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Recent Policy Studies
Health CareBy Robert A. Book, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/24/2009
The available evidence does not indicate that a public plan modeled on Medicare could provide health care comparable to that offered by existing private plans, let alone at a lower cost. Contrary to proponents’ claims, a public plan could not achieve cost savings or substantially reduce the number of uninsured without substantially reducing the quality and access to health care that Americans currently enjoy.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Jeffrey Friedman, Critical ReviewCritical Review, 07/24/2009
The financial crisis was caused by the complex, constantly growing web of regulations designed to constrain and redirect modern capitalism. This complexity made investors, bankers, and perhaps regulators themselves ignorant of regulations previously promulgated across decades and in different “fields” of regulation. These regulations interacted with each other to foster the issuance and securitization of subprime mortgages; their rating as AA or AAA; and their concentration on the balance sheets (and off the balance sheets) of many commercial and investment banks. As a practical matter, it was impossible to predict the disastrous outcome of these interacting regulations. This fact calls into question the feasibility of the century-old attempt to create a hybrid capitalism in which regulations are supposed to remedy economic problems as they arise.
Health CareBy Katherine Bradley, Christine Kim, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/24/2009
The President’s budget for Fiscal Year 2010 would eliminate abstinence education funding. The Obama Administration has instead requested the creation of yet another comprehensive sex education program, the “Teen Pregnancy Prevention” program. The House of Representatives has included this request in their annual appropriations bill that is now moving through Congress.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy H. Sterling Burnett, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 07/24/2009
The government could also establish a prize for technologies that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere before or after they are emitted. Contests could be established to encourage the development of batteries that store power from renewable power sources for use when they are off line. The competitions are only limited by human imagination and foresight regarding what might be needed to transform the world's energy use.
Health CareBy J.D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/24/2009
Members of Congress continue to demonstrate their ingenuity, creativity, and often poor judgment in their increasingly desperate hunt for painless revenue sources to pay for health care reform. Initial projections are that health care reform will cost well north of $1 trillion. To pay for this extraordinary expansion in government spending, Members have considered everything from taxing soda to killer rate hikes on small businesses. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and others are pushing the idea of imposing $100 billion in special taxes on health insurance companies.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Walter Lohman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/24/2009
Despite the Obama Administration’s desire to “engage” recalcitrant, repressive regimes, three factors—the weight of circumstances, the force of law, and solid American values—dictate that its policy toward Burma differ little from that of the Bush Administration.
Health CareBy Dennis G. Smith, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/23/2009
In the House bill, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (H.R. 3200), Congress would expand Medicaid to reduce the number of people without health insurance. But this expansion will create new inequities among and between the several states that administer the program. The House version also expands the federal role in the administration of Medicaid that will reduce the states’ sovereignty and position as “laboratories of democracy.”
LaborBy James Sherk, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/23/2009
Already facing weak demand and flattening wage growth, businesses cannot afford an artificial 10 percent increase in their labor costs. Even supporters of raising the minimum wage should recognize that the government should not stimulate job losses in the middle of a recession. Congress should postpone the minimum wage increase until unemployment among the most affected workers returns to normal levels.
Budget & TaxationBy Rea S. Hederman Jr., The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/23/2009
As unemployment continues to rise, it is unfortunate and surprising that many policymakers are taking steps to reduce employment. The large tax increases proposed by House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) would harm over a million small businesses, making them less likely to expand and hire new workers. Congress should not pass large tax increases on businesses that would hinder employment.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Stanley S. Reynolds, Andrew N. Kleit, Goldwater InstitutePolicy Report, 07/23/2009
Arizona’s heavily regulated, monopolistic electricity industry is ill-equipped to meet the state’s growing demand for energy. Nor is it well-suited to contain the higher costs that are likely to result from renewable energy mandates. Only by moving Arizona’s electricity industry closer to the ideal of an open and competitive market can the ingenuity of entrepreneurs be engaged to meet the increasing demand for electricity—the lifeblood of Arizona’s economy.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Max Singer, Hudson InstituteBriefing Paper, 07/23/2009
The real Iraq policy questions have almost nothing to do with the question of how fast we can afford to remove United States troops from Iraq.The number of U.S. troops in Iraq is not a very important part of the question concerning Iraq and U.S. policy for the Middle East. The big problem is how we should conduct our relationship with Iraq to maximize Iraq’s chance to continue and improve its political success. Because if that success continues Iraq will significantly improve the prospects for U.S. interests in Middle East.
