• 430 More VA Medical Staff (at No Cost to Taxpayers)

    430 More VA Medical Staff (at No Cost to Taxpayers)

    Believe it or not, the Department of Veterans Affairs has 430 medical professionals who, instead of performing their duties as nurses or doctors, spend some or all of their time working for their federal employees unions.

    All of that happens on the taxpayers’ dime.

    Not anymore, according to the VA’s recent announcement.

    As of Nov. 15, the VA will repudiate part of its master collective-bargaining agreement. In particular, it will eliminate all forms of taxpayer-funded “official time” for its roughly 104,000 Title 38 medical profession employees. READ MORE...

  • How Congress Can Make Tax Cuts Permanent Without Worsening the Debt

    How Congress Can Make Tax Cuts Permanent Without Worsening the Debt

    The economy is thriving under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Wages are up, scores of jobs are being created, and small businesses are more optimistic than ever about the future.

    Making those tax cuts permanent and passing additional pro-growth tax reforms would help sustain higher economic growth, creating long-term benefits for all Americans.

    Even so, those benefits would be limited if policymakers fail to address the unsustainable mountain of debt we have already taken on. This part is critical because left unaddressed, the debt will inevitably lead to either an economic crash or decades of economic malaise. READ MORE...

  • 3 Examples of How Social Security Robs Americans of Greater Income Before, During Retirement

    3 Examples of How Social Security Robs Americans of Greater Income Before, During Retirement

    Social Security takes a whopping 12.4 percent of American workers’ paychecks, but a new backgrounder by The Heritage Foundation shows that workers are getting a bad deal from the program.

    Despite its popularity, Social Security typically provides very low—and in many cases, negative—rates of return.

    Although the program provided high returns and windfall benefits to its earliest recipients, Social Security is no longer a good deal for workers.

    The Heritage Foundation analysis shows that younger workers—even low-wage ones—would receive at least three times greater rates of return from private savings than Social Security will provide. READ MORE...

  • Meet a Government Entity That's in Worse Shape Than Social Security

    Meet a Government Entity That’s in Worse Shape Than Social Security

    Social Security is on track to run out of money by 2034, at which point the program will be able to pay only about 79 percent of its scheduled benefits.

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation—a government entity that insures private pension plans—will run out of funds almost a decade earlier, in 2025, and will be able to pay only about 10 percent of its scheduled benefits.

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation pays benefits if private pensions go belly up, but it is not a taxpayer-financed entity. So when it runs out of assets, it will be able to pay only as much in benefits as it takes in through premium revenues—likely 10 percent or less of insured benefits. READ MORE...

  • Why Using Social Security for Paid Family Leave Is a Bad Idea

    Why Using Social Security for Paid Family Leave Is a Bad Idea

    This year marks the first time in more than a quarter-century that Social Security has had to dip into its trust fund balance.

    Since its theoretical trust fund is really just a bunch of IOUs, that means the government will have to issue $85 billion in publicly held debt this year—and $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years—in order to maintain scheduled benefits.

    As such, now is not the time to add a new entitlement to Social Security, adding to short-term deficits and expanding benefit payments.

    Yet that’s what a new proposal for paid family leave would do—increase Social Security’s scope and raise its costs. READ MORE...

  • New Minimum Wage Law Puts DC Restaurants in a Bind

    New Minimum Wage Law Puts DC Restaurants in a Bind

    If a 10 percent tax on restaurant meals wasn’t enough to jack up the cost of dining in Washington, D.C., city residents just voted for a 275 percent increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers.

    Currently, the minimum wage for workers who also receive tips is $3.33 an hour in the district. Initiative 77, which passed with 55 percent approval on Tuesday, will raise that to the same rate as the district’s standard minimum wage of $12.50, and it will rise further to $15 by 2020.

    But tipped workers in D.C. already receive at least $12.50 in minimum wage because restaurants have to make up the difference if a worker’s earnings (tips plus wages) fall below the minimum wage. READ MORE...

  • How Restrictive Labor Laws Keep Puerto Rico's Economy Down

    How Restrictive Labor Laws Keep Puerto Rico’s Economy Down

    An economic crisis has engulfed Puerto Rico.

    The Financial Oversight Management Board, a federally-mandated advisory group, has worked to help Puerto Rico deal with its financial crisis and establish policies that will lead to long-run growth. The board says Puerto Rico must reform its labor market to have a bright future.

    While the oversight board has direct authority to enact certain fiscal reforms, it needs the Puerto Rican legislature’s approval to enact most of its proposed labor market reforms. Puerto Rico’s governor has agreed to most of the board’s proposed reforms, but the island’s legislature is trying to block the labor reforms that Puerto Rico’s people need. READ MORE...