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  • Backgrounder posted April 23, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., John L. Ligon Basel III Capital Standards Do Not Reduce the Too-Big-to-Fail Problem

    Many experts recognize that the government will still step in to support some financial institutions rather than allow them to go through bankruptcy. This “too-big-to-fail” doctrine remains at least as prominent now—and as costly to taxpayers—as it was prior to the 2008 crisis, partly because the Dodd–Frank bill exacerbated the problem. For instance, in the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Job Creation: Policies to Boost Employment and Economic Growth

    Nearly five years since the official end of the great recession in June 2009, 10.5 million Americans are unemployed, and the labor force participation rate remains near a 35-year low.[1] The weak labor market exists despite trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus aimed at boosting employment and economic growth. Rather than increase the size of the federal…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2014 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Fannie and Freddie 2.0: The Senate Does Not Get the Government Out of the Market

    In an effort to reform the nation’s housing finance system, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D–SD) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R–ID) have announced that they will hold a markup for their bill on April 29, but many details still have to be ironed out. Given that close to 100 percent of the U.S. mortgage market is now backed by the federal government, it…

  • Commentary posted April 18, 2014 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Pay college athletes on the open market

    Division I college football players are professionals. They are given room, board and health care in exchange for their time, and served by tutors, coaches and trainers. They are paid only if they work. If a star receiver decided to focus on academics and scale back football practice, he would be dropped from the team and lose his scholarship. His “student” status is a…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2014 by James Sherk, Rachel Greszler Paycheck Fairness Act Would Reduce Pay and Flexibility in the Workplace

    In the name of protecting women from discrimination, the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would allow employees to sue businesses that pay different workers different wages—even if those differences have nothing to do with the employees’ sex. These lawsuits can be brought for unlimited damages, giving a windfall to trial lawyers. Any financial benefits they reap, however,…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2014 by Rachel Greszler How the Paycheck Fairness Act Will Hurt Women

    As a working woman and mother of four young children, I strongly support fairness in the workplace. And that is why the Paycheck Fairness Act worries me. It would unintentionally harm working women by taking away some of the freedoms and choices we currently enjoy. The Paycheck Fairness Act seeks to equalize wages. Under the Act, employers would have to prove that any…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Wasteful Spending Continues Despite an ‘Evidence-based’ Policy Agenda

    In a New York Times Economix blog post, Laura D’Andrea Tyson, a former White House adviser to President Clinton, and Jonathan Greenblatt,  a current adviser to President Obama, assert that the Obama administration is responding to budgetary constraints by requiring “more evidence-based research on program performance and the reallocation of funds from less-effective…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., John L. Ligon U.S. Financial Markets Do Not Need a New Regulator: Senate Misses the Mark

    Senators Tim Johnson (D–SD) and Mike Crapo (R–ID) have released a new housing finance reform bill, and as expected, it is very similar to the bill that Senators Bob Corker (R–TN) and Mark Warner (D–VA) released last June. Both Senate proposals would wind down the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and both would replace the GSEs with a new…

  • Commentary posted April 2, 2014 by James Sherk Liberal Economists Are Caught in a Bind Trying to Sell Obama’s Overtime Laws

    President Harry Truman once famously quipped: “Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, ‘On the one hand, on the other . . .’” This probably isn’t exactly quite what he meant, but some economists are earnestly taking both sides of a debate over President Obama’s new overtime regulations, which expand time-and-a-half requirements to certain jobs. In a…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., John L. Ligon Johnson–Crapo Housing Finance Reform Misguided

    Senators Tim Johnson (D–SD) and Mike Crapo (R–ID) have released a new housing finance reform bill, and as expected, it is very similar to the bill that Senators Bob Corker (R–TN) and Mark Warner (D–VA) released last June. Both Senate proposals would wind down the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but both would also replace the GSEs…

  • Commentary posted March 20, 2014 by James Sherk Goodbye, flexible work arrangements

    Millions of salaried workers may soon lose flexibility in how they work. President Obama plans to cover them under federal overtime regulations. This won't raise their pay. It will, however, effectively convert them into hourly workers - putting the kibosh on the flexible work arrangements many employees value. Hourly employees get paid time-and-a-half for working more…

  • Backgrounder posted March 19, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Do Federal Social Programs Work?

    Do federal social programs work? This is a simple question. While the question may be straightforward, however, finding an answer is complicated. To answer in the affirmative, federal social programs must ameliorate the social problems they target. In essence, social programs seek to improve human behavior in ways that will make people better off. For example, the social…

  • Issue Brief posted March 13, 2014 by James Sherk Expand Employee Participation in the Workplace

    The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits most employee-participation programs, such as the proposed works council program in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Workers must choose between a traditional union and no formal representation at all. Congress should modify the NLRA to allow workers to participate in works councils and employee involvement programs. This would…

  • Issue Brief posted March 5, 2014 by Drew Gonshorowski Compensation and Obamacare’s Impact on Low-Wage Workers

    In February, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a budget outlook that showed significant changes in the effect of Obamacare on the supply of labor. This led to a furious outcry from Obamacare proponents and critics.[1] However, one additional bit of conversation seemed to get lost in the shuffle: The CBO clearly states that Obamacare will lower aggregate labor…

  • Issue Brief posted February 28, 2014 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., Rachel Greszler, John L. Ligon Chairman Camp’s Tax Reform Plan a Milestone for Dynamic Analysis

    House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R–MI) released a plan for comprehensive tax reform. Setting aside its merits, Camp’s proposal is noteworthy on two accounts: (1) It presents the most comprehensive tax reform proposal in decades, and (2) it includes a dynamic estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). The latter is a long overdue and welcome…