CEI Today: Transportation bill, speculator bailouts, and corporate welfare


The Senate failed on Tuesday to clear reauthorization of the massive federal highway bill.  The government's Highway Trust Fund is set to expire March 31.  CEI's Marc Scribner explains the bill's big government pitfalls and follies:

It is clear that our existing transportation infrastructure is in trouble. Much of the Interstate Highway System is nearing the end of its intended life cycle and will need to be completely reconstructed from the roadbed up. Revenue from highway users has plateaued while construction costs have greatly increased. Road congestion now costs the U.S. economy over $100 billion annually. What should be done?

Solving these problems should start with winding down the federal government's funding role in surface transportation. > Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/24/4287733/a-highway-bill-everyone-can-hate.html

> Interview Marc Scribner



Bloomberg News reports that boom-era property speculators will get foreclosure aid.  CEI's Hans Bader explains why this is a bad idea:

The participation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will drive up the cost to taxpayers of bailing out these government-sponsored mortgage giants, which have cost more than $170 billion to bail out, and have not repaid one penny of their bailout, unlike the private banks, which repaid their bailouts.
> Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

> Interview Hans Bader



Openmarket.org: Corporate Welfare for Farmers

In a recent blog post, I describe the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Beef Promotion and Research “checkoff” program as corporate welfare. The agency’s Public Affairs Director disagrees. In an email, he asked me to issue a correction. I would, but the facts won’t allow it. Still, some clarification would be helpful.

He claims that “Zero appropriations are used” in AMS’s research and promotion activities. Note the use of the word “appropriations” instead of “taxes.” This is a sneaky use of language. It doesn’t matter if Congress appropriates AMS money or not. The relevant question is whether AMS uses tax dollars to advertise for private businesses. It does. > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

>Interview Ryan Young




Saturday, March 31

HAH is an annual event to recognize and celebrate human achievement and innovation. During the hour, participants are asked to listen to music, surf the internet, have a glass of beer, and generally enjoy the fruits of the human mind which would not have been possible in a world where conservation restrains advancement.

HAH can be
celebrated anywhere from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. In addition, CEI will be hosting a celebration at our headquarters in Washington, DC and live streaming our event online.

Join the HAH Facebook group.



Ten Thousand Commandments

By Wayne Crews

Welcome to The Other National Debt -- The Cost of Regulation

-> Read Today's Decrees


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.