The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, Interstate Freeway System, Interstate System, or simply the Interstate) is a network of controlled-access highways that forms a part of the National Highway System of the United States. The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower who championed its formation. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later ... The network has since been extended and, as of 2013, it had a total length of 47,856 miles (77,017 km), making it the world's second longest after China's. As of 2013, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. [Wikipedia, Interstate Highway System]Yes, this program was conceived during the Eisenhower Administration - that commie, pinko, fellow-traveler, Dwight Eisenhower!... back when the top marginal income-tax rate was just over 90%! When JFK assumed the Presidency, he challenged us to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We did it! This was back when, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Federal Government undertook BIG projects - projects that CREATED JOBS! The tax base was expanded - simply by providing well-paying employment to more people. AND - we created physical infrastructure that is today used by millions of citizens, every day! We need to maintain all that very useful infrastructure... but "maintain" isn't very sexy. So... we could couple it with CREATING MORE useful infrastructure, by, say, deciding that access to high-speed internet for every community in the country would be a good thing, and providing the $$$ to provide it. ... or by deciding that every school in the country ought to be up to some minimal standards with respect to plumbing, electricity, and high-speed internet access... and then FUNDING such a national program - BUILDING stuff that will endure for decades, creating JOBS in the process. Just a reminder: our financial sector - the Wizards of Wall Street - creates NOTHING! It invents paper and virtual-paper that gets traded, but builds NOTHING.
Monday, May 23, 2016
I live about 2 miles away from what is locally known as The Big-I. This is the intersection of I-40 & I-25, and is the only place in New Mexico where two interstate highways intersect. I mention this because it represents what the Federal Government used to be able to accomplish: building useful stuff that lasts!