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.

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: What Difference Would It Make?

That seniors lack access to prescription drugs is offered as a rationale for supporting a new Medicare prescription drug benefit. If many of them do in fact lack access, spending $400 billion in general tax revenues during the next 10 years for the benefit would increase seniors' use of drugs. The questions then are: What fraction of the Medicare population lacks prescription drug coverage, and how much more would they spend if they had coverage?

Resuscitating the flat tax

The flat tax is making a comeback. Though banished to the political wilderness after Steve Forbes made it the central issue of his losing 1996 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, interest in the flat tax is perking up again. One of the Democrats running for president could do himself (or herself) a lot of good by picking it up.

Why the GOP Is Winning

Last month's California recall vote blew away not only Gov. Gray Davis but also a great many givens about American voting habits. The Republican candidates for Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock) captured 62% of the vote in a state that Al Gore carried by 11 percentage points. Fifty-seven percent of white women voted for a Republican governor to replace Davis, and so did 40% of Hispanics and a quarter of blacks.

Putting national security first

National defense is a core function of and a primary justification for national government. An implicit contract exists among a nation's people, its government and its military. The government promises to provide its people and their interests with the best defense possible. It promises to provide the military with the best training and armaments available.

Strike four on Kyoto

Thought the Kyoto Protocol to curb global warming was dead? Think again. At least that's what Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, were hoping. In what many thought was a Halloween trick, the two senators tried to bring Kyoto back from the dead with a bill – the "Climate Stewardship Act" – that sought to unilaterally impose many of Kyoto 's restrictions. This despite the fact Kyoto had already experienced three strikes. Let's call this 55-43 defeat strike four.

Economic clues from the past

The Great Depression remains the central economic event in American history. Even today, politicians invoke its memory. For example, Democrats routinely accuse George W. Bush of having economic policies like those of Herbert Hoover, on whose watch the Depression began. Given its horrendous effects, accusing anyone of threatening a replay is about as nasty a charge as can be made in politics.