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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

Stop The Democrat-Sponsored Elmendorf Bandwagon

Republicans now have the opportunity and the responsibility to govern in accordance with their longstanding principles of civic decency and egalitarian upward mobility based on merit instead of privilege or government fiat.  

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No Budget, No Pay (and Other Modest Proposals for Congress)

Procedure, dysfunctional procedure, also plays a dispositive role in our budget process—to the detriment of growth.

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Employment

Are Democrats Out of Data Analysts?

Ezra Klein recently took up the question of whether the Democratic party is out of ideas. I tend to agree with Yuval Levin that both the Left and the Right haven’t modernized their agendas. But there might be a more pressing problem for Democrats: Are they running out of rigorous, clear-headed data analysts, too?

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Steven Rattner’s Missing Case for Reducing Inequality

Since Americans are less likely than Europeans to worry about inequality, it should come as no surprise that we redistribute less than in continental Europe. Rattner does not like that we distribute less than he would prefer and that our taxation levels—as progressive as in Europe—are lower than he wants. But the public does not share his preferences, and he has given them no reason to reconsider their views. 

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Energy

5 reasons to counter climate-change regulation

Costly U.S. measures to influence climate change are unlikely to achieve their objective. Instead, they will slow the economy, reducing job opportunities and mobility, and increasing inequality.

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Time for Wind to Stand on Its Own

As the comptroller and chief financial officer of Texas, I worry about energy policy choices by policymakers that can have significant and adverse consequences. It seems to me that it is time for wind energy to stand on its own towers.

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Finance

More Good News from the Fed

Minutes from the October meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, made public last week, confirm the bullish tone struck by the shorter policy statement released earlier. While individual members see various risks, particularly from overseas, where the European and Asian economies appear to be weakening, as a group they acknowledged the considerable progress that the U.S. has made in recovering from the financial crisis and severe recession of 2007-2009 and the gathering momentum in various measures of aggregate activity that has appeared most recently. 

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Yellen Should Not Let Wages Be Her Guide

For its part, the Fed seems determined to see wages rise before it begins to normalize its benchmark rate. Given the wide gap between zero and some neutral rate, waiting for a signal from wages will be too late.

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Healthcare

Gruber and Barro Are Wrong to Assume the Public is Stupid

A ton of virtual ink has been spilled over Obama Administration advisor Jonathan Gruber’s admission that he and others intentionally misportrayed the effects of the Affordable Care Act to facilitate its passage. Here I want to explain how Gruber’s characterizations of the “stupidity of the American voter,” as well as subsequent comments by Josh Barro, are incorrect on the substance.

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A Supreme Court Case That Could Upend Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act's legal troubles are far from over. The Supreme Court's announcement that it will review King v. Burwell, the case challenging health insurance premium subsidies for those who buy their insurance on the 36 federal exchanges, increases the priority of reforming the most destructive aspects of the Act. Regardless of the decision, the new Congress should be prepared to act swiftly to improve the most destructive aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

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Regulation

How Obama’s Immigration Plan Could Benefit Wal-Mart

Additional legal immigrants will bolster GoBank. If this partial foray into banking works out, Wal-Mart may yet again attempt for a bank charter of its own. And to the dismay of the financial-services industry, it might succeed.

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Yellen Should Not Let Wages Be Her Guide

For its part, the Fed seems determined to see wages rise before it begins to normalize its benchmark rate. Given the wide gap between zero and some neutral rate, waiting for a signal from wages will be too late.

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