National Post – September 30, 2003

Contrary to a widespread misconception promoted by Princeton economist Paul Krugman and others, supply-siders have academic allies. Take, for example, a recent paper from the International Monetary Fund, An Analysis of the Underground Economy and Its Macroeconomic Consequences. "Our model simulations show that in the absence of budgetary flexibility to adjust expenditures, raising tax rates too high drives firms into the underground economy, thereby reducing the tax base."

Wasting Billions on Unemployment Insurance Overpayments

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) system erroneously pays billions of dollars to people who do not qualify. These overpayments equaled 9 percent, or $3.7 billion, of the $41 billion paid to laid-off workers in 2002, according to audit results recently issued by the U. S. Department of Labor. The fundamental problem is that we accept a high level of overpayments as a routine cost of doing business, rather than treating it as excessive waste that must be stopped.

Federal Prisons can Become Factories Behind Bars

In conjunction with a bipartisan effort to reform federal prison industries (FPI), two former chief economists at the Department of Labor (DOL) in the Clinton and Bush administrations will address a Capitol Hill briefing tomorrow on the critical importance of inmate work programs and HR 1829, which is currently headed for a floor vote.

Consumers can keep prescriptions within reach

While President Bush and Congress tussle over the details of legislation that would introduce drug benefits to Medicare, seniors and those without private insurance continue to pay a heavy price for their medications. The insured, too, are paying more as companies shift more costs to employees.

Czech list for reform

When Vaclav Klaus was inaugurated as president of the Czech Republic in March, he declined to deliver his first address from a balcony of the spectacular old palace overlooking the square.

Ending Welfare as We Know It: Lessons From Canada

Welfare rolls in both Canada and the United States reached all-time highs in the 1990s. One province and a few states introduced reforms to slow the rate of increase or reduce the escalating cost. However, in both countries local reforms were limited by the conditions attached to federal financing.

Liberals Against Choice

Lenin once said that he would rather have everyone in Russia die of hunger than allow free trade in grain. That pretty much sums up the thinking of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.). They and other liberal school-choice opponents are now lining up to filibuster a bill that would give some 2,000 low- and middle-income students in the District of Columbia $7,500 vouchers to attend the private or parochial school of their choice.

Liberals Against Choice

Lenin once said that he would rather have everyone in Russia die of hunger than allow free trade in grain.  That pretty much sums up the thinking of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).

The State of U.S. Manufacturing

Everybody seems to be worried about manufacturing these days. For years, manufacturers have been outsourcing operations to foreign countries to lower labor costs and escape high taxes, government regulations and union demands.

Czech President Václav Klaus to speak in Dallas

His Excellency Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, is the featured speaker at a Distinguished Lecture Series dinner sponsored by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation in Dallas on September 22.

Tuition plus tilt

This is the time of year when millions of parents send their children off to universities. Unfortunately, one price of getting one's children into a top school these days is that they may be subjected to four years of liberal propaganda.

Tax-Free Health Accounts: Portable, Flexible Health Coverage for Working Women

Too many American women have difficulty obtaining health coverage that meets their needs. This is not because women’s needs are so different from those of men, but because government policy is stuck in a 1950s view of women in the economy. However, reforms now pending in Congress would expand access to tax-free health accounts, making it easier for women to obtain personal, portable, affordable and comprehensive coverage.

Answering the Critics of Health Accounts

Many more Americans could save for current and future health care expenses in tax-free "health accounts" under a proposal by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.). The House of Representatives passed the Thomas proposal as part of the Medicare prescription drug bill, which is now before a House-Senate conference committee. Opponents want to strip health accounts from the Medicare bill, but their criticisms do not withstand scrutiny.

NCPA: Social Security Desperately Needs Reform

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), one of the nation's leading think tanks on entitlement issues, has warned that if Social Security is not reformed soon its unfunded liability will threaten the government's ability to do anything else.

Piling Up Future Debts

Recent federal budget projections show much larger deficits over the next five years than were expected just a short while ago. However, these short-term projections convey almost no information about the true magnitude of our nation's financial problems. We need to adopt a comprehensive fiscal accounting system that communicates the size of unfunded future federal spending commitments under current policies.

The Flat Tax in Russia and the New Europe

On January 1, 2001, a 13 percent flat tax on personal income took effect in Russia. It replaced a three-tiered system with a 30 percent top rate on taxable income exceeding $5,000. The old system was complicated, and because of the high rates evasion was widespread. It also produced little revenue. The new flat tax has achieved greater compliance due to its simplicity and low rate. It is producing far more revenue than the former system.