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.

An Environmental Report Card on the 104th Congress

Some environmentalists portrayed congressional attempts to modify clean air, clean water and safe drinking-water laws as giving corporations license to pollute and to endanger America's children. Othe…

The Case For An Across The Board Tax Rate Reduction

Federal taxes have reached their highest level in history. To bring federal taxes to a tolerable level will require not just tax reform, but a complete overhaul of the federal budget as well.

Tax Reform's Third Rail: Mortgage Interest

The mortgage interest deduction has long been considered the untouchable third rail of tax reform. However, a close look at a flat-rate tax suggests that, on balance, homeowners would gain more from i…

What's Happening To Americans' Income?

April 1995 marked the beginning of the fifth consecutive year of U.S. economic expansion.  Despite this good news, media reports often paint a bleak picture of the average American worker's prospects.…

Tax Fairness for the Elderly: Eliminating the Social Security Earnings Penalty

Social Security recipients under age 70 who earn more than a modest amount from wages or salary are America's most heavily taxed citizens. 

Myths About Our Health Care System: Lessons for Policy Makers

Critics of the American health care system have propagated a number of myths to justify greater government control over our health care system.  This backgrounder identifies 10 of the most common myth…

Two Cheers For GATT

One purpose of the GATT is to limit the power of U.S. politicians over the choices of American consumers. The agreement seeks to protect trade from exploitative politicians and heavy-handed bureaucrat…

Senator Mitchell's Last Stand

The Senate is now in open debate on the health care reform bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME). A composite, the proposal is based on bills written by the Senate's Finance a…