Increasingly, what passes for a national dialogue has devolved into a shouting match between the extreme wings of the major parties. According to an October 2018 study by the international nonprofit More in Common, only 14% of Americans are either hard-left or hard-right, yet those extremes dominate party politics.
Philip K. Howard is the rare lawyer who doesn’t shy from criticizing his profession, and particularly the lawyers who populate the government. He has long argued for a common-sense approach to law to reduce the legal strangehold on American society and shake loose the gridlock in Washington.
On September 6, 2018, Philip Howard testified before Congress on the need for infrastructure permitting reform. The hearing – titled “Permitting: Finding a Path Forward” – was held jointly by two subcommittees of the U.S.
Government at every level can only work if officials have responsibility to act sensibly and are held accountable for results.
- In his book, Tailspin, Steven Brill details our nation’s decline over the last half-century into a “land of crumbling roads, galloping income inequality, bitter polarization and dysfunctional government.
Washington is having a hard time getting its act together on infrastructure. The Trump Administration is strongly promoting the streamlining of permitting – a high priority for Common Good – but their funding plan ($200 billion to support $1.5 trillion) is not realistic, since states can’t fill the gap.
On Februrary 12th, the White House issues a “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America.”
In our view, the plan launches an essential public discussion of how to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure in a timely fashion.
(February 28, 2015) Is it possible in America to speak of nationhood and expect patriotic allegiance to what passes for a nation within the boundaries of the United States?
The new year offers several signs that Common Good’s message of simplifying government will resonate in 2018.
Later this month, the Administration is expected to issue an infrastructure plan, including details on its goal to streamline the federal permitting process to two years.
Echoing Common Good, the President announced in his State of the Union that any infrastructure agreement must “streamline the permitting and approval process – getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.”
This reference to our recommendations is the latest example of the growing influence of our work on the national stage.
Congress is considering an idea that Philip Howard advocated a year ago in an op-ed in The Daily Beast – moving federal agencies out of Washington, D.C.
In the November 8th, 2017 edition of the New York Times, the lead article in the National section highlighted Common Good’s role in efforts by the Trump Administration and others to streamline infrastructure permitting:
“The centerpiece of Mr.
Common Good and the Progressive Policy Institute hosted an event on November 16, 2017 aimed at rekindling a sense of urgency around modernizing America’s deteriorating infrastructure.
UPDATE: The Washington Post wrote about Common Good’s Scaffold Law report on Thursday. Read their article here.
ORIGINAL POST: Obsolete laws hamstring productivity and waste billions.