Norquist Quickly Reverses Course on Viability of Carbon Taxes

By: Tuesday November 13, 2012 1:30 pm

My original working assumption on the subject of a carbon tax, basically a levy on fossil fuel usage, working its way into the fiscal cliff negotiations was that I appreciated the thought, but doubted the reality. It’s not that a carbon tax wouldn’t raise revenue and also contribute in a smart way to reducing greenhouse [...]

Congress Passes Student Loan/Transportation Package

By: Friday June 29, 2012 12:58 pm

Congress has quickly passed a series of bills, consolidated into one package, that freezes federal student loan interest rates at 3.4% for one year, and extends surface transportation funding for two years. The package also reauthorizes the federal flood insurance program for five years. Congress was clearly eager to get out of town for the [...]

Congressional Leadership Makes Last-Ditch Effort on Surface Transportation Bill

By: Wednesday June 20, 2012 11:35 am

Congressional leadership is getting antsy over the possibility of no highway bill for the year, and another in a series of extensions, which will likely depress construction spending and harm local vulnerable members back in their home district. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner asked both sides to iron out their [...]

House Still Deadlocked on Transportation Bill With Deadline Nearing

By: Wednesday March 28, 2012 7:35 am

We are four days away from the expiration of the surface transportation bill, and Congress looks no closer to actually getting an extension done. The House adamantly won’t pass the bipartisan Senate bill, but they also can’t seem to pass their own short-term extension: House Republicans on Tuesday failed for the second time in as [...]

Norquist Gives Blessing to Extending the Gas Tax

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 7:30 am

Looks like we may dodge a bullet on the potential hostage situation over the extension of the gas tax. Grover Norquist, chief anti-tax shit disturber, says he won’t oppose the extension of the gas tax. This doesn’t mean the horde of Tea Party Republicans in the House won’t. But Norquist supported the final debt limit [...]

Gas Tax Hostage Situation Would Create a Windfall for Oil Companies

By: Tuesday August 16, 2011 10:50 am

The New York Times editorializes on the federal gas tax today, which is a bit depressing. The tax is much smaller than in other countries around the world, and yet when it expires September 30, what is normally a routine extension could turn into another hostage situation from the Tea Party crowd. Unless Congress extends [...]

The Next Hostage Crises: 2012 Appropriations, Federal Gas Tax

By: Tuesday August 2, 2011 8:50 am

John Boehner says that he got 98% of what he wanted out of the debt limit fight. The only thing I can conceivably think of that he didn’t get was an additional hostage-taking situation over the debt limit. But those are in great supply in Washington. First, Boehner and the GOP can use the impending [...]

Voinovich Will Support Small Business Bill

By: Thursday September 9, 2010 1:42 pm

I knew that Jack Reed and Jeff Merkley had to be confident about the small business lending bill for a reason. George Voinovich (R-OH) has announced his support for the bill. Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he plans to help push a package of small-business incentives through the Senate next week, a move that [...]

Voinovich to the Left of Green Groups

By: Monday August 9, 2010 9:20 am

Environmentalists have given up on a comprehensive bill to deal with a warming planet and are focusing on protecting the EPA’s carbon regulation scheme. The green groups are also moving staff into promoting regional carbon trading markets, and basically climbing down from the bigger goals. Realistically, that’s probably the right move; what the market will [...]

An Increase in the Gas Tax? Pushed By Oil Companies?

By: Wednesday April 14, 2010 8:20 am

A strange twist in the climate debate: Leading voices in the Senate are considering a new tax on gasoline as part of an effort to win Republican and oil industry support for the energy and climate bill now idling in Congress. The tax, which according to early estimates would be in the range of 15 [...]

No Shortage Of Progressive Policies To Create Jobs AND Lower Deficit

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 4:00 am

In a couple days, the President will convene a jobs summit, amidst pervasive calls to deal with the budget deficit during a recession. Sadly, both the issue of jobs and the deficit are being dealt with in Congress through conservative frames, with policies like across-the-board, untargeted tax cuts for job creation, or “entitlement reform” commissions [...]

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