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Issues


At e21, we use a broad definition of “economic policy.” Our analysis covers both macro and micro issues across a variety of policy areas, including the budget, national debt, financial markets, banking, housing, health care, infrastructure, and entitlements – just to name a few.

Budget

A Warning from the Medicare Trustees

My most recent article for e21 summarized the 2015 Social Security trustees’ report released last week. This companion piece does the same for the Medicare report. These are the last annual reports in which I participated as a public trustee based on my term that ended last autumn. The Medicare report shows that the program is on an unsustainable path.

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Time is Running Out to Fix Social Security

This column summarizes key information from this year’s Social Security report.  

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Employment

A major factor that hinders entrepreneurs’ ability to start new businesses is government regulation. In this column we will focus on finance and labor.

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Energy

Fossil Fuels‎ Are Here to Stay

Environmentalists have often referred to fossil fuels as an arcane source of energy, repeatedly predicting an imminent decline due to its finite nature. Yet, as fossil fuels have become less pollutant and increasingly valuable, it appears as though the energy source is here to stay for the long haul.  

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This article presents 11 reforms to help craft a smarter U.S. energy policy. Reforms 1-5 will amplify the boom, by enacting regulatory reforms to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. energy markets. Reforms 6-11 will extend the boom, by opening federal land and waters to energy development to replicate the extraordinary growth of tight oil.

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Finance

Keep the Ex-Im Bank Dead

Last month the Ex-Im bank’s charter expired after a nearly two-year fight to avoid reauthorization by free-market Republicans. However, their efforts could be for nothing because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) decision to allow an amendment that would reauthorize Ex-Im as part of an essential bill to fund the highway trust fund for the next six years. 

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Politicians Should Remember the Power of Prices

Why are public policies directed so frequently towards blocking movements in prices that would otherwise be beneficial to the economy?

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Healthcare

The Newest Obamacare Fail: Penalties of $36,500 per Worker

Hey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums.

Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.

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Waging War Against the War on Drugs

For decades, Washington has been engaged in an expensive "War on Drugs," yet has seen little success. However, if lawmakers focused on different aspects of the issue, there could be real change on the horizon. 

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Regulation

 

Pizza makers could face fines and prison time under a new Food and Drug Administration rule for failing to provide calorie counts for their billions of combinations of pizza orders. Under FDA regulations, chain restaurants, retail stores with 20 or more locations, movie theaters, and vending machines are required to provide calorie information for every menu item. Pizza parlors will be hit hardest because of the unfathomable combinations of pizza that customers can order.

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America Needs a Sober Drinking Policy

Upon turning 18, Americans are granted a myriad of legal rights and privileges. Aside from various state exceptions, 18-year olds are able to enlist in the army, participate in the political process, and legally enter into binding contracts. Perhaps the only significant exception to this principle concerns the minimum drinking age.

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