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  • Special Report posted May 6, 2013 by Robert Rector, Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer

    Executive Summary Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue: Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits.…

  • Commentary posted April 28, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Student Loan Program's Costs are Unknown

    The Congressional Budget Office has applied a risk-appropriate discount rate to student loans based on what private lenders would offer for a similar level of risk. In contrast to the government's current accounting practices, which show student loans making a "profit" for the government of 9 percent, the CBO's alternate -- but more accurate -- analysis found that between…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Unknown Cost of Federal Student Loans

    As Congress again considers preventing the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling, the cost to taxpayers should be a central issue. However, the federal government’s accounting practices systematically understate the cost of student loans by failing to account for market risk. A superior method called “fair value accounting,” which is the strong preference…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Official Education Spending Figures Do Not Incorporate Full Cost of Teacher Pensions

    The cost of pensions for public school teachers is a major focus of debates over education spending. In Wisconsin, for example, Democrats strongly opposed reforms championed by Governor Scott Walker (R) that prevented teachers and other public employees from collectively bargaining over pensions. In Florida, teachers filed a lawsuit in response to a new requirement that…

  • Commentary posted February 13, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Teacher Pensions Sweeter Than They Would Like You to Think

    The high cost of teacher pensions looms over the American public school system, but some defenders of the system would prefer that citizens not know that. Pensions for teachers and other government employees are much more generous, on average, than the retirement benefits received by comparable private-sector workers. This is beyond serious dispute among finance…

  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Nine Fallacies Used to Defend Public-Sector Pensions

    The generosity of retirement benefits for government employees has become a major political issue, as policymakers at all levels of government struggle with budget deficits in the midst of a weak economy. Government employees do enjoy retirement benefits that are often several times greater than the retirement benefits of comparable private-sector workers.[1] This…

  • Special Report posted January 28, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Virginia Walden Ford, Dan Lips, Jennifer A. Marshall, Jason Richwine, Ph.D., Rachel Sheffield, Evan Walter Choosing to Succeed

    Edited by Lindsey M. Burke In his enduring 1964 convention speech “A Time for Choosing,” Ronald Reagan remarked that “outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.” If we believe as Reagan did that markets are superior to monopolies in every aspect of our lives, why then do we consign…

  • Commentary posted January 14, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Teacher Bar Exams Would Be a Huge Mistake

    Bill the engineer wants to become a teacher. He has 10 years of experience working in the engineering division of Lockheed Martin, and he'd like to share some of his extensive knowledge with high school students in Northern Virginia, where he lives. He'd prefer to take a couple of hours each day to teach a class on physics or calculus, which would enable him to stay in…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. For Federal Workers, the Grass Isn't Greener in the Private Sector

    If public employees are underpaid, they ought to get raises when they switch to the private sector. But they don’t, and that fact is telling. Debates over compensation for public employees have raged at all levels of government over the past few years. The Federal Salary Council, an official advisory body, claimed in October that federal employees are paid only 65…

  • Commentary posted December 4, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Underworked Public Employee

    With state and local governments struggling to balance budgets in a still sluggish economy, government employment has fallen by 562,000 jobs since September 2008, a decline of 2.6%. In response, the Obama administration has called for more federal aid—on top of the $250 billion doled out in the 2009 Recovery Act—to help keep state and local government payrolls near…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Truth About Federal Salary Numbers

    Should federal workers get a raise? With salaries and benefits paid to the government’s civilian workers totaling $271 billion in 2011, deciding whether to extend the freeze enacted last year on cost-of-living increases has important budgetary consequences. Unfortunately, the government’s methodology for comparing pay is too flawed to offer real guidance. The Federal…

  • Backgrounder posted October 2, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D., Jennifer A. Marshall The Regnerus Study: Social Science on New Family Structures Met with Intolerance

    Abstract: Despite claims that “no differences” exist between children whose parents had a same-sex relationship and children who were raised by their married biological parents, previous research cannot support such an assertion. Using a large, nationally representative dataset, a new study by sociologist Mark Regnerus finds that children whose parents had a same-sex…

  • Jason Richwine on the Chicago Teachers Union Strike - The Mark Carbonaro Show Audio Recorded on September 19, 2012 Jason Richwine on the Chicago Teachers Union Strike - The Mark Carbonaro Show

    Senior Policy Analyst Jason Richwine discusses the Chicago Teachers Union Strike on KION's 'The Mark Carbonaro Show'.…

  • Commentary posted September 12, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Substitute Facts in Chicago Teachers Strike

    In the run-up to the Chicago teachers strike, the union and its political supporters made claims about teacher compensation that don’t comport with reality. No one expects a major political conflict to be conducted like an Oxford Union debate, but public-sector unions have an unusual stubbornness when it comes to repeating “facts” that aren’t true. First, are…

  • Backgrounder posted September 11, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees

    Abstract: The stereotype of the underworked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee? To provide an objective answer, this paper uses the American Time Use Survey, which produces a detailed listing of personal activities on a given day for…