Hillary Clinton says that “we are dramatically underinvesting” in infrastructure and she promises a large increase in federal spending. Donald Trump is promising to spend twice as much as Clinton. Prominent wonks such as Larry Summers are promoting higher spending as well. But more federal spending is the wrong way to go.
An important issue on the plate of the incoming president will be the next farm bill. Current farm programs run through September 2018, and farm bill supporters are already making plans to extend and expand them.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) runs an array of rural subsidy programs, which are aside from the farm subsidy programs that it also runs. USDA’s rural programs are grouped within three agencies: the Rural Housing Service (RHS), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS). The agencies will spend $6.5 billion in 2016.
These subsidies are the focus of a new essay at DownsizingGovernment.org.
George Will’s oped the other day argued that Congress should hurry up and fund an expansion in the Charleston, South Carolina, seaport. But his piece revealed why the federal government should reduce its intervention in the nation’s infrastructure, not increase it, as Clinton and Trump are proposing.
New data on worker pay in the government and private sector has been released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. There is good news: the pace of federal pay increases slowed during 2015, while the pace of private-sector pay increases picked up.
Export-Import Bank supporters are back at it again. According to a document from the Office of Management and Budget, the administration is reportedly asking lawmakers to include a provision restoring the agency’s full lending authority as part of the continuing resolution that needs to be passed in order to keep the government functioning after September 30th.
“There is now a consensus that the United States should substantially raise its level of infrastructure investment,” writes former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers in the Washington Post. Correction: There is now a consensus among two presidential candidates that the United States should increase infrastructure spending. That’s far from a broad consensus.
According to opinion polls, Americans think that the federal government is too large and powerful. And most people do not trust the federal government to handle problems.
With a big speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Donald Trump has tried to establish his bona fides as a “growth” candidate. There are many desirable features of his new plan, but some of the provisions should be junked, and others can’t be properly assessed given a lack of details.
Donald Trump is a competitive person. He likes to have bigger things than other people. He says that he has really big hands. His tax cut was larger than the other GOP candidates. And now he says that his infrastructure plan will be double the size of Hillary Clinton’s.
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