- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2020

President Trump has been urging us to rebuild America’s infrastructure for years, and Democrats, who love to play spending charades, are latching on.

In the meantime, what have we been doing? Watching DIY shows and demanding open concept rooms and master suites, and forsaking college tuition for destination weddings that we’re still paying for.

We also spent trillions on wars in the Mideast, and are still mounting debt to fight and finance entitlements for families who are here illegally. Oy vey!

But finally and thankfully, movement on rebuilding America’s roads, bridges, rails, electric grid and schools is on the drawing boards on Capitol Hill.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced earlier this week that the westbound span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is complete — a year ahead of time. For sure, other governors should be asking Mr. Hogan to get a peek at his this-is-how-you-do-it blueprint.

Now all we have to do is make sure commuters and frequent summertime travelers can roll to and from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

There’s not a state in the union that can’t benefit from infrastructure work — which, by the way, should be dubbed the New Green New Deal, because while politics will ensure some environmentally sound projects will make the cut, solar panels with tax credits, rooftop gardens and such aren’t must-haves.

Hospitals, airports and schools are. And we certainly can’t ignore the growing demand for better and safer roads, highways, tunnels and bridges for motorists. Sure, bicyclists push for safety, too, but moving masses from home to school to work should be the priority.

And have you visited a national park since last summer? The crumbling asphalt roads, cracked and pale signage, and insect-plagued lighting prove we’re not honoring Teddy Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson or Benjamin Bannker, whose hard work hummed to the tune “America the Beautiful” long before Ray Charles celebrated it for our centennial in 1976.

It’s time to fulfill our legacy.

In Mr. Trump’s 2015 book “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again,” he wrote: “Domestically, we need to undertake a massive rebuilding of our infrastructure. Too many bridges have become dangerous, our roads are decaying and full of potholes, while traffic jams are costing millions in lost income for drivers who have jobs in congested cities. Public transit is overcrowded and unreliable and our airports must be rebuilt. You go to countries like China and many others and you look at their train systems and their public transport. It’s so much better. We’re like a third-world country.”

The president repeated the theme the night he won the presidential race in 2016: “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.”

He has resurrected his infrastructure initiative as we fight to stay physically, mentally and economically alive during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led 6.7 million U.S. workers last week to file for unemployment benefits.

Mr. Trump tweeted that the infrastructure legislation “should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!”

You might not love him, you might not like him because he’s a Republican, and you might not tolerate him because he’s a brash New Yorker — and there’s no denying the fact that some people reject his ideas because, well, just because the idea is proposed by Donald J. Trump and he beat Hillary Clinton.

I get it. But sometimes you have to let it go.

Americans are sick and Americans are out of work.

The Trump administration and Congress must work together for the same end: Put America back together.

Fiscal conservatives will have a hard time holding their nose on this one until after the November elections.

Now’s the time to make the doughnuts and bring home the bacon.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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