Policy Study

PROP 56: Tobacco initiative fails to make crucial distinctions

The attached policy short was co-authored by R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith.  As the United States’ failed experiment with Prohibition was drawing to a close, two major groups fought …

Types of organized electricity markets

Regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) deliver reliable electricity through organized competitive markets. These markets reduce the costs to operate the grid and send long-term investment …

Traditionally regulated vs. competitive wholesale markets

In the 1990s and 2000s, U.S. states chose either to restructure their wholesale electricity markets fully or partially, or to retain regulation of vertically integrated monopoly utilities.[i] Generally, …

A case for stronger congressional committees

The attached policy study was co-authored by Adam Chan, a summer 2016 research assistant at the R Street Institute. With congressional partisanship at record highs and congressional approval ratings at …

A conservative approach to environmental principles

The lyrics of the classic hymn “America the Beautiful” – written by the poet Katharine Lee Bates during an 1893 trip to Pike’s Peak – testify to the …

Economic characteristics of electricity

The physical fundamentals of energy inform the economic fundamentals of electricity. Power plants that generate electricity face both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs do not vary with …

Physical characteristics of energy

Power vs. Energy: Power is the instantaneous flow of electricity, or current – that is, the rate of electricity production, transfer or demand. Under the International System of …

Federal Power Act and organized electricity markets

Organized electricity markets that allow competition have evolved considerably since their inception in the late 1990s. A host of policy, market and technological developments have altered their outcomes …

Coal divestment and the California insurance industry

California voters in 1988 dramatically expanded the power of the state Department of Insurance and turned the insurance commissioner post into an elected position. It also gave the …

Six energy-policy reforms conservatives should embrace

The U.S. House demonstrated last month that the politics of climate solutions remain intractable. With bipartisan support, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution describing a carbon tax as, “not …

Subsidized insurance increases vulnerability to climate change

Texas’ coastline is a source of economic strength and vitality. From oil-and-gas production to shipping to tourism, the region provides billions in economic value to the state. But …

Pathways to competition in demand response

Demand response (DR) holds great promise to improve the competitiveness, reliability and environmental performance of the electricity system. DR refers to a system under which end-use customers earn …

Preparing for unforeseen opportunities outside academia

Upon entering graduate school, my plan was simple: land a tenure-track job at a university, and live the life of the mind. An old Volvo would carry me …

Seven steps to housing-finance reform

The attached policy brief appeared in the Housing Finance Reform Incubator report published in July 2016 by the Urban Institute. The giant American housing finance sector is as important politically …

Why can’t the US reform its housing-finance sector?

The attached policy brief appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of Housing Finance International, the quarterly journal of the International Union for Housing Finance (IUHF). It is sobering to …

Curbing civil asset-forfeiture abuse

An encouraging legislative development of recent years can be found in the way policymakers in Congress and across the states continue to pursue criminal-justice reforms in a bipartisan …

Farmers feed the world

As the U.S. Senate debated the farm bill in 2012, one of the measure's authors – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. – took to the floor to defend it …

Reforming penalty interest in Texas insurance claims

There are few things that undermine the purpose of legislation more readily than the simple passage of time. Conditions in society may change substantially, but a law's wording …

Doctor’s Orders: E-cigarettes in U.S. clinical practice

E-cigarettes and related nicotine vapor devices have become extremely popular among smokers in the United States, while attracting remarkably few nonsmokers to continuing nicotine use. According to a …

The future of work

The attached policy study appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of National Affairs.  In recent years, more than a few Americans in public life have spoken of a revolutionary …

Does the Federal Reserve know what it’s doing?

The attached policy study was published in Cato Journal,  Vol. 36, No. 2. The Federal Reserve is the most financially dangerous institution in the world. It represents tremendous systemic risk—more …

The mythical ‘savings’ of the 2014 farm bill

Shortly after the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was unveiled, text of the legislation, which promised to raise the nation’s debt limit and set spending levels through September …

Capping premium subsidies won’t kill crop insurance

The federal crop insurance program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), serves as the largest single source of federal support for farms …

Congress, not DOJ or the courts, should decide whether to update music-copyright framework

Tom Lehrer’s famous recording of his song “New Math” begins with the joke that, in teaching basic mathematics in the New Math way, “the important thing is to …

Limiting premium subsidies for crop insurance

One of the most persistent inaccurate claims made by some farm-lobby advocates, not to mention elected representatives with agricultural constituencies, is that any change to the Federal Crop …

Improving the market for clean energy in Texas

The last few years have seen an incredible decline in the price of technologies that provide clean energy or increase energy efficiency. The cost of solar power has …

What drives tobacco-control policy?

