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Recent Policy Studies
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Bradley C. S. Watson, The Heritage FoundationFirst Principles, 02/24/2009
Progressivism in its jurisprudential guise is rooted not in constitutional text, tradition, logic, or structure, but in the judge’s view of which necessities are most deeply felt and most likely to encourage social and personal growth. The practical result is that art trumps economics, expression trumps the common good, subjectivity trumps morality, freedom trumps natural law, and will trumps deliberation.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Nile Gardiner, Steven Groves, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/24/2009
The U.N.’s decision to pay Benon Sevan’s legal fees should be condemned by both the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Marc A. Levin, Texas Public Policy FoundationPolicy Perspective, 02/24/2009
Substance abuse among youths is a widespread problem in Texas. While better data on outcomes is needed, there is considerable evidence that community-based treatment options are more effective and less expensive than commitment to Texas Youth Commission. Funding approaches that provide more flexibility and take into account outcomes would incentivize increased utilization of community-based options for juvenile drug offenders, benefiting youths and taxpayers alike.
Budget & TaxationBy Mark Robyn, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 02/24/2009
On Tuesday, February 17, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA 2009), also know as the stimulus bill. It includes several provisions that change the individual income tax. Tables 1, 2 and 3 below show the tax savings for typical American families with various income levels and in different stages of life. Table 4 provides a brief description of the tax provisions included in the stimulus bill.
Economic GrowthBy Anthony Randazzo, Michael Flynn, Adam B. Summers, Reason Foundation02/24/2009
Is the United States about to follow Japan into a decade of economic stagnation? After Japan’s asset bubble burst in the early 1990s, its economy took a sharp downturn, prompting government officials to extend massive loans to banks and businesses while investing in infrastructure—much like the activity and proposals floating around the U.S. today. The results led to a decade of economic malaise and recession. The causes of Japan’s bubble were also very similar to those of the American housing bubble and ensuing recession. Given the parallels, it is important to look at what the United States can learn from the Japanese experience to avoid similar economic struggle.
Budget & Taxation
California Spending by the Numbers: A Historic Look at State Spending from Gov. Pete Wilson to Gov. Arnold SchwarzeneggerBy Adam B. Summers, Reason FoundationPolicy Brief, 02/24/2009
California is mired in perhaps its worst fiscal crisis ever and two questions are on the minds of policymakers and taxpayers: (1) “How did we get here?” and (2) “How do we solve the problem?” The scope of this paper is primarily focused on the first question and will examine data covering the stewardship of the past three governors: Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Health CareBy Adam Frey, John R. Graham, Pacific Research InstituteHealth Policy Prescriptions, 02/24/2009
Things are changing fast in American health care. Last month, we examined Tom Daschle’s health care vision, in anticipation of his enthusiastic reception as President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mr. Daschle is now gone, and as yet nobody is at the controls, but that has not stopped the president from pouring billions of dollars into the machinery of government run health care. Within three weeks of his inauguration, President Obama has seized control of Americans’ health care choices in many areas.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy H. Sterling Burnett, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 02/24/2009
Congress should consider carefully the high costs of carbon offset schemes, and the problems of measuring and verifying reductions of greenhouse gas emissions under such systems, before including similar programs in domestic greenhouse-gas legislation.
EducationBy Paul E. Peterson, Matthew M. Chingos, Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
In Philadelphia, for-profits outperform district-managed schools in math but not in reading; nonprofits probably fall short of district schools in reading and math; for-profits outperform nonprofits in both subjects.
EducationBy Beth Hawkins, Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
There are nearly 80 teacher-governed charter schools around the country. Although most are legally constituted as worker cooperatives, they better resemble the partnerships long enjoyed by doctors, lawyers, and other professionals used to viewing their practice as a collective good. The hyperdemocratic programs are no more a panacea for what ails American education than any other single type of school. Test scores run the gamut from abysmal to odds-defying, and at least two schools closed before graduating a single cohort. Co-op schools can be challenging to work in and, because each arrives at a leadership structure via an often-painful organic process, tough to replicate, say policymakers and teachers who have taught in them. Still, a review of the model can add to the current conversation about improving the quality of teaching.
EducationBy Josh Dunn, Martha Derthick , Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
When a lawsuit charges a school with violating the Constitution by using timeouts to control a violent child, judicialization of education has arguably reached a new extreme. Yet federal appellate judges resisted intervention, and instead showed that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), when followed to the letter, may protect school officials from liability.
EducationBy Robert Costrell, Michael Podgursky , Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
When measured as a percent of earnings, employer contributions to retirement benefits are substantially higher for public school teachers than for private-sector professionals and the difference has doubled since March 2004.
