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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

Here’s What an Almost Perfect Tax-Reform Plan Looks Like

As April 15 approaches, many Americans would welcome a simpler tax plan.

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Americans Work for the Government Until April 24

Today the Tax Foundation announces its 2015 Tax Freedom Day. The date that Americans will have earned enough to pay their total annual tax burden falls on April 24—114 days into 2015. On average, it takes over 30 percent of the year for Americans to cover their tax obligations. 

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Employment

Put The Squeeze On Operation Choke Point

A controversial (and secretive) government program known as Operation Choke Point is finally receiving the negative attention that it deserves. Operation Choke Point flies in the face of the common-sense principle that law-abiding business owners should be allowed to stay in business. 

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Seductive Liberal Agenda No Match for Modern Conservatism

Conservatism offers a winning agenda to people who want to be upwardly mobile—that is, almost everyone.  In contrast, the liberal agenda focuses on keeping Americans safe, with an emphasis on food stamps, government-provided health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid sick and maternity benefits.

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Energy

A Private Solution to Energy Efficiency

For all the resources our federal government has provided to help Americans make wiser energy decisions, most Americans do not use the EPA’s many certifications, online tools, and calculators (which include ENERGY STAR certification and the “Home Energy Yardstick”).

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Falling Oil Prices Yield a Barrel of Nonsense

The conventional wisdom holds that oil prices collapsed because of a positive supply shock. As technological innovation enabled energy companies to extract previously untapped shale oil and gas, producers were willing to supply more at any given price than they were before. That storyline has some glaring gaps. For example, domestic crude oil production has been steadily increasing for six years, practically doubling in that time period to a record 9.2 million barrels a day.

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Finance

America Strives to Exceed  French Capital Gains Tax Rates

A new report by the non-partisan Tax Foundation shows that America has higher capital gains tax rates than other industrialized countries. Nevertheless, President Obama is pushing Congress to raise taxes on capital gains still further. America’s tax treatment of capital gains already raises the cost of capital and reduces investment, and raising rates would create more disincentives to business investment and growth. 

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A Better Pathway for the Fed

The economy is growing, labor markets have improved dramatically, and inflation is forecast to return to two percent over the intermediate term. However, the Fed still expresses extreme caution about normalizing monetary policy, citing myriad concerns, ranging from sluggish wage growth and low inflation to foreign economic and political risks, which might delay the date at which interest rates finally lift off their zero lower bound. This creates the potential for an erosion of the FOMC’s credibility and suggests the Fed lacks a clear strategy for getting monetary policy back on track.

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Healthcare

Rubio’s Health Plan Is a Fresh Breeze

As the starting gate loads for the large field of 2016 presidential candidates in the Republican party, there has not been much differentiation thus far in what the leading contenders have said about health policy.

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CBO Says ACA Will Insure Fewer People Than Predicted

The Congressional Budget Office’s new report shows updated cost projections for the insurance coverage expansion in the Affordable Care Act. With the debate over the ACA remaining so intensely polarized, advocates moved aggressively to spin this routine update as reflecting favorably on the law.

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Regulation

Why a Higher Minimum Wage Will Hurt the Poor

Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to raise the city’s hourly minimum wage from $8.75 to $11.50 would harm the very people it is intended to help - poor and low-skill New Yorkers. If the wage floor is raised, they would have fewer job opportunities and less chance of climbing the career ladder.

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Government’s Choke Hold on Law-Abiding Businesses

A disturbing Department of Justice program allows unelected bureaucrats to target law-abiding individuals and industries. Entitled Operation Choke Point, it has been in operation since 2013 with the intention of combatting fraud and money laundering. But its powers are being abused.

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