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When I was president of the Atlanta AFL-CIO and African-American political pioneer Maynard Jackson was Mayor of Atlanta back in the early 1990′s Mayor Jackson was elected Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors. Part of the beginning of a long and effective friendship, Mayor Jackson asked me to help him work toward federal infrastructure development and repair, not to create jobs but because the country needed to fix our crumbling infrastructure. Although Mayor Jackson, other mayors, the labor movement, and I worked hard for a federal infrastructure program, it never came to pass.

There are still desperately needed infrastructure projects in Atlanta and Washington, DC and in every city in America.

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower built the federal interstate highway system in the middle of the Cold War. President Lincoln built the transcontinental railroad during the Civil War.

President Obama is pushing for a $50 billion federal infrastructure project to develop wind power, improve rail transit, and many other things tailored to the specific needs of states across this great country.

Infrastructure investment makes travel easier and cheaper, improves national productivity, increases our ability to create wealth, and creates new, high wage jobs.

But the radical rightwing Republicans in Congress won’t even consider the investment.

Again, they are so committed to protecting and expanding the wealth of those who make more in a day than you and I make in a lifetime that they will let the infrastructure under our feet rot rather than pay for its repair. These fake patriots, these miniscule leaders, these science deniers, these poor servants of the 1% or 2% can’t find the strength to take care of the country they are sworn to protect. They are a joke. They are a shame to America. They – these radical rightwing Republicans – are a global embarrassment.

These radical rightwing Republican Members of Congress are damned to ruin our lives, our economy, and our country with – as one of our readers commented – the vision of a myopic six year old.

© Creative Commons Copyright 2013


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.
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Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:35 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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