US infrastructure is falling apart

The basic infrastructure all of us depend on every day – including aviation, highway, public transit and rail – is falling apart and needs a proper flushing, if we could find a public water system that worked properly.

That pretty much sums up a depressing report issued today by the congressional watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office today on the state of the US infrastructure. Not only are the problems large, but some of the solutions, such as increased taxes, vehicle usage fees, airline passenger levies as well as adding tolls on highways are as controversial and they would be painful.

And then there are the problems. “For example, demand has outpaced the capacity of our nation’s surface transportation and aviation systems, resulting in decreased performance and reliability. Furthermore, as we recently reported, federal surface transportation programs are not effectively addressing key challenges, such as congestion, because the federal goals and roles are unclear, many programs lack links to performance or needs, and the programs often do not employ the best tools and approaches. In addition, water utilities are facing pressure to upgrade the nation’s aging and deteriorating water infrastructure to improve security, serve growing demands, and meet new regulatory requirements.

Given these types of challenges and the federal government’s fiscal outlook, it is clear that the federal government cannot continue with business as usual, ” the GAO said.

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GAO Blasts Weapons Budget

Cost Overruns Hit $295 Billion
Government auditors issued a scathing review yesterday of dozens of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.

The Government Accountability Office found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.


The Navy expects the costs of its first two Littoral Combat Ships to exceed their combined budget of $472 million by more than 100 percent. (Lockheed Martin Via Associated Press)

Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems six years ago. “It’s not getting any better by any means,” said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO’s acquisition and sourcing team. “It’s taking longer and costing more.”

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