Backgrounder posted April 23, 2014
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
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. 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
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…
Issue Brief posted April 17, 2014
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,…
Issue Brief posted April 3, 2014
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…
Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014
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…
Backgrounder posted March 19, 2014
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
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
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. 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
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…