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Kim for Medium: “The Next Step in Criminal Justice Reform”

For many Americans, one traffic ticket could be all it takes to derail their financial security — and perhaps even their livelihood. Loathe to raise taxes, many states and cities are increasingly relying on fines and fees — whether for traffic offenses, court costs or misdemeanors such as littering — to fill their coffers. The amounts demanded are often exorbitant, and…

Marshall for Medium: “Trump’s Biggest Broken Promise”

Unlike such polarizing issues as health care, immigration and climate change, repairing and updating our economic infrastructure is something both parties say they are for. Yet somehow our political leaders can’t get the job done. President Trump often complains about the shabby state of America’s airports, highways and railways. “The only one to fix the…

Long for Medium: “Under Legislation, Policymakers Would Micromanage Freight Rail Employment”

Republicans despise federal micromanagement, but that hasn’t kept Rep. Don Young of Alaska from hopping aboard the Washington-Knows-Best Express. He recently introduced a bill mandating that freight trains have a minimum of two crew members on board trains at all times. While Young justifies his bill on safety grounds, the bill also appears to reflect…

Ben Ritz Discusses New PPI Report on Two Radio Interviews

Director of PPI's Center for Funding America's Future, Ben Ritz, participated in two radio interviews this week to discuss his new report, Defunding America's Future: The Squeeze on Public Investment in the United States. The report explains how short-sighted fiscal policy is undermining critical investments in education, infrastructure and scientific research that are integral to the long-term…

Misguided Crew Size Legislation Risks Slowing Needed Freight Rail Growth

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) has previously opposed arbitrary, redundant, and costly regulations, and proposed the Regulatory Improvement Commission to eliminate them. Regulation plays a vital role in refereeing market competition, protecting public health and safety, and keeping powerful economic actors honest. But regulations must be more nimble and adaptable to catalyze growth in a…

Even After Budget Deal, Discretionary Spending Remains Low

Although February’s bipartisan budget deal significantly increased discretionary spending, the portion of the federal budget appropriated annually by Congress remains near record-low levels. Both defense and non-defense (domestic) discretionary spending are falling relative to the size of the economy – a trend that has serious long-term implications for our nation’s ability to make critical public…

Senate Democrats’ Deficit-Neutral Infrastructure Plan Clarifies the Cost of Tax Cuts

Senate Democrats yesterday unveiled an ambitious $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would invest in everything from roads and railways to hospitals and high-speed broadband. And in sharp contrast to recent proposals by the Trump administration, this new Democratic proposal includes a plan to fully pay for itself. The proposal calls for repealing three elements of…

#TBT: How Public-Private Partnerships Can Get America Moving Again

This week, President Trump unveiled proposed specifics for the infrastructure plan he discussed in his State of the Union address last month. As part of Trump’s proposal, the federal government would dedicate just $200 billion (by cutting existing infrastructure funding without adding new sources) to infrastructure initiatives, relying instead on local and private investments to…

Happy Holidays from PPI

It’s been a surreal political year, but PPI has much to celebrate this holiday season. Throughout 2017, we expanded our productive capacity and the scope of our political and media outreach significantly. For example, PPI organized 150 meetings with prominent elected officials; visited 10 state capitals and 10 foreign capitals, published an influential book and…

Fulfillment Centers: The Nodes of a Packet-Switched Physical Distribution Network?

Warning! Wonky post ahead. At PPI, we are focused on understanding where the new jobs of the future are coming from, and how policymakers can help foster their growth. That sometimes requires identifying underlying trends that may not be obvious. The growth of multiple networks of ecommerce fulfillment centers--built by retailers such as Amazon, Walmart,…