Central Planning, Stimulus and Tax Reform.

Central Planning


Senator Chris Dodd recently authored the “Livable Communities Act.


CEI’s Senior Fellow Chris Horner explains why this bill is nothing more than a federal government power grab.


Livability and the like serve as the rationale for all manner of intrusions. Innovation Newsbriefs in October 2009 noted that it was “the Administration’s intent to increase the federal role in shaping local development patterns and influencing travel behavior. ‘Smart growth’ planning and shifting more automobile travel to public transportation have been long-standing goals of progressive planners and assorted anti-sprawl activists, but these goals may now become a matter of federal policy under the Administration’s ‘livability’ initiative.”


Stimulus and Deficits


President Obama has proposed $50 billion more in deficit spending after his original $800 billion stimulus package failed.


CEI’s Counsel for Special Projects Hans Bader argues that this will simply subsidize waste.


“The $50 billion Obama proposes is supposedly for infrastructure spending, but his administration defines “infrastructure” so broadly that the money could be used for all sorts of boondoggles that do not improve transportation.


Tax Reform


As mentioned yesterday, Barack Obama has proposed a tax write-off for businesses.


Director of CEI’s Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau argues that President Obama’s new economic recovery plan deserves one qualified cheer.


“His call for 100 percent first-year expensing for plants and equipment and making permanent the research and development tax credits, with some important tweaks, would positively affect incentives for growth.