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Where’s Susan Pewter when you need her? She’s that crazy bleach-blonde woman from the 1990’s exercise videos that always yelled “stop the insanity!” on television infomercials at 3:00AM. I don’t know what she’s up to these days, but I’d like to pay her to visit Capitol Hill, walk the halls of Congress and scream till her lungs bleed. Maybe that would get some attention.

Congress has been so preoccupied debating the STD reduction and smoking cessation components of the stimulus package that they have failed to notice the gaping whole in the legislation. It’s time to belly up at the bar and take real action. Invest in jobs, the future, the environment, healthcare, security and the economy – all at the same time. How? By fixing our nation’s decrepit infrastructure. Not $800 billion worth, all of it! It’s the best $2.2 trillion you’ll ever spend.

The electrical grid is in disarray; levees are a joke; our water pipes have more holes than Swiss cheese; and don’t even get me started on roads and bridges. Ever heard the expression “a house divided falls?” Well, a nation whose infrastructure collapses does too. Fix our infrastructure!

Here we are celebrating a new political dawn when legislators will supposedly work on behalf of the people and seek input from across the aisle to make quality legislation, yet all I see is business as usual. Here’s what I mean:

Democrats want to act now. Problem is, they’re moving so fast they aren’t acting -they’re reacting. There’s a difference. There seems to be an almost palpable panic to do something, anything, so long as it’s done right now. It seems the Majority is more concerned about being perceived as slow to fix our economic woes than they are about taking the time needed to actually develop a feasible solution. As such, they’ll settle for mediocre, call it great, and blame eight-years of “failed” Bush policies when they come up short.

Republicans, on the other hand, are still licking their wounds from a putrid showing in November. They’re too busy sulking and throwing rocks at the Majority to develop their own solution. Seriously guys, it’s like fourth grade all over again. Don’t fall victim to becoming the party of “no.”

Scrap the existing bill all together and introduce one that spends 100% of the funds fixing infrastructure. Oh yeah, and make it big enough to choke a donkey and an elephant! Eliminate the piece-meal solutions and make it something non-partisan and real. It won’t be sexy, but it’ll work. It will create jobs, save trillions in future expenses, and stimulate America’s economy.

Rome is burning people! Investment in infrastructure is needed to put out the flames.

L. Vance Taylor has worked to advance the mission of homeland security on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. One of only approximately 250 people in the nation with a Master’s degree in Homeland Security, Mr. Taylor combines specialized educational training with real-world experience to leverage successful outcomes for clients and stakeholders. Read More