- Budget & Taxation
- Crime, Justice & the Law
- The Constitution
- Economic & Political Thought
- Economic Growth
- Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
- Family, Culture & Community
- Foreign Policy/ International Affairs
- Health Care
- Information Technology
- International Trade & Finance
- Monetary Policy/ Financial Regulation
- National Security
- Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
- Regulation & Deregulation
- Retirement/ Social Security
- Transportation & Infrastructure
- Acton Institute
- Adam Smith Institute
- Alabama Policy Institute
- Allegheny Institute
- Alliance for School Choice
- Alliance for Worker Freedom
- America’s Future Foundation
- American Council on Science and Health
- American Enterprise Institute
- American Institute for Full Employment
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Arkansas Policy Foundation
- Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Atlas Society
- Beacon Center of Tennessee
- Beacon Hill Institute
- Becket Fund
- Bluegrass Institute
- Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
- Business & Media Institute
- Calvert Institute
- Cascade Policy Institute
- Cato Institute
- Center for Consumer Freedom
- Center for College Affordability and Productivity
- Center for Equal Opportunity
- Center for Health Transformation
- Center for Immigration Studies
- Center for International Private Enterprise
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Center of the American Experiment
- Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
- Citizens Against Government Waste
- Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy
- Club For Growth
- Commonwealth Foundation
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Council for Affordable Health Insurance
- Empire Center for New York State Policy
- Ethan Allen Institute
- Freedom Foundation
- Federalist Society
- Foreign Policy Research Institute
- Fraser Institute
- Foundation for Defense of Democracies
- Foundation for Educational Choice
- Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability
- Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment
- Free Congress Foundation
- Free State Foundation
- Galen Institute
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Goldwater Institute
- Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
- Great Plains Public Policy Institute
- Heartland Institute
- The Heritage Foundation
- Heritage Libertad
- Hoover Institution
- Hudson Institute
- Illinois Policy Institute
- IMANI Center for Policy & Education
- Independence Institute
- Independent Institute
- Institute for Health Freedom
- Institute for Energy Research
- Institute for Humane Studies
- Institute for Justice
- Institute for Market Economics
- Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
- Institute for Policy Innovation
- Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Intercollegiate Studies Institute
- International Policy Network
- International Republican Institute
- James Madison Institute
- John Jay Institute for Faith, Society & Law
- John Locke Foundation
- Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy
- Kansas Policy Institute
- Landmark Legal Foundation
- Leadership Institute
- Lexington Institute
- Libertas Institute
- Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Maine Heritage Policy Center
- Manhattan Institute
- Maryland Public Policy Institute
- Mercatus Center
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy
- National Center for Policy Analysis
- National Center for Public Policy Research
- National Taxpayers Union
- Nevada Policy Research Institute
- North Dakota Policy Council
- Ocean State Policy Research Institute
- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
- Pacific Research Institute
- Palmetto Family Council
- PERC - The Property and Environment Research Center
- Philanthropy Roundtable
- Phoenix Center
- Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
- Progress & Freedom Foundation
- Property Rights Alliance
- Public Interest Institute
- Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia
- Reason Foundation
- Rio Grande Foundation
- Science and Public Policy Institute
- Show-Me Institute
- South Carolina Policy Council
- State Policy Network
- Sutherland Institute
- The Tax Foundation
- Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
- Thomas Jefferson Institute
- Virginia Institute for Public Policy
- Washington Legal Foundation
- Washington Policy Center
- Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
- Yankee Institute for Public Policy
- Young America’s Foundation
Recent Policy Studies
Budget & TaxationBy Karly Kay Edwards, Steve Buckstein, Cascade Policy InstituteBudget Solutions, 04/18/2013
Americans for Prosperity-Oregon and Cascade Policy Institute published our first Facing Reality report in 2010, offering state legislators an opportunity to “reset” state government using the time-tested principles of limited government and pro-growth economic policies. This study provides a series of proven ideas to balance our state’s budget without tax or fee increases, plus policies to stimulate private businesses to “recharge” our economy.
