Category: Facts

Writing for the Reason Foundation on June 16, Jerry Brito notes that the Virginia government’s response to Uber and Lyft is behind the times and a disservice to residents. It’s a warning Georgia should heed. By Jerry Brito Technological innovation sometimes makes laws obsolete. Consider the “Red Flag Laws” of the late 19th century, which required early automobiles traveling on roads to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag in order to warn others on horses of the vehicle’s approach. Today, most states require cars traveling on roads to have a human driver at the wheel—a regulation that to our descendants will sound just as preposterous as flag-waving does to us. Yet how do we get… View Article
(This article appeared in Real Clear Markets and was reprinted by the American Enterprise Institute. Alex Brill is a research fellow at AEI.) By Alex Brill Tax season is over for all but the greatest procrastinators among us. Two-thirds of taxpayers are celebrating their forthcoming refunds while tens of millions of others have grudgingly written a check to the IRS. Either way, this is the time of year when Americans are most acutely aware of the federal income tax system and all its flaws. Our tax code is extraordinarily difficult to navigate and it sometimes seems that it’s more concerned with advancing social and industrial policy goals than raising the money needed to fund government. The plethora of preferential… View Article
Read the full article by The Atlantic Cities at http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2014/04/7-reasons-us-infrastructure-projects-cost-way-more-they-should/8799/ By Scott Beyer Republicans have long wanted to reduce Washington’s role in transportation, most recently through a bill that would nearly repeal the gas tax. They argue that by collecting this revenue and redistributing it to the states, the federal government now functions as a wasteful bureaucratic top layer, and that if states could just keep the revenue, more would go towards actual construction. A closer look at existing federal policy strengthens their point. In 2005, the Cato Institute published Gabriel Roth’s paper “Liberating the Roads,” which detailed some of the federal government’s inefficiencies. It included a statement by former Federal Highway Administration head Robert Farris, who… View Article

School Choice Increases Property Values

A recent study concludes that school choice increases local property values, says Ashley Bateman of the Heartland Institute. Looking at New York City, student performance increased with the expansion of charter schools. Not only did graduation rates rise, but net income and housing demand in those neighborhoods also increased. In all, the authors found that the opening of a new charter school led to a 3.7 percent increase in home prices in the same zip code, just a year later. From 2006 to 2012, graduation rates increased 11.3 percent, leading to a $37.1 billion increase in residential housing values. The addition of charter schools created more than $22 billion in housing value increases. John Merrifield, senior fellow at the National… View Article

The Poor Are Not Getting Poorer

The rich may be getting richer, but the poor are definitely not getting poorer. In fact, most Americans got richer over the last 35 years. President Obama likes to stress that income inequality has increased in the United States, but it is hardly “the defining challenge of our time,” as he has called it, says Ronald Bailey, a science correspondent for Reason Magazine. Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless used data from a December 2013 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study to show that from 1979 to 2010 (this was the last year with available data) the bottom quintile’s after-tax income in constant dollars rose by 49 percent. For the second lowest, middle and fourth quintile, those incomes increased by a respective… View Article
New data demonstrates that there is no link between state education spending and student outcomes, says Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. Comparing academic performance with state spending is an incredibly valuable way to measure the efficacy of education policies. Looking at academic performance on a national scale, the results are not good. Seventeen year olds’ performance has been stagnant since 1970 across all subjects, despite K-12 education costs tripling. Unfortunately, similar data at the state level has been very difficult to come by. Spending data exists for the last 50 years, but it is scattered across various publications. Academic data, on the other hand, is even more difficult to find, as it is either… View Article

Education Savings Accounts

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has produced several papers on Education Savings Accounts: What are ESAs and how do they work? Click here to read “The Way of the Future: Education Savings Accounts for Every American Family.” How do parents use ESAs? Click here to read “The Education Debit Card: What Arizona Parents Purchase with Education Savings Accounts.” Are families happy with ESAs? Click here to read “Schooling Satisfaction: Arizona Parents’ Opinions on Using Education Savings Accounts.”  … View Article

Despite the Hooplah, Transit Use is Slowing

An American Enterprise Institute published an article from the Washington Examiner that disputes the much-touted increase in transit use as much ado about nothing: “APTA is promoting the idea of a transit boom because it would like to see lots of federal money continue to be spent on transit. It already is: as King et al. point out, transit receives about 20 percent of federal surface transportation funding while accounting for only 2 to 3 percent of U.S. passenger trips. And as Cox points out, two-thirds of the recent rise in transit commuting occurred in the six “transit legacy cities”–New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Washington. These six cities have the nation’s six largest concentrations of downtown… View Article
The federal government spent more on broken state-run exchanges than it did on its own troubled system. Of the 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, that established their own health insurance coverage under Obamacare, seven remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming. Development of those exchanges was funded heavily by the federal government through a series of grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion—almost double the $677 million cost of development for the federal exchange. The Reason Foundation published a rundown of the troubled state exchanges and the federal grants they qualified for. Oregon No exchange failed more fully or more spectacularly than Cover Oregon. The site was touted as an ambitious, expansive vision for what a state-run exchange… View Article

Pre-K’s Minimal Impact

Grover  J. “Russ” Whitehurst writes for the Brookings Institution: The movement for universal and targeted state pre-K has been successful in that enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds has doubled in the last 10 years, from 14% to 28% of all 4-year-olds. There has been a concomitant increase in annual spending from about $2.5 to $4.5 billion. Annual spending per child for state pre-K is about $4,000. Thirty-nine states offer state-funded pre-K, with 31 of those states having programs that are targeted for low-income families. When children enrolled in Head Start and other public programs, including special education, are combined with those in state funded pre-K, 42% of the 4-year-olds in the nation are enrolled in a taxpayer funded… View Article

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Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes