Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Are you living in a High-Tax State?

Each year, the Tax Foundation ranks states based on their business tax climate. The full report is available here. The 10 best states in this year’s Index are: Wyoming South Dakota Nevada Alaska Florida Washington New Hampshire Montana Texas Utah Why are these the top-ranked states? “Wyoming, Nevada, and South Dakota have no corporate or […]

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American Declaration of Independence: Ideology or Economy?

On this President’s Day, let’s revisit America’s founding document: the Declaration of Independence.  The Declaration of Independence includes broad ideological statements such as “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and claims that the British have violated “certain unalienable rights.” But were the real reasons for the American Revolution […]

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Do we need less democracy?

In The New Republic, Peter Orzag argues that to fix our budget mess, we need less democracy.  Specifically, he argues that implementing the following four recommendations more consistently would improve the budget situation. Progressive tax code Permanently link taxes to the unemployment rate Backstop rules Independent institutions I have my doubts…

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How much of your income goes to Medicare and Social Security?

15.3%. Does that seem a little high?  If you check your paycheck, the amount of money that is actually deducted from your paycheck for Social Security and Medicare is only 7.65%.  Employers, however, pay an equal amount of taxes on your behalf (i.e., an additional 7.65%).  Previous studies have indicated that all taxes employers pay […]

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An Oxygen Tax

The UK  explored selling or leasing forest land to private interests, but encounter some public backlash. “The plans were intended to give the private sector, community and charitable groups greater involvement in woodlands by encouraging a “mixed model” of ownership. But critics argued it could threaten public access, biodiversity and result in forests being used […]

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Proposal from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Yesterday, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a proposal for reducing the national debt. The full report can be found here and relies on five key pillars. These are: Enact tough discretionary spending caps and provide $200 billion in illustrative domestic and defense savings in 2015. Pass tax reform that dramatically reduces […]

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Estimating the elasticity of health insurance offering for firms: Part II

How does the price of health insurance affect the probability that a firm will offer health insurance to their workers?  A previous post provides a variety of estimates of the elasticity of firm health insurance offering with respect to premiums.  A more recent article by Gruber and Lettau (2004) needs to be added to this […]

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Health Insurance Subsidies (a.k.a Higher Marginal Tax Rates)

The health reform bills currently propose introduce health insurance subsidies for individuals who do not qualify for health insurance provided by the government.  The goal of these subsidies is to make health insurance more affordable for the lower and middle class. The subsidies gradually decrease for higher income levels. In “Obama’s Prescription for Low-Wage Workers,” […]

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Is licensing tax preparers a good idea?

The USA Today writes that “the IRS has proposed a broad initiative that would require hundreds of thousands of tax preparers to register with the government, pass a competency exam and adhere to ethical standards.”  This sounds like a good idea as it will safeguard individuals from unscrupulous tax preparers.  But who will this truly […]

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Financing Reform…with Taxes on Tanning Salons?

The N.Y. Times reports that Democrats in the Senate are nearing the 60 votes needed to pass a health reform bill.  To do this, Democrats have made a number of concessions.  These include: abandoning a public option, prohibiting abortion coverage, and of course, long-term-care insurance to people with severe disabilities, new services for pregnant teenagers, […]

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