Policy Backgrounders

Policy Backgrounders are designed as briefing papers on public policy issues for people with limited time and a need to know about public policy issues.

Commodity Prices Follow Gold — A Leading Indicator of Inflation

Market analysts usually attribute changes in the prices of commodities — uniform, widely traded goods, such as metals — to higher or lower demand in major world economies, such as the United States an…

Adoption from Foster Care

Hundreds of thousands of children enter the foster care system each year. Most are reunited with family members, but many children spend years in the system. Thousands of 18 year olds age out of foste…

A Comparison of School Choice in Texas
Comparative Child Poverty Measures

The United States has one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world, according to some international rankings. However, yardsticks commonly used by the federal government and internati…

Budget Wars

After four years without a federal budget, the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed different budget plans. The House plan sponsored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and…

LOST at Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — known as UNCLOS or LOST (Law of the Sea Treaty) — recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, but has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. Many ob…

The Veterans Disability System: Problems and Solutions

Throughout the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), fraud, mismanagement and waste have plagued what is perhaps the most comprehensive veterans’ assistance system in the world. An exami…

State Reform of Medicaid Drug Programs

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides medical care to more than 60 million low-income individuals and families. Medicaid rolls in many states have risen over the past several years a…