Policy Reports

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 Do Americans Depend on Social Security?

Social Security benefits over the next 75 years will exceed payroll tax revenues by $4.6 trillion. To close this enormous fiscal gap, one proposal is to cut the benefits of high-income workers. Many l…

Medicare: Past, Present and Future

Although Social Security reform has received considerable attention in recent years, Medicare is the far-bigger problem.  Medicare is growing at a faster rate and has an unfunded liability six times t…

Taxing the Poor

The income tax is highly progressive.  It takes a higher portion of the income of the rich than the poor.  But federal, state and local governments raise revenues in a number of ways that are regressi…

Does It Pay to Save?

Does it pay to save?  The answer is often no.  In fact, penalties for saving are astronomical for some households, particularly young, single-parent and lower-income families.  But these are the very…

The Market for Medical Care: Why You Don’t Know the Price; Why You Don’t Know about Quality; And What Can Be Done about It.

In most markets, prices and quality indicators are transparent - clear and readily available to consumers.   Health care is different:  Prices are difficult to obtain and often meaningless when they a…

The Rising Burden of Health Spending on Seniors

The United States spends about 17 percent of its national income on health care, the highest in the world.  Some have wondered how high spending can go and what difference it will make.  In thinking a…

Protecting the Environment Through the Ownership Society — Part II

The United States was founded on the principle of private property ownership as the ultimate guarantor of individual liberty and prosperity. Yet, more than 40 percent of the land is owned by governmen…

Facts Not Fear on Air Pollution

Air pollution has been declining for decades across the United States, yet most Americans still believe air pollution is a growing problem and a serious threat to their health.