Regulation & Deregulation
The Sinking Ship of Cabotage: How the Jones Act Lets Unions and a Few Companies Hold the Economy HostageBy Malia Blom Hill, Capital Research CenterLabor Watch, 04/18/2013
The Jones Act is a 1920 law that protects the U.S. maritime industry from competition. It also raises costs for many other industries, keeps foreign ships from helping when disasters like the BP oil spill strike, and seems to be slowly killing the very industry it’s supposed to protect.
Health CareBy Robert Alt, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy SolutionsPolicy Brief, 04/18/2013
The question of whether to expand Medicaid is complex and wrought with misinformation and misunderstanding about the options available to Ohio, and the effects of a potential expansion. This report identifies and refutes some of the most common myths, and will help guide a careful evaluation of the realities.
Economic GrowthBy John Hill, Alabama Policy InstituteWhite Paper, 04/18/2013
The Alabama Policy Institute has collected data on Alabama’s 50 most populous cities and ranked them based on criteria that both ensure business success and protect the entrepreneurial spirit. The four categories in which data are ranked are Economic Vitality, Business Tax Burden, Community Allure, and Transportation Infrastructure.
National SecurityBy Baker Spring, Brian Slattery, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/18/2013
President Obama’s overall budget request for fiscal year 2014 and beyond is all but certain to result in the continued application of sequestration to the defense account, which will lead to defense spending levels that are too low to permit the military to protect U.S. vital national interests. They will necessarily result in a force that either is too small, lacks modern weapons and equipment, or is not properly trained and ready—or most likely some combination of these three—to uphold various U.S. defense policies.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Vikrant P. Reddy, Texas Public Policy FoundationBill Analysis , 04/18/2013
It would be preposterous to argue that Texas criminal law is transparent because anybody can access the code books (of which there are over two dozen, including the penal code, the alcoholic beverage code, the business and commerce code, the occupations code, etc.) and read the 1,700 criminal laws therein. In a famous G.K. Chesterton short story, a character remarks that the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest. Such is the case with Texas criminal law. The power to prosecute a person for a criminal violation is the most extraordinary power wielded by a state government, yet the criminal laws are so voluminous and disorganized that, effectively, they are hidden. HB 2804 proposes a commission to review these offenses and to recommend eliminating them or consolidating them in the penal code.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Bill Peacock, Texas Public Policy FoundationPolicy Brief, 04/18/2013
While taking property under eminent domain is widely seen as necessary in the cases of public use, it is still a taking of private property. A condemnor should use the property for the public use for which it is taken. If it does not, it should sell it back to the original owners at the original price for which it was taken.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Marc Levin, Texas Public Policy FoundationBill Analysis , 04/18/2013
Some 20 percent of American adults have a criminal record, which would amount to nearly 5 million Texans. While it is critical that offenders be held accountable for their actions, the question raised by HB 1344 is whether a time ever comes when selected ex-offenders, have not only satisfied their sentences, but spent many years beyond that abiding by the law and therefore should no longer be branded as criminals. Texas has sought to answer this question affirmatively.
National SecurityBy The Heritage Foundation, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/18/2013
In the aftermath of the act of terror in Boston and ricin-laced letters intercepted in Washington, D.C., the U.S. should rededicate itself to homeland security efforts. While the sources of these attacks are still unknown, there are several policies that the U.S. can and should pursue to secure the homeland from a wide spectrum of threats. The Heritage Foundation has long been focused on developing homeland security policies that keep the U.S. safe and prosperous, as seen in the following reports.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/18/2013
Secretary of State John Kerry is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week concerning the President’s fiscal year 2014 request for the international affairs budget. A number of items deserve scrutiny, but two in particular warrant opposition: (1) a request for changes in law that would allow U.S. contributions to U.N. organizations—such as the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization—that grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority; and (2) full funding for U.N. peacekeeping.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Jeanette Moll, Texas Public Policy FoundationBill Analysis , 04/18/2013
Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese stated that the purpose of sealing juvenile records was to “protect the person who had committed minor offenses and then had gone on to live a blameless life so that at age 18 when they went out for a job they did not have to talk about having been arrested for a juvenile offense…” This Bill serves exactly that purpose.
