November 2021 Posts

Nov
9
2021

5 questions with David Wessel: Opportunity Zones, a Rich Man’s Game

Opportunity Zones provide federal capital gains tax breaks, supposedly to encourage wealthy investors and corporations to invest their pre-tax gains in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods, help grow local economies and ultimately, improve the long-term prospects for zone residents. But as David Wessel shows in his book, Only the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age, that hasn’t been the case. Despite limited data (the enabling legislation for OZs has next to no guardrails or meaningful reporting requirements), Wessel gives numerous examples of how the winners of the OZs have often been affluent communities and already-in-the-works projects.

Nov
8
2021

Some States Prove: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Money Can Be Spent Well

Since stimulus funds started going out, Good Jobs First and other open government advocates have been pushing for greater transparency and accountability for how trillions in CARES Act and ARPA funds are being spent. Some states, we’ve noted, have made questionable if not outright poor choices.