EducationBy John Garen, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions07/23/2009
Charter schools do not “skim the cream” but enroll a diverse student population. They induce better performance from nearby traditional public schools while providing schooling services in response to parents’ unique demands. Finally, charter schools and vouchers perform well regarding student outcomes. Outside Kentucky, charter schools and voucher systems have become increasingly common and represent good policy opportunities for Kentucky.
Health CareBy Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Public Policy FoundationPolicy Brief, 07/23/2009
Within the health care debate, there are striking differences in the solutions proposed by the various participants in addressing access, cost, and quality. Proposals gaining momentum in Washington D.C. advocate for government control of health care, but the only reforms proven to be successful are patient-centered.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Mark A. Calabria, Cato InstituteCato Policy Report, 07/23/2009
The growing narrative in Washington is that a decades-long unraveling of the regulatory system allowed and encouraged Wall Street to excess, resulting in the current financial crisis. Left unchallenged, this narrative will likely form the basis of any financial reform measures. Having such measures built on a flawed foundation will only ensure that future financial crises are more frequent and severe.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Richard S. Williamson, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/23/2009
Support for human rights and democracy also is in America’s self-interest. Governments that respect and protect human rights and whose leaders are democratically elected tend to be more stable societies. They do not tolerate arbitrary abuse and injustice. There are peaceful procedures to allocate power and arbitrate varied interests and disputes. Democracies are able to adjust, adapt, and advance.
Health CareBy John R. Graham, Pacific Research InstituteReport, 07/23/2009
In the last half century, the level of government control over Americans’ health care has increased massively and intrusively. “Health ownership” is the degree to which Americans are still free to engage health resources as they prefer, free of undue state interference. The U.S. Index of Health Ownership measures 24 variables in four categories: government health care, private health insurance, medical tort, and provider burden of regulation. North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, New Hampshire, and Alabama allow their citizens relatively more health ownership. Even in these top five states, however, the level of government control is far greater than necessary. New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and New Jersey are the bottom five states in which the government has taken relatively more undue control of health care from its citizens. However, even these states score well on some variables, offering hope for progress if their governments reform.
Budget & TaxationBy Fred Siegel, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/23/2009
Without fundamental changes, the regeneration of the city and state economies in New York, shorn of Wall Street’s extraordinary profits, is hard to conceive. If the Madisonian tensions essential for a healthy society are to be restored, reformers must recognize that political and economic reforms are inextricably intertwined. In a continuous pas de deux, New York’s future industries depend on restoring political accountability, which in turn depends on the creation of new industries that can furnish alternate perspectives.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Charles Murray, American Enterprise InstituteBook, 07/22/2009
The political culture created by the Constitution has made Americans a people uniquely optimistic, lacking in class envy, and confident that that they are in charge of their own lives. Today, the United States is moving toward the European model of extensive regulation and government protections against adversity. Charles Murray argues that the European model drains too much of the stuff of life from life. It is not suited to the deep satisfactions that constitute genuine human happiness. Enabling that kind of happiness is what the American system does uniquely well; abandoning that system will destroy the American exceptionalism that we have treasured.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Abigail Thernstrom , American Enterprise InstituteBook, 07/22/2009
Majority-minority districts that reserved seats for blacks and Hispanics succeeded in integrating southern politics. By now, however, those districts may perversely limit the potential power of black officeholders. The Voting Rights Act has become a period piece that today serves to keep most black legislators clustered on the sidelines of American politics—precisely the opposite of what its framers intended. A radically revised law would better serve the political interests of all Americans—minority and white voters alike.
Economic GrowthBy Mark Aguiar, Erik Hurst, American Enterprise InstituteBook, 07/22/2009
Leisure time of the average American has risen by about four hours per week since the mid-1960s. Moreover, the leisure gap between the less educated and more educated has widened, as leisure time has increased by eight hours for Americans without a high school diploma and decreased by six hours for college-educated Americans. What accounts for this puzzling divergence? Understanding the forces that drive increasing leisure inequality could have important implications for American employment policy.
Health CareBy Mark V. Pauly, Thomas W. Grannemann, American Enterprise InstituteBook, 07/22/2009
As Congress contemplates major revisions to America’s health care system, two leading health economists warn that significant differences among state Medicaid programs will hinder national health care reform. Thomas W. Grannemann and Mark V. Pauly argue that Medicaid will need to be reformed as an early step in any serious health care reform effort.
