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Questionable Stimulus, EPA on CO2 and Underfunded Union Pensions

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Questionable Stimulus, EPA on CO2 and Underfunded Union Pensions

Experts question the economic wisdom of government stimulus spending.

Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions point out the cost and complexity involved.

Major labor unions struggle with severely underfunded pension plans, in part because of ideologically-driven investment decisions.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.

1. BUSINESS

Experts question the economic wisdom of government stimulus spending.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Attorney Hans Bader on the effects of the stimulus:

“The administration claimed that Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package would deliver a short-run ‘jolt’ that would quickly lift the economy, but unemployment rose rapidly after its passage, and the package has actually destroyed thousands of jobs in America’s export sector. Countries that refused to adopt big stimulus packages have fared better than those that imitated Obama. And the biggest-spending countries have suffered worse in the recession.”

 

2. ENVIRONMENT

Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions point out the cost and complexity involved.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis on the source of this conflict:

“The looming threat of an economy-chilling administrative quagmire didn’t just happen. The absurdity of agencies spending 340 million hours and $15 billion to process hollow operating permits didn’t suddenly spring forth from the text of Title V. Nothing in the Clean Air Act has changed since it was amended in 1977 and 1990 to turn it into an economic wrecking ball. Congress is still debating cap-and-trade, and never signed off on EPA using the Clean Air Act to control CO2 emissions from stationary sources. No, the absurd results are entirely a product of Massachusetts v. EPA.”

 

3. LABOR

Major labor unions struggle with severely underfunded pension plans, in part because of ideologically-driven investment decisions.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst F. Vincent Vernuccio on how to safeguard the pensions of union workers:

“The Employee Retirement Income Security Act imposes a clear fiduciary duty on pension plan managers to invest only for the purpose of providing benefits and defraying risk. The rules for proxy voting are the same. Plan managers should not advocate or participate in proxy campaigns for social or political ends. Their only job is to ensure enough benefits for retirees and minimize risk through diversification. Department of Labor [guidelines] help safeguard pensioners’ savings against objectives unrelated to their retirement security. The Obama administration should not give into the demands of those who would like use the retirement savings they control—but do not own—for political purposes.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.