The attached policy brief has been accepted for publication by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. This is a follow-up to the presentation by Dr. David Ashley of the FDA’s …

Interpretive rules are missing piece in regulatory-reform debate

The attached policy short was co-authored by Daniel J. Richardson. Regulatory reform has garnered significant attention lately, both in Congress and on the campaign trail. Republican nominees for president …

A conservative case to ‘raise the age’ in Michigan

In recent years, conservative policymakers in states across the nation have come to question whether the one-sizefits-all “tough on crime” approaches adopted in the 1980s and 1990s are …

Update on U.S. property prices in the Fed’s brave new world

  The attached policy short was published in the Spring 2016 edition of Housing Finance International, the quarterly journal of the International Union for Housing Finance. Readers of my last …

Rash Ratemaking: Lessons from Nevada’s NEM reforms

In a December 2015 order, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) made drastic changes in its policies governing net energy metering (NEM), the process under which consumers …

Predatory foreign investment and domestic energy security

The attached paper was co-authored by John Roberts. U.S. energy markets started 2016 with good news. The 40-year-old oil-export ban, which long has hamstrung one of the world’s …

Critiquing the CFA Institute’s report on proxy access

Is proxy access – that is, the ability of certain privileged shareholders to have their own slate of director nominees included in the proxy-solicitation materials public companies must …

Florida and the RESTORE Act: A progress report

INTRODUCTION Almost six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, states along the Gulf Coast continue to deal with the spill's aftermath. In October 2015, BP and the U.S. …

Reimagining retirement for the gig economy

The emergence of the so-called “gig economy” – employment situations in which a worker may spread his or her labor among several part-time or freelance arrangements with several …

Why are farmers telling kids what to eat?

The attached policy short was published in the March 17, 2016 edition of Politico.   The law governing America’s school lunches is up for renewal this year, and the 210-page …

Sizing up the FCIC report five years later

Ongoing debates about the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 keep reminding us that economics is not a science. It can’t be used by governments to manage economic …

Roomscore 2016: Short-term-rental regulation in U.S. cities

See the report's full methodology and results at Roomscore.org. In recent years, discussion of the so-called “sharing economy” has dominated local politics in many cities across the country, and …

Charting a path forward for Internet access in India

The attached policy short was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Sharada Srinivasan.   When India’s network-neutrality activists won an overwhelming victory in February, their first impulse was to celebrate on …

Texas and the RESTORE Act: A progress report

As we approach the sixth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is coming up on April 20, states along the Gulf Coast continue to deal with …

Regulatory Budgeting: Lessons from Canada

American conservatives have not tended to look to Canada for inspiration. Canada has been derided as a land of big government, high levels of taxation and, of course, …

SLAPPed for raising questions about fraud

The attached policy short was co-authored by R Street Legal Intern Moriah Mensah.   In 2009, Angelique Smith and other parents of students at Agora Cyber Charter School began questioning …

Local labor markets and the federal Earned Income Tax Credit

The attached policy study was co-authored by Zackary Hawley. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which offers relief from federal income-tax payments for a targeted group of taxpayers, is based …

Alternatives to Net Metering: A pathway to decentralized electricity markets

The traditional regulated monopoly model for electric utilities is outdated and limits both innovation and product and service development in the power sector. One current example is the …

H.R. 2058 and the regulation of e-cigarettes

H.R. 2058, recently introduced in May 2015 by U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., draws the attention of policymakers to the structure of the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory …

The temptations of housing finance bubbles

A version of this policy short originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of the journal Housing Finance International. Running up the leverage is the snake in the housing …

The U.S. Postal Service’s ghost ship board

The attached policy study was co-authored by Daniel J. Richardson.    To appreciate democratic dysfunction, one need look no further than the U.S. Postal Service. That single agency is home …

The tension between hedge fund activism and corporate law

The attached paper was presented at a Jan. 22, 2016 symposium honoring the work of Henry G. Manne, sponsored by the Law & Economics Center at George Mason …

Restoring Congress as the first branch

In late 2014, the R Street Institute launched the Governance Project. Its task is large: to assess and improve the state of America’s system of national self-governance, with …

The definition of SIFIs must Include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve banks and Open Market Committee and large federal credit programs

The attached policy study, offered as a response to MIT Center for Finance and Policy's SIFI Contest, was co-authored by Thomas H. Stanton of the American Enterprise Institute. The Financial Stability …