EducationBy Katherine Newman, Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
Boston Teacher Residency is one of a new breed of teacher training initiatives that resemble neither traditional nor most alternative certification programs. By rethinking the relationship between training and hiring, these programs have found promising new ways to prepare educators.
EducationBy Charles D. Chieppo, James T. Gass, Hoover InstitutionEducation Next, 02/24/2009
Special interest groups opposed to charter schools and high-stakes testing have hijacked the state’s once-independent board of education and stand poised to water down the MCAS tests and the accountability system they support.
Information TechnologyBy Michelle Minton, Competitive Enterprise InstituteOn Point, 02/24/2009
As the popularity of online gambling has grown, so too has the urge among some politicians and regulators who see it as a problem to “do something” about it. Fears about online gambling range from underage and problem gamblers accessing gaming sites to money laundering and threats to financial privacy.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Mark Nugent, America's Future FoundationDoublethink, 02/23/2009
Austrian economics, despite its focus on the free market as the only way to a stable and prosperous economy, enjoys scant popularity among establishment Republicans and movement conservatives. Part of the reason for this, perhaps, is its association with some antiwar “paleocons” and the insurgent presidential candidacy of Ron Paul. Moreover, spending, inflation and bailouts will always tempt those with access to the levers of power, regardless of party. But conservatives would be wise to resist the impulse towards intellectual tribalism and relearn the lessons of the Austrian school. With the tenets of true free-market economics, the causes of the economic crisis are brought into focus, as is the path to recovery.
Budget & TaxationBy Allegheny Institute Staff, Allegheny Institute for Public PolicyPolicy Brief, 02/23/2009
Despite the stumbling economy and rising concerns over government budget shortfalls, political leaders are still planning to throw substantial sums of taxpayer money at projects that should be built with private financing. Two examples locally illustrate how public money is being used to develop bigger and glitzier projects than would have been developed with private funds – if they could be justified at all.
Economic GrowthBy Derek Scissors, J. D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2009
A weak Japanese economy is again making Americans nervous. The U.S. risks its own prolonged period of weakness if it fails to correct the policies that have contributed to excessive trade deficits and reliance on foreign saving.
Economic GrowthBy Nicolas Loris, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2009
It is no surprise that GM and Chrysler are already asking for more money, and it certainly won’t be surprising if they come knocking back for more. But these bailouts provide no incentive to truly formulate a plan for long-term sustainability.
National SecurityBy Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2009
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano should ensure that her policy priorities recognize the important role international cooperation plays in U.S. security efforts, and she should formalize the ability of DHS to promote international cooperation.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Joseph Postell, Nathaniel Ward, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2009
Congress’s latest attempt to grant representation to the District of Columbia by legislative fiat is not only unconstitutional but potentially contrary to the District’s interests.
Health CareBy Linda Gorman, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 02/23/2009
To our knowledge, the Oregon Health Plan is the first government health care program anywhere in the world that has drawn up a formal procedure for rationing. After comment from interested parties, this state health program for low-income people ranks treatment for various diseases and conditions, currently from 1 to 680, in order of priority. The health care dollars available determine which priorities are met. As program costs have grown, the list of covered procedures has become shorter.
Economic GrowthBy Emily Chamlee-Wright, Virgil Storr, Mercatus CenterPolicy Comment, 02/23/2009
In the aftermath of a major disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, the presence of civil-society within communities is temporarily disable and dispersed. How this “civil-society vacuum” is filled in the post-disaster moment is critical to the prospects for long-term recovery. Following Hurricane Katrina, government policy threw into doubt the future viability of many communities, particularly in New Orleans. Some communities responded to these threats by swiftly reoccupying the civil-society vacuum with private stakeholders, effectively resisting the threats emanating from the public sphere. Other communities had a much more difficult time responding in this way.
Economic GrowthBy Howard Husock, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 02/23/2009
A relative consensus has formed about how best to address the new slums’ problems, and surprisingly, it appreciates what the UN calls the “positive” elements of slum life, shaped by a population characterized not as oppressed and helpless but as resourceful and creative. Journalist Robert Neuwirth, for instance, extols slums as places where “squatters mix more concrete than any developer. They lay more brick than any government. They have created a huge hidden economy. . . . [They] are the largest builders of housing in the world—and they are creating the cities of tomorrow.” In keeping with this encouraging trend, the UN even describes the Third World’s informal settlements as “slums of hope.”