Budget & TaxationBy Scott A. Hodge, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 07/22/2009
Proposed health care surtaxes approved by the House Ways and Means Committee, combined with the reversion of the top federal tax rate on wages to 39.6 percent at the end of next year would mean “a significant tax hike” on business income in 2011. There will be damaging effects of high individual income tax rates on business income, if the surtaxes are passed.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Travis Greaves, Joseph Henchman, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 07/22/2009
While a nominee’s prior voting record or political affiliation is not always a guarantee as to how he or she will decide cases as a Supreme Court justice, these two different cases may provide some insight into Judge Sotomayor’s judicial performance. Her reading of the tax code, when it fills in ambiguous or unclear areas, may be harsher on taxpayers and more favorable to the government, as seen in Rudkin. She also has shown an inclination to approve the constitutionality of state regulations at face value, even in the face of evidence of protectionist motivations and consequences as in Swedenburg. Judge Sotomayor, if confirmed, may start her tax law judicial opinions on the high court where Justice Souter left off.
Health CareBy Grace-Marie Turner, Galen InstituteTestimony, 07/22/2009
Addressing the health care needs of 300 million Americans for better quality at more affordable prices requires modernizing our health sector to become more efficient and innovative. It is not possible to expect that one piece of legislation could be written carefully enough to accommodate these needs and also continue to provide a platform for future innovation to enhance the quality of medical care in the future. By properly structuring incentives and creating a climate friendly to this innovation, Congress could put us on a path to uniquely American health care solutions. As I believe the evidence shows, competition works, even in health care.
Economic GrowthBy Joel Kotkin, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/22/2009
Waiting for Obama will not revive the blue states. Instead the best prospect lies in blue states healing themselves. Fortunately, there are some tentative signs of unrest. The same regime failure that stuck to Republicans in the wake of the Bush presidency soon may be felt by Democrats burdened with the failed legacy of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, or New York Governor David Paterson. Even Illinois, the president’s home state, could go Republican, suggests political scientist Simpson, if the Republicans put up a viable, middle-of-the-road candidate.
Economic GrowthBy Harold Gershowitz, Stephen Porter, Stephen Fuller, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/22/2009
The losses in wealth sustained by the American consumer require strong and direct stimulus rather than the very costly, inefficient, and indirect stimulus path the administration and the Congress have prescribed. The American Enterprise Institute proposes providing a three-year declining tax credit to all taxpayers. With the tax credit, the Treasury would match 50 percent of the cost of any non-disposable, durable goods purchased in the United States up to $5,000 in year one, $2,500 in year two, and $1,500 in year three, at which point the proposed tax credit would expire. Under our plan, retailers would receive from the Internal Revenue Service a special form on which they would enter the dollar amount of qualifying purchases made by their customers.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Ronald Bailey, Reason FoundationReason, 07/22/2009
The California Air Resources Board issued a fanciful study finding that mandates to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost Californians essentially nothing. This is pure California dreaming. The new mandates would add to the heavy regulatory burdens under which California businesses already groan.
Health CareBy Mark V. Pauly, Thomas W. Grannemann, American Enterprise InstituteWorking Paper, 07/22/2009
As Congress looks for ways to reconcile the objective of expanded health insurance coverage with the limited ability of the lower income states — where many of the uninsured reside — to pay more than they currently do for their Medicaid programs. Federal Medicaid payments to the state have long been based on a formula that calculates a Federal Medical Assistance Percentage for each state based on its per capita income. The formula generally provides higher percentages for lower-income states, and lower percentage for high-income states subject to a lower limit of 50 percent which ensures the federal government pays at least half the cost of Medicaid in every state.
Budget & TaxationBy Julie Gunlock, Independent Women's ForumPolicy Brief, 07/22/2009
American taxpayers have invested $22 billion to help states prepare for possible terrorist attacks. After eight years of funding, little is known about what has been purchased, whether local communities are more prepared than they were prior to 9/11, and if more funding is necessary. Moreover, there is alarming evidence that funding is regularly not used for its intended purpose.
EducationBy Dan Soifer, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 07/22/2009
Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week focused often on her 12-year tenure as a board member of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF). The extent of her involvement with the group’s agenda bore much scrutiny, as critics sought to brand its positions as extreme. But the more enduring question, and the subject of far less discussion, has been whether PRLDEF’s positions on important questions of education policy represent the best interests of the children it purports to help.
National SecurityBy Loren B. Thompson, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 07/22/2009
While there is much to be said for cutting the U.S. and Russian arsenals by a quarter as President Obama proposes, further cuts will eventually bring us to the point where the arms control process is making nuclear war more likely, not less.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Tom Daxon, Oklahoma Council of Public AffairsPolicy Papers, 07/22/2009
Improved accounting and financial reporting practices can improve the quality of government services, lowering their cost with both immediate and long-term positive impacts on our society. Accounting and reporting can contribute far more to solving our problems than they do at present.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy James Phillips, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/22/2009
When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets with President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow several issues will be high on the agenda, including the need to accelerate Iraq's lagging political reconciliation efforts. But despite the importance of this long-term process, one topic deserves even more urgent attention: How to immediately strengthen bilateral security cooperation.
