Daily Policy Digest

Tax and Spending Issues

How Are Seniors Spending Their Money?

The average credit card balance for 65 to 74 year olds in 2010 was $6,000, compared to just $2,100 in 1989...

The Netherlands Embarks on Welfare Reform

The Netherlands now requires the unemployed to demonstrate proof that they are actively searching for a job before they can become eligible for benefits...

Fiscal Condition of the 50 States

Overall, the states in the best fiscal condition are Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming; at the bottom of the list are California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey...

Progressive Tax Code Not Visible in Tax Expenditures

The top quintile of earners receives 50.6 percent of tax expenditures but pays 94.1 percent of individual income taxes...

Corporate Taxes Have Hidden Costs

Corporate income tax revenue has fallen as a share of federal revenue from 30 percent in the 1950s to around 10 percent today...

What Does It Mean When a Pension Plan Is Funded?

Current accounting rules mean that riskier investments are given higher expected rates of return, so if a plan takes on more risk, it is considered "better funded" than a less risky plan...

Billions Spent on Incorrect Federal Payments Each Year

An Office of Management and Budget study looked at 13 high-error federal programs and found that, in 2012 alone, those programs made $101.3 billion in improper payments...

How Cigarette Taxes Impact Illicit Trade

Rather than reducing cigarette consumption, high cigarette taxes may only shift consumption around to the black market...

Forty-Three States Should See Growth in 2014

Revenues and expenditures are expected to go up in most states in 2014, but only 20 states have reached their pre-recession peaks...

State Sales Taxes and Exemptions

As tax rates rise, lobbying -- and ultimately tax exemptions -- increase, because those facing higher taxes have an incentive to lobby in an effort to get them lowered...


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