NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis
NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis
Barry is a Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis, one of the most influential think tanks in America today.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation.

NCPA Motto - Making Ideas Change the World - reflects the belief that ideas have enormous power to change the course of human events. The NCPA seeks to unleash the power of ideas for positive change by identifying, encouraging, and aggressively marketing the best scholarly research.

Daily Policy Digest

Provided courtesy of: NCPA

Daily Policy Digest

France and the United States Neck and Neck for Highest Corporate Income Tax
27 Feb 2015 07:00:58 CDT -

Thanks to France doubling its surface tax on corporate income, the United States no longer has the world's highest corporate income tax. Today, France imposes a 36 percent marginal effective tax rate on capital investments, while the United States holds at 35.3 percent. The marginal effective tax rate on capital accounts for the corporate income tax including deductions and credits, sales taxes on capital purchases, and other capital-related taxes including financial transaction taxes.

Looking at the Tax Foundation calculation, which combines the federal rate with the average state levy, the United States statutory corporate tax rate is 39.1 percent.


  • The G-7 nations have reduced their corporate tax rates by an average of 4.4 percent since 2005.
  • G-20 nations average out at 26.2 percent after reducing corporate tax rates 3.1 percent.
  • South Korea, Japan and Germany's corporate tax rates are 30.1 percent, 29.3 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively.

According to a National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) economic study, a corporate income tax is ultimately falls largely on U.S. workers. Therefore, abolishing the corporate income tax could benefit everyone.

The NCPA analysis shows that eliminating the U.S. corporate tax — holding constant the corporate tax rates of other countries — would produce a rapid and dramatic increase in domestic investment, GDP, real wages and national saving.

Source: "The U.S. Is Number Two: France has surpassed America with the highest tax on capital investments," Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2015. 

For more on Tax and Spending Issues:

DHS Shutdown could be a Win for Federalism
27 Feb 2015 07:00:57 CDT -

Looming decisions over a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could partially shut down the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Republican-led Congress does not want to approve the DHS funding bill because it also funds Obama's recent immigration executive actions. Meanwhile the White House contends shutting down FEMA will cause disruptions that will see negative effects. The disruptions, however, are emblematic of an oversized government, not an immigration issue — but why?

Because the federal government has intervened in the responsibilities of states, local governments and the private sector, federal agency shut-downs create confusion, having taken jurisdiction and resources from the entities closest to the issues. 

FEMA, for example, holds many of the emergency resources needed to keep communities safe from disasters. When they cannot perform their duties because of partial shut-downs, local governments and organizations must pick up the slack though they are under-supplied. These resources include grants to help firefighters, police officers, medical personnel and emergency managers receive the staff, training and equipment needed to respond properly in times of crisis.

Congress could reduce the size and scope of the federal government by voting against the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, and in doing so move the United States closer to federalism.

Source: Chris Edwards, "DHS Shutdown," Cato Institute, February 24, 2015. 

For more on Government Issues:

Export-Import Bank: Reform Now or be Shut Down
27 Feb 2015 07:00:56 CDT -

As talk in Congress rises for extending the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States' charter, Diane Katz, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argues closing the bank is the only solution to the litany of problems it has caused. Nevertheless, U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation to reauthorize the Ex-Im charter through 2019, which includes reforms to some bank procedures.

However, in spite of past reforms instituted by previous Congresses, Ex-Im has not fully complied with risk-management standards.


  • The Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office have repeatedly documented the bank's mismanagement, dysfunction and risk.
  • No amount of bureaucratic tinkering can shield taxpayers from bailouts in the event that bank reserves run dry — as occurred in the 1980s — nor will it protect American businesses from the disadvantages of the U.S. government subsidizing their foreign competitors.
  • The bank serves just 0.5 percent of small businesses nationwide. As it is, the bank finances less than 2 percent of total U.S. exports (by value). The recent record levels of American exports indicate no shortage of private financing.

Therefore, Congress would do well to consider the various drawbacks related to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which includes distortions in the distribution of labor and capital and higher consumer costs. Thus, it is time to recognize the differences between support for big business and support for free enterprise.

Source: Diane Katz, "Export-Import Bank Impervious to Reform," Heritage Foundation, February 24, 2015.

For more on Economic Issues:

The All-Of-the-Above Energy Strategy Threatens Alaskan Oil
27 Feb 2015 07:00:55 CDT -

In January, President Obama and then the Bureau of Ocean Energy management enacted a series of policies to set limitations on both onshore and offshore oil and gas production in Alaska.

The "all-of-the-above" energy policy is intended to support economic growth and job creation, to enhance energy security, and to deploy low-carbon energy technologies and lay the foundation for a clean energy future. However, the only thing the president's all-of-the-above energy policy has done is hold back the industry's growth.

