Washington state DOT spox says shutdown “is not going to be years, but it could be weeks.” Bridge obsolete, but not structurally deficient.
— danvock (@danvock) May 24, 2013
This week a semi truck plowed into the I-5 bridge crossing the Skagit River in the State of Washington, causing part of the bridge to collapse. The incident echoes the failure of the Minneapolis bridge in 2007. These are serious but rare occurrences in the U.S. Even so, the nation’s infrastructure needs more attention.
Note the last line that shows an annual funding gap of $200 billion a year. Where can this money be found? Let’s have a look at defense spending:
Since September 11, 2001, national spending on defense has doubled to more than $800 billion per year. Historians will argue over whether the United States’ involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan left the nation safer, but the fact is that we have underspent on public infrastructure, while overspending on military operations. The following chart contrasts the two types of spending. The blue line is military spending and the red line is infrastructure spending. It’s clear where the nation’s priorities have been: