Maintain progress

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I see on the April 4 front page that the revenue generated by Act 89 has spawned a bountiful harvest of construction cones in Pennsylvania (“Act 89 Funds Give Highway Projects Big Boost”). 

Wow … it’s truly amazing what one can do when one has the money, and (while disagreeing with Gov. Tom Corbett on most things) kudos to the Pennsylvania Legislature and Mr. Corbett for getting this done — we’re overdue, certainly. And it appears that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is right — you can borrow and tax your way to lower unemployment.

But I heard on a radio show a while ago that there’s no such thing as “deferred maintenance.” Translated, it still means no maintenance, and the costs incurred when we have to pay even more to fix the cumulative decay only makes taxpayers even more skeptical that our tax dollars are well spent. But here’s the thing … having our roads and bridges are like a gift to ourselves, but that gift is squandered because we refuse to pay to keep them maintained.

We used to build great things: the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge or, more locally, the Three Sisters bridges or the Westinghouse Bridge. But no longer. And why would that be? Could it be that the spoiled, entitled teenagers and Reaganites of the Easy ’80s are starving success for the rest of us, just because they don’t (and who does?) like to pay taxes? This should suggest otherwise.

BOB HABERKOST
Ross


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