Information TechnologyBy Bill Peacock, Texas Public Policy FoundationPolicy Brief, 04/18/2013
Further regulatory improvements were made in Texas with the passage of Senate Bill 5 in 2005. Senate Bill 5 was a step in the right direction towards promoting regulatory reforms and competition, but it left mostly untouched the monopoly-based taxes and fees levied on telecommunications providers and consumers. There is still room for improvement, so we offer the following recommendations. First, Eliminate taxes on production goods that are used to deliver high technology consumer service. Second, eliminate the “tax on a tax” application of the sales tax to taxes on fees on a telephone bill. Third, reduce the Utility Gross Receipts Assessment Tax.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Alabama Policy Institute, Alabama Policy InstituteGuide to the Issues, 04/17/2013
Alabama Supreme Court cases have strictly defined what forms of gaming are legal in Alabama, specifically developing a six-point test for categorizing bingo. Although stringently defined, the possibility of gaming facilities reopening and operating still exists. In order to effectively deter would-be offenders, the punishment for owning and operating illegal gaming paraphernalia should be raised from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C felony.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Joseph Vranich, Wendell Cox, Adrian Moore, Reason FoundationReport, 04/17/2013
This report updates Reason’s 2008 Due Diligence Report by addressing and evaluating numerous changes in California’s plan to build a high speed rail (HSR) system between San Francisco and Los Angeles via the San Joaquin Valley. This Due Diligence Update addresses the Authority’s revised documentation, business plans and public statements issued between 2008 and late-2012, which are found to be similarly inaccurate, misleading and in violation of the laws guiding the project. As will be shown in this Due Diligence Update, the CHSRA April 2012 Business Plan is so deficient that it is inconceivable that policymakers would continue to rely on its assertions to evaluate the program. This report is not alone in identifying shortcomings in CHSRA’s plans and documentation, and will include findings from other state agencies and independent reviewers.
Information TechnologyBy Steven Titch, Reason FoundationReason, 04/17/2013
The U.S. wireless industry is being held back by a shortage of spectrum—a problem driven in large part by rapidly increasing demand for mobile data. Consumers are already suffering the impact of spectrum shortages, and the situation is only likely to worsen as wireless data traffic grows. The wireless market does not need, nor should it have to endure, the FCC engaging in disruptive regulatory experiments; it needs it to get on with reallocating spectrum. The agency has the means and the resources to get the needed spectrum to consumers. It should just do it.
Budget & TaxationBy Peter Suderman, Reason FoundationReason, 04/17/2013
If you want to see where a little bit of your $833 billion stimulus went, head south from St. Louis on Interstate 44 until you reach the Mark Twain National Forest. On March 13, 2009, less than a month after President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law, the federal government awarded $462,912.30 to a Spokane, Washington, construction firm called CXT Incorporated to build and install 22 “precast concrete toilets” in the park. This stimulus was rushed to passage based on economic assumptions that remain hotly contested. Its implementation was marred by politics, logistics, and red tape. And the aid it directed toward the country’s least well off may have undermined the very recovery it was designed to hasten. This is what happens when politicians insist that something big must be done, even if they’re not sure what that something should be.
Information TechnologyBy Steven Hayward, Pacific Research InstituteStudies, 04/17/2013
The reduction in air pollution continues to be the most successful domain of pollution reduction since the first Earth Day in 1970. Since the first edition of this Almanac two years ago, reductions in air pollution have been astonishing. The EPA recently updated its inventory of ambient air pollution levels monitored through 2010, and its model estimates of emissions through 2012. The new EPA data show some of the largest drops in ambient air pollution ever in 2009 and 2010, though some of this decline may have been related to the reduced economic activity of the long recession, while some of the reductions—especially in sulfur dioxide—are explained by the unforeseen rapid replacement of coal-fired electricity by natural gas.
