With the Summit over and the election decided, Bruce Katz and Brookings Metro are taking on the transition and the next phase of governing. In the face of the jobs deficit, opportunity gap and looming fiscal cliff, they are launching a post-election policy framing and brief series, Remaking Federalism | Renewing the Economy.
The series starts with the framing paper —Doing Less, Better: Resetting Federal Policy to Recharge the Economy, Stabilize the Budget, and Unleash State and Metropolitan Innovation. This essay touches on issues and themes central to the Summit and makes the case for federal actions to support the nation’s states and metropolitan areas as they move toward a new, more innovative, production-oriented economic model. Authored by Katz and Mark Muro, the framing paper sets out the central contention of the series—namely that remaking federalism to renew the economy requires that Washington do less, better on three fronts:
• Cut to invest, meaning that the federal government should—while moving to reduce the national debt—channel some of the savings from cuts of unnecessary or counter-productive programs into strategic investments in the fundamentals of growth;
• Invest but reform, meaning that the federal government should reform its activities to make them not only more efficient and effective but more catalytic and encouraging of local and state problem-solving; and
• Strengthen federalism, meaning that the federal government should maximize the power of its dynamic partnership with the nation’s localities and states.
To accompany the framing paper and illustrate these three key themes, The Brookings Institution also issued six policy briefs on November 13th:
• “Establish a Cut-to-Invest Commission to Cut Low-Priority Spending, Consolidate Duplicative Programs, and Increase High-Priority Investments” by Paul Weinstein
• “Exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs) from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) by Robert Puentes and Joseph Kane
• “Institute a Modest Carbon Tax to Reduce Taxes, Cut the Deficit, and Finance Clean Energy Deployment” by Mark Muro
•“Open up Master Limited Partnerships and Real Estate Investment Trusts to Renewable Energy Investment” by Dan Reicher and Felix Mormann
•“Establish a National PPP Unit to Support Bottom-up Infrastructure Investment” by Robert Puentes
•“Enact Legislation Supporting Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy” by Devashree Saha
For more information visit http://www.brookings.
edu/research/papers/2012/11/ 13-federalism-budget-economy .