Michigan Republicans owe me $57.50
My kids are in town today and we decided to drive to The Henry Ford to see The Hobbit in 3D and Imax (squee!) It had been snowing and blowing for a couple hours and there were three inches or so of snow on the ground. The road in front of our house was pretty slick but I knew that, once I got on I-94, the main highway into Detroit, I’d be fine. It’s a main artery, after all, with heavy truck and commuter traffic.
We got 5 miles down the highway and decided that it was simply too dangerous to continue. We saw three accidents with cars and trucks in the ditch, one all the way into the woods on the side of the road.
For three inches of snow.
Now, if we were in the south somewhere, I could understand this being an issue. Southern states aren’t equipped for a lot of snow. They don’t have the snow plows or the salt stockpiles to respond effectively.
But this is Michigan. We get snowfalls like this regularly in a normal winter. This year, however, it appears that our state level and regional road commissions have decided to dramatically curtail plowing and salting of roads during a minor snowfall that was predicted well in advance. During a holiday week, too, when people are traveling more than usual.
It’s pretty maddening. I bought the show tickets online last night and The Henry Ford has a no refunds at all policy (yes, we called and begged.) So we’re out $57.50 because the roads during a minor snowstorm were impassable and dangerous.
It’s time we all start getting used to this, probably across the country. The “strangle the government” Republicans have wrung so much revenue out of state and local governments that they are going to be forced to start cutting way back on services.
Having crime problems in your neighborhood? Sorry, police forces are being cut. Firefighters, too, by the way.
Wish your kid had more art and music classes and extra-curricular sports opportunities? Sorry, schools have to pay the price so we can give billions in tax breaks to businesses.
Sad to see your local parks or our beautiful state parks becoming trashy and not well cared for? Sorry, there isn’t money for full staffing.
Want to drive on our highways after three inches of snow have fallen? Sorry, that’s something you USED to be able to do. Not now, though.
What’s next? Less oversight at our water treatment and water testing facilities? Less oversight of our air quality or food supplies?
Will businesses do the very easy calculus and decide that low taxes are nice but crumbling infrastructure and diminished quality of life for its employees aren’t a good trade off? You bet they will.
The so-called “patriots” that revile government so much are directly responsible for seeing to it that our quality of life is diminished. The things that our government does for us that we all take for granted are going to start coming into sharp relief as they disappear.
Do me a favor, if you supported the tea party or any of these drown-government-in-a-bathtub Republicans, I don’t want to hear any complaining from you when the services and protections you receive from your government begin to degrade. Because, frankly, YOU are directly responsible for that happening.