Backgrounder posted September 23, 2016
Financial Privacy in a Free Society
Privacy, both financial and personal, is a key component of life in a free society. Unlike in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, individuals in free societies have a private sphere free of government involvement, surveillance, and control. The United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, particularly the Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments, together with structural…
Issue Brief posted May 16, 2016
Congress Should Rescind Unused Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Funds
In an era of record deficits, Congress should explore every opportunity to save taxpayer money. One funding stream Congress should cut immediately is Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs).
The federal government uses a number of policy tools to favor the production of one energy source over or another and subsidize or mandate energy efficiency. One such mechanism,…
Backgrounder posted September 3, 2013
Advanced Energy Trust Fund: Tying a Good Idea to a Bad One
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) recently released draft legislation outlining her idea of an Advanced Energy Trust Fund. The trust fund would create a new stream of revenue for the Secretary of Energy to spend on basic and applied research for new energy technologies—with funding coming predominately from oil and gas production on federal lands currently off-limits to…
Issue Brief posted February 29, 2012
Obama’s Budget Badly Undercounts Tax Hikes
President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal explicitly claims a $1.561 trillion tax hike over 10 years, as reported by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is a vast understatement, because that figure fails to account for all of the President’s tax increases and improperly claims credit for reducing tax receipts from tax cuts that are not…
Backgrounder posted November 2, 2011
True Tax Reform: Improves the Economy, Does Not Raise Taxes
Abstract: There is little dispute that the current federal income tax is in real need of an overhaul. The heart of tax reform 2011 is to achieve a stronger economy through the adoption of a more economically neutral tax system featuring much lower marginal tax rates. But current discussions of tax reform have been mistakenly caught in the debate over how to cut current…
White Paper posted November 1, 2011
Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012
The FY 2013 version of the Appropriations Tracker is available here.
Download a PDF version with hyperlinks to House and Senate Appropriations Committee documents: Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012
Designed to inform American policymakers and citizens, the Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 monitors the progress of appropriations bills as they move through the…
WebMemo posted April 26, 2010
Dodd Bill Fails to Fix “Too Big to Fail”
Supporters of the Dodd financial regulatory bill list as one of its key virtues that it “solves” the problem of financial institutions that are seen as being “too big to fail.” Unfortunately, this is not the case.
While the bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee includes a faulty mechanism for closing financial institutions whose failure could damage the entire…
WebMemo posted April 22, 2010
Senator Dodd’s Regulation Plan: 14 Fatal Flaws
The Senate is expected to take up a proposal, originally authored by Senator Chris Dodd (D–CT), to reform the financial regulatory system in the U.S. The goal is clear: to minimize the chances that another financial crisis—and bailouts—will arise again.
The objective is a good one. Unfortunately, the 1,408-page bill includes numerous provisions that would hurt—not…
WebMemo posted December 12, 2008
TARP: Now a Slush Fund for Detroit?
With the Senate's rejection of a bailout for Detroit's ailing
automakers, there comes word that President Bush is actively
considering using funds allocated by Congress for the Troubled
Asset Relief Program (TARP) to prop up the automakers for the time
being. Such action would be legally wrong,
economically wrong, and counterproductive to turning around…