Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Politicians don’t come out and say this is what is fair and this is what isn’t, this is the priority and this isn’t. They are on everybody’s side! Of course when you add up the money paid and collected, or to be collected in the future, you find that some people and interests count more than others.

    Forget about what anybody has said in Washington. Look at actual dollars spent.

    What are the priorities, and who (and what) matters? As one hint, all the money is being borrowed, which means the priority today will be the priority forever because there will be no money for anything in 15 years, other than debt service and senior citizens. It would be one thing if the auto industry bailout and “cash for clunkers” were transitional measures, but believe me they will take on a life of their own, and the government will go broke preventing that transition.

    There are very few decisions I want made in Washington or, for that matter, Albany. Regardless of which party is in. That’s why if health care reform soaks up federal dollars that would otherwise be spent elsewhere, it’s a good thing.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “We are working tonight to assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored.”

    It would be more popular if combined with free gasoline, or a guaranteed $1 per gallon price.

    But what about urban areas and insurance? Finally, what about all those who don’t qualify because they have a small car and want an SUV?

  • Bloomberg Agrees to Have City Vehicles Pay to Use MTA Crossings

    It’s just shuffling money around from agency to agency. What’s the point? The taxpayer still pays the bill.

  • Most of us probably agree that Obama should move his consumer subsidy programs from clunkers to transit. Beyond transportation, there are other domestic industries that would benefit from a cash infusion. Why not furniture builders? There are lots of American manufacturers dying on the vine and not all of them make cars.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “There are lots of American manufacturers dying on the vine and not all of them make cars.”

    I believe Obama’s campaign commercials featured solar panels and energy efficiency. And I’ll benefit from a tax break for the panels.

    But it’s a break, which means the more you earn, the greater the subsidy. That’s different from cash for panels.

    I once heard an argument for subsidies for Group A with that essentially said “everyone is subsidized.” Perhaps that’s the problem, especially if some are subsidized more and no one objects because no one pays — future generations do.