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Stimulus Upon Us, Lethal Wildfires Down Under and Satellite Radio Takes a Hit

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Stimulus Upon Us, Lethal Wildfires Down Under and Satellite Radio Takes a Hit

Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress reach a deal to spend $789 billion in taxpayer money on “economic stimulus.”

The death toll from wildfires in Australia is expected to exceed 200.

Shares of satellite radio provider Sirius XM fall on news that the company may file for bankruptcy protection

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. ECONOMY 

Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress reach a deal to spend $789 billion in taxpayer money on “economic stimulus.”

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on what all of this new federal spending will bring: 

“The Stimulus Package passed by [Congress] will encourage people to stop working and go on welfare, undermining the 1996 welfare reform law by rewarding states that expand their welfare rolls. The stimulus package will also reduce the size of the economy within a decade, as the burdens of servicing the vast amount of national debt produced by the stimulus package stifle economic growth. That’s the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office. Its honesty about the harmful side effects of the stimulus package is commendable, given that the CBO has every incentive to curry favor with its Congressional masters by hyping the benefits of the stimulus package and downplaying its costs.” 

 

2. ENVIRONMENT

The death toll from wildfires in Australia is expected to exceed 200.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on how short-sighted environmental policies made the disaster worse

“…misguided environmental policies often lead to humanitarian and environmental disaster. We’ve just seen another example in Australia, where fires have claimed many lives…It’s called bushfire season for a reason: the bush catches fire. If you want to reduce the effects, you cut back the bush. Policies that stop this are criminally dangerous. It’s a similar story here in the U.S. Every year wildfires cause more damage than they should because landowners are restricted from clearing land because of a variety of environmental policies.” 

 

3. TECHNOLOGY

Shares of satellite radio provider Sirius XM fall on news that the company may file for bankruptcy protection.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Technology Policy Analyst Cord Blomquist on one possible reason for Sirius XM’s financial troubles

“Some may say that Sirius XM was never a fit business to begin with—many of their new subscribers came from the bundling of  subscriptions into the sale of new automobiles—but it’s hard to say what might have been had federal regulators not delayed the merger for 18 months and then added insult to injury by subjecting them to seemingly arbitrary restrictions.” 

 

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