Who's to Blame?

| 4 Comments

BridgeCollapse1.jpg

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.

4 Comments

I'll agree with that in part. If I were one of the folks who voted for the "No New Taxes" candidate, then I should definitely take some blame. But those of us who haven't fallen for that tripe only have to take the blame for not doing more to support our preferred candidates/philosophy.

That's an interesting article in City Pages. There is no easy answer to this issue, but if I had to pick one party to blame it would have to be the bridge builders. If politicians who underfunded infrastructure were solely to blame, bridges should be falling all over the country. This is not only a "Twin Cities" problem. Now, let me speak out of the other side of my mouth.

I am of the belief that we, as citizens, should do our best to make our cities livable and attractive. Obviously, infrastructure, education, etc. come first. However, I believe we need stadiums, museums, theatres, etc. Therefore, I am very willing to chip in a "pay my part." I'd be a fraud if I wasn't willing to do that.

I shudder to think what this state would look like if David Strom and his "no tax" buddies had thier way. The roads would not be paved.

Jeff T.

Good comments Jeff and Mark. I hear you Mark, I think that the general public should be held accountable for sheepishly accepting politicians inaction on infrastructure issues, regardless of whether or no our own elected officials may be right on the issue. We've made it too easy on politicians to just give lip service to these important issues.

I lay all blame on an idea. That government must provide all things to all people all the time. There is no chance the issues with that bridge were going to be addressed when there is a prevailing anti-combustion engine mindset in the legislature. Couple the anti-car inclination with (what I call) the misappropriation of tax monies for all manner of crap. A stadium for unapologetic billionaires here (my apologies, Jeff-but it is not right)-a Theatre for the unapologetic lardy-dardy set there. As well, I do not understand the evolution of transportation priorities. Where northern Minnesota can get millions and millions and millions and millions and millions (and millions) of dollars for bike trails that NO ONE uses (‘NO ONE’ compared to the sheer volume of vehicles crossing the now downed bridge-relax I am a cyclist myself). When did we start to take our roads and bridges for granted while celebrating phony community centers and grassy areas on the roofs of buildings? It is not just the current crop of politicians fault-it is crap ideas to blame…

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on August 16, 2007 9:11 AM.

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