What We Can Learn from the British Experience with Personal Accounts

Britain has used personal accounts in its public pension system longer than any other industrial country. Personal accounts fund individual workers’ retirement benefits through savings, whereas pay-as-you-go systems, including the U.S. Social Security system, fund elderly benefits from current workers’ taxes. The U.K. experience provides a good model of how not to do things in America. It shows that personal accounts can be good or bad, depending on how they are designed.

Unemployment Insurance in a Free Society

Unemployment insurance was intended to provide a financial safety net for laid-off workers. But the way the system is structured encourages employers to lay off employees and discourages workers from seeking new jobs until their benefits are nearly exhausted.

Dispelling the Myths About Nuclear Power

The manifest benefits of nuclear technology – from radiological medical screening and treatments, to smoke detectors, to electric power generation – have not dispelled the common belief that it is unduly hazardous. Of the many areas in which nuclear technology has been applied, perhaps none has been more damaged by the fear of radiation than nuclear power.

Answering the Myths about Social Security

Social Security reform is at the top of President Bush's second term agenda – and for good reason. In the next decade, two monumental shifts will occur: 1) the first of the 77 million baby boomers will start drawing benefits and stop paying payroll taxes, and 2) funds available to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits will fall increasingly short of promises we have made.

Requiem for a tax-reform heavyweight

PRESIDENT BUSH'S bipartisan tax-reform commission had its first meeting. Much of the discussion focused on taxing consumption instead of income as a way of increasing saving and investment. It was all very polite and, you won't be surprised to hear, no one said anything shocking. And that, if you think about it, is a little amazing: It wasn't so long ago that consumption taxes were highly controversial. Anyone suggesting a reform that got away from taxing income or capital would have been ignored, if not shouted off the dais.

Public Housing Reform

In 1996, for the first time in modern history, Congress ended a welfare entitlement. It replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the federal-state program that provided cash assistance to poor families, with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). An entitlement provides benefits to anyone meeting eligibility requirements, such as income. TANF put conditions on the receipt of cash, including time limits and work requirements — and in just a few years, enrollment fell by 54 percent.

Social Security Crisis is Real

Oklahomans may be hearing a lot about President Bush’s proposal to reform Social Security. With all the rhetoric flying back and forth, what you may not be getting are the real reasons why we are having this discussion. Simply put: this is a generational problem.

Social Security's Future

There is inherent uncertainty in projecting the future and especially the far-distant future. But using the best information and methods available, the Trustees, the Congressional Budget Office, and most private forecasters all project cash flow deficits for Social Security beginning in little more than a decade and growing worse thereafter for the indefinite future because of the demographic changes we have noted. The reason to act soon is to avoid the forced necessity of more precipitous action later.

New health plan is more than that

Steve Shirley wasn't instantly sold on the idea of a family health insurance policy that carried a $3,000 deductible. But when the vice president of marketing for Guaranty Bank regarded the health plan as something else – another way to build a nest egg – he changed his mind.

It's Time to Prepare for the Tough Fight Ahead

During the recent President’s Day recess, many Members of Congress held town hall meetings and other events to try to explain why Social Security reform was at the top of the national agenda. To no one’s surprise, several Members were met by protestors and other activists dispatched from a cadre of opposition groups.

Klaus to unveil his book in USA

President Vaclav Klaus will launch his book "On Road to Democracy: the Czech Republic from the Communist Regime to the Free Society" at the begining of next week, the Presidential Office and the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) said on their webpages.