The COVID-19 pandemic. The Great Recession. The dot-com bust. The early ’90s recession. Every decade or so a disaster hits the United States and reminds us that many American families live one calamity away from financial ruin.
One of the intellectual architects of the 2017 tax cut legislation says the Joe Biden proposal to reimpose higher tax rates will be harmful to the economy and to working families. Earlier studies by Boston University professor Lawrence Kotlikoff and his colleagues found that “the United states had one for the highest corporate tax rates in the world.” As a result of lowering the top corporate rate from 35% to 21%, the US became competitive and more than $1 trillion has been repatriated by US firms. In a new study, Kotlikoff finds that the Biden proposal to undo half the cut in the corporate income tax rate will lower wages and cost jobs. MORE
Writing at National Review, Marie Fishpaw (Heritage Foundation) and John Goodman say that little noticed health policy changes are revolutionizing the health care system. These are changes that are almost never mentioned in the mainstream media, are largely ignored by the heath care media and are rarely mentioned by the candidates themselves – including the President and the Vice President. They include virtual medicine, allowing employees to have around the clock primary care from a doctor of their choice and allowing employees to obtain individually owned health insurance with employer money. MORE
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and other Democrats have proposed creating a government-run plan to compete with private insurers in the (Obamacare) health insurance exchanges. They say the result will be lower premiums. Yet writing at National Review, Ed Haislmaier and John Goodman say there are several public options” available already in some exchanges and they are not saving consumers any money. Similar to public options, 23 health insurance cooperatives were created under Obamacare, and supported with government subsidies. Of those 23 co-ops, only four still survive — a 79 percent failure rate. MORE
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Goodman Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence Kotlikoff and Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina say the new point of care test developed by Abbott Labs is the right test at the right time.
Here is the disappointment. To conform with government regulations, this test has to be administered in the presence of a medical professional (such as a nurse). That means its value will be limited to schools, large companies, hospitals, etc. It won’t be useful for people who most need to be tested. We don’t insist on having a nurse present when a woman conducts her own pregnancy test. How is a Covid test any different?
What we really need are 150 million tests a day. In the home. MORE
Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, Newt Gingrich and I discuss healthcare in the next election and beyond. Newt has always been an outlier among Republican politicians when it comes to the topic of health care – aggressively searching for solutions instead of avoiding the subject. Watch my virtual briefing on Healthcare & the 2020 Election w/Newt Gingrich. More
On net, the U.S. is saving just 2.2 percent of our national income. By contrast, the nation’s saving rate was 7.6 percent in the 1980s, 10.3 percent in the 1970s, and 13.0 percent in the 1960s.
The main reason: government policies that take an ever-larger share of resources from young and give them to the old.
Unless baby boomers change their saving habits substantially and relatively quickly, they may experience much higher rates of poverty in their old age than what the current elderly are experiencing. More
With paper-strip tests, Americans could test themselves every day in their own homes, at a cost of $1 to $2 per test. The government could even make the tests available for free. Unlike lengthy swabs and finger prick tests (which cause personal discomfort), paper strip testing involves no more than spitting into a tube or the use of a short nasal swab – with results in a few minutes. By contrast, the standard PCR test currently being used costs from $50 to $100 and sometimes more. Results can take more than a week – and that makes them virtually useless. Also, testing tends to be a one-time, irregular event. More
Republican tax reform could have been better. An ideal reform, originally proposed by Paul Ryan would have produced a of 20.5 percent increase in the nation’s capital stock and a 6.8 percent increase in GDP. Wages would have increased by 6.3 percent for high-income workers and by 7.5 percent for low-income workers. The reasons: a highly elastic global supply of capital, which moves across borders at the first sign of a tax advantage and the inefficiency of the U.S. corporate income tax, which, as of 2014, our year of calibration, had a very high marginal, but very low average tax rate. More
We often hear that there’s a tradeoff between saving lives and economic performance. In this case of COVID-19, there’s not. They go together. Reaching Herd Immunity may be the way to bring the economy and daily lives back to normal as soon as possible.