GOP has kicked the can down the (bad) road

Editor,

The Republican response to Michigan’s infrastructure crisis has three keywords, and leadership is not one of them.

Inaction. The average road lasts 20 to 40 years, depending on pavement type. The Republican party has solidly controlled Michigan politics for more than two decades. That means that in many cases, they had the entire lifespan of a failed road to figure out a state funding plan that meets our needs, and they chose not to do so.

Distraction. Sen. Kim LaSata says Michigan families can’t afford an increased gas tax. Can they afford to have jobs and economic development migrate to states with functioning infrastructure? Can they afford to lose fathers, mothers and children to accidents caused by dangerous road conditions?

Deflection. Rep. Brad Paquette says that Republicans will roll out their roads plan in coming days (months after Gov. Whitmer’s), focusing on technology to deliver longer lasting roads. If there was a technology that delivered longer lasting roads for less or equal cost, road builders would already have put it into use. Therefore, any longer lasting technology is either costlier or still in the laboratory. Any talk of technology simply obscures the real result: if Republicans want to spend less but use costlier and/or experimental methods, the net result is fewer miles of repaired road.

Where is the real leadership? Where is the realistic plan that will take our dangerous, embarrassing roads and make them something safe and functional for Michigan families and businesses?

Todd Schultz

St. Joseph