Factsheet on February 19, 2015
Disability Trust Fund Exhaustion Calls for Reforms, Not a Bailout
SSDI: State of Play
Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) is the federal entitlement program that provides monthly cash benefits to eligible disabled individuals and their families.
In 2014, nearly 11 million disabled workers and their eligible spouses and children received DI benefits. Disabled workers receive an average of about $1,150 per month from…
Factsheet on December 4, 2014
The Jones Act’s Costly Impact
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that vessels used for domestic shipping must be built in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and at least 75 percent crewed by U.S. citizens.
U.S. law allows shippers to transport goods domestically on cars, trucks, aircraft, or rail cars built in other countries. Just not ships.
Factsheet on December 2, 2014
Can Congress Use Spending Bills to Address President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration?
President Obama’s Executive Actions
President Obama’s executive actions would defer the deportation of as many as five million illegal immigrants and allow them to apply to work in the country legally. The actions would largely be administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security.…
Factsheet on November 12, 2014
Lame Duck Threats in 2014
“They [lame ducks] are free, for two months and at taxpayer expense, to vote for whatever they please…without their constituents being able to do anything about it.”
Representatives and Senators who have either announced their retirement or been replaced by voters are known as “lame ducks.” Unlike their colleagues, they are free from public…
Factsheet on November 4, 2014
An Immigration Checklist: 10 Areas of Reform that Congress Should Demand of the President
The United States immigration system is broken. While there are important reforms that Congress can make, it is essential that the executive branch first prove that it is willing to faithfully administer the current law in 10 ways:
Remove all executive directives that contradict and override existing immigration laws.
The Obama Administration has failed…
Factsheet on August 1, 2014
Respecting Conscience Rights of Adoption and Foster Care Providers
Foster Care and Adoption Policy Should Put the Best Interests of Children First
Roughly 400,000 children spend time in the U.S. foster care system every year, about 100,000 of them seeking adoption into a loving family. Many of these children bounce from home to home, never adopted, and enter adult life without the emotional, relational, and financial support…
Factsheet on July 28, 2014
Facts About the Export-Import Bank
The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) Provides Taxpayer Subsidies Primarily to Multinational Corporations
More than 80 percent of the bank’s financing benefits major firms, including the Boeing Company (market capitalization exceeding $91 billion). In the past five years, the aviation giant has profited from 197 Ex-Im deals totaling $48 billion. In fiscal year 2013…
Factsheet on July 21, 2014
Which Way for the Highway Trust Fund?
Background on Highway Trust Fund
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) was created in 1956 to finance the construction of the interstate highway system, which was largely completed by the early 1980s.
The current 18.4 cents per gallon gasoline tax, 24.4 cents per gallon diesel tax, and related fees pay for a portion of current highway and transit spending. Moving Ahead…
Factsheet on June 24, 2014
Reforming Mandatory Minimum Sentences: The Smarter Sentencing Act, S. 1410
Smart on Crime, Not Soft on Crime
Drug dealing is harmful to society and threatens public safety. Drug dealers should be punished.
Current harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug offenses have resulted in too many low-level drug offenders taking up valuable space that ought to be occupied by individuals who pose the greatest threat to public safety.…
Factsheet on May 12, 2014
30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
Policymakers should reform the mortgage finance market by first recognizing that no single type of loan will be best for all borrowers at all times.
What You Will Hear
Several groups have argued that eliminating the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a terrible idea because it would imperil the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM).
Factsheet on May 5, 2014
Key Facts About Internet Governance, ICANN, and What the U.S. Can Do
Under President Clinton in 1998, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) entered into a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage core functions of the Internet—including managing policy and technical features of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS).
On March 14, 2014,…
Factsheet on April 4, 2014
The Financial Stability Oversight Council
The 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act inadequately addressed the too-big-to-fail problem. Many of the Act’s components actually increase the government’s chance of using taxpayer money to save troubled financial institutions rather than allowing these institutions to file for bankruptcy. One example is the creation of the Financial Stability…
Factsheet on March 27, 2014
Red Tape Rising: Obama’s Regulatory Frenzy
The Red Tape Continues to Rise Under Obama:
During President Obama’s first five years in office, the annual regulatory burden on Americans increased by nearly $73 billion. A total of 157 new major regulations were imposed.
In 2013 alone, the Obama Administration imposed 26 new major rules—with 16 of them lacking adequately quantified costs.
Factsheet on March 26, 2014
Civil Asset Forfeiture: 7 Things You Should Know
1. What is civil asset forfeiture?
Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize property that they assert has been involved in certain criminal activity. In fact, the owner of the property doesn’t even need to be guilty of a crime: Civil asset forfeiture proceedings charge the property itself with involvement in a crime. This means…