People in Wisconsin were alarmed when the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge began to sag. This has now forced the shutdown of the I-43 corridor along Green Bay, and the rerouting of the 40,000 vehicles it carried daily. This bridge failure will now sap billions out of the Wisconsin economy.
This is yet again evidence of how putting off maintenance costs more than any money saved, as the economic impact ripples outward. The governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, delayed critical maintenance of the bridge, even ignoring when cracks were discovered in 2012, and used money for bridge maintenance to instead pay back mutual funds and bankers. And it is not as if this was a surprise, as reports explaining the need for $64 billion in critical maintenance, back in 2004.
Beginning in 2004, an array of right-wing think tanks fought for what they called the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which would in part hurt Wisconsin’s ability to maintain its infrastructure. While this initiative was defeated in 2004 and 2006, it is now the law of the land. Scott Walker has codified the right for Wisconsin citizens to potentially die on unsafe roads, to undermine the state economy, in general giving the citizens of the state a giant middle finger.
The result of a 10 year push for “tax relief” has turned what once was an engine of the national economy into a national joke. By ruling by fantasy, Scott Walker is now costing the state he is supposed to protect a fortune. After all, if you fail to maintain your car, you should not complain when the $150 filter change turns into a $4,000 transmission rebuild. That is the level of fail for the Tea Party and Republicans.
This is what Scott Walker wanted, his libertarian utopia. People don’t need safe roads in his mind, as he purposefully cut the money to maintain them after all. Be proud of your actions, own up to them, and celebrate Governor Walker. This is exactly what you campaigned on, and have pushed since the first day you took office. We are waiting for your speech about how this is what you wanted, because it is all your responsibility.
How many more bridges have to fail across this nation before we as a society say “enough” and excise them to the political dustbin of history? How many lives is enough? These fiscally irresponsible people care nothing about the people they are elected to represent. And it is time we forgot about them.
Here are the 911 calls reporting the bridge failure: