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Ideology rules, Capitol leaks



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Congress' boneheaded right-wing leaders keep insisting that our growing national needs must be sacrificed to their god of budgetary-whacking wackiness.

For a slap-your-forehead example of what their dogmatic purity is doing to America, consider this:

The roof of our nation's Capitol is leaking. A lot.

Yes, the majestic dome — one of the most recognizable symbols of our people's democratic aspirations — has succumbed to the mingy fiscal shortsightedness of Congress critters so obsessed with the price of public programs that they've lost all sight of value.

Owners of even the most modest houses know that you must tend to roof leaks, lest the whole structure will inevitably deteriorate, yet these stewards of the nation's house have failed Caretaking 101.

The Capitol dome has some 1,300 cracks and breaks, causing chunks of the exterior to break off and water seepage to endanger the treasured artworks on the interior of the rotunda.

The architect of the Capitol has warned bluntly: "The dome needs comprehensive rehabilitation," ominously adding that, "It's a public safety issue."

The cost? About $61 million to repair and restore the exterior.

That's all? Come on — the right-wing's tax giveaways to the super-rich cost us more than that every single day! Yet, while U.S. Senate appropriators OK'd the dome repairs in August, the ideological wingnuts in the House said "uh-uh."

No money is available, they claimed, America has to cut back; we can't afford to fix our nation's roof.

What a metaphor for their overall gross mismanagement and pusillanimous failure to meet America's most basic needs!

No wonder that our roads, schools, water systems, parks and other components of our essential public infrastructure are in dangerous decay — those nutballs in Congress won't even fix the roof over their own heads.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit


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