Tax Reform III: Tax Employer Health Care Benefits; Offer a Tax Credit to Health Insurance Purchasers »

In an earlier blog post I suggested eliminating all personal tax deductions, with a possible exception related to health care. One of the well-publicized problems with the American health care system is that employer-provided health insurance is not taxed, pushing us to a system in which people get health insurance from their employers. A...
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Tax Reform II: Lower Rates; Eliminate Deductions »

As Congress considers tax reform, the focus on the personal income tax should be to lower rates and eliminate all deductions except for a standard deduction that applies to everyone. Lower rates enough to offset the increased revenue from eliminating deductions, and set the standard deduction at a level that raises the same amount...
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Not a “New Deal,” a “Fair Deal” or a “Square Deal,” but Supposedly a “Better Deal” »

Towards the end of July, eight months after losing the White House to Donald Trump, leading figures of the Democratic Party launched their crusade to regain control of the U.S. Congress in next year’s midterm elections. Announcing his party’s “Better Deal,” U.S. Senator Charles Schumer wrote that “Rather than having a government that benefits...
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Who Are the Demanders of Local Government Services? »

Local governments produce lots of services that people value: schools, police protection, water and sewer services, and more. Who are the producers of these services accountable to, and who determines the characteristics of the services local governments provide? Ideally, the people who live in the jurisdictions of those local governments would be the people...
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Does Pell Propel College Graduates? »

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office projected a $7.8 billion temporary surplus for the federal Pell Grant program next year—and some members of Congress can’t wait to spend it on year-round disbursements, which were eliminated in 2011 but recently revived in the Senate. (See here and here also). The concept has enjoyed bi-partisan...
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A Glimpse into the College Entitlement Mentality »

Should a college education be a handout or something earned? A recent feature in The New Yorker Magazine provides a sobering glimpse of things to come if advocates of “free college” get their way. In his feature article “The Big Uneasy,” author Nathan Heller interviewed several Oberlin College students who demanded, among other things,...
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Have a Student Loan Question? Take a Number and Wait in Line »

“[E]rrors and poor customer service.” That’s how the federal government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, summed up the US Department of Education’s handling of $96 billion in federal higher education loans affecting more than 9 million student borrowers. So much for the improved service and efficiency we were promised more than 30 years ago...
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School May Be Out, but the Criticism of Common Core Isn’t Taking a Vacation »

As the school year was winding down, results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, showed flat reading performance, and a decline in math performance among high school seniors compared to their pre-Common Core predecessors. So much for college-readiness. “Worrisome” and “stalled” were just...
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Don’t Blame “Underfunding” for Soaring College Prices »

Death, taxes, and rising college prices – these are among life’s few certainties. A new study helps shed light on the latter. As the Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports: Using Department of Education data, Seton Hall University professor Robert Kelchen found that inflation-adjusted fees grew faster than tuition at state schools between the 1999-2000 and 2012-2013...
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Which States Get the Biggest Piece of the Federal Education Funding Pie? »

Now that school is out, there’s time to do some much-needed housekeeping, including a review of states’ shares of federal education funding. Education expert Richard Innes, an analyst at Kentucky’s Bluegrass Institute, used Census data to see which states get the highest shares. Turns out, a handful of taker states should be writing thank...
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  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org