Author Archive

More On the Minimum Wage Debate

Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal ran an excellent article by Michael Saltsman, director at the Employment Policies Institute.  He rightfully noted that the examples President Obama uses of businesses that pay their employees well above minimum wage are businesses that can afford to do so.  For example, on a stop at the University of […]

A Quick Guide to the Public Pension Crisis

The NCPA has written numerous publications on the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and possible reforms.   We have also addressed unfunded liabilities of state and local public pensions.   But one of my readers alerted me to her infographic that quite nicely sums up the Social Security and states’ pension crises, for those with no time […]

Dallas’ New Bag Tax: What’s the Point?

Yesterday the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance that would require retailers to charge 5 cents per paper or plastic bag used by consumers.  While this is not an all-out ban on plastic bags, it does punish consumers who make the choice to use a plastic or paper bag instead of bringing their own reusable […]

Investment Panic Doesn’t Pay

I recall during the market and housing crash of fall 2008 that many savers were running from the stock market.  As panic ensued, the strategy of “buy high, sell low” became commonplace, and those who stayed the path of regularly saving and investing in equities were viewed as risky and idealistic.  This prompted me to […]

The High Marginal Cost of the Social Security Benefits Tax

In yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, financial columnist Scott Burns discussed the hard-hitting Social Security benefits tax.  Using Turbo-Tax, he demonstrates how middle-income seniors (those earning $41,343 to $77,343) are hit by the tax.  Since the income thresholds are not adjusted for inflation, but Social Security benefits are, more seniors will have pay the tax as […]

The Camp Tax Reform Plan Is a Good Start With a Few Caveats

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) unveiled a plan today (executive summary here) to simplify the tax code and reduce income tax rates, from the current seven rates to just two rates:  10 percent and 25 percent.   It also groups personal family exemptions into three categories instead of the usual six:  a larger standard deduction, a larger […]

Income Inequality and the Minimum Wage

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that estimated the effects of an increase in the minimum wage.   There were two scenarios:  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016 and then adjusting annually for inflation, or raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour by 2016 with no adjustments for inflation. The […]

Taking from the Top 40 Percent

Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article written by Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation.  If we want true income equality, according to Mr. Hodge, income would have to be taken from the top 40 percent of income earners and distributed to the bottom 60 percent.  So redistribution is not just limited to […]

And the CBO Report is Supposed To Be Good News?

In a rather bizarre White House press briefing yesterday, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman told reporters that the latest estimate that the Affordable Care Act will cause the loss of some 2.5 million jobs over the next 10 years is apparently a good thing.  He responded to a question about the Congressional […]

Where Does Your City Stand in the War on Lemonade Stands?

As part of the ongoing effort to crush the entrepreneurial spirit of children, several municipalities have targeted lemonade stands.  That’s right…how dare those children selling lemonade attempt to take your money for providing a potentially bacteria-laden , unhealthy, loaded-with-sugar beverage, that has been stirred and handled by the grimy hands of 10 year olds….on a sidewalk not […]