We need roads, but recently America had a budget shortfall for roads even while increasing aid to Afghanistan by several billions of dollars.
As a military veteran I want to say first of all that the reason many military bases are kept open are not for national security reasons, in fact the Pentagon regularly requests to shut military bases down and the requests are denied by the Congressmen and women whose districts they represent. These are politicians who would stand to lose a lot of votes if their constituents which comprise a civilian workforce dependent upon the very existence of the military itself suddenly found themselves without a job.
So it’s not some liberal argument vs conservative argument, it’s a matter of money and votes. Strangely enough the US military budget still rests around $600 billion/yr, 4 times the size of China’s (China only recently started spending this much) and the US wars are funded under a different budget entirely. You’ll notice the price of gold has steadily increased with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is the undeniable, unavoidable cost of inflation due to deficit spending and money printing.
My idea is why not employ all those military people in a vital renovation of American infrastructure? Surely America needs it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, once a 5-star general of the army, knew the value of good American roads, having made cross-country trips when there was only a single transcontinental American road available, and having seen the autobahn in World War II, he realized the Germans had created a very efficient road system which he would later apply in the Federal Highway Act of 1956.
No matter whether it’s the state or federal government building the roads, you can almost guarantee there will be a certain amount of waste, fraud and abuse involved. Hopefully, it will be zero to minimal. I think Ike demonstrated however that the federal government could indeed use public funds for a good use, and today’s federal interstate highway system is a credit to a nation and a General that in his farewell address as President warned us of a potential military industrial complex that could potentially become a parasite to this country’s true prosperity and mission.
General and President Eisenhower. Smart guy.