The United States House of Representatives passed a tremendous spending bill for the Department of Defense this past May. The bill allocates nearly $720 billion for the DoD (Department of Defense), including funds for Trump’s desired military parade. However, with the allocation of such a large amount of funds to the DoD, it is important to look at our underfunded institutions and infrastructure.
The infrastructure in the United States is appalling at best and can be described as literally falling apart. The ASCE 2017 Infrastructure Report Card gave the United States a D+ average, with crucial developments such as drinking water, education and energy, among others, scoring a D in grading.
The most notable and widely covered victim of the lack of care to infrastructure is Flint, Michigan. Starting in 2014, the city saw its water supply change from Lake Huron and the Detroit River, to the Flint River. The change in the water supply was due to a declaration of a financial emergency, as the costs would be reduced by using a nearby water source. Due to inefficient water treatment, many city residents were exposed to high amounts of lead and the crisis is still an active issue in the United States today.
The physical infrastructure of the United States — the roads, airports, public transit system and bridges are also major victims in this case. Four in ten American bridges are over half a century old and nearly 10% of American bridges are in need of structural maintenance. Our roads face a similar fate, many are pothole ridden and experience headache-inducing traffic jams, and with the lack of local government funding, private corporations such as Dominos have up-taken the task of repairing our crippled paths.
The role of infrastructure in our economy cannot be denied. For all of us, it’s an economic lifeline. The development of public transit, the expansion of our road networks and restructuring of our airports and aviation industry can improve our economy drastically, as it’ll allow those who cannot access work in certain parts of the country to obtain that job and contribute to society. Our infrastructure is also key to our health, the logistics of our industries and the educational development of our children. So when you see the United States Congress wants to spend nearly a trillion dollars on the war machine, give your Senator and Representative a call and demand that the means our country runs on gets the well-needed checkup they deserve.