BECAUSE it is always a good time to relitigate America's fiscal stimulus, the blogosphere has spent the past week or so relitigating America's fiscal stimulus. Rather than plunge headlong into the fray, I'll attempt to distill some fiscal policy truths that should be reasonably acceptable to most participants.
Yesterday, two NTIA Recovery Act broadband grantees were among 11 local leaders from across the country honored at the White House as “Champions of Change.” Joe Freddoso, President and CEO of MCNC, and Donald Welch, President and CEO of Merit Network Inc, were recognized for using innovative techniques to develop valuable projects helping to improve America’s infrastructure. Merit Network and MCNC both received Recovery Act grants from NTIA for broadband infrastructure projects that are currently underway and connecting community anchor institutions in Michigan and North Carolina, including schools, libraries, and hospitals, to high-speed Internet. Under the leadership of Welch and Freddoso, Merit and MCNC have put hundreds of people to work and are laying the groundwork for sustainable economic growth and improved education, healthcare, and public safety.
If you haven’t picked up on one of the dozens of recommendations from other blogs, I recommend reading Phillip Swagel’s long and detailed account of the view of the financial crisis from his seat as assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department. It’s particularly useful for people like me who make a habit of criticizing government officials.
OTTAWA — The Harper government is renewing its multi-billion dollar public infrastructure programs with a 10-year plan that targets key demands from Canadian cities, and offers billions of dollars in new spending to help provinces and communities meet basic needs for water, transportation and other infrastructure.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty described the new $53.5-billion plan as the “largest long-term federal commitment to Canadian infrastructure in our nation’s history.” It extends a seven-year plan — slated to expire next year — that was introduced in 2007.
I WAS going through some old open tabs in my browser this morning, and I came across this post by Brad DeLong, in which he walks through work on America's labour market that seems to be informing a forthcoming Brookings paper with Larry Summers. He takes us through an interesting exercise.
At an event in Washington, D.C.
today, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling described the progress of broadband
stimulus projects, noting that Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)
grantees have thus far installed more than 4,000 computers for public use and
provided computer training to more than 65,000 people.
“These Recovery Act projects are
already providing an essential link to economic and educational opportunities
for thousands of Americans,” said Strickling.
Gary Burtless has an interesting paper reviewing the social safety net measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If you read the paper you’ll see that even though these elements of ARRA have gotten less discussion than the state aid and infrastructure elements, boosts in safety net spending are actually the largest segment of ARRA spending.