Brief Analyses

Restricted to two letter-size pages, a Brief Analysis summarizes some aspect or aspects of a public policy issue, presenting points for consideration in policy debates or responding to points that have been raised during these debates.

How Social Security Reform Could Benefit Workers

Congress is once again considering changes to Social Security in an attempt to "save" the program. Social Security benefit payments have exceeded tax revenues since 2010; the funding deficit is growin…

Is Disability Contributing to Women’s Declining Employment?

Women’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) — the percentage of individuals employed or looking for work — reached an all-time high of 60 percent in 1999, but since then has steadily declined to 57.…

The Growing Benefits of a Warmer World

Earth’s climate has changed many times throughout its history. During the last century and a half, average temperatures have risen modestly, though the warming trend has stalled for the past 16 years.…

Popular Medicare Drug Plans Are under Assault

Nearly 39 million Medicare beneficiaries, including both seniors and the disabled, have subsidized drug coverage through the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003. Of these, nearly 36 million indiv…

Retiring Soon? Pay off the House First

In 2011, the first of 78 million baby boomers turned 65. By 2031, the last year of the boomer generation will reach their full retirement age (67). Many will consider moving to a less costly, low-tax…

The Real Reason Health Spending Has Slowed

President Obama tells us that “health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.” He and members of his administration attribute that trend to the Affordable Care Act. But ObamaCare is ju…

Most of the Benefits of a Minimum Wage Increase Would Not Go to Poor Households

Most people who earn the minimum wage or slightly more are the only earners in their households and, therefore, are poor, right? And so, if the federal government or state governments raise the minimu…

A Brief History of Health Savings Accounts

In January 2004, 250 million non-elderly Americans gained access in principle to health savings accounts (HSAs). Since then, individuals have been able to self-insure for some of their own medical nee…