Rethinking sex-offender registries

The attached was published originally in National Affairs Issue Number 26 - Winter 2016.   As they bicycled and scootered back to their homes from a trip to the local …

The role of flavoring in tobacco harm reduction

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY One of the great public health controversies of our time surrounds the debate over what role Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), of which e-cigarettes are the most …

Ridescore 2015: Hired driver rules in U.S. cities

The attached policy study was coauthored by R Street Digital Director Zach Graves.  R Street researchers last year embarked on an ambitious project to assess 50 of America’s largest …

Transparency in music licensing and the statutory remedy problem

The modern conversation about music copyright has been shaped by the emergence of new digital business models. As these new markets for music open, one might expect the …

2015 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the fourth edition of the R Street Institute’s Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states do the best job of regulating the business …

The Texas Path: Preserving energy sovereignty to cut taxes

Texas faces some tough energy choices. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), Texas is expected by 2030 to have reduced carbon dioxide (CO2 ) …

Using prizes to spur innovation and government savings

In myriad sectors of the U.S. economy, from military technology to medical care, the federal government serves as the single-largest spender. As such, many of the innovations, inventions …

The flexible future of work

Working with partners from the worlds of business, labor and academia, the R Street Institute recently took part in crafting an open letter to policymakers that lays out …

The troublesome legacy of Prop 103

In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 103 by a slim margin, 51 percent to 48 percent. Over the more than a quarter-century since its passage, implementation of the measure has …

Shoring up Florida’s property insurance market

Hurricane Wilma’s Oct. 24, 2005, landfall in Collier County capped an historic two-year period during which Florida reeled under the unrelenting blitz of seven back-to-back major hurricanes. Six …

Could the modern Senate manage an open-amendment process?

The attached paper was co-authored by R Street Governance Project Director Kevin Kosar. At the start of the 114th Congress, newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced …

The costs and benefits of subjecting juveniles to sex-offender registration and notification

Every state and territory in the United States has registration and notification laws that apply to adults convicted of, and juveniles adjudicated delinquent for, certain sex offenses. Most …

How to strengthen Congress

After last November's elections left Republicans with control of the Senate and an expanded advantage in the House, triumphant party leaders announced their intention to do the hard …

The green side of fracking

Originally patented in 1949, hydraulic fracturing – known colloquially as "fracking" – is a process to recover oil and gas from shale rock. In the fracking process, water, …

Marriage penalties in the modern social-welfare state

This study was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Neil Gilbert.   Marriage rates are down in the United States. Indeed, they are down throughout almost all of the West. …

Using the Clean Power Plan’s carbon fee option to offset state taxes

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units. Known colloquially …

Public-pension funds play with newest toy in corporate governance

Shareholder-wealth maximization generally is accepted as the default objective of an investment fund, though there are exceptions to the rule. For example, an investment adviser might create a …

Federal agency compliance with congressional regulatory deadlines

The final years of the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, have been characterized by acrimonious debates over executive power and accountability. Regulatory deadlines are just …

6 charts that debunk the ‘gig’ economy

The headlines are, by now, depressingly familiar: "more Americans are stuck in part-time work" or "part-time jobs put millions in poverty." Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently …

Preserving energy access for distributed generation

ISSUE SNAPSHOT Moving our energy generation paradigm increasingly toward distributed generation and market choice provides many potential benefits. Regulations and state policy should ensure access to existing infrastructure at rates …

Proxy Access: Shareholder democracy or creeping mercantilism?

Following certain rule changes made by Congress and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the 2015 proxy season has seen a deluge of shareholder proposals at U.S. public …

R Street RESTORE Act Scorecard

State and local officials charged with selecting and funding projects under the RESTORE Act must carefully prioritize. Toward that end, the R Street Institute has created a scorecard …

TV regulation in the age of digital downloads

Television viewing must now be added to the long list of activities the Internet has changed. The time when audiences across the country simultaneously experienced a televised event—such …

Freeing investor capital for small business

Something has gone wrong with small business in America. For the first time since statistics were kept, the rate of business failure now exceeds the rate of business …

A practical approach to climate change

The attached policy study appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of National Affairs. Climate change resulting from human activity likely poses the biggest environmental risk modern society faces. Its …

A guide through Senate amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act

The attached policy brief was co-authored by R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer. NSA apologists (we sometimes call them “the security hawks”) could use the USA FREEDOM Act as …

Governance in distributed generation: A Nevada case study

Disruptive innovation has hit electricity markets. Just as disruptive technologies and services have revolutionized telecom and urban-transportation markets by expanding consumer choice, electricity customers can now take advantage …

