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.

Personal Medical Savings Accounts (Medical IRAs) - An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Last year, about 150 members of Congress cosponsored at least one of 12 different bills designed to create personal Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).  Also called Medisave Accounts and Medical IRAs, Me…

Should 85 Percent of Social Security Benefits Be Taxed?

President Clinton proposes to increase the tax on Social Security benefits. Although the administration calls this an "entitlement spending reduction," what it proposes is a tax that will fall primari…

Federal Budget Issue: Do We Need an Energy Tax?

Bill Clinton's economic program calls for some $295 billion in taxes over the next five years. To put this tax hike in perspective: the adminis-tration's tax proposal is about twice the size of Presid…

President Clinton's Economic Plan

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) has completed a fonnal forecast of the effects of President Clinton's economic plan. The forecast assumes adoption of the plan in full, including all tax…

Why Bush Lost the Election: Ten Lessons for the Clinton Administration

According to the political pundits, a lackluster economy is the main reason President Bush lost the election. That judgment is based on solid economic evidence:

Why Does Crime Pay?

America is burdened by an appalling amount of crime.  Although the crime rate is not soaring as it did during the 1960s and 1970s, we still have more crimes per capita than any other developed country…

The Perot Economic Plan

In contrast to George Bush and Bill Clinton, Ross Perot has proposed a serious plan to reduce the federal deficit. 1 If all of Perot's recommendations were implemented, the plan would reduce deficit s…

A Layperson's Guide to Health Insurance Reform

Serious problems exist in the market for private health insurance.  At both the state and federal levels, a number of proposals perporting to solve these problems would in fact make them worse.  Some…