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.

Solving the Problem of Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion is a growing problem in many metropolitan areas. Congestion increases travel time, air pollution, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel use because cars cannot run efficiently. Th…

The Crisis of the Uninsured Is Far from Over

The number of people who lack health coverage fell to 48.6 million in 2011 — down slightly from 49.9 million the year before, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A bright spot in the new report is th…

Medicare’s New Price Control Board

Medicare spending has been growing faster than the economy for four decades. In 2010, Medicare required nearly $280 billion in general revenue transfers to meet its obligations. By 2020 the cash-flow…

Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes?

The central theme of President Obama's tax policy has been that 'the rich' do not pay their fair share of federal taxes, and the middle class pays more as a result. But a report issued by the Congres…

Accountable Care Organizations: Panacea or Train Wreck?

One of the hottest new ideas in health care is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO).  Similar to health maintenance organizations (HMOs), ACOs are designed to bring hospitals, physicians and insure…

No Need to Get the Lead Out

In 1991 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a nationwide ban on the use of lead shot to hunt waterfowl due to studies that suggested ducks and geese often mistake the small pellets for fo…

Is U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Falling Down?

In August 2007, the Interstate-35W bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis suddenly collapsed, killing 13 people. The event led many to decry the state of the nation’s infrastructure, and s…

The Disappearing Gender Wage Gap

A single, oft-cited statistic is that women make 79 cents for every dollar that men make doing the same work. However, that average number fails to account for factors aside from discrimination that c…