  • Marketed production of crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other fossil fuels on federal lands has fallen by 16 percent from 2009 to 2013.
  • Production from federal land was 33 percent of the county's entire output in 2009, yet 25 percent in 2013.
  • Production of natural gas and crude oil on federal lands fell by 19 percent from 2009 to 2013.
  • The annual average number of applications approved for offshore oil and gas drilling is 63 percent lower than it was under President George W. Bush.
  • Production in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and California has fallen by 18 percent since 2009.
  • The average number of offshore federal leases activated has been 363 a year under Obama, down from 656 under Bush.

Actually, the shale oil and gas boom in the United States, which has taken place on private lands has used hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, reduced the oil prices, increased the crude production, and made the United States a leading producer of oil and natural gas. President Obama should allow Alaskans to develop their own resources.

Source: Matthew Sabas, "Administration's "Balanced" Strategy Threatens Alaskan Oil," Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, February 05, 2015.

For more on Environment Issues:

Corporate Integration Would Eliminate Double Taxation and Encourage Investment and Economic Growth
27 Feb 2015 07:00:54 CDT -

The United States has a modified version of classical corporate tax system, which places a double-tax on corporate income with one tax at the corporate level through the corporate income tax and a second tax at the individual level through the individual income tax on dividends and capital gains.

The two layers of tax create a significant tax burden on corporate income. No matter how the corporation distributes its after-tax profits as a dividend or retains it, the integrated corporate tax rate in the United States is high compared to other developed countries. The United States' integrated tax rate on corporate profits (56.6 percent) and on capital gains (56.6 percent) are both the second highest in the OECD.

The double taxation of corporate earnings creates several economic distortions that have real effects on both business decisions and the overall economy. It reduces saving and investment, shifts traditional C corporations to non-corporate business forms, and encourages corporations to use debt financing more than equity financing.

Integrating the individual and corporate tax code would lower the combined burden on corporate income and eliminate many of biases in the current system. There are several ways to integrate the corporate tax code.

  • Corporate income can be fully taxed at the entity level (a corporate income tax) and then tax exempt when passed to shareholders as dividend income, or corporations could be given a deduction for dividends passed to their shareholders, who pay tax on the dividend income. Six OECD countries (Estonia, Slovak Republic, Finland, France, Luxembourg, and Turkey) have full or partial dividend exemptions.
  • Shareholders and corporations both pay tax on their income, but shareholders can acquire a credit to offset taxes the corporation has previously paid. Seven OECD countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Korea, and United Kingdom) have full or partial credit imputation systems.

Integrating the corporate and individual income tax could ensure that corporate income is only taxed once and would increase the incentive to invest and reduce the incentive to avoid the second layer of tax. This would eliminate the current biases in the tax code and encourage investment and economic growth.

Source: Kyle Pomerleau, "Elimination Double Taxation through Corporate Integration," Tax Foundation, February 23, 2015.

For more on Tax and Spending Issues:

Doctors Not Cashing In on Meaningful Use Incentives
26 Feb 2015 07:00:53 CDT -

President Obama's 2015 budget includes a 25 percent increase to the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) budget. The ONC, which determines how health information technology (HIT) is deployed, currently oversees products such as electronic health records (EHRs), mobile and telehealth technology, cloud-based services, medical devices, remote monitoring devices, assistive technologies and sensors.

At its inception in 2004, the ONC was intended to serve only as a "coordinator" of HIT. Yet, in 2009, it turned out to be the financier, certifier and regulator for a majority of HIT and backed by a 5-year $30 billion budget designated to entice hospitals, physician's offices and other medical facilities to install electronic health records (EHRs). With that, ONC now has authority to certify EHRs that qualify health providers for the incentive payments. Based on these facts, a 25 percent budget increase is not justifiable.

Despite ONC's authority and intentions, their efforts are not seeing results. "Meaningful use" of ONC-certified EHRs triggers incentive payments for medical professionals but they are not cashing in.

  • In 2014, only 3,154 eligible medical professionals had attested to the second stage of meaningful use to receive their payments for installing EHRs.
  • A 2015 SERMO survey found 55 percent of the nearly 2000 physicians surveyed would not attest to the next stage of meaningful use this year. 

In response to this, federal penalties have been levied against 257,000 physicians, 280 providers and 200 hospitals for not using EHRs "meaningfully." Why are doctors not using EHRs meaningfully? Doctors are learning the actual cost of installing EHRs includes loss of productivity, a cost the incentive payments do not compensate for.

Source: John R. Graham, "The National Health IT Czar does not need a big budget hike," National Center for Policy Analysis, February 25, 2015. 

For more on Health Issues:

Health Policy Digest

Provided courtesy of: NCPA

Consumer Driven Health Care

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The Case for Competition in Medicare
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