It’s been over two weeks since the I-35W bridge collapse and even though four bodies have yet to be recovered, questions of whose to blame for the collapse have swirled around the twisted metal and crumbled concrete remains of the bridge since the hours after the bridge fell into the Mississippi River.
The City Pages had a real good article on the culpable parties earlier this week and you can read it here. I have found it interesting that groups like The Taxpayers League and Republicans covering for the Governor say it’s not fair to assign blame, especially in light of the fact that there is still a recovery going on. Typically those who don’t want blame to be assigned get on that particular high horse because they know they will bear the brunt of the blame.
Obviously the Governor and especially the Lieutenant Governor/MnDOT Commissioner deserve part of the blame. Vetoing two gas tax increases and a modest infrastructure bonding bill in the last couple of years, while not preventing the 35W bridge collapse, signaled that they didn’t take the State’s crumbling infrastructure needs seriously. The Taxpayer League with their dooming and glooming about the impact of increased taxes obscure the fact that maintaining what we have costs money.
In the end it us the taxpayers and voters of this state who deserve the blame. We accepted the no new taxes mantra because it saved us a couple of bucks from our wallets. We demanded from our elected officials new and better projects while turning our back on the fact that we have to take care of what we already have. It is us who winked back at the politicians when they said we can have everything and it won’t cost any more money.
So blame the Governor, Washington bureaucrats, the No New Taxes crowd for the collapse -- they most certainly deserve it -- but in this case the three fingers pointing back at you are equally deserved.