We live in a time when many Americans like to dream that taxes will NEVER go up, and that somehow, we can live within the national budget, even though most Americans are finding if difficult to live within their own family budgets in the present economic crisis.
The Tea Party Movement has co-opted the Republican Party to such an extent that the campaign pitch for the GOP Presidential field and Congressional Republican leaders is that NEVER will they agree to ANY tax increases under any circumstances, a totally insane proposition!
But the events of yesterday, the Virginia-Atlantic Coast earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter scale, the greatest in about a century on the East Coast of the United States, demonstrated that such a proposition will have to be abandoned, whether one likes it or not!
The earthquake affected people from New England down to Atlanta and as far west as Chicago and as far North as Toronto, and it did noticeable damage to the National Cathedral, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC.
Obviously, money will have to be spent to fix these sites in the nation’s capital, and anywhere else where there was damage, at public expense!
But also, nuclear power plants along the Atlantic Coast are seen as in great danger, as they are outdated and need to be modernized. Also, the earthquake reminds us of the poor state of much of the entire nation’s infrastructure–harbors, canals, bridges, tunnels, highways, rail lines–much of it built long ago and in desperate need of major repairs, and often new building requirements to deal with natural disasters besides earthquakes, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought, volcanoes, rock slides, avalanches, and even tsunami threats!
This means we need to spend money on all kinds of public works projects, as we had done in the past, some of it with private investment included, but still with the absolute need for more public spending, which means more taxes, although it also allows for more employment, which could help to revive the American economy while dealing with real emergency situations!
Now the growing threat of Hurricane Irene, which is judged possibly to be the worst hurricane to hit the Northeast in many decades later this week, will add to the emergency spending crisis, and the need for infrastructure investment, but with the realization that MORE public spending will be unavoidable, no matter what the people of this country wish for!