Seattle made waves in May when the City Council unanimously passed a tax that would impose a substantial business head tax amounting to about $275 per employee at companies with more than $20 million in receipts. That tax was a substantial step back from the higher initial proposal, a tax of $500 per full-time employee per year. The tax’s passage sparked backlash from companies and residents alike, and this week the City Council reconvened to repeal the ordinance in a 7-2 vote.
June 14, 2018, 1:49 PM EDT
May 24, 2018, 11:55 AM EDT
At the recent 2018 Ideas Conference hosted by the Center for American Progress, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called attention to his earlier proposal for a Corporate Freeloader Fee. In his remarks, Senator Brown explained “it’s simple – if you choose to pay your workers so little that they are disproportionately forced onto government assistance, then you need to reimburse American taxpayers. This will save taxpayers money, and give companies an added incentive to invest in … human capital.”
May 9, 2018, 4:11 PM EDT
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will soon announce his Jobs Guarantee proposal. A host of potential 2020 Democratic nominees such as Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) have introduced a separate pilot proposal, which would establish a jobs guarantee program in 15 high-unemployment areas in the country for three years. Everyone who applied would be guaranteed a job.
April 26, 2018, 11:36 AM EDT
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is about to announce a new proposal that would guarantee a job to every American worker “who wants or needs one,” according to the Washington Post. Details are scarce, as Sanders has not identified a funding source and the Congressional Budget Office has not provided a cost estimate. But the Sanders’ office stated that the new jobs would pay $15 an hour and offer a range of benefits such as health care.
April 9, 2018, 3:08 PM EDT
One of the arguments for the need for the Affordable Care Act was a supposedly large and rising share of bankruptcies that were due to medical costs. One prominent study, authored by a team including current Senator Elizabeth Warren, found that more than 62 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical, with the share rising since 2001.
April 6, 2018, 2:42 PM EDT
While Amazon’s relationship with the U.S. Postal Service generated most of the headlines this week, another significant development flew relatively under the radar. This week Maryland’s House passed an incentive package totaling $8.5 billion, following passage in the Senate last month it will now head to Governor Larry Hogan's desk. The package is the largest in the state’s history and the most recent development in the competition to land the company’s second headquarters.
April 4, 2018, 3:35 PM EDT
Natural gas has transformed the domestic energy industry. The United States now exports more natural gas than it imports – for the first time since 1957. While higher levels of production and the development of new sources such as the Utica and Marcellus shales have played a significant role, putting the energy transportation infrastructure in place is just as vital, as can be seen from the evolution of liquefied natural gas exports.
April 2, 2018, 12:21 PM EDT
The 2019 budget proposal from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser would increase taxes on ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber in order to increase funding for the beleaguered Washington Metro system, among a slate of other tax increases. Metro has struggled with a series of problems, from reduced service to falsified inspection reports to fires on the system.
March 22, 2018, 11:15 AM EDT
United Airlines has faced a maelstrom of negative public attention after Kokito, a 10-month old French bulldog puppy, died when a flight attendant required a passenger to put him in an overhead bin.
March 16, 2018, 10:56 AM EDT
In an investigation released this week, the Veterans Health Administration was again found to have been incorrectly reporting the wait times experience by veterans seeking care. The scandal first caught national attention in 2014, when investigations discovered widespread wait-time manipulation, and more than 100 facilities were investigated. Those revelations led to the resignation of then-Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, as well as laws intended to increase accountability at the Department and increase access to care outside of VA facilities for veterans. Unfortunately, this new audit found that the pattern of misreporting wait-times continues.
March 9, 2018, 3:51 PM EST
In unsurprising news, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget proposal reduced the projected revenues from the city’s beverage tax by about 15 percent. For a multitude of reasons, revenues have not met expectations.
February 5, 2018, 3:00 PM EST
A recent memo and presentation by a staff member of the National Security Council suggested that the federal government should build and operate the fifth-generation mobile network, or 5G. The report argues that the federal government should build a centralized 5G network within three years, citing the need to protect against actions from China or adversarial actions from other groups.
February 2, 2018, 12:04 PM EST
This Sunday, the New England Patriots will make their seemingly annual appearance, this time against the underdog Philadelphia Eagles. Minnesotans are undoubtedly feeling down after their promising team fell one game short of playing a Super Bowl at home, but they should also be upset about the generous public subsidies that are paying for it. They need look no further than the more than $500 million in associated subsidies and public funds that went into the U.S. Bank Stadium.
January 24, 2018, 12:23 PM EST
The inability of the federal government to organize its affairs should not distract from progress at the state level. Even though an increasing number of Americans work in occupations subject to licensing requirements, from 5 percent of the workforce in 1950 to about 30 percent today, some states are fighting back.
January 19, 2018, 3:28 PM EST
From the 238 jurisdictions that submitted bids to become the landing spot for the company’s second headquarters (HQ2), Amazon has cut the list to 20. Finalists range from major metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Atlanta to smaller places such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. Almost all of these places offered generous incentive packages in an attempt to land the coveted headquarters, enticed by the promises that included $5 billion in investment and the creation of 50,000 jobs.
January 17, 2018, 3:22 PM EST
Rent control policies have come back in vogue for some cities grappling with higher housing rents and people worried they will not be able to live in growing, prospering cities. Perhaps no city in the country encapsulates the concerns about housing affordability and availability more clearly than San Francisco, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is more than $3,000. A new paper analyzes the effects of rent control expansion in the city and finds that it reduced rental housing supply, causing a city wide-rent increase.
January 5, 2018, 3:39 PM EST
Nutrition and obesity have become a larger focus of health research in recent years. Multiple studies have identified areas, termed food deserts, that have a paucity of grocery stores or supermarkets. Some people mistakenly hypothesize that the limited supply of healthy foods in these deserts, many of them in low-income neighborhoods, is a factor in unhealthy eating patterns, and in the rise in obesity and related health problems.
December 1, 2017, 1:45 PM EST
Senator Sanders recently embarked on a tour of the Canadian health care system as part of his push to bring single-payer to the United States. But problems with the provision of healthcare in Canada and the United Kingdom show that, despite what Sanders might tell you, moving to a single-payer system will not magically cure all that ails the American health care system. Rather, it would exacerbate those problems.
November 8, 2017, 2:16 PM EST
Driverless cars have moved from science fiction to reality. Today Waymo CEO John Krafcik declared that “fully self-driving cars are here.” The company has been testing driverless cars on public roads around Phoenix since October 2017 Then say since last month or for the past month without a backup person in the driver’s seat. Soon, these driverless cars will offer rides to passengers as well. Mere months ago, some reports estimated that the arrival of autonomous driving could be a decade away.
November 3, 2017, 1:44 PM EDT
Today the House Ways and Means Committee released the text of the tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. My colleague Brian Riedl has offered an initial appraisal of the bill looking at the major changes. Tucked into the text is a smaller provision that would scrap one of the most stubbornly persistent forms of corporate welfare, tax-exempt bonds for stadiums. This form of financing has federal taxpayers to subsidize the construction of professional sports stadiums across the country for years. Now is an appropriate time to end it.