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Research Archive

January 18, 2024

Evidence Mounts That Pre-K Harms Kids

You know you’re making progress in an education policy debate when education professors and journalists start printing what used to be a conservative counter-argument as an unfortunate and perplexing fact. Last week, Education Week published an article titled: “Preschool Studies Show Lagging Result. Why?” The lede notes that although studies from the 1960s and 1970s showed strong positive…

January 17, 2024

Achieving Housing Abundance Through State and Local Land Use and Zoning Reform

Chair Heinrich and Vice Chair Schweikert, and distinguished Members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Executive Summary: Housing affordability issues are real for many Americans. As home prices and more recently mortgage rates have risen dramatically, many people can no longer afford to buy a home and have no choice…

January 17, 2024

A Midwest State of Mind

This is an excerpt of a piece original published in American Purpose here. Although many now worry that it is endangered, American civil society has long been an important element of what has made the United States an “exceptional nation.” Historian Jon K. Lauck argues that in 19th century America, the surprising epicenter of that civil…

January 17, 2024

Tax Extenders Package Would Cut the Child Tax Credit’s Annual Work Requirement in Half

One of the bills Congress punted to the new year is a package of “tax extenders” normally considered at year’s end when temporary tax laws are about to expire. But the agreement announced yesterday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) is notable for far more than its timing. On the plus side, and to the negotiators’ credit, it’s a…

January 17, 2024

Congress, Don’t Legislate a Takeover of the Nation’s Rental Housing Market

It is an election year and Congress will soon consider two bipartisan bills to address high rental costs for many renters. The first is the Workforce Housing Tax Credit (WFHTC) and the second would be an expansion of the existing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).  The WFHTC would extend eligibility for subsidized units tenants earning below the area median….

January 16, 2024

Dry January Should Be Drug Free

There is nothing at all objectionable about the Dry (or semi-dry) January idea. The National Institute on Alcoholism reports that there were some 13,000 drunk-driving-related deaths in 2021—and that, overall, some 140,000 annual deaths can be linked to excessive drinking. For those who drink too much, drinking less is an obvious benefit. What makes the movement notable,…

January 15, 2024

The Economy Is Good. Why Do Consumers Feel So Bad?

As we approach another federal election cycle, there will be a lot of talk about the state of the economy. Are Americans better off, economically speaking, than they were when President Biden took office three years ago? Despite our having lived through a pandemic and the resulting unprecedented economic shocks, it still should be a…

January 12, 2024

When It Comes to the State of the American Economy, Let’s Keep It Real

Here we go again. An oft-repeated economic claim on social media is that most Americans lack the means to cover a $400 emergency expense. More evidence that most of us in “late capitalist” America live paycheck to paycheck. Indeed, another common claim on social media is that nearly 80 percent of US workers live paycheck…

January 11, 2024

Biden’s Dismantling of Federal Student Loan Programs Has Inspired Republicans to Go Big

House Republicans released a new legislative package today aimed at bringing down the cost of college, holding universities accountable for the value of their diplomas, and reforming our broken federal student lending system. The College Cost Reduction Act represents the largest serious and comprehensive higher education reform package in decades and, in theory, has plenty…