Oversight needed to get conservation compliance right

Ever since they were first signed into law by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the so-called “conservation compliance” provisions of America’s agricultural support programs have stood as prime …

Bracing for the storm

The attached report was co-authored jointly by members of the SmarterSafer Coalition. Hurricanes, floods, fires, and heat waves resulting in millions of dollars of damage are no longer unusual …

Three steps for reasserting Congress in regulatory policy

Each year, federal agencies produce more regulations. These regulations affect nearly every aspect of our lives, yet are never voted on by Congress. This is a remarkable and …

The role of U.S. research and development policy in nuclear power

The U.S. civil nuclear sector faces a number of challenges that threaten grid reliability and climate mitigation goals. Though current U.S. reactor designs improve confidence in the predictability …

Anti-rebating laws and the Utah experience

Most free-market proponents recognize there can be a productive role for sensible regulation, but the bar is relatively high. First, one must identify some clear and compelling consumer …

Before the Flood: Reducing Louisiana’s vulnerability to severe weather through market-based insurance reforms

This paper will examine Louisiana's vulnerability to severe weather and suggest market-based reforms to adapt to extreme inherent risks, which could be exacerbated by a changing climate. It is …

Lasting reforms for Florida’s property insurance market

With the 2014 Hurricane Season having drawn to an unremarkable close, Florida has now gone nine years without a hurricane making landfall. This represents the longest such “drought” …

Insuring a way out: Modernizing the California Earthquake Authority

California faces severe earthquake risk, yet consumers routinely choose not to purchase insurance products to cover this risk. Low earthquake insurance take-up rates create a scenario in which …

Come hail or high water: Texas’ litigation explosion

Texas is known for its extreme weather. From hurricanes along the coast to wildfires in Bastrop, the state has absorbed more than its share of weather-related property damage. …

Why I left the Congressional Research Service

The attached piece originally appeared in the January/February 20 edition of Washington Monthly. If there’s one event that epitomizes why I quit my job last October as a researcher …

2014 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Since it opened its doors two years ago, R Street has issued an annual Insurance Regulation Report Card. This is the third edition of our annual examination of …

Ridescore 2014: Hired driver rules in U.S. cities

The attached paper was co-authored by Ryan Xue, Evan Engstrom and Zach Graves. Visit R Street's companion website, www.ridescore.org, for an interactive visual presentation of our regulatory scorecard. Over the past several …

Earthquakes and home mortgage risk

The United States faces severe earthquake risk in many areas of the country, yet consumers routinely choose not to purchase insurance products to cover this risk. Low earthquake …

Blurred Lines: Insurance challenges in the ride-sharing market

The world of property/casualty insurance long has been divided into two separate and entirely circumscribed hemispheres: the personal and the commercial. Personal lines policies – primarily home and …

Conservatives should champion the free-market system of the peer-production economy, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2014) – Regulation of the “peer production” or “sharing” economy can be a good political issue for both the left and the right, argue R …

Embracing the peer-production economy

(The attached paper, co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan, appear in the Fall 2014 edition of National Affairs.) Enthusiasts of the growing "peer-production" or "sharing" economy are …

Alternatives to government broadband

  Universal access to high-speed broadband is a desirable social goal. There is no question that broadband brings incalculable utility and value to individuals, businesses and organizations. Because broadband …

The peer production economy should be allowed to succeed without heavy regulation, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2014) – Emerging "peer production" markets could unlock trillions in previously dormant capital, making it essential that lawmakers and regulators do not strangle these new business …

Five principles for regulating the peer production economy

The attached paper was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan. Economic history over the last 200 years is largely the story of the industrial move from small-scale …

E-cigarettes: A life-saving technology or a way for tobacco companies to re-normalize smoking in American society?

  The attached study appeared in the June 30, 2014 edition of the Food and Drug Law Institute's Food and Drug Policy Forum. Electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as "e-cigarettes," …

R Street urges state and local governments to take steps on e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2014) – State and local governments should take steps to curb cigarette use and promote e-cigarettes as a real driver of tobacco harm reduction, said the …

E-cigarette primer for state and local lawmakers

Cigarettes kill an estimated 480,000 Americans each year. An estimated 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes, the most hazardous and most addictive of tobacco products. Despite our best efforts, …

The case in favor of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

This paper has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. A carefully structured Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) initiative, with e-cigarettes as a …

Is interactive design becoming unpatentable?

