Proposals for Obama's Second Term

No sooner had the ink dried on the Times' "Obama's Night" headline, than planning advocates began offering suggestions for what the President should focus on in his second term. With an enduring split in Congress it's unclear what is achievable.
The White House. / The White House

At The Atlantic Cities, Emily Badger and Sommer Mathis have put together a list of eight urban policy ideas (some old and some new) for the President to pursue in order to jump start America's economy and strengthen its cities. Ideas include: reforming the home mortgage interest deduction and spending the savings on low-income housing; raising the gas tax; deploying social impact bonds; and funding measures to protect our largest coastal cities from rising sea levels. 

At the NRDC's Switchboard blog, Kaid Benfield proffers "a modest set of community principles" for Obama's second term. Rather than swing for the fences, Benfield discusses some principles the President could realistically follow, given the adversarial political climate. These include: continuing the cooperation among federal agencies that assist communities; helping cities, towns, and regions bring planning and coding up to date; evaluating federal infrastructure spending according to the triple bottom line; and taking a fresh look at MPOs.  


Full Story: 8 Urban Policy Ideas for Obama's 2nd Term



Irvin Dawid's picture

Atlantic Cities to Obama: 15-cent gas tax (#2 on list!)

Emily Badger and Sommer Mathis Raise recommend to newly reelected Pres. Obama:

"Raise the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon. This recommendation comes from the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles debt reduction commission. The gas tax, currently at 18.4 cents a gallon, feeds the Highway Trust Fund that pays for road infrastructure and mass transit across the country. The fund is on its way to insolvency, though (an ironic byproduct of the fact that we have more fuel-efficient cars and hybrids on the road today).

In the long term, most experts agree that we need to move away from the gas tax toward some kind of user fee to fund transportation infrastructure, but in the meantime, nearly doubling it is our best bet. This will be wildly unpopular (with politicians and drivers). We should do it anyway. A slightly smaller hike of 10 cents has been projected to cost U.S. households on average about $9 a month."

I don't see it happening :-(

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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