ACPP op-eds

State's stimulus transit funding is headed in wrong direction

Imagine vast piles of federal stimulus money, crisp and freshly allocated, designed to promote a bright American future, to save the floundering economy, and to build a bridge forward for generations to come. Now imagine all of that money being spent on typewriters and telegraph wire.

This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson argues that federal stimulus money for transportation sidetracks public transit.

Fight misinformation on health care reform

Here's what health care reform will mean for millions of Americans:

No more toughing it out with an abscessed tooth while you save up for the prescription co-pay. No more hobbling from June to January on an arthritic knee because your annual insurance benefits are exhausted.

This Montgomery Advertiser op-ed by ACPP health policy analyst Anna Blair outlines sound principles of health care reform.

Beware of easy money

The economy doesn't have to be in trouble for the prospect of easy money to be appealing. The long, sordid history of scams and cons is littered with promises of fast cash. It's tempting bait, but countless victims -- some greedy, some merely needy -- have seen what lurks behind the trap. The ailing economy only makes the temptations -- and the consequences -- worse.

This Tuscaloosa News op-ed by Alabama Appleseed legal director Shay Farley and ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson examines the pitfalls of refund anticipation loans (RALs).

In hard times, are payday loans a necessary evil?

By Ron Gilbert

Over the last six days, this paper has explored the impact of payday loans on working Alabamians. You've learned that Alabama law allows payday lenders to charge fees equivalent to an annual percentage rate of 456 percent for small short-term loans. You've learned how Alabama consumers, struggling with rising prices and flat earnings, turn to these legal loan sharks and find themselves trapped in debt for months or years. In hard times like these, are payday loans just a necessary evil?

This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP senior policy analyst Ron Gilbert examines recent developments in consumer protection aimed at payday lending, along with so-called "reforms" that would only further protect the industry from meaningful regulation.

Modernize Alabama's taxes

In the last two weeks, Alabama legislators have spent a lot of time arguing for and against state Rep. John Knight's plan to lower grocery taxes and cap a lopsided deduction.

This might be a good time to step back and consider how Alabama's tax system became so flawed and outdated that it ranks worst for taxing workers at the poverty line and ties for worst on taxing groceries.

This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister reviews the neglect that has thrown Alabama's tax system out of whack and shows how House Bill 116 can restore balance.

Proposed deregulation of telephone services a harmful move

“Number, please?”

That’s what I heard as a child when I picked up the telephone receiver in my small Mississippi town. There was no dial tone, no indicator that messages were waiting, no list of missed calls. Just a quiet, calm voice, always female, at the other end of the line. And to complete the call, all you needed was a three-digit phone number. If that was not available, usually the operator could put you through to your party with just a name.

This Montgomery Advertiser op-ed by ACPP senior policy analyst Ron Gilbert makes the case that the proposed end of telephone regulation will harm low-income and rural Alabamians.

State shouldn't reject federal stimulus money

Alabama is turning away a gift. While some are hailing the federal stimulus package as “pennies from heaven,” Gov. Bob Riley appears to regard at least part of it as a Trojan horse.


Riley has said he will refuse $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 because it has strings attached – The funding would require changes in Alabama’s unemployment laws. The Governor is right that strings exist, but he’s wrong about where they would lead us.

 

This Tuscaloosa News op-ed by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson calls on Gov. Bob Riley to accept the unemployment insurance stimulus funds.

A call for guiding principles on stimulus spending

Alabama will receive $3.1 billion in the next two years through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to Legislative Fiscal Office estimates. This money is desperately needed to spur economic recovery and get our residents back to work.

This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP senior policy analyst Ron Gilbert calls for guiding principles on stimulus spending.

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