Studies

NCPA studies generally break new ground on policy issues. A study seeks to cast new light on an issue and to stimulate policy-makers and others to think of new, innovative solutions to the problems associated with the issue. Studies may combine several elements of analysis, including original research, reviews of academic literature, creative approaches for solving public policy problems, and economic modeling.

How Much Does the Federal Government Owe?

The U.S. government faces severe fiscal challenges due to trillion dollar annual budget deficits and mounting public debt. But the liabilities are much larger than the public debt, due to commitments…

How Reforms Would Affect Social Security’s Funding Shortfalls, Total Spending, and Distribution of Benefits and Taxes

Entitlement reform has dominated the ongoing debate over reducing the federal government's persistent deficits and mounting debt. Together Medicare and Social Security account for a third of current f…

Is the Corporate Income Tax Regressive?

In a recent Iowa speech a heckler yelled at former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to raise corporate taxes. Romney replied, 'Corporations are people, my friend.' He quickly clarified that statemen…

The Housing Crash and Smart Growth

There is general agreement the financial crisis that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, was worsened by the bursting of the U.S. housing price bubble. It is also generall…

Solar Power Prospects

The production of electricity from renewable energy technologies is growing much faster than the electric power supply as a whole, and solar power is among the fastest growing segments of the renewabl…

How Health Reform Affects Current and Future Retirees

This year Medicare will spend more than $530 billion. Beneficiaries will pay for about 20 percent of spending through premiums and income tax payments. Workers will pay the remaining 80 percent throug…

Turning on the Lights 2011: The Consumer Benefits of Electric Power Competition

Today, the production, delivery and use of electric power are undergoing revolutionary changes not seen since the era of Thomas Edison. These developments promise to be as profound as those that trans…

Taxing Tobacco by Risk

Excise taxes are fees levied on specific products like cigarettes, beer and gasoline. Unlike broad-based taxes, such as general sales or income taxes, excises are often paid by a narrow subset of the…