Blue-State Infrastructure

Last week’s Amtrak crash and the Democrats’ shameful effort to blame it on Republicans have focused attention on the nation’s infrastructure. Which makes Joel Pollak’s piece at Breitbart’s Big Government timely. Pollak writes:

The next time a lefty claims that the greedy Republicans in Washington are starving our nation’s infrastructure, look no further than the Democrats in Sacramento. California is a one-party state in which Democrats can do almost anything they want. Fourth-term Governor Jerry Brown and his party are claiming credit for a massive budget surplus, and plotting ways to spend the loot. Yet Brown’s revised budget claims that there is not enough money to maintain the state’s highways.

Get that?

There is money for a high-speed rail system that no one will ride. There is money for tuition for illegal aliens at state universities. There is money for the public sector unions that control state politics.

But “current resources do not provide enough funding to support annual maintenance and repair needs” for the roads, even though “the repair, maintenance, and efficient operation of the state’s highway system is vital to California’s continued economic growth.”

To put it in Democrats’ favorite terms: how many people will die needlessly because Democrats in California refused to spend the money to make our roads safe?

Building and maintaining roads, bridges, sewers and so on is a core function of government, second only to national security at the federal level, and law enforcement at the state and local level. But, just as liberals take only a grudging interest in national security and tend to be anti-law enforcement, they don’t really care much about such mundane matters as roads and bridges.

A month ago, we spent a spring break week in southern California. The weather was glorious, and we had a wonderful time. But we were appalled by the third-world condition of California’s roads and highways. California’s highways are not just decrepit and pocked with potholes, they are downright dangerous. Billions of dollars would be required to bring California’s roads, bridges, cloverleafs and related infrastructure up to the level that is taken for granted in, say, South Dakota.

But California’s Democrats have higher priorities, whether it is doling out dollars to the party’s supporters, funding environmental projects that will never see the light of day, or finding new ways to attract illegal immigrants. Highways are the most obvious instance of California’s inadequate infrastructure, but not the most important one. The state is now enduring a drought for which government has no answers. Why? Because environmentalist Democrats have blocked all projects that could have supplied water sufficient for the states’s needs.

In its early years, the intellectual and moral rot that liberalism represents may not be reflected, in obvious ways, in the physical world. But over time, the inevitable consequences of liberalism become apparent. If you visit California today, you will see, in the state’s embarrassing physical condition, the first stages of liberalism’s collapse.