Health CareBy Dennis G. Smith, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/22/2009
Congress's proposal to expand Medicaid as part of its health care reform effort is misguided and wrongheaded. It would subsidize coverage for people who do not need it while diluting the effects of other reform measures. Congress could achieve more coverage and save money by transitioning those on Medicaid into private insurance.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Ben Lieberman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/21/2009
By 2035, America would be $9.4 trillion poorer with Waxman-Markey than without it. This is a tremendous burden and one that is not spread evenly. Should this measure become law, the future for the American homeowner, small business owner, and farmer will be particularly bleak.
Health CareBy James Sherk, Robert A. Book, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/21/2009
President Obama promised not to raise taxes on workers earning less than $250,000 a year, and supporters of an employer mandate claim that they will not make low- and middle-income workers bear the burden of paying for it. However, low-income workers will bear much of the cost, paying higher taxes indirectly through reduced wages. The House bill imposes what is effectively an 8 percent surtax that applies only to workers who do not already have health insurance, most of whom are already in the lower-income strata and can least afford to pay higher taxes.
Health CareBy Merrill Matthews, Institute for Policy InnovationIssue Brief, 07/21/2009
What does it mean for a health care system to be considered “ethical”? Some claim the most ethical is a government-run system that guarantees universal coverage. Others think the system must control costs, or eliminate profits, or ration care to those most in need. But a consumer driven health care system is the one that best meets the criteria Americans want from an ethical health care system.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Ilya Somin, Cato InstituteTestimony, 07/21/2009
The procedural Due Process Clause protections Judge Sotomayor enforced in cases Krimstock and Brody have great value. But ultimately, they are less significant than the constitutional rules that prevent government from taking homes, businesses and other property without any legitimate public use. For property owners, there is only limited consolation in the fact that the government must provide notice and a hearing before it takes their land for the benefit of well-connected private interests.
EducationBy Sol Stern, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/21/2009
The Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers have used their considerable resources to enhance the political fortunes and the national ambitions of their leaders, not to improve the schools. Each side should practice some unilateral disarmament and do what needs to be done for this city: agree on a new contract that puts the interests of the kids above the interests of the adults. And that means all the adults: teachers, union leaders, chancellors, and mayors.
The Constitution/Civil Liberties
Confirmation Hearings for the Appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States of AmericaBy Dave Kopel, Independence InstituteIssue Brief, 07/21/2009
Judge Sotomayor´s approach would allow states to ban archery equipment with no more basis than the declaring the obvious: that bows are weapons. Even if there were no issue of fundamental rights in this case, Justice Sotomayor´s application of the rational basis test was shallow and insufficiently reasoned, and it was contrary to Supreme Court precedent showing that the rational basis test is supposed to involve a genuine inquiry, not a mere repetition of a few statements made by prejudiced people who imposed the law.
National SecurityBy Loren B. Thompson, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 07/21/2009
It is important for legislators to get the facts before cutting funds and delaying the installation of modern systems on legacy C-130 Hercules air crafters. This is one of those situations where the cost of delay may be measured in lives.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Alison Berry, PERC – The Property and Environment Research CenterPERC Policy Series, 07/21/2009
Despite the huge reduction in timber sales, the Forest Service should be held accountable on the ground and on the ledger. National forests with good timber-growing potential should provide a positive return to the taxpayers. Other forest owners can offer some guidance.
Information TechnologyBy James Jay Carafano, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/21/2009
During the recent Iranian election protests, cyber activists organized via social-networking tools to share information and updates about unfolding events around the world, as well as to engage people within the country. The emerging power of social-networking platforms has implications for U.S. national security and foreign policy. The U.S. government must prepare itself to participate in future global conversations and information-sharing online or via cellular phones.
