Thank you all — exhibitors and guests — for a wonderful and successful N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo Oct. 20 in Syracuse. The show was well attended and from many accounts, folks had a great time. Again thank you very much for your participation. Look in the December issue of Superintendent’s Profile for complete wrap-up coverage of the expo.
Shifting gears, the next big date, which will pass before you read this, will be Election Day, It certainly looks like “change” is once again on the agenda. Now, I don’t like to be political in this column or anywhere in this magazine because I know there are both republicans and democrats in our readership, so I feel that it would be disrespectful to take a political stance So this magazine is non-political.
But there is a lot at stake this election, particularly infrastructure investment. The President wants to spend $50 billion on infrastructure, which we sorely need upgraded. Republicans may not be so inclined to spend that much; they’ll ask for equal spending cuts to pay for it. That won’t happen. They’ll also ask for the Bush tax cuts to be extended. That probably won’t happen for upper-tier income earners, and if we cuts taxes that’ll make it even more difficult to pay for $50 billion of highway and bridge funding. Gas taxes are one way to help pay for improvements, but the public at large won’t be on board with that.
Democrats on the other hand, if they even survive the mid-term elections, may actually not be in any mood to increase spending; in fact, they’ll likely be spending most of their time trying to fend off healthcare reform repeals.
I know, what I’m saying is that something that will really help our industry isn’t going to happen. I know, it’s a defeatist attitude. But the one thing that shouldn’t polarize us (like bridge falling down, etc.) likely will — unless, we continue our efforts to inform the public about vital spending on infrastructure. I have to be honest with you — I don’t know how we do this because the national media won’t talk about it (or sensationalize it), which is what needs to happen. This is not a liberal or conservative issue; it’s a national security one, though. And this is something we must spend money on and something we must implore our elected officials to do.