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.

The Pitfalls of Internet Sales Tax Collection

Internet sales accounted for a growing share of consumer spending over the last decade. Now smart phones and wireless networks provide an almost unlimited ability to shop and purchase goods electronic…

The Payroll Tax Holiday

In December 2010 President Obama traded Congress a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for a one-year, 2 percentage-point payroll tax holiday and additional unemployment benefits. The “Tempora…

The Fiscal Cliff and the Next Recession

On January 1, 2013, taxes will go up and federal spending will be cut as a result of an agreement last summer between House Republicans and President Obama. Under current law, increases in the top rat…

Understanding Job Statistics

Employment dropped dramatically in 2008 and 2009. The economic recovery (in gross domestic product) began in June 2009, but it has been an unusually slow recovery, with job growth even slower. As a re…

The Federal Reserve’s Third Quantitative Easing: QE3 Sets Sail

Beginning in late 2007, the Federal Reserve eased monetary policy aggressively to deal with the emerging financial crisis and the recession that grew out of it. By the end of 2008, the federal funds r…

The JOBS Act: Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Small Businesses

The unemployment numbers show that employers are still struggling to create jobs. Two distinctly different approaches to job creation have been proposed at the federal level. One piece of legislation,…

The Dodd-Frank Act versus the Rule of Law

In response to the 2008 financial collapse, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank increased regulation of banks, stockbrokers, insurers and other fi…

Privatization and Competition in New York City Transit

Our nation has gone to great lengths to protect people from private monopolies through the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts, the Justice Department’s antitrust unit, and public service commissions t…