Regulation & DeregulationBy James K. Glassman, J.W. Verret, Mercatus CenterResearch, 04/17/2013
The system for proxy voting by mutual funds and other institutions that own shares in publicly traded companies in America is badly broken. The source of the disrepair is regulation. Among the unintended consequences of rules enacted with the best of intentions is the harm inflicted on retirees and other investors. The good news is that, with small changes, the system can be fixed.
Budget & TaxationBy Arpit Gupta, Manhattan InstituteIssue Brief, 04/17/2013
In the heated political debate that Americans are having about federal spending and revenue, advocates of higher taxes often cite the 1950s as a Golden Age. Then, it is claimed, the wealthy paid higher federal taxes and the system was fairer. A closer look at the facts, however, does not support this assertion. First, in the 1950s, very few people paid the very high income-tax rates aimed at the wealthiest. Second, claims that wealthy people paid more taxes rest instead on the assumption that the rich, as stock owners, bore the entire burden of higher corporate taxes of that era. There are good reasons to doubt this assumption about corporate taxes.
EducationBy Judah Bellin, Manhattan InstituteIssue Brief, 04/17/2013
For-profit education is the fastest-growing sector of the higher-education industry. Because of this, politicians and journalists are trying to discourage students to attend for-profit colleges. However, the federal government should seek to preserve the good aspects of for-profit colleges while minimizing the bad ones. To that end, policymakers should change the federal student-loan program so that substandard institutions are hard-pressed to stay in business. To ensure that its investment in higher education is worthwhile, the government should apply any such regulation to all sectors of the higher-ed industry, be it for-profit, nonprofit, public, or private.
LaborBy Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan InstituteIssue Brief, 04/17/2013
This spring, the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to issue a new interpretation of the “advice” exemption to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.. The proposed rule could cost the economy between $7.5 billion and $10.6 billion during the first year of implementation, and between $4.3 billion and $6.5 billion per year thereafter. The total cost over a ten-year period could be approximately $60 billion. This does not include the indirect economic effects of raising the cost of doing business in the United States.
Budget & TaxationBy Sarah Curry, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 04/17/2013
The last statewide General Obligation Bond referendum was held in 2000; all debt since then has been issued without voter approval, making special indebtedness the sole form of debt in North Carolina since 2001. Special Indebtedness is more expensive than traditional General Obligation debt, thus creating a larger burden on taxpayers.
Budget & TaxationBy Sarah Curry, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 04/17/2013
For the last 30 years North Carolina has seen spending grow three times faster than population and inflation. Implementing a new tax system for North Carolina, JLF’s consumption-based USA Tax of 6 percent would remove the personal, corporate, and inheritance taxes. Applying the free market spending priorities within JLF’s alternative budget would save nearly $500 million in the next budget year and more than $1 billion over two years while dropping the sales tax to 4 percent and reducing the franchise tax 60 percent in fiscal year 2014-15.
EducationBy Terry Stoops, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 04/17/2013
Over the last several months, the Common Core State Standards Initiative has attracted considerable attention from the state and national media. As a result, North Carolinians have begun to consider how these changes will affect their public schools. Unfortunately, readily accessible information about the Common Core is often hard to come by. The purpose of this primer is to introduce North Carolinians to the Common Core State Standards by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about common standards and tests. North Carolina taxpayers should use it as a first step in an ongoing effort to assess the massive changes underway in our public schools.
National SecurityBy David S. Addington, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/17/2013
Congress has begun to consider cybersecurity legislation in earnest for the 113th Congress. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider shortly H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill addresses the growing problem of foreign powers infiltrating U.S. public and private computer systems to steal valuable information. The bill represents only a small step toward addressing the cybersecurity threats the country faces. The bill as ordered reported has significant flaws, but the House has the opportunity to correct them.
