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.

Litigation Update: the Affordable Care Act

In the five years since Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the validity of the law has been litigated in federal courts…

Critical Minerals: Rare Earths and the U.S. Economy

Rare earths are 17 elements in the Earth’s crust used in a variety of applications, from hybrid cars and x-ray units to cell phones and wind turbines. When it comes to little-known resources, rare ear…

Environmental Regulation through Litigation

In a nation with more lawyers than doctors, Americans are all too familiar with the typical civil lawsuit: A plaintiff suffers a legal violation, sues the offender, and the two often enter into a sett…

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…