What memorial will WE leave for our children's children? How about ... a robust infrastructure?

Marshall Ward
Marshall Ward
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Infrastructure: the systematic use of public works including personnel, buildings, and equipment required to run a country.

– Merriam-Webster

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day to honor our men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice, let us remember why it exists. Each generation erects monuments and public buildings to memorialize our nation’s core values of liberty, democratic government, equality, individualism, diversity, and unity.

We are now faced with a nation whose bricks and mortar, trust in our government, and trust in our friends and neighbors are suffering.

Greg Wright of California sent me this acronym that summarizes what our fallen heroes were fighting for. Of course, freedom is our focus, but can “we the people” really be free if our public works are crumbling?

I Infrastructure
N National Security
F Family Structure
R Resilience Building
A American Capability
S Schools
T Transportation
R Rural Services
U Urban Services
C Clean Energy
T Trees, Water, Soil
U Universal Broadband
R Research and Development
E Environmental Protection

Our nation’s infrastructure is sorely in need of repair. The US  recently earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which said an additional $2.6 trillion in funding is required over the next decade to benefit communities of color, rural Americans. and others burdened by decay or lagging modernization.

Congress is now debating on how and how much to spend to rebuild our infrastructure. The argument of “we can not afford the price tag” is senseless. The correct argument is “we must afford the price tag or slip to a 2nd world country”.

President Biden has offered a way forward and will pay for it with closing tax loopholes, raising taxes on the rich, and creating a global tax on corporations which is long overdue.

Here is a summary of President Biden’s priorities for Infrastructure restoration:

  • Biden would spend $621 billion on roads, bridges, public transit, rail, ports, waterways, airports, and electric vehicles in service of improving air quality, reducing congestion, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Biden would provide $400 billion to bolster caregiving for aging and disabled Americans. His plan would expand access to long-term care services under Medicaid and provide more opportunity for people to receive care at home through community-based services or from family members.
  • Under President Biden’s plan, $50 billion of the money would be invested in semiconductor manufacturing and another $30 billion would go towards medical manufacturing to help shore up the nation’s ability to respond to a future pandemic.
  • His plan would invest $213 billion toward building, renovating, and retrofitting more than two million homes and housing units, upgrade the country’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, tackle new contaminants, and support clean water infrastructure in rural parts of the country.
  • President Biden calls for $100 billion to build new public schools and upgrade existing buildings with better ventilation systems, updated technology labs, and improved school kitchens that can prepare more nutritious meals.
  • Biden wants to invest $100 billion to give every American access to affordable, reliable, and high-speed broadband. He is committed to working to reduce the cost of broadband internet and increase its adoption in both rural and urban areas.
  • President Biden would allocate $100 billion to workforce development – helping dislocated workers, assisting underserved groups, and getting students on career paths before they graduate high school. It would provide $40 billion to retrain dislocated workers in high-demand sectors, such as clean energy, manufacturing, and caregiving. The proposal would also funnel $48 billion into apprenticeships, career pathway programs for middle and high school students.
  • The plan would provide $18 billion to modernize the Veterans Affairs’ hospitals, which are on average more than 40 years older than a private sector hospital. It also calls for $10 billion to modernize federal buildings.

What a great legacy to leave commemorating the sacrifices of the fallen, and to honor their loved ones: spouses, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends.

Let’s memorialize our nations core values of liberty, democratic government, equality, individualism, diversity, and unity by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure!

–30–

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Marshall Ward

Marshall taught history and economics for twenty years in Charleston, SC, then moved to Murray, KY, where he taught AP history for seventeen years. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)

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