International Trade/FinanceBy Bryan Riley, Anthony B. Kim, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/17/2013
The threat to U.S. prosperity comes not from free trade but from the decline in economic freedom. In the process of working on the Trade Promotion Authority reauthorization, Congress has the unique opportunity to become an effective advocate for advancing economic freedom and help America reap the rewards that accrue from such policies. It should not let the opportunity pass.
Budget & TaxationBy David Keating, National Taxpayers UnionPolicy Papers, 04/16/2013
The IRS reported that taxpayers made an astounding 10.6 million math errors in 2010. Like old age, tax complexity has been creeping up on us. We may not notice it one year at a time, but a review of past years’ tax documents compared to today’s forms and instructions reveals just how shockingly complicated taxes have become. And the situation may soon get even worse.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy William Ratliff, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 04/16/2013
Just two years ago, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez seemed like an indestructible force of nature. Then, in June 2011, we learned that he had cancer, though the details were (and still are) withheld. But cancer and obfuscation didn’t prevent Venezuela’s Chavista faithfuls from handily reelecting their benefactor last October for another six-year term. Before returning to Havana for more medical attention in December, Chávez’s anointed his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Then, in March, Chávez died at age 58, adored and abhorred by many at home and abroad. While one of the most flamboyant presidents in the history of the Americas is gone, questions remain about what his impact was and will be in Venezuela and the region.
LaborBy Richard A. Epstein, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 04/16/2013
Even though the nominal jobless rate has declined by a tenth of a percent, the sharp reduction in labor market participation gives a clear indication of the ever-decreasing fraction of Americans who are able to find steady work. My recommendation was, and is, that the only way to revive these markets is to remove the barriers to entry created by government regulation. Today’s army of activist groups is not focused on restoring jobs, however. The hot-ticket item in the current labor market disputes is legislative mandates for paid sick leave. The unintended consequence of paid-sick leave legislation, whether in New York City or elsewhere, will be to block the creation of new jobs by limiting the deals that employers and employees are lawfully allowed to make with each other.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Gary D. Libecap, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 04/16/2013
Many people view California as a leader in environmental policies. The hope is that the state will lead a reluctant U.S. Congress to encourage other states—and the Canadian provinces (and countries)—to adopt climate change regulations. There is great optimism among its supporters that California’s AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, may create a cap-and-trade market to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. All of this suggests a benign, well-informed, hands-off regulator will oversee AB 32. Unfortunately, the evidence is not very supportive of this notion.
National SecurityBy Matthew Waxman, Kenneth Anderson, Hoover InstitutionEssay, 04/16/2013
Public debate is heating up over the future development of autonomous weapon systems and the merit and risks associated with their use in war. Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, this essay outlines a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Ellen Kant, Joseph Henchman, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 04/16/2013
It’s April, which means Americans are rushing to finish federal and state income tax returns for 2012. Those who file a paper return rely on forms and rate tables posted online by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state revenue departments. Even taxpayers who file returns with the help of paid tax preparers or computer software may make use of instructional information provided on state websites. Employers, for instance, need to know 2013 tax rates now for withholding purposes.
Budget & TaxationBy Kyle Pomerleau, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 04/16/2013
On March 21, the Senate voted 79 to 20 to pass a nonbinding budget amendment encouraging the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s medical device excise tax. This is a 2.3 percent tax on total sales of taxable medical devices by medical device manufacturers that went into effect on January 1, 2013. Like other excise taxes, this tax is harmful and will create distortions in the medical device industry, likely leading to higher health care prices for consumer, lower employment, and less innovation. Additionally, the tax is complex and creates additional compliance costs for firms. These consequences argue for the permanent repeal of the tax.
Budget & TaxationBy Byron Schlomach, Goldwater InstitutePolicy Report, 04/16/2013
In 2011, the Pew Center on the States published a study calling attention to the increasing inaccuracy of states’ revenue estimates. Looking at data from 1987 through 2009, one thing Pew shows seems obvious enough: During recessions, states tend to overestimate revenues and during periods of economic growth, states tend to underestimate revenues.
