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.

The Best and Worst Ideas for Health Care Reform

As politicians confront the difficult task of health care reform, they face a dizzying array of reform plans.  In fact, there are so many plans that most analysts have ceased trying to keep track of t…

Jerry Brown's Tax Plan

Jerry Brown is advocating the most comprehensive tax refonn plan that has been seriously proposed by a presidential candidate in modern times. The plan would abolish the Social Security (FICA) payroll…

Bush vs. The Congressional Democrats: Whose Tax Plan Is Better?

In his State of the Union message, President Bush proposed a new tax package which he said would promote economic growth and create jobs. With unusual assertiveness, he gave Congress one month to enac…

Should Healthy People Pay More For Health Insurance?

As part of his new health care plan, President Bush announced his goal for health insurance reform: sick people should be able to obtain health insurance for the same price as healthy people.  If you…

Rethinking Tax Fairness

The recent debate in the House of Representatives pitted a House Republican economic plan against a plan proposed by the Democratic leadership. The central feature of the Republican plan was a dramati…

Reviving the Economy: Bush vs. The House Democrats

President Bush and the Democrats in the House of Representatives have submitted proposals to move the economy more quickly out of the current recession and to achieve a higher rate of economic growth.…

Do We Need a Tax Cut?

As the economy languishes and the presidential election nears, politicians of both parties are searching for ways to stimulate the economy and promote economic growth.

Auto Fuel Economy Standards: Good for the Environment or a Cause of Highway Dealths?

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program was part of legislation enacted in 1975 to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.  Studies show that the CAFE is already responsible for 2,200 to…