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  • Backgrounder posted September 23, 2014 by John L. Ligon, Rachel Greszler, Patrick Tyrrell The Economic and Fiscal Effects of Eliminating the Federal Death Tax

    The federal estate tax (often referred to as the death tax) is a tax on a person’s lifetime accumulated property. In 2014, the death tax applies a 40 percent tax to all accumulated wealth above $5.34 million.[1] While the death tax applies to relatively few Americans and raises only tiny amounts of revenue for the federal government, it imposes substantial costs on the…

  • Commentary posted December 4, 2013 by Patrick Tyrrell Pricing unskilled workers out of their jobs

    Congress soon will vote on raising the federal minimum wage to more than $10 per hour. Few realize that, from the perspective of many employers, the government has already done this. Although the administration has announced a one-year delay in enforcing the Obamacare employer mandate, come 2015 the penalty for not offering employee health care benefits will add…

  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2013 by James Sherk, Patrick Tyrrell Obamacare and a Minimum Wage Hike Pricing Many Unskilled Workers Out of Their Jobs

    The government has already effectively raised the minimum wage above $10 per hour—without benefitting workers. President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer full-time employees health benefits that meet certain “minimum standards” criteria. Otherwise, they pay a penalty. In 2015, this mandate will raise the minimum productivity necessary to hold a…

  • Special Report posted November 21, 2013 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Patrick Tyrrell The 2013 Index of Dependence on Government

    The Index of Dependence on Government measures the growth in spending on dependence-creating programs that supplant the role of civil society. Dependence on government in the U.S. rose again in 2011, the year of the most recently available data, and which is principally assessed by this report. A solid majority of Americans polled by Rasmussen believe that government…

  • Backgrounder posted January 8, 2013 by Patrick Tyrrell, William W. Beach U.S. Government Increases National Debt—and Keeps 128 Million People on Government Programs

    The number of people receiving benefits from the federal government in the United States has grown from under 94 million people in 2000 to more than 128 million people in 2011. That means that 41.3 percent of the U.S. population is now on a federal government program. The 128 million is an estimate based on the recently released March 2011 U.S. Census Bureau Current…

  • Special Report posted February 8, 2012 by William W. Beach, Patrick Tyrrell The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government

    Abstract: The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011. The United States has long reached the point at which it must reverse the direction of both trends or face economic and social…

  • Center for Data Analysis Report posted October 14, 2010 by William W. Beach, Patrick Tyrrell The 2010 Index of Dependence on Government

    Abstract: The number of Americans who pay taxes continues to shrink—and the United States is close to the point at which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits they receive. In 2009, 64.3 million Americans depended on the government (read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health care. Starting in 2015, the Social…

  • Backgrounder posted September 10, 2010 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., Patrick Tyrrell Obama Tax Hikes: Dividend Tax Increase Hurts Seniors and the Economy

    Abstract: The top tax rates on qualified dividends are scheduled to jump from 15 percent to nearly 40 percent on January 1, 2011—just one of many reasons the Bush tax relief should be extended. Without an extension, dividend payments will be taxed at a far higher rate than capital gains, distorting how companies return value to their…

  • Backgrounder posted June 28, 2010 by William W. Beach, Patrick Tyrrell The 2010 Index of Dependence on Government: Dramatic Spike in Dependence Projected

    Abstract: Year after year, The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependence on Government documents the ever-growing number of federal aid programs and the ever-growing number of Americans who rely on government subsidies for their existence. The number of Americans who now pay no taxes has passed 35 percent. The International Monetary Fund predicts financial…

  • Backgrounder posted December 18, 2009 by William W. Beach, Robert A. Book, Ph.D., Karen Campbell, Ph.D., Rea S. Hederman, Jr., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., John L. Ligon, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Guinevere Nell, Kathryn Nix, Nina Owcharenko, Jason Richwine, Ph.D., James Sherk, Kisa Smith, Patrick Tyrrell, Paul L. Winfree An Analysis of the Senate Democrats' Health Care Bill

    Abstract: The Senate health care bill would overhaul the entire health care sector of the U.S. economy by erecting massive federal controls over private health insurance, dictating the content of insurance benefit packages and the use of medical treatments, procedures, and medical devices. It would alter the relationship between the federal government and the states,…

  • WebMemo posted May 21, 2009 by Patrick Tyrrell The Results Are In: Stimulus Bill Neither Timely Nor Targeted

    Before the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the "stimulus bill"), President Obama and his chief economic advisor, Larry Summers, stressed that the government's response to the economic crisis needed to be "timely, targeted, and temporary." As predicted by a Heritage Foundation analyst,[1] the bill is neither timely nor…

  • WebMemo posted January 26, 2009 by Shanea Watkins, Ph.D., Patrick Tyrrell The Stimulus Bill: $825 Billion in Forgone Family Spending

    House Democrats have proposed $825 billion in stimulus spending (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) to be used to create jobs, protect workers, expand infrastructure, and provide aid to states. This money is being borrowed, meaning it will have to be repaid by either taxing it from future generations or borrowing even more funds. Many people…

  • Backgrounder posted July 7, 2008 by James Sherk, Patrick Tyrrell Davis-Bacon Flaws Hurt Nebraska's Workers

    The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 requires contractors on all federal construction projects to pay their workers the prevailing wage in their locality. The law is intended to ensure that the government does not drive down construction workers' wages, but flaws in the U.S. Department of Labor's wage determination process cause the law to have the opposite effect in Nebraska. …

  • Backgrounder posted July 7, 2008 by James Sherk, Patrick Tyrrell Davis-Bacon Flaws Hurt Virginia's Workers

    The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 requires contractors on all federal construction projects to pay their workers the prevailing wage in their locality. The law is intended to ensure that the government does not drive down construction workers' wages, but flaws in the U.S. Department of Labor's wage determination process have caused the law to have the opposite effect in…

  • Backgrounder posted July 7, 2008 by James Sherk, Patrick Tyrrell Davis-Bacon Flaws Hurt South Dakota's Workers

    The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 requires contractors on all federal construction projects to pay their workers the prevailing wage in their locality. The law is intended to ensure that the government does not drive down construction workers' wages, but flaws in the U.S. Department of Labor's wage determination process cause the law to have the opposite effect in South…