Economic GrowthBy Peter Ferrara, Heartland InstitutePolicy Brief, 04/16/2013
President Barack Obama has returned to the proven failed economic policies of the 1970s, and as should be expected, he is getting quite similar results. If we could revive and sustain America’s historic 3.3 percent real growth for 20 years, our total economic production (GDP) would double in that time. After 30 years, our economic output would grow by two and two-thirds. After 40 years, our prosperity bounty would grow by three and two-thirds.
Budget & TaxationBy Aparna Mathur, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 04/16/2013
Nobel Prize laureates are avoiding heavy taxes on their prize money via a loophole that benefits charities. President Obama and former vice president Al Gore both gave away their prize money—at the expense of the IRS.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Arnold Kling, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 04/16/2013
So what accounts for the low interest rate on long-term bonds, particularly those of the U.S. government? It is not “quantitative easing.” It is not a mysterious shift in preferences among savers. It is that banks, which enjoy enormous advantages in attracting funds from savers due to actual and perceived protection offered by governments, have a strong incentive to direct these savings into financial instruments that their regulators have designated as having little or no risk. Risk-based capital regulations may be ineffective at promoting bank safety. But they are plenty effective at allocating capital away from productive private investments and toward government bonds.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/16/2013
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposes fundamental reforms to America’s food assistance programs. Regrettably, in an effort to appease opposing constituencies, the Obama Administration’s budget proposal needlessly circumscribes the scope of the changes and maintains or establishes anti-market subsidies. Congress should support and expand the reforms directed at improving the efficiency of America’s food aid programs, while rejecting the proposed retention of purchase requirements for U.S. food and subsidies for U.S. shipping.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy James M. Roberts, Sergio Daga, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/16/2013
Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, former trade union boss Nicolás Maduro, appears to have defeated Governor Henrique Capriles by a narrow margin in a contentious and hard-fought special election on April 14. Venezuela is in such shambles after 14 years of seat-of-the-pants mismanagement that Maduro—assuming his victory is confirmed—may ultimately be forced to pursue more moderate policies and seek help from the U.S. to restore stability. The Obama Administration and Congress should exploit this opening by using U.S. leverage to push Venezuela to turn from Chavez’s failed experiment in oil-cursed ”21st-century socialism” toward economic freedom.
Economic GrowthBy Steve Conover, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 04/15/2013
The leaders of both parties agree on one point: we do not have an immediate debt crisis. But they disagree about the top priorities for fiscal policy. However, our debate should not be about income redistribution or debt reduction but rather about how to achieve broadly shared growth—because when we achieve that, history shows that the deficit and the middle class will benefit.
Creating Capital Citizens: Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy and Civic EducationBy Richard Lee Colvin, American Enterprise InstitutePolicy Brief, 04/15/2013
A lack of knowledge translates into lower rates of voting. A study by Richard J. Coley and Andrew Sum for the Educational Testing Service concluded that “the nation’s less-educated, lower-income and young adults have voluntarily disenfranchised themselves from the voting process.” Unsurprisingly, those groups reported paying hardly any attention to public affairs. This lack of government awareness and participation “should be viewed as a fault line in the bedrock of the nation’s democracy that must be addressed,” the authors wrote. Civic apathy “may lead to the ultimate death of democracy, or the moral and social decline of the state.” César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy and Civic Education aims to teach its students to reverse these trends.
EducationBy Arthur M. Hauptman, American Enterprise InstituteSpecial Report, 04/15/2013
Rapid increases in what colleges charge and what they spend per student have been and remain one of the most controversial aspects of American higher education. Tuition, fees, and other college charges have increased in both the public and private sectors at more than twice the rate of inflation for over a quarter century. We do know from various sources, though, that spending per student in the United States is high by international standards. For example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that in the United States more than $25,000 is spent per student in higher education, by far the highest among OECD countries and more than twice the OECD average.
