Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her proposal to spend $250 billion on infrastructure and $25 billion to create an infrastructure bank. I’m no reflexive opponent of infrastructure proposals (and have written in favor of getting them evaluated on a level budgetary playing field), but these ideas are a shoddy foundation for infrastructure policy.
The Hill is reporting that “President Obama heads to Paris Monday seeking to clinch an international climate pact that would help define his legacy.” Taking that claim at face value, how should one evaluate that legacy?
The U.S. corporation income tax is broken. It has achieved an unholy trifecta by being anti-competitive, burdensome, and ineffective as a revenue-raising policy. One manifestation of its flaws is the decades-long phenomenon of “inversions.” A tax inversion occurs when a U.S.-headquartered firm acquires or merges with a smaller global firm, and relocates for tax purposes in the acquired firm’s country.
Congress is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to limit the damage to small broadband providers done by the newly minted Open Internet Order. According to the Hill "Thirty-four Republican members of Congress sent a letter Friday to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler encouraging him to make the exemption permanent and change the criteria by which it is applied.
Tax policy is becoming a centerpiece of the race for president, with the left building on the tax and redistribute record of President Obama and the right featuring a variety of pro-growth tax proposals. Understanding the growth implications of all the plans is imperative, as more rapid economic growth is the central challenge for the United States.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his desire to raise the minimum wage in New York State to $15. Yesterday, he launched a defense of the proposal that began by lambasting firms: "Cuomo accused businesses of 'stealing from taxpayers' by paying workers low wages knowing those same employees can also qualify for state welfare assistance.” Strong words. And 1000 percent wrong.
Of disappointment. Remember when ObamaCare was going to be like Travelocity — a pleasant e-shopping experience where you got exactly what you wanted the very first time. Not so much. Remember when it was going to “bend the cost curve” so that health care got cheaper, the entitlement spending threat miraculously disappeared, and employer health care costs did not rule out the chance of getting an actual cash raise? Not so much.
News reports indicate that the most famous advocate for a single-payer health care system (and other aggressive government interventions), Senator Bernie Sanders, is hesitating to launch his proposed reform to move the United States to that system. There is good reason to hesitate.
Prior to the horrific attacks in Paris, the struggling global economy was the top agenda item for the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Now the focus has shifted to ISIS, its Syrian safe havens, and its international reach. But it raises the question of whether there will be economic fallout from the attacks, the potential for other terrorism-related incidents, and the international response.
One of the most important tasks remaining for Congress in 2015 is to complete the specific agency appropriations for the next fiscal year. In doing so, however, it has an interest in using the spending legislation to shape important policy issues like the fiduciary rule, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Regarding the latter, there are three areas that merit scrutiny.