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Research Archive

January 26, 2024

Please Congress: Make Fiscal Sanity a Priority

Sometimes I don’t understand Republicans in the House of Representatives. When they are threatening government shutdowns, they make a great show of saying their highest priority is getting a handle on out-of-control federal spending, reducing the deficit, and bringing down our national debt. And yet, when an obvious opportunity falls in their lap to reduce…

January 24, 2024

Expanding Housing Supply with Light-Touch Density: City of Seattle Case Study

Executive Summary The formula for housing abundance is straightforward: Micro-managing this process won’t work. Planners need to get out of the way and let the market build more housing. 

January 24, 2024

It’s National School Choice Week. Democrats: What Do You Think?

This week is National School Choice Week, which makes it a good time to ponder the state of the school choice coalition. During the Clinton–Bush school reform era, broad swaths of the public—both Republicans and Democrats—supported charter schools and different forms of public school choice. However, private school choice has long been a primarily Republican…

January 23, 2024

A Follow-Up on My Recent Testimony to the Joint Economic Committee on Policy Approaches to Increasing the Supply of Affordable Housing

In my recent testimony on affordable housing supply, I highlighted the superiority of markets over government solutions and pointed to the ineffectiveness of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which offers generous tax credits for builders that rent units to tenants earning below 60% of area median income. During the hearing’s Q&A, I did not…

January 22, 2024

SNAP to it, Congress — we need to address the obesity crisis now

The United States has witnessed historic and escalating rates of obesity among adults in recent decades. As of 2020, official government statistics indicate that obesity inflicts 42 percent of Americans, including one in five children.   Obesity disproportionately affects low-income populations, who often rely on federal programs for assistance. Congress can combat the obesity epidemic by reforming federal programs,…

January 22, 2024

Can Workforce Development Programs Improve Labor Force Participation?

Harry Holzer, a Senior Fellow at Brookings and a key contributor to AEI’s Workforce Futures Initiative (WFI), published a recent analysis of the potential of the publicly-funded US workforce system to reduce unemployment and boost labor force participation. To my mind, he makes a strong argument for increasing basic supports for work engagement as a way of getting chronically…

January 21, 2024

Portland’s Encampment Kids

I’m standing outside the Central Police Precinct in downtown Portland, Oregon. Officer Eli Arnold and I have bicycled over to meet two of his colleagues, returned from a drug bust. We examine the proceeds of the crime on the hood of a squad car. The officers weigh the fentanyl powder on a small scale, record…

January 19, 2024

The Case for Curriculum

Since A Nation at Risk, Education Reform Efforts Have Mostly Stopped at the Classroom Door Executive Summary Decades of education reform have left policymakers, educators, and students alike fatigued and unimpressed. From standardized testing to accountability measures and smaller classroom sizes, almost every idea under the sun has been tried and tried again, except for one:…

January 19, 2024

Ninety Percent Student Attendance Won’t Solve Chronic Absenteeism

One day after Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona presented the Biden administration’s “Improving Student Achievement Agenda,” which appropriately focused on the unprecedented chronic absenteeism rates in US public schools, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released data under the headline, “Public School Leaders Report 90 Percent Average Daily Student Attendance Rate in November 2023.”…

January 19, 2024

The Work Incentive and Employment Effects of Eliminating the Child Tax Credit’s Annual Income Requirement

Abstract Senior House and Senate tax committee leaders agreed to a framework for modifying the Child Tax Credit on January 16, 2024. The most consequential reform would eliminate the Child Tax Credit’s annual income requirement by allowing individuals to calculate their eligibility using their current or prior year’s income, whichever year maximizes the family’s benefit….