Health CareBy Robert F. Coulman, Roger Feldman, Bryan E. Dowd, American Enterprise InstituteHealth Policy Outlook, 07/20/2009
Medicare should use competitive pricing to set the government contribution to the traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan and private Medicare Advantage plans. A competitive pricing system that used the lowest bid from any qualified plan to set the government contribution to all plans would save 8 percent of Medicare costs. A demonstration of competitive pricing is not necessary because we know that this method is administratively practical and that it would save money.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Michael S. Greve, American Enterprise InstituteConstitutional Outlook, 07/20/2009
The system cannot correct itself. To be sure, an administration with very big plans for the nation’s economy may yet conclude that institutional disintegration may thwart progressive ambitions, as well as private orderings and designs. Perhaps, institutions that are “too big to fail” should be deemed too big to be litigated into the ground. As the administration’s song tsar has put it, though, “None of this has happened yet.” And none of it is going to happen. Progressives do not actually believe in the possibility of coherent public policy, only in constituency politics. That faith calls for more centrally designed disintegration, not less. All of the administration’s initiatives reflect that agenda.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Lee Lane, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/20/2009
Efforts to enact a pure carbon tax are likely to founder (and any carbon tax that Congress would enact would, itself, fall far short of the economists’ ideal of such a measure). Some version of green house gas control is, nonetheless, on the way. Damage control is the order of the day. Trying to mend cap-and-trade’s worst defects is clearly better than accepting the cap-and-trade plan in its present form, and it is also more helpful than obscuring that plan’s greatest weaknesses by attempting to mislabel it as a tax.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Nicolas Loris, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/20/2009
Three major analyses of the Waxman-Markey climate bill confirm that cap and trade will produce an economy that will perform well under its potential. Studies by the Congressional Budget Office and Environmental Protection Agency predict manageable costs estimates, but both studies have a number of problems and significantly bias the costs downward. Even so, the supposed affordable costs of carbon capping regulations still outweigh the negligible benefits Americans would see from cap and trade.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 07/20/2009
By the end of this year or the beginning of next year we will arrive at a stable, equilibrium outcome. It will not be what the United States would like, but the U.S. and a lot of other nations can probably live with it. Under this analysis, Iran will satisfy its national pride by making enough weapons-grade fuel through research to show that it knows how to make weapons-grade fuel, but it will not produce enough to actually build a bomb.
National SecurityBy Edwin J. Feulner, The Heritage FoundationSpecial Report, 07/20/2009
Our leaders are cutting back on defense, even in the midst of a war in Afghanistan and ongoing terrorist threats. That’s a mistake, because protecting our nation is one of the few jobs specifically assigned to the federal government by the Constitution.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Jack Spencer, Nicolas Loris, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/20/2009
Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that he is creating a blue-ribbon commission to study long-term solutions for managing nuclear waste in the U.S. Regrettably, prior to the commission even being formed, both Secretary Chu and President Obama stated that the nuclear materials repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would not be one of the options considered. By taking what could be a perfectly viable waste disposal option off the table, this decision effectively undermined the credibility of the commission before it was even formed.
Economic GrowthBy Jacob Sullum, Matt Welch, Ronald Bailey, Reason FoundationReason, 07/20/2009
The administration’s own economists estimate that the stricter standards will add an average of $1,300 to the price of a new car by 2016. In general, when prices go up, people buy less. And already, new-vehicle sales in the U.S. are down from an average of 17 million per year for most of the decade, to 14 million in 2008, to an estimated 9 million this year. All other things being equal, less demand for a product—such as cars—means fewer jobs, not more.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Amichai Magen, Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 07/20/2009
Getting Egypt and Jordan to join Israel in a cooperative regional effort to undermine Hamas, reform the weak Palestinian Authority, and push back Iran’s pernicious presence in the eastern Mediterranean would require diplomatic skill and determination on the part of the Obama administration. Israel, Jordan, and Egypt represent that rare asset for America in the Middle East: three responsible, neighboring sovereign states with common interests and formal peace treaties binding them. Hope for Gaza will come from nurturing and expanding that zone of peace.
National SecurityBy Katya Drozdova , Hoover InstitutionHoover Digest, 07/20/2009
Today’s terrorists may be skilled at high technology, but they still take advantage of old-fashioned, low-tech methods of evading and attacking high-tech adversaries. In an age-old pattern that remains true in the cyber age, forces that are unable or unwilling to confront technological superiority in battle seek out simple but hard-to-detect means of subverting their advanced foe. Countering these low-tech elements of the terrorist threat requires special strategies and an understanding of the human networks that employ terror.
International Trade/FinanceBy Derek Scissors, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/20/2009
Congress is correct to criticize the PRC as a nonmarket economy, but its proposed remedies are often misguided. Blocking Chinese imports would merely force production to relocate to other low-cost national producers. The best U.S. policy would be to cut and simplify corporate taxes and push the PRC to reduce support of its enterprises, especially subsidized financing and protection from competition.
EducationBy Brian J. Gottlob, Friedman Foundation for Educational ChoiceResearch Brief, 07/20/2009
School districts often look to minimize the level of services provided because the expense of educating special needs children exceeds the state and federal aid that is typically available. Often, neither the providers nor users of the special education system in public schools are satisfied with these services. A special needs scholarship program funded by a tax credit would provide a desirable alternative for special education students enrolled in public schools that are not meeting their needs.