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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Sky Won't Fall...and Neither Will Any More Bridges

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 08/07/07 16:48

by Dave Mindeman

"We have to, as a Congress, grasp this problem. And yes, I would even suggest, fund this problem with a tax. May the sky not fall on me." --Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska

What would happen if we fully funded our infrastructure repair? What would happen if we raised revenue from a user fee gas tax and embarked on a nation wide public works program?

Would a massive uptick in construction work employ millions of American workers? Would federal and state governments find a way to cooperate and make the repairs and fund the transit programs? Would commute times get better? Would carbon emissions be reduced? Would car owners opt for more fuel efficient vehicles? Would more effective movement of goods and services bring more profits for American business?

The sky wouldn't fall... and neither would any more bridges.
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Can We Talk About Mass Transit Now?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 08/07/07 15:44

by Roxanne Mindeman

As we consider the inevitable long term effects of last Wednesday's heartbreaking disaster, we need to remember that everything is connected. I think often about the fact that for 5 years the Governor and Republicans in the State Legislature have been steadfastly beating back the ever intensifying demand, by metro residents, for mass transit. The folly of that attitude is now more clear than ever. Where will metro area residents turn for the next year or longer while a critical downtown stretch of a major transportation artery is shut down?

Had a bridge collapsed in San Fransisco, people would have the option of riding BART. In Washington DC, the Merto, in Denver, RTA; Boston, MBTA, etc........ In fact, there is no metro area in America, as large as Minneapolis/St Paul, without a mass transit option. So where do we turn?

The answer is pretty clear. We will each design our own detours to wind our way downtown. There will be even more deadlocked traffic across the metro. We'll overload other highways and bridges, also identified as "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete". We'll spend even more time sitting in our cars, while they spit ever increasing carbon emissions into our air.

Can we talk about mass transit NOW?
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The Crime In SubPrime

Category: US Politics
Posted: 08/07/07 10:37

by Paul Bartlett

Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth: These were small time scammers. Their thievery was contained, ripping-off only their employees, investors and customers.

But the American investment banking and mortgage banking industry, they've set the gold standard, and it's called subprime loans. Every American consumer will be grifted. It's not just the subprime borrowers, it's every user of credit, homeowner and investor who will pay the cost of this public bilking.

This story is still unfolding. The newest scam: Unsecured private
student loans -- up to $45,000 per year -- carrying up to a 10%
origination fee and 16% annual interest. Now really, does anyone
actually believe these loans will be repaid? You, I and all the other
dopes will ultimately be saddled with this debt.

It's more than mere coincidence that these scams -- loan money to
people who cannot repay it -- but collect huge origination fees, have all taken place under Republican tutelage.
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