National SecurityBy Loren B. Thompson, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 02/23/2009
The Obama Administration has begun “rebalancing” the nation’s defense posture to focus on emerging threats and free up money for domestic initiatives. As was the case under Carter and Clinton, the budget axe looks likely to fall first on weapons programs. Fortunately, there are any number of programs begun during the Bush years that the joint force can do without, such as Space Radar and the DDG-1000 destroyer. Other programs really are needed, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that will meet the mission requirements of three U.S. services and nine overseas allies. But even on Joint Strike Fighter, there are opportunities to save money. A case in point is the second, or “alternate,” engine for the future fighter.
Regulation & DeregulationBy David E. Harrington, Jaret Treber, Institute for JusticeStudies, 02/23/2009
Americans used to be free to practice interior design work and succeed or fail based solely on their skills. But, to the detriment of consumers and would-be entrepreneurs, that is changing. The American Society of Interior Designers, an industry trade group, would like state governments to define what it means to be an interior designer and then dictate who may perform that work. The group and its allies have successfully lobbied 22 states and the District of Columbia to impose stringent education and training requirements that create a single route to practicing interior design or to using titles associated with interior design work.
Retirement/Social SecurityBy Chuck Blahous, Hudson InstituteArticles, 02/23/2009
As today’s leaders endeavor to construct a reform process, they will need to ensure that it facilitates open discussion between competing and strongly-held policy perspectives. In past entitlement reform efforts, this has only succeeded when processes have been genuinely bipartisan, and when there has been a common understanding of the facts at hand.
Health CareBy John H. Cochrane, Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 02/23/2009
With health-status insurance, a completely private, less-regulated, and competitive insurance market can solve the central problem of health insurance in America: the lack of secure long-term portable protection from health risks. We need not choose between freedom and competition on one hand, and long-term health security on the other. Markets can deliver both.
LaborBy Thomas P. Gies, American Enterprise InstituteOn the Issues, 02/23/2009
Whether the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – known as “card check” – is introduced next week or next year, it remains the central political objective of organized labor. It was also championed as a domestic priority by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats during the 2008 campaign. The EFCA would undercut the idea of a secret ballot in unionization drives and guarantee mandatory arbitration of many initial collective bargaining agreements. Canada’s experience with card check illustrates how it could further hobble the U.S. economy.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Timothy Lynch, Cato InstituteBook, 02/20/2009
Leading judges and legal scholars explore the state of criminal law today and offer compelling examinations of key issues, including suicide terrorism, drug legalization, and the vast reach of federal criminal liability.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ali Alfoneh, American Enterprise InstituteMiddle Eastern Outlook, 02/20/2009
The Iranian political leadership has used clerical commissars and ideological indoctrination to maintain civilian control over the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). But examination of its indoctrination infrastructure and training material reveals that rather than keep out of politics, the IRGC has repudiated its own indoctrination and now encourages the officer corps to intervene politically. The IRGC’s political indoctrination effort now trains new cadres, loyal first and foremost to the IRGC, to direct the Islamic Republic.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Alex J. Pollock, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 02/20/2009
Two important things are entirely missing from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s “Financial Stability Plan” (FSP), formerly known as TARP. The first is any mention of encouraging the creation of new banks to increase the availability of credit; the second is any intention to reform the “fair-value accounting” fiasco.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Peter J. Wallison, American Enterprise InstituteOn the Issues, 02/20/2009
Government policies, especially the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the affordable housing mission that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were charged with fulfilling, are to blame for the financial crisis. Regulators also deserve blame for lowering lending standards that then contributed to riskier homeownership and the housing bubble.
Economic GrowthBy Philip I. Levy, Michael O. Moore, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 02/20/2009
In December, the Bush administration offered the first reprieve of $17.4 billion to GM and Chrysler. A poet’s sense of irony and tragedy will prove useful as the Obama administration considers this week’s inevitable request for additional subsidies (sorry, “loans”) with the auto companies’ return to Washington.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Roger F. Noriega, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 02/20/2009
How does a democratically elected leader become a dictator? First he gets elected, then he behaves like a dictator. This past Sunday, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez “won” approval of a constitutional reform that will allow him to seek reelection indefinitely; he promptly declared himself a candidate for the 2012 elections and joked about serving until he is 95 years old. Not every Venezuelan is laughing.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Henry N. Butler, Larry E. Ribstein, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 02/20/2009
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) imposed major changes on all publicly traded corporations without any consideration of shareholder democracy or the possibility that SOX may not be appropriate for all firms. SOX imposes disproportionately large compliance costs on smaller firms without providing a concomitant benefit to investor confidence in the overall stock market. Given the widespread belief that smaller businesses are going to provide the jobs that pull us out of the current financial crisis, now is the time to give shareholders the option of owning shares in companies that decide (either prior to an IPO or by shareholder vote) to not comply with SOX.
