Last Thursday a bridge collapsed, and there was barely a ripple in the news or in the conscience of America. That was mostly because nobody died when a section of the Skagit River Bridge crashed into the water below and also because many were too busy preparing for the Memorial Day weekend. Ironically 34.8 million Americans were preparing to drive more than 50 miles during the holiday weekend which means most would cross a bridge or two, and yet the news didn't seem to ruffle many feathers.
But it's not going away, at some point really soon we'll hear about this bridge and the more tragic I-35W Mississippi River Bridge that collapsed August 1, 2007 killing 13 and injuring 145.
There is no doubt big government types will point to the collapse as an example of America "crumbling" and preach a sense of urgency to rebuild immediately. There will be calls for spending and calls for taxes to pay for that spending, and along the way there will be the usual demonization of anyone that thinks accounting and accountability should also play a role in rebuilding the nation in more ways that just brick and mortar. So, the answer to the question: when a bridge falls and nobody dies does it make a sound?
Yes, it does when it's time to stir up the public through typical fear and loathing.
Sadly, those that will shout the loudest about bridges and dams will get a chunk of money and immediately spend it on everything but bridges and dams. The bait and switch has been the hallmark of the current administration although an old political practice. What's intriguing is how often the tax and spend crowd uses the same scare tactics. But, next time we hear this is why we need more stimulus the reply should be what happened to the first batch of stimulus that was to cure infrastructure problems with a slew of shovel-ready projects.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act took $840.0 billion and showered funds all over the place through tax policy and spending, grants and loans.
It was sold as a job creator - it wasn't!
It was sold as a bridge and dam fixer - it wasn't!
It was sold as an economy healer - it wasn't!
Bait & Switch