No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, there is no denying the desperate need to repair our country’s long-neglected infrastructure. Sen. Susan Collins, in a recent interview, voiced her support, “We do need a robust infrastructure plan. I’ve been advocating that for years.” But Congress did little or nothing.

Collins and other Republicans reject the Biden jobs and infrastructure plan because it includes more than what they consider as infrastructure. There was a time when roads, railways, ports, water, sewers, and electric grids covered the definition of infrastructure. The price tag to repair and support this old infrastructure system would be lower. But what good does it do us to save money by not providing for future needs?

Maine is among the 10 worst states for broadband coverage, with 85,000 households without internet. We face threats to economic stability and future growth because we can’t maintain and provide the universal education and training needs of our manufacturing sector.

The successful underpinnings of every town, no matter how rural, includes reliable internet, telehealth, academic options, modern energy grid, communication systems for hospitals and fire departments, transportation and high-speed trains to assure today’s on-time delivery demands.

Maine needs this plan for job, business and economic growth. If Congress decides a better option to Biden’s comprehensive infrastructure plan is to do only Band-Aid fixes, then stunted economic growth, huge internet gaps, and power failure catastrophes will continue to limit our future.

 

Margaret Duston, M.D.

Brunswick

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