I left my house in Columbia, Mo., at 5:30 a.m. Thursday to make it to the Ingram Barge Co.'s Upper Mississippi River office by 8:30 am. I knew the three-hour drive had been worth it when I pulled up to the barge company’s office because the sturdy grey structure actually sits IN the Mighty Mississippi. I walked across an anchor barge that doubles as a pedestrian bridge to enter the office and passed by the R. Clayton McWhorter, a 45-foot tall, 140-foot long towboat with four decks.
With a looming so-called fiscal cliff and a split of control in Congress, President Barack Obama and federal legislators are under pressure to come to a quick solution. But Missouri’s senators have taken sides over a tax hike in the President’s plan.
When it comes to solving the fiscal cliff problem, the biggest disagreement between Republicans and Democrats in Congress deals with raising the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. Missouri’s two senators have fallen in line with their parties and sit in opposite corners on the issue.
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s left an indelible mark on the Midwest and on history. It is the drought against which all others are measured. And it was a man-made disaster that could still offer lessons today.