we create and how much private investment will we create if our government were to lead by example?
Honestly, a ton of jobs and a ton of investment. This kind of commitment to rebuild would bring un-tolled billions of dollars into local communities all over the country and that we will in effect allow the middle class to grow and thrive once more.
There is really nothing radical in what I am proposing and in dark corners in this country where this discussion has already happened, there are industries that can turn this kind of commitment to reality almost instantly.
This isn’t just about eliminating pot holes it is about eliminating regression and decay. We don’t have the time for debate on what we already know is right, and if we were intelligent and focused we can do this immediately and begin the process of restoring America to her prominence and leadership for the world.
Once I finish this post, I am off to that soccer game and I will see families that are struggling to make ends meet. I will drive on roads that are patched together and barely hanging on. I will see for the hundredth time a streetscape project that is incomplete because the municipality cannot find the money to complete it and in all of that I see an opportunity that requires some hard decisions, but in my opinion easy choices.
I completely understand that of the things I write here it would not be easy for many of you to embrace, but what more proof do you need before you see what I do? My America is falling part at the seams and unless we do something about it soon the America my grandfather helped to build will be nothing but a pathetic monument to what past leaders with vision dared to do.
For me anyway, that is unacceptable.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.