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April 18, 2024

Put Growth Back on the Political Agenda

In a campaign season dominated by the past, a central economic topic is missing: growth. Rapid productivity growth raises living standards and incomes. Resources from those higher incomes can boost support for public goods such as national defense and education, or can reconfigure supply chains or shore up social insurance programs. A society without growth…

April 11, 2024

The Right Has an Opportunity to Rethink Education in America

The casual observer can be forgiven if it looks like both the left and the right are doing their best to lose the debate over the future of American education. On the left, public officials and self-righteous advocates practically fall over themselves working to subsidize and supersize bloated bureaucracies, hollowed-out urban school systems, and campus…

April 8, 2024

The $1,000 Tax Hike on Middle-Class Families

When Americans file their taxes in the coming weeks, one group will be singled out for a tax hike: middle-class families with children. This April, a family with three children making at least $42,000 will pay about $950 more in (inflation-adjusted) federal income taxes than they paid in 2018 — when the Tax Cuts and Jobs…

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…

April 3, 2024

School Absenteeism Has Become A Big Problem. But We Can Do Something About It.

Chronic absenteeism has become a pressing challenge for the nation’s schools. The stories are ubiquitous, featuring headlines like last week’s New York Times’s front-pager “Why School Absences Have ‘Exploded’ Almost Everywhere.” In Alaska, 43% of students were chronically absent in 2022-23 (meaning they missed at least 10% of the school year). In Oregon, the figure was 38%; in Nevada, 35%….

March 19, 2024

Conservatives Distrust Higher Ed—But Still Need Degrees

Ideological opposition to “woke” colleges and universities could harm conservatives and rural communities. American’s faith in our colleges and universities has seen a marked decline in recent years, with the percentage of adults who say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the institutions of higher education plunging from 57 percent to…

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…

March 1, 2024

How the Children’s Bureau Lost Its Way

“It’s definitely very empowering when you get involved. Like anytime I finish a pair of beaded earrings. I feel like, wow, I just did that.” This message of empowerment through beading was tweeted out by the federal Administration for Children and Families recently. It’s one of a series of head-scratching messages offered by the agency…

February 23, 2024

After Milton’s MBTA Housing Defeat, The Way Forward Is With Persuasion, Not Mandates

It’s difficult to avoid seeing Milton’s referendum defeat of a proposed zoning law to permit higher-density housing construction as a signal setback for the state’s effort to pressure towns to make housing more affordable. There’s no getting around the importance of that effort. High housing prices not only burden current Bay State residents but act as a…