EducationBy William F. Massy, American Enterprise InstituteSpecial Report, 04/15/2013
How to contain the cost of colleges and universities is attracting much attention in higher education policy circles. The reasons for the attention are not hard to fathom. Students and parents labor under ever-rising tuition rates. Schools feel they must spend more in real terms to build or protect their brand, by boosting faculty research and scholarship, enhancing the student experience, and so on. And to round out the perfect storm, most states are curbing higher education appropriations because of rising budget pressures.
EducationBy Douglas N. Harris, American Enterprise InstituteSpecial Report, 04/15/2013
Higher education productivity, as measured by academic degrees granted by American colleges and universities, is declining. Since the early 1990s, real expenditures on higher education have grown by more than 25 percent, now amounting to 2.9 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP)—greater than the percentage of GDP spent on higher education in almost any of the other developed countries. But while the proportion of high-school graduates going on to college has risen dramatically, the percentage of entering college students finishing a bachelor’s degree has at best increased only slightly or, at worst, has declined.
National SecurityBy Matt A. Mayer, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/15/2013
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a tremendous task ahead in preparing the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR)—if it does so in a thoughtful manner. While most reports are generated to check required boxes, the QHSR may be exactly what DHS needs to bring serious reform to the agency. From oversight and bureaucratic structure to duties, planning, and the allocation of scarce resources, DHS has a great opportunity to repurpose itself while building credibility on Capitol Hill. The Secretary would do well to make this QHSR and its implementation her legacy.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Derrick Morgan, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 04/15/2013
The Climate Protection Act of 2013 (Boxer–Sanders bill) would inflict high costs on families, especially those in carbon-intensive states; thwart promising energy investment and development; destroy manufacturing jobs; risk triggering a trade war; waste money; fail to provide environmental benefits; and impose a massive tax and leave a command-and-control regulatory regime in place for greenhouse gas emissions. It would be politically impossible to offset a carbon tax completely with reductions in economically harmful taxes on capital or corporate income because such a scheme would be very regressive. Such a tax also would be a step away from tax reform that moves America toward the simplest system possible: one that is designed only to raise requisite revenue, not to promote social engineering.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy George Weigel, National AffairsNational Affairs, 04/12/2013
Simone de Beauvoir once said, “One is not born a woman, one becomes so”. These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of: It is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. From now on Man is merely spirit and will. To imagine that we live in such a self-created world is not only to imagine that we owe nothing to our given nature but also to believe that we owe no attention or response to the problems that arise when we ignore that nature. Such a warped sensibility not only makes any moral order impossible: It makes political order untenable, too.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Julie Ni Zhu, Steven R. Cunningham, American Institute for Economic ResearchReport, 04/12/2013
All in all, we have a picture of early signs of inflation surfacing, combined with rising inflationary expectations in the bond and foreign exchange markets, and a U.S. central bank that is pouring dollars into bank reserves at an astonishing rate. While we do not see immediate signs of runaway inflation, we do see upward pressure on prices that will become more evident as the year progresses.
Health CareBy Robert E. Moffit, Rea S. Hederman Jr., The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 04/12/2013
Congress and this Administration cannot cope effectively with the country’s fiscal crisis unless it addresses the inevitable challenge of Medicare. Adopting a variety of options, as described within this article, is a critical first step that can achieve serious savings and secure a down payment for longer term structural reforms. The alternative is to delay or do nothing consequential. Inconsequential actions in the near term guarantee even more undesirable consequences in the long term. The longer the delay, the more difficult the road ahead.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Paul Larkin, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 04/12/2013
The maxim that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” does not hold in an age where federal law alone contains thousands of criminal offenses directed at conduct that reasonable people have no ready way to know is prohibited. Just as the courts recognize mistake of fact as a defense to criminal liability, so should they recognize mistake of law to prevent the prosecution and conviction of blameless parties who had no reason to believe that their actions violated the law. This narrow reform, whether adopted by Congress or by the courts, would go a long way toward addressing the costs that the current “overcriminalization” imposes on honest, law-abiding citizens.