Issue Briefs

The Case for Conditional Cash Transfers in the United States

Programs in several countries providing conditional cash transfers to low-income individuals and families are focused on improving the education and general well-being of children. The conditions pare…

How the Shale Gas Boom Creates Estate Tax Problems for Farmers

On April 16, 2015, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the estate tax.1  The Obama Administration decried the proposed tax cut and vowed a veto.2 The Senate is now considering a repeal bill i…

Obamacare Health Insurance COOPs Are Unraveling

Many supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) wanted a public plan option to compete with the private insurers offering insurance in the state and federal health exchanges. T…

Real, Simple (and Transparent) Tax Reform

Every candidate running for the presidency in 2016 will trumpet tax reform as part of his or her agenda. The contenders may propose to reduce rates, eliminate deductions, or give credits for this or t…

Dynamic Scoring and Congress

One of the 114th Congress’ first moves was to open discussion on dynamic scoring. On January 6, 2015, the House of Representatives adopted a rule change that would require all legislation to be dynami…

The Accounting War: Inflation, Taxes and Financial Transparency

A seemingly technical accounting issue has important implications for competition between large corporations and smaller firms, for U.S. businesses overseas, and for the ability of individuals to unde…

"Sick Day" HSAs: A Better Idea than Mandated Sick Pay

President Obama recently proposed requiring employers to pay sick leave to the estimated 43 million American workers who not receive this benefit. Many of these workers cannot afford unpaid sick days…

The Crisis in Drug Research and Development

The rate of growth of health spending remains moderate, but one area where prices appear to be increasing faster than in recent years is brand-name prescription drugs.1 Many blockbuster drugs lost the…