Health CareBy Peter J. Pitts, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 02/20/2009
Today, health technology assessment is a short-term, short-sighted, politically-driven policy that results in one-size-fits-all medicine. While it may provide transitory savings in the short-term, current strategies result in a lower quality of care that result in higher health care costs over time.
Economic GrowthBy Lawrence A. Kogan, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 02/20/2009
In France and other nations with civil law-based legal systems, notaries have enormous influence over personal and business conduct due to their power to place the government’s stamp of “authentication” on documents. France is working to implement this concept of “authentic acts” throughout the European Union, much to the dismay of common law nations such as the United States and England, as well as private attorneys. An authentic acts system undermines due process rights in business transactions and codifies the notion of precautionary regulation into European law.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Anthony T. Caso, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Opinion Letter, 02/20/2009
Hyping scare studies, or attempting to influence the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission through litigation will not promote consumer safety or good science. The Commission ought to be free to convene its scientific panel and conduct its study free from intimidation and special interest influence. The result may not make a thrilling story line for television, but it will secure our safety and economic well-being.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy David Rivkin, Lee Casey, Charles Stimson, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/20/2009
President Barack Obama ordered the secretary of defense to conduct an immediate 30-day review of the conditions of detention in Guantanamo to “ensure full compliance” with CA3. What exactly such compliance requires is open to debate.
The Constitution/Civil Liberties
Voting Representation for the District of Columbia: Violating the Framers’ Vision and Constitutional CommandsBy Nathaniel Ward, Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 02/20/2009
Lawmakers must reject any legislative proposal granting the residents of the District of Columbia a separate, voting representative in Congress. Providing such a representative would run afoul of a commonsense understanding of the Constitution, the intentions of the Founders, and more than two centuries of interpretation by legislators and the courts.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ray Walser, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/20/2009
Venezuela recently surpassed Mexico as the third-largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S.-after Canada and Saudi Arabia. Hugo Chávez has already demonstrated his willingness to use oil as a tool against America. Therefore, absent a firm commitment for constructive and verifiable cooperation by Chávez, the White House should not renew ambassadorial relations.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Ben Lieberman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/20/2009
The Obama Administration has taken steps to slow down the process of leasing offshore areas to energy companies, and some fear that expanded offshore drilling will be put off indefinitely.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy David F. Forte, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/20/2009
The Constitution made judges independent precisely to give them the power to limit the executive and legislature. The very independence of the courts was to protect liberty. Judges cannot fulfill their role without a sense of public virtue by which they limit their own will in favor of reasoned judgment.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Stephen Yates, Walter Lohman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/19/2009
The new Administration should clearly communicate the kind of relationship it seeks from China, what it expects in return, and what it is prepared to deliver, both positive and negative.
Family, Culture & CommunityBy Robert L. Woodson, et al., The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/19/2009
Successful solutions to social breakdown are those that engage personal responsibility and mutual responsibility, not through government redistribution, but through relationships. That is why we should look first to the vast resources of the family, religious congregations, community groups, and other support networks to tackle social breakdown and cultivate the conditions in which these civil society institutions can flourish.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Kareem Yasin, Norman M. Naimark, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Last September, Cypriot leaders opened a new round of comprehensive talks aimed at reuniting the two communities of the long-divided island. Launching the first formal negotiations since a United Nations–brokered deal failed to win the support of Greek Cypriots in early 2004, local and international leaders expressed high hopes that the latest talks might yield a lasting solution acceptable not only to the island’s two main constituent communities but also to their mainland sponsors, Greece and Turkey.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Foreign policy analysts and historians will debate the merits of Bush’s foreign policy for the next several years; they will decide how much damage his administration has inflicted on America’s standing abroad and how much time and money will be required to restore it. The Africans themselves, however, will have a different debate. They found an unlikely but invaluable partner in Bush, who did much to rebuild Africa’s faith in the United States.
National SecurityBy John B. Dunlop, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Last October, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had played a central role in bringing the five-day war in South Ossetia and Georgia to a halt, summed up his interpretation of what had triggered the war: “There was a military intervention by Georgian forces,” he remarked, “which was an error. The reaction of the Russian army was disproportionate to the Georgian military intervention.” Many in the West hold Sarkozy’s view, but it is seriously flawed.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Amichai Magen, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Hyperbolic statements about U.S. “imperialism” and European “impotence” over the global struggle for democracy are misconceived, needlessly polarizing, and pernicious to the fundamental interests of the free world. Against a background of mounting challenges to the fortunes of freedom— from radical Islam and a resurgent, authoritarian Russia to the more diffuse dangers of high food prices and financial crises that threaten to unravel vulnerable democracies—the two central pillars of Western democratic power must alter the terms of their conversation about democracy promotion. Rather than paint each other’s caricatures, Americans and Europeans need to ask themselves and each other: How can we do this better?
