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May 8, 2024

Beltway Liberals Are Playing Name Games to Expand the Welfare State

Higher prices aren’t the only kind of inflation coming out of Washington these days. Wildly inflated group names are on the rise, too — and they’re being used as a tool to expand government welfare benefits given even to able-bodied adults without dependents. That’s the term long used by the Department of Agriculture to describe those in their prime working years…

April 8, 2024

We Still Don’t Know How Much Taxpayers Lost Due to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Fraud

One of the first programs Congress created to assist Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic was the unprecedented Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA expanded unemployment benefits to millions of independent contractors, the self-employed, and others never before eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) checks. But in some of the worst policy choices of…

April 4, 2024

Biden’s ‘Tax Cut’ Rhetoric Is Really Just Code For Benefit Increases

President Biden’s rhetoric about his new budget proposal suggests it is full of tax relief for working families. For example, one White House fact sheet is headlined “The President’s Budget Cuts Taxes for Working Families and Makes Big Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share.” Taking from the rich to give more to working (and even non-working) families is a…

March 7, 2024

Growing Congressional Dysfunction Will Worsen Our Fiscal Problems

Few were surprised when deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) retired in December. While Republican leaders tend to exit quickly after losing committee gavels or leadership posts, the additional departure of other respected senior lawmakers in both parties is damaging legislative capacity on the Hill. Congress is losing the sort of policy-making veterans it needs to craft and pass important legislation. Their reasons for leaving vary and often include Congress’s general inability to pass needed legislation. That dysfunction is evident…

February 9, 2024

Resolving to Learn Lessons from Record Pandemic Fraud

Congress doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but if it did, digesting our new report on pandemic fraud would be a good one. Released last week, the new report (“Pandemic Unemployment Fraud in Context: Causes, Costs, and Solutions”) details the how and why of record unemployment benefit fraud during the pandemic. Enacting even some of our policy resolutions…

January 11, 2024

Tax Credit Nation — Politicians Are Casting New Spending As ‘Tax Cuts,’ Hiding Their True Cost

With the national debt soaring past $34 trillion, liberal politicians hoping to expand the federal leviathan face a conundrum. How can they convince Americans wary of the effects of runaway government spending—painfully evident in recent elevated inflation and interest rates—to nonetheless support even greater expenditures? As President Biden and others demonstrate, one way is to cast new…

January 11, 2024

To Better Promote Work, Stop Subsidizing More Benefit Collection

Never shy about lampooning government dysfunction, Ronald Reagan famously said that if you want more of something, subsidize it. But even the Gipper couldn’t have imagined today’s growing zeal to subsidize getting more people on government benefits, which undermines work and leaves too many on the sidelines of the economy. Welfare programs achieve that dubious distinction…

January 10, 2024

Even Congress’s “Tax Extenders” Are About More Benefits

Congress’s long list of unfinished business for the new year includes “tax extender” legislation, which is normally considered before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays in December. The fact that this legislation has lingered into January isn’t the only oddity. In an era of already rapidly rising spending, the more troubling anomaly is much of that supposed…

November 21, 2023

Defining Poverty Up

Thirty years ago, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y.) wrote a seminal essay titled “Defining Deviancy Down.” He argued that Americans had “become accustomed to alarming levels of crime and destructive behavior” such as soaring out-of-wedlock childbearing behind increased welfare dependence. Policy-makers responded to Moynihan’s call, and the bipartisan 1994 crime bill (which Moynihan…

October 25, 2023

Dispelling Myths About The Child Tax Credit

Every culture has its famous myths, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, and the world of politics is no different. Take, for example, President Joe Biden’s claims that he is a unifier or that ” Bidenomics” is working . The president offered another mythical claim last month when he said that “we cut child poverty by nearly half ……