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Hullabaloo


Sunday, July 18, 2010

 
Going Backwards

by digby

I think this pretty much captures where we're going as a nation:

Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls.

The heavy machines at work in Jamestown, N.D., are grinding the asphalt off road beds, grading the bed and packing the material back down to create a new road surface.

In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel.

The moves have angered some residents because of the choking dust and windshield-cracking stones that gravel roads can kick up, not to mention the jarring "washboard" effect of driving on rutted gravel.

But higher taxes for road maintenance are equally unpopular. In June, Stutsman County residents rejected a measure that would have generated more money for roads by increasing property and sales taxes.

"I'd rather my kids drive on a gravel road than stick them with a big tax bill," said Bob Baumann, as he sipped a bottle of Coors Light at the Sportsman's Bar Café and Gas in Spiritwood.


I think it's safe to say that when these people say they want their country back, they aren't talking about the country of the 50s or 60s, with its "Tomorrowland" optimism. They want to go back to the Dust Bowl.

If this guy wasn't brainwashed, he'd be talking about how the wealthy should be pitching for these roads, but Rush tells him that taxes are evil, even for millionaires, and he believes it so fervently that he'd rather go back to a primitive state than challenge that orthodoxy. This is a sign of a culture in deep decline.

Maybe we need to realize that our old arguments about how Americans are so accustomed to living the good life that they would resist the natural consequence of this new feudalism aren't going to work. This anti-tax fervor has passed out of the political realm and into the religious. When people would rather that their kids choke on dirt than pay taxes, I'm guessing that pointing out that their unwillingness to pay taxes will result in tainted meat and dangerous drugs won't convince them. Living in a primitive state is a sign of their devotion.



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