After traveling Asia by high speed train and lounging in spectacular airports, it’s always disheartening to return to JKF or LAX.  Bob Herbert makes the case that Time is Running Out for America to build the transportation, energy, and education infrastructure of the future.

Quoting that great philosopher Alanis, “Isn’t it ironic” that Bob’s piece dropped on the first day of the Tea Party convention.  I get being pissed off about taxes (I just dropped a big check in the mail) but where’s the “I’m mad as hell about crumbling roads and bridges party?”  Where’s the “our kids are going to get their butts kicked in the global competition” party.  Where’s the “avoid fiscal suicide and fix social security” party?

We used to have a pro-growth party but now just have a No party (except for earmarks and wars).  I hear the Tea Party keynoter will quote Yankovic, “Dare to be stupid.” They will close with another prayer, “Please let 45 million people continue to remain uninsured.”

Come on folks, if we stop playing games, we can figure this out.  The angry mob is right that taxes need to be low to remain competitive and boost job creation.  But we also need to invest in infrastructure and innovation.  To do both, we’ll need real entitlement reform, public employment reform, and we need to stop fighting stupid wars and policing the world.   Maybe we need a MAC party—Make America Competitive—with the courage to take on tough issues and well-funded interests.  Bob is right, time is running out.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


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