The “Stop Disability Fraud Act of 2014″

Yesterday, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security introduced a bill to combat Social Security Disability fraud.  Yay!  The “Stop Disability Fraud Act of 2014” is a result of some very high-profile cases involving massive disability fraud rings, and the fact that a record 11 million (see my […]

If the Trustees’ Reports Hold Such Great News, Why Where They Not Released Until Now?

Because the news in them is not that great.  Consider: Social Security (OASDI).  Total unfunded liabilities into the infinite horizon are $24.9 trillion.  (To learn more about unfunded liabilities, read the NCPA piece by Laurence Kotlikoff.)  This includes Social Security, Supplemental Security and Disability.  Including the “trust fund” as a liability (and it is since it […]

Surprise! Washington, D.C. is Still the Worst Place for Teens to Find Employment

Townhall’s Political Calculations found that Washington, D.C. tops the list for the worst teenage employment/population ratio in the United States.  Based on their chart, it appears that only 15 percent of D.C. teenagers age 16 to 19 are actually working, and they have taken the lead with dismal statistics for many years.  Keep in mind […]

Yes, State Taxes Matter

A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that, unsurprisingly, states with higher taxes have lower economic growth, even when controlling for a variety of factors including a state’s population growth, educational attainment, and value of natural resources.  One of the study’s findings?  A one-percent increase in the average tax rate […]

New Fed Study On Unemployment Benefits

If the North Carolina experience with unemployment benefits was not convincing enough for naysayers, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that the expiration of unemployment benefits in December 2013 may have reduced unemployment in early 2014.  No surprise here, but worth noting.

North Carolina’s Success

Back in January, I wrote about the pitfalls of extending unemployment benefits.  Several studies have found that long periods of unemployment benefits exacerbate unemployment and reduce the incentive to find work.  A year ago, North Carolina opted not to receive federal unemployment benefits extension, and their decision paid off, as John Hood writes in the […]

The Debate Over the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

In the arguments for tax reform, the home mortgage interest deduction occasionally comes up.  Amazingly, the call for its phase out is a measure that many on the right and left can agree.  The Mercatus Center published a recent study on the mortgage interest deduction and how it encourages debt, excessive borrowing and benefits primarily upper […]

U.S. GDP Growth Is In a Race To the Bottom

Wow…today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its final first quarter estimate of U.S. annual GDP growth, and it’s not pretty.  Real GDP contracted 2.9%, far greater than the BEA’s original estimate of 0.1% growth.  For those who are alarmed, you should be.  A comparison of the United States to the G20 countries shows that […]

Seattle and Midland: A Tale of Two Cities

I was perusing the latest news on jobs and wages this morning, and I have been intrigued by the happenings in Seattle recently – the city council’s approval to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (phased in over seven years) and now a proposed plan for free universal pre-school paid for with a $58 […]

The (Lack of) Labor Force

While USA Today and other mainstream papers are wringing their hands over the lack of women workers in Silicon Valley, perhaps we should be more concerned about the lack of male and female workers…and jobs…period. A Third of America’s 18-34 Year Olds Live With Their Parents  Business Insider Record Number of Working-Age Men Are Not Working  […]