McCain's 35W Replacement Complaint

After McCain's campaign advisor, Charlie Black entertained the idea of a terrorist attack stimulating the Republican candidate's campaign; John McCain attempted to dispel any damage. In his speech he rejected the statements, but created a larger problem in the process. While offering a cash prize for a technologically unlikely battery McCain uttered these words: ''If we can afford 233 million dollars on a bridge, we certainly, could in my view spend one dollar per every man, women and child in America to eliminate our needs;'' where ''needs'' references our dependence on oil. The 233 million dollar investment refers to the cost allocated to finance the replacement of the 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota after it tragically collapsed due to governmental negligence.

To begin analyzing his blunder, McCain first compares the need to replace a pivotal bridge with his own pipe dream of eliminating our foreign dependence on oil. McCain fails to realize that if such a scientific breakthrough were to actually occur the creator would likely reap far more that the $300 million McCain is offering. The issue isn't the reward it's the initiative. The scope of this project lends itself to a corporate empire leaving the average citizen with absolutely no hope of accomplishing the objective. The cash prize then fundamentally becomes a corporate incentive, which is fine, but $300 million to a Fortune 500 company is nothing in comparison to the potential of such a technology. The bottom line is taxpayer money would be much better spent on basically anything else, including funding such a project.

McCain's second and more important oversight is in his reference to the 35W Bridge collapse. His statement shows that he not only looks down upon infrastructure spending but he also does not fundamentally understand the plight of the average American. He may not have to use highways, he may not even have to drive, but the rest of the country does. Bridges need to be safe they need to be maintained and people need to have the confidence in their government to help them in a crisis; and the bridge collapse qualifies as a crisis. People died and millions of people were affected as the main artery connecting St. Paul to Minneapolis was severed. Such a catastrophe should never be compared to a political gimmick. The people of Minnesota will not forget the collapse for a long, long time because it is still affecting their daily lives. They will however remember this feeble attempt at yet another political gimmick. At this point McCain should finally feel comfortable scratching Minnesota from his list of potential big wins regardless of what his internal polling reveals.

I'm also intrigued by the way John McCain said he would pay for his $300 million proposal. He said this, ''I could pay for this by cancelling three pork barrel projects that are unnecessary and unwanted.'' The catch, these pork barrel projects would be cancelled from a budget his administration would write. If I follow correctly he is adamantly against pork barrel spending in public, but a budget he would write would include pork, but it would be eliminated to make room for his cash prize. According to this logic political gimmicks have precident over pork, and public safety lies somewhere inbetween.

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1 Response(s) to McCain's 35W Replacement Complaint

9/3/2008 9:39:26 PM CT

Wonderful analysis. I am someone who sees infrastructure as a pre-eminent consern. Yet another area where this man, who is obviously falling into age related brain function loss, is failing at one of the most basic purposes of a government.

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