Daily Policy Digest
Tax and Spending Issues
|Social Security Disability Insurance Program is "High Risk," Says GAO
Every two years the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identifies and reports on government operations that are "high risk" -- meaning vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and inefficiency. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has been identified by the GAO as high risk since 2003. According to their 2017 report, some recommended goals have been "partially met," but more needs to be done, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Soda Taxes: Regressive and Unnecessary
A soda tax internalizes the negative externalities of market activities -- in this case the "public" health costs of obesity and other diseases -- by assessing at least a portion of these costs to consumers or soft drink manufacturers. Soda taxes are also flat taxes, thus regressive in nature, negatively impacting lower-income consumers, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|Reforming the Social Security Appeals Process
About 12 million people receive Social Security Disability benefits, but there are an additional 900,000 claims that are awaiting decisions. Most claims are initially denied when applying for benefits, but the appeals process at the hearing level where a claimant has the opportunity to go before an administrative law judge (ALJ) is inefficient and time-consuming. Wait times for hearings vary significantly by geographic location. For example:
|The Intergenerational Effects of the Trump Tax Plan
Donald Trump's tax plan will create three million new jobs and 5 percent economic growth in the first year alone, according to an analysis using the NCPA-DCGE dynamic model. But the Trump plan also increases the federal deficit over time, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal...
|Would Lifting the Taxable Earnings Cap Make Social Security More Solvent?
The annual Social Security Trustees report was quietly released in June, but it looked bleak. The Social Security program (including retirement benefits, Disability and Supplemental Security Income) is facing an $11.4 trillion unfunded liability over the next 75 years. The liability increases to $32 trillion into the indefinite future, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|In Defense of High Frequency Trading
Washington recently put Wall Street back into its crosshairs when Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced a bill to levy a 0.03 percent tax on transactions involving stocks, bonds and derivatives. His goal is to reduce "speculative financial trading" and to "curb near instantaneous high-volume trades that create instability in the stock market and in our national economy." Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton advocates taxing high-volume or High Frequency Trading (HFT). This market activity has been under scrutiny since the Great Recession, and especially since the "Flash Crash" of 2010; but, is high frequency trading really to blame for market crashes? writes NCPA Research Associate John McDonald...
|Donald Trump's Tax Plan under the NCPA's Model of the U.S. Economy
Presidential candidate Donald Trump's revised tax plan (Trump 2.0) would increase private sector jobs by 3 million in 2017 alone, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal...
|Four Reasons to Abolish the Social Security Benefits Tax
The Social Security benefits tax is perhaps the most bizarre tax on the books. In particular, it penalizes moderate-income seniors who wish to supplement their Social Security benefits, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Hillary's Economic Plan Will Cost Americans Jobs and Income
Several weeks ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to an audience in Warren, Michigan laying out her plans for the economy should she become president. She asked four questions of her audience, of which the first was: "Which candidate has a real plan to create good-paying jobs?" Evidently, not Hillary Clinton, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Clinton's Tax Plan Won't Just Hurt High Income Earners
The distributional effects of Hillary Clinton's proposed tax plan will negatively affect even the lowest income earners, according to a new NCPA/Beacon Hill Institute analysis...