Skip navigation


I have learned or I think I have learned that most politicians do not know their base (or what they perceive as their base). It is apparent that the proposed tax act or reform does not take into account the effect this action will have on the middle to lower income people who are the “base” that these neer do wells cite on a regular basis. Trickle down has and never will work. It did not work under Reagan, it did not work in Kansas and is not working in Wisconsin. There is no way in any circumstance that decreasing the tax on large companies will generate jobs unless the bill specifically states that this must be a result of the cut. Small business will get little and the average American will get less. The hype over increased deductions is just that hype since there are other changes that increase the tax burden on middle to lower income Americans. The quick look : Corporate tax cuts are permanent and the tax cuts for most Americans subset ( ends). This push for tax reform is solely for retaining support in the next election cycle and that support is all about donations from the recipients of the biggest tax cuts. The political structure has real idea of who their base consists of beyond numbers at the polls. This article from the Daily Beast is one example of what politicians don’t know or perhaps do not want to know:

The Sewer System Crisis About to Hit the Heartland
4 / 14
The Daily Beast
Lyndsey Gilpin
The city of Louisville, Kentucky, sits low in a valley along the Ohio River. When it rains heavily, water can quickly rise, overflowing the storm water drains and submerging parts of downtown, low-income neighborhoods near the river, and the local college campus.
Louisville is nowhere close to the coastal areas in Florida and Texas that have received the lion’s share of attention for the effects of climate change. But it’s at increasing risk for sewer system overflows and more frequent flooding, thanks to a perfect storm of aging storm water systems and climate change.
“We are racing against the clock,” said Eric Friedlander, Louisville’s chief resilience officer, told The Daily Beast. “When you talk about massive infrastructure we are putting in place, and the construction time schedule, it feels to me there is still time—but we’re up against it.”
Louisville residents are reminded of flooding threats with signs that mark how high water reached during the Great Flood of 1937, when nearly three-quarters of the city was underwater. Inevitably, an event like that will happen again. An Army Corps of Engineers study found that warmer temperatures and changing weather patterns will lead to more frequent storm surges from the Ohio River, consequently increasing flooding in low-lying areas like Louisville (PDF).
Other inland communities, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to rural West Virginia, have also seen a surge in flooding. The most recent National Climate Assessment suggests heavy downpours are more frequent and inland floods cause more damage than any other severe weather event. Another study showed that thunderstorms in the Southeast could dump 80 percent more rain in some areas, causing flooding to be four times worse by the end of the century, said Andreas Prein, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
“It is one of the most severe consequences of climate change inland in the U.S.,” Prein said.
The stress of increased water flow is wreaking havoc on the nation’s stormwater systems, which are reaching the end of their lifetimes (PDF). Unable to handle the intensity of heavy rainfall and storm surge, water backs up and causes flooding, “There’s so much more water to get rid of in a city,” Prein said. “It needs a sophisticated drainage system, which we don’t have.”
Flooding is not just a nuisance—it’s also a public health and safety issue. Combined sewer systems in hundreds of communities, from Memphis to Oklahoma, backup during heavy rains, allowing millions of gallons of untreated sewage and storm water runoff to flow into streets and waterways.
Old wastewater treatment plants are flooding more frequently too, releasing contaminated water into rivers and bays. Heavy rains in Tampa this summer caused 329,000 gallons of sewage to spill in a river.
Chronic flooding takes an economic toll too, said Maria Koetter, director of Louisville’s Office of Sustainability, adding that it can cause businesses to lose money and affect tourism. “This is the real deal,” she said. “We have to put up the money to make sure these systems don’t fail.”
But no one wants to pay for it. Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District says it needs $4.3 billion over the next two decades to upgrade the city’s collapsing brick pipes, many installed after the Civil War. Some cities are trying to finance upgrades with increased property taxes or sewer fees.
“A lot of these projects are very big, and taking that on is costly,” said Laura Lightbody, project director for Pew Charitable Trust’s flood-prepared communities program. “Some of these projects are put on hold while the city tries to grapple with and piece together the financing.”
And stormwater management is only part of the solution. To be climate resilient, Lightbody said, cities should take a holistic approach, requiring green infrastructure, preventing development in floodplains, redirecting or elevating roads, and building levees or flood walls.
In addition to its major stormwater project, Koetter said Louisville requires water catchment like rain gardens for construction projects and is doubling its tree canopy to absorb water and keep the city cooler. In Nashville, buildings must be four feet above base flood elevation, and the city has been buying out homes in floodplains for decades to prevent development where it consistently floods. Brevard, North Carolina, requires a “no adverse impact” certification so development does not catalyze erosion.
Most initiatives happen at the local level, but the federal government needs to provide guidance to incentivize cities, Lightbody said. Under the Trump administration, however, that’s becoming more difficult: 10 days before Hurricane Harvey hit in August, the president repealed an Obama-era rule that mandated infrastructure projects like roads and bridges be designed to survive rising sea levels and storm surge.
Cities face dire consequences if they don’t improve these systems, but it’s a massive, long-term undertaking.
“It’s almost like we’re reverse engineering our cities,” Lightbody said. “We built them up and poured a lot of concrete, and now we’re trying to figure out how to bring green space because we’ve seen the economic and flood benefits of it.”

Try contacting your representatives and hope to receive a real answer instead of politispeak.

Please Donate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: