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The Golden Gate Bridge for the Senate: Big Infrastructure and No Filibuster

Jamie Stiehm on

Chief among words America will soon hear, over and over, are inside baseball in the Senate: "infrastructure" and "filibuster."

The debate on President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan for infrastructure takes up where Franklin D. Roosevelt's public works programs left off. When Biden was born, Roosevelt was the president.

A common touch is a refreshing tonic.

Deep in the Depression, Roosevelt thought big. He reached for a bright future from a hard present. Post offices with murals, tree planting, preserving folklore -- and more -- created civic goods for us all to share.

Biden is thinking exactly like FDR's blueprint as the nation finds its way from the dark pandemic. The way out is to think big and bold for the public square, not private gain.

Simply put, infrastructure is an equalizer that benefits the public. The common good -- what a concept.

 

Broadband access, better hospitals and school buildings are in the presidential mix. So are an improved electrical grid, clean water and lead-free pipes. Lead pipes are a danger to children to this day.

After a president who made the robber barons look good, most know it's time for a change. Let America be America again, as poet Langston Hughes wrote.

Our common good relies on roads and bridges, for sure, but 21st-century infrastructure goes beyond that. To my delight, Biden shares a love of trains and aims to strengthen the fraying rail network. Such a smart way to address climate change.

The soaring Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was built in the 1930s, financed by FDR's New Deal.

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