The Mortgage Meltdown

The 2008 financial crisis was one of the most severe economic breakdowns in the history of the world.2 The crisis was a classic financial bubble with all the classic attributes thereof: greed, …

Litigation Update: the Affordable Care Act

In the five years since Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the validity of the law has been litigated in federal courts throughout the United States. From infringements on religious liberty to violations of the legislative process, lawsuits challenging the ACA have reflected the dissatisfaction of many with both the substance of the bill and its implementation.

Critical Minerals: Rare Earths and the U.S. Economy

Rare earths are 17 elements in the Earth’s crust used in a variety of applications, from hybrid cars and x-ray units to cell phones and wind turbines. When it comes to little-known resources, rare earths are probably the world’s most important — they are small but necessary components of a vast range of consumer goods that account for hundreds of billions of dollars in gross domestic product.

Adoption from Foster Care

Hundreds of thousands of children enter the foster care system each year. Most are reunited with family members, but many children spend years in the system. Thousands of 18 year olds age out of foster care each year. A 1997 NCPA report found that many children eligible for adoption stayed in the system longer than necessary. In recent decades, the federal government has spent billions of dollars trying to improve the accuracy of foster care reporting systems and on adoption subsidies, but many adoptable children remain in foster care.

Comparative Child Poverty Measures

The United States has one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world, according to some international rankings. However, yardsticks commonly used by the federal government and international organizations to measure poverty in America and other countries are inconsistent with each other, and could be inaccurate or misleading.

Budget Wars

After four years without a federal budget, the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed different budget plans. The House plan sponsored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Senate plan sponsored by Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) must be reconciled if the federal government is to adopt a budget.

LOST at Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — known as UNCLOS or LOST (Law of the Sea Treaty) — recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, but has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. Many objections to the Treaty are based on arguments of national sovereignty. However, there are very sound economic and environmental reasons why the U.S. Senate should continue to reject ratification.

The Veterans Disability System: Problems and Solutions

Throughout the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), fraud, mismanagement and waste have plagued what is perhaps the most comprehensive veterans’ assistance system in the world. An examination of the Veterans Disability Compensation Program offers little reassurance that the system is improving. What can be done about the VA?

State Reform of Medicaid Drug Programs

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides medical care to more than 60 million low-income individuals and families. Medicaid rolls in many states have risen over the past several years as a result of the recession and continuing high unemployment. Indeed, in 2011 the average growth rate in Medicaid spending was about 6.1 percent.