As the starting gate loads for the large field of 2016 presidential candidates in the Republican party, there has not been much differentiation thus far in what the leading contenders have said about health policy.
One possible force for greater upward mobility is the welfare reforms of the 1990s. Hear me out, because I think the case is stronger than is generally admitted. We probably won’t know the answer for a few more years, because the oldest children born in the 1990s are only 25 years old today, and the youngest are barely 15 years old.
Jared Meyer interviewed former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio on March 24 on the subject of what can be done to solve the growing problem of the state and local pension debt crisis. DeMaio now chairs Reform California, a political action committee seeking to place pension reform on the ballot statewide.
For all the resources our federal government has provided to help Americans make wiser energy decisions, most Americans do not use the EPA’s many certifications, online tools, and calculators (which include ENERGY STAR certification and the “Home Energy Yardstick”).
The past two weeks have seen a conversation between liberals and conservatives around the decline in marriage and its relationship to economics and cultural change. My last column argued that while marriage has declined, men’s earnings have deteriorated little if at all, making it difficult to link the two. One reaction was a sort of theoretical contortionism where declines in male earnings reduce marriage while, asymmetrically, improvements in earnings fail to raise marriage rates.
On Tuesday two National Labor Relations Board officials, Chairman Mark Pearce and General Counsel Richard Griffin, appeared before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Members asked Pearce and Griffin about new rules for union elections set to come into effect on April 14.
A new report by the non-partisan Tax Foundation shows that America has higher capital gains tax rates than other industrialized countries. Nevertheless, President Obama is pushing Congress to raise taxes on capital gains still further. America’s tax treatment of capital gains already raises the cost of capital and reduces investment, and raising rates would create more disincentives to business investment and growth.
The economy is growing, labor markets have improved dramatically, and inflation is forecast to return to two percent over the intermediate term. However, the Fed still expresses extreme caution about normalizing monetary policy, citing myriad concerns, ranging from sluggish wage growth and low inflation to foreign economic and political risks, which might delay the date at which interest rates finally lift off their zero lower bound. This creates the potential for an erosion of the FOMC’s credibility and suggests the Fed lacks a clear strategy for getting monetary policy back on track.
This week the House and Senate Budget Committees released their proposed budgets for fiscal year 2016. The chambers will go to conference on the budgets after the Easter recess, and a unified budget should pass Congress by the summer.