Washington Update

Breaking economic news. Just in time for Labor Day, new data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics today shows a modest increase of 151,000 jobs last month. Perpetually tepid economic growth is sure to be a major topic of discussion for the Federal Reserve, which meets next month to discuss whether the economy is […]

Hillary’s Tax Plan: A Wealth Transfer from Nearly Everybody (Not Just the Rich) to Big Government

Two weeks ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to an audience in Warren, Michigan laying out her plans for the economy should she become president.  Of course, this was before NCPA released a new study on Clinton’s tax plan, which is now available.  In her speech, she asked four questions, and based on our analysis […]

Not Much to Say About the Jobs Report

The July jobs report is out.  Nonfarm jobs rose by 255,000, which is more than economists predicted for July. But the unemployment rate still stands at 4.9 percent, and the labor force participation rate is a paltry 62.8 percent, only two-tenths of a point lower than last July.  In terms of demographics: Among all age […]

A Guide to Inequality

Senator Bernie Sanders has now officially dropped out of the race and endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Despite his loss, the achievement of his campaign should not be dismissed, especially his success with younger voters through populist rhetoric.  Speaking at the Vatican, Senator Sanders stated that “[A]s an increasing share of new wealth and income […]

Free Trade and Candlemakers

Economists are infamous for disagreeing with each other, but one of the few issues to consistently receive unanimous support is free trade.  Policymakers however have failed to take this lesson to heart.  GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently admonished Ford Motor Company for planning to build a new plant in Mexico.  He claims that by hiring […]

How Does the Economy Affect Investments? This Compass Shows You

    In today’s economy, it can be difficult to know what investments are most favored or held back by economic conditions. One effective solution is to classify investment vehicles according to how they perform when the economy is changing in a particular way. The diagram above is shaped like a compass. It’s a simple scheme […]

The Changing Face of SSDI Beneficiaries

As I wrote in a previous blog post, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is suffering a funding shortfall that is exacerbated by a complex bureaucracy and lack of political will for reform.   According to the latest Statistical Report on Social Security Disability, there are 12.1 million individuals currently receiving disability benefits, 8.9 million of them previous workers.  Those who […]

A Patently Silly Campaign Promise to Entrepreneurs…from Hillary

A colleague emailed me an article about Hillary Clinton’s new campaign pledge to entrepreneurs.  In a speech yesterday, she proposed delaying student loan payments for three years to those starting up a business.  If that business provides “social benefits,” she proposes that the entrepreneur could apply for debt forgiveness of up to $17,500 after five […]

If Congress Does Not Want to Reform SSDI, Will They At Least Tackle Overpayments?

According to the most recent Trustees Report, the Social Security Disability trust fund, which would have been depleted by the end of this year, will now run dry in 2019, thanks to a little finagling of the payroll tax. But this is a short-term solution to a program that is in desperate need of real […]

Social Insecurity

The 2016 Social Security Trustees Report has been a long time coming.  Usually it is released in the spring (although last year it wasn’t released until July), but I can’t say I blame the Trustees for the delay.  It looks bad.  Worse than last year.  The program that pays yours and my retirement benefits, either […]