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  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • First Principles Series Report posted April 17, 2014 by Nelson Lund, Ph.D. The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. —Amendment II Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms or a right that can be exercised only through militia…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2014 by David Inserra, Charles "Cully" Stimson The DREAM Act in the NDAA: Wrong for National and Homeland Security

    Under current law, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are eligible to volunteer to serve in the United States military. If they pass the strict qualification requirements applicable to all who seek to serve, they can serve in the armed forces of the United States, and once they are in the armed forces, they may apply for expedited consideration for U.S. citizenship, which…

  • White Paper posted April 15, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig The Proposed Transfer of the IANA Function to ICANN

    This paper is substantially similar to, though somewhat modified from, testimony I presented to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, during a hearing on April 10, 2014. Introduction In March 2014, the Department of Commerce announced its intention to transfer the Internet Assigned Name Authority (IANA)…

  • Backgrounder on April 14, 2014 President Obama’s 2015 Budget: How Government Expansion Will Limit Opportunity, Slow Economic Growth, and Erode Financial and National Security

    President Obama’s 2015 Budget—A Vision of Big and Expensive Government as a Necessity for American Success Romina Boccia “Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”[1] This was President Obama in his memoir, Dreams from My Father. Yet the President’s 2015 budget presents a vision of federal government involvement at…

  • Issue Brief posted April 11, 2014 by Diane Katz U.S. Export–Import Bank: Corporate Welfare on the Backs of Taxpayers

    Congress will soon debate the fate of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im), which doles out financing to favored corporations and credit to foreign governments. Proponents claim that such taxpayer bankrolling creates jobs and fills “gaps” in private financing.[1] In fact, the bank is a conduit for corporate welfare beset by unreliable risk management, inefficiency, and…

  • Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted April 11, 2014 by Patrick Louis Knudsen An Analysis of Selected Budget Process Reforms

    Since adoption of the congressional budget process in 1974, the procedure has rarely unfolded precisely on schedule or as planned. Conflicts large and small have been common, deadlines have been breached, and rules have been stretched to meet the demands of the moment. Customarily, Congress has found a way back to something resembling the “regular order” intended by the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

    Abstract For years, a central argument of those who favor same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2014 by Andrew Kloster Heart of Atlanta Motel: Public Accommodation Law at 50

    Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964.[1] This landmark piece of legislation outlawed certain forms of discrimination across the nation, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. One of the types of discriminatory conduct prohibited by the CRA was discrimination in public accommodation.[2] This…

  • Backgrounder posted April 9, 2014 by Matthew Grinney, Emily Goff Bringing Transportation Decisions Closer to the People: Why States and Localities Should Have More Control

    The current highway authorization bill is set to expire on October 1, 2014. As Congress considers its reauthorization, including changes in the federal highway program, the question that should be at the center of the debate is: Which level of government—federal, state, or local—is best suited to maintain, improve, and expand the nation’s surface transportation…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014 by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

    When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and also ex-army officer) Hugo Chávez. So although Humala lost…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2014 by Curtis S. Dubay Tax Day 2014: How Tax Reform Would Make Filing Taxes Better

    April 15, the day Americans’ tax returns for the previous year are due to the IRS, is fast approaching. Families all over the country are scrambling to find documentation for their incomes and any expenses they incurred that might be deductible, creditable, or exemptible. It is a day of consternation for most families because of the mind-numbing complexity of completing…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014 by Dakota Wood, Brian Slattery Congress Should Avert Delays in the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Plans

    The Army’s decision to transfer AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard to the active force has sparked a debate that ultimately concerns the roles, missions, and contributions of these ground components. Congress should prevent unnecessary delays in the implementation of these plans while making a stronger commitment to providing the resources that the armed…