The Case for I Bonds

Forbes

Right now, the interest rate adjusted for inflation on government securities is negative. Today’s yields on TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) are minus 1.81 percent out five years and minus 0.21 percent out 30 years But Series I Saving Bonds issued by the US Treasury are offering a real rate of interest of zero fixed for 30 years. You can invest up to $10,000. You don’t receive interest until you cash in the bonds. And you don’t have to ay taxes on inflation-generated returns. More

A Smarter and Fairer Student Loan Fix

A far better, fairer and simpler student-loan reform is available. It lets students, as well as their parents, borrow at the government’s long-term Treasury bond rate. The current rate is 1.85 per cent. College students face a 2.75 per cent borrowing rate, graduate and professional students face a 4.30 per cent rate, and parents, who borrow to help finance their children’s education, face a 5.30 per cent rate. Hence, this proposal, which would permit federal and private loans to be refinanced federally at the prevailing 30-year rate, would substantially lower the cost of borrowing for higher education. More

Why Trump lost the Election: Health Care

Forbes

The editors of the Wall Street Journal, the editor of National Review (Rich Lowry) and John Goodman all agree: Trump didn’t endorse the plan outlined by Goodman and Heritage Foundation scholar, Marie Fishpaw.… Oops…. Trump actually did the things Goodman and Fishpaw recommended, including allowing people to talk to their doctors by phone, email, and Skype; allowing employees to have access to 24/7 primary care as an alternative to the emergency room, and allowing employer-provided health insurance to be personal and portable. But Trump never talked about any of this. So, he didn’t get credit for any of it. More

GOP Tax Reform is Worth $39,000 to Georgia Families

Because of lower taxes and higher wages, the average Georgia household will enjoy more than $39,000 in economic benefits over their lifetime thanks to the 2017 federal tax cuts. That’s the conclusion of a Goodman Institute study by Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff. An earlier study by Kotlikoff and economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, also partly funded  by the Goodman Institute, estimated the gain at $22,676 because of personal income tax cuts. The new study adds the impact of lower corporate taxes. More

Q & A on the Labor Market

Forbes

Finance and accounting are probably the easiest health care services to outsource. But the potential list is growing. It’s estimated that one-third of all physician visits could be replaced by consultations using Zoom, Skype or Facebook – and the incidence of such remote consultations is soaring.

In the future, your doctor could be in India. So could your accountant, your lawyer and dozens of others who produce goods and services you consume. More

Bipartisan Health Reform

Forbes

Avik Roy’s think tank, the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), has produced a health reform proposal that has been introduced as a bipartisan bill in Congress. There is a lot of overlap with proposals you will find in the Health Care Choices document (endorsed by more thatn 70 representatives of think tanks and public policy organization) and many of these ideas are being implemented buy the Trump administration. More

Q & A on Prescription Drugs

Forbes

Until recently, every patient with the coronavirus in the United States for the past ten months has been treated with a non-approved drug. What allows doctors to do this? They have always been able to do it.

In medicine, the use of non-approved drugs is ubiquitous. In fact, medical science couldn’t progress without it. In treating a patient with a brand-new condition (like Covid), for example, doctors often experiment with drugs that have worked for related conditions. They compare notes. They trade data on outcomes. They discard less-promising therapies for more promising therapies – in a trial and error process. More

Biden tax plan hurts workers

Biden Tax Plan 2020

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

How Trump is Changing Health Care

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

Public Option health plans don’t save money

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