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Stimulus to Nowhere, Banning Cell Phone Cameras and More Money for Ethanol

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Stimulus to Nowhere, Banning Cell Phone Cameras and More Money for Ethanol

Republicans on Capitol Hill attack the $825 billion economic stimulus bill championed by President Obama.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduces legislation to ban silent cell phone cameras.

Incoming Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calls for more taxpayer support for the ethanol industry.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast. 

1. CONGRESS 

Republicans on Capitol Hill attack the $825 billion economic stimulus bill championed by President Obama.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Jonathan Tolman on some of the counterproductive provisions of the proposed bill: 

“In addition to tens of billions of dollars in the House stimulus bill for infrastructure and other projects to create jobs, there are also funding items that appear to do the exact opposite.  For example, the House stimulus bill contains $175 million dollars for Natural Resource Conservation Service to purchase conservation easements in floodplains.  Funding for the program would effectively be spending tax dollars to pay farmers to stop farming.  Not only would such conservation easements not be creating any jobs, they actually would likely be doing the opposite by taking farmland out of production.” 

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduces legislation to ban silent cell phone cameras.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Information Policy Analyst Ryan Radia on why a silent camera might be a boon for personal safety

“There’s a case to be made that in some situations, it would actually be a good thing for people to have cell phones equipped with silent cameras. What about somebody who’s being assaulted, or mugged, or raped and wants to photograph their attacker, but fears retaliation? Or someone who’s just witnessed a crime, unbeknownst to the perpetrator, and is trying to get a snapshot of the fleeing suspect? Or a whistleblower who wants to collect evidence of illicit activity by snapping covert photos?” 

 

3. FOOD

Incoming Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calls for more taxpayer support for the ethanol industry.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on the unintended consequences of propping up ethanol prices

“…the stark fact is that every bit of public money that goes into supporting the ethanol industry artificially raises the price of corn, which in turn artificially raises the price of food around the world, which in turn artificially raises the level of hunger in the world. This isn’t stimulus, it is close to murder.” 

 

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