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Looking back on the two decades since the tumbling of the Berlin Wall, what have we learned? Can reflection prepare us for the future? A brief review will help clarify our thinking just in time for the start of a new presidential administration.
National SecurityBy Joshua Teitelbaum, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
During the past several years, Iranian leaders—most prominently President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Certain journalists and Iran experts interpret some of these statements to be simple expressions of dissatisfaction with the Israeli presence in the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem or with the current Israeli government and its policies. In reality, the intent behind Ahmadinejad’s language is clear. Ahmadinejad’s language constitutes a call for genocide, the destruction of the Jewish state and its residents.
Economic GrowthBy Todd Zywicki, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 02/19/2009
Underlying the recent turmoil in the banking industry are the rising level of foreclosures and the apparent spread of the foreclosure contagion from the subprime to the prime market. Presidential candidates and economists alike have come forward with a variety of proposals to respond to the crisis, yet all share two underlying assumptions—first, that rising foreclosures can be explained by a single cause; second, that Washington can and should act to reduce the number of foreclosures. Both assertions are contestable, and in fact, acting aggressively to reduce foreclosures could be counterproductive and even worsen current economic problems.
Retirement/Social SecurityBy Eric Montarti, Jake Haulk, Allegheny Institute for Public PolicyAllegheny Institute Report, 02/19/2009
Given the huge differences in the financial situations among municipal pension plans in Pennsylvania and considering the gigantic problems in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, it is obvious why forging a broad based coalition to ask Harrisburg to consolidate plans and assume the responsibility for liabilities is difficult to achieve. Taxpayers across the state who are already facing possible tax hikes to fix looming problems with teacher and state employee pensions will be very upset at talk of more billions to repair the enormous problems the big cities have created for themselves. That is especially true in light of the prospect of state and national economic weakness that could last for another year or longer.
EducationBy Greg Forster, Friedman Foundation for Educational ChoiceSchool Choice Issues, 02/19/2009
This report collects the results of all available empirical studies on how vouchers affect academic achievement in public schools. Contrary to the widespread claim that vouchers hurt public schools, it finds that the empirical evidence consistently supports the conclusion that vouchers improve public schools. No empirical study has ever found that vouchers had a negative impact on public schools.
EducationBy Brian Gottlob, Friedman Foundation for Educational ChoiceSchool Choice Issues, 02/19/2009
Many states have enacted or are considering proposals to give tax credits for contributions that provide tuition scholarships for students in K-12 schools to attend the private or public schools of their choice. This study seeks to inform the public and policymakers about the implications for Montana if the state were to enact such a program. The study constructs a model to determine the likely contributions that will be received, the level of participation in the program among families and students of different income levels, and the overall fiscal impact of tax-credit scholarships on state government and local school districts.
EducationBy Benjamin DeGrow, Independence InstituteIssue Paper, 02/19/2009
The Douglas County Learning Center has completed its first year of licensing and endorsing teachers to help fill the instructional needs of the fast-growing, wealthy suburban school district south of Denver. As student population has increased, the district’s innovative leadership moved forward on a plan to alleviate teaching shortages in hard-to-fill areas and to expand the range of coursework available to secondary students.
Retirement/Social SecurityBy Michael Mannino, Independence InstituteIssue Paper, 02/19/2009
The debate about defined benefit pensions in K-12 education has focused on unfunded liabilities rather than appropriate levels of retirement compensation. Public K-12 employees typically retire at much younger ages with more replacement income and better inflation protection than private sector counterparts. School districts use contribution rates derived from uncertain assumptions about pension plan returns as substitutes for estimating realistic retirement compensation levels. The contribution rates ignore the considerable value of risk assumption that public employee pension plans provide to career employees. In addition, the large amounts of deferred retirement compensation have negative impacts on employee motivation and high, uncertain taxpayer costs.
EducationBy Andrew T. LeFevre, American Legislative Exchange CouncilReport, 02/19/2009
The American Legislative Exchange Council published its original Report Card on American Education: A State-by-State Analysis 15 years ago to “arm” its members “with comprehensive information about the performance and cost of public schools across the United States.” Since then, the report has changed and grown, but that vital mission continues with this latest edition comprising the most up-to-date measures of educational resources and achievement for our 50 states and the District of Columbia.