If 20th Century design was inspired by American architect Louis Sullivan's 1896 pronouncement that "form ever follows function," the key realization thus far of the 21st Century has …

R Street paper urges more opportunities for nuclear power

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2014) - Opportunities to export U.S. nuclear technology should be expanded and subsidies granted to other forms of power should be eliminated to make the …

A rational approach to U.S. civil nuclear power

The U.S. commercial nuclear sector is in trouble. Absent significant policy changes, the near-term closure of a number of reactors appears increasingly inevitable. Much has been written about …

Fugitive emissions from hydraulic fracturing: Current knowledge and policy implications

Recent innovations in drilling technology, especially staged hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling, have unlocked unconventional resources of oil and natural gas.  These developments represent a revolutionary moment …

WORKING PAPER: Conservation in the 113th Congress

With no major storm events and few environmental catastrophes in the United States in 2013 or thus far in 2014, it's been easy for policymakers to lose a …

R Street paper calls for shortened copyright terms and examination of international treaties

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2014) -- U.S. copyright term lengths must be shortened and lawmakers should heed warnings handed down by the founders about the dangers of copyright as …

Guarding against abuse: Restoring constitutional copyright

Copyrights are intended to encourage creative works through the mechanism of a statutorily created limited property right. Under both economic and legal analysis, they are recognized as a …

Homesick: How housing tax breaks benefit the wealthy and create McMansions

Since its inception a century ago, the individual income tax code has been exceedingly generous to homeowners.  Homeowners may deduct the interest paid on up to $1 million …

R Street paper encourages re-examination of housing tax breaks

Panel discussion to take place on Thursday on Capitol Hill WASHINGTON (April 22, 2014) - Housing tax breaks in the current tax code disproportionately benefit the wealthy and should …

Rethinking tax benefits for home owners

The attached piece, which appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of National Affairs, was co-written with Ike Brannon and Zackary Hawley. The individual income-tax code offers a multitude of …

Artfully resolving Detroit’s bankruptcy

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Midwest Director Alan Smith. For the first three decades of the 20th Century, Detroit was the second fastest-growing city in …

Bringing local knowledge to federal lands

The United States might indeed be one nation, indivisible, but there are huge differences between its eastern and western halves when it comes to federal lands. In the …

Has the NSA poisoned the cloud?

The U.S. technology industry enters 2014 facing a backlash to its perceived role as accomplice to a series of National Security Agency surveillance programs, each making extensive use …

Moving to work

The following piece was co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer. Between 1776 and 1890, when the U.S. Census Bureau famously declared the frontier closed, Americans who found themselves …

2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card

Welcome to the R Street Institute's 2013 Insurance Regulation Report Card, our annual examination of which states are doing the best job of regulating the business of insurance. …

Why road pricing matters

Road pricing — the use of fees or tolls applied to road usage — is the most promising tool we have to improve the productivity of America's aging …

Government sources of systemic insurable risk

In mid-2013, three years after the Dodd-Frank Act's passage, American International Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. became the first insurance companies to be designated by the Financial …

The promise of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

Nicotine vaporizers, usually referred to as e-cigarettes, show substantial promise as a vehicle for tobacco harm reduction (THR). Skyrocketing sales of e-cigarettes, consumer advocacy for these products, and …

Restoring the RESTORE Act’s conservative principles

The 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill was the largest offshore oil spill in American history. For 87 days, the Macondo prospect gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico …

The economic benefits of protected lands: A government-lite approach

During the 1966 fight over whether to construct dams within the Grand Canyon, the Sierra Club made their objections known through a full-page advertisement in the New York …

Ten reforms to fix Florida’s property insurance marketplace — without raising rates

Florida's property insurance system remains broken and need of significant changes. Past studies from the James Madison Institute have demonstrated the challenges that Florida's unstable property insurance market …

A state approach to flood insurance reform in Florida

With various provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 taking effect this year, there is growing concern that scheduled rate increases by the National Flood …

The value of conservation compliance to hunters and anglers

In recent years, free-market groups and environmental activists have demonstrated they can work together effectively to root out wasteful federal subsidies that benefit environmentally destructive development. As such …

Opportunities for the expansion of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982

Current government policy incentivizes behavior that both harms the environment and wastes taxpayer dollars. Rooting out these policies and finding ways to dampen their negative effects offers an …

Climate change: It’s time for a conservative alternative

President Barack Obama's climate agenda announced in June 2013 represents the latest of many Democratic Party efforts to address climate change. Although it includes no new legislation, the …

Responsible prison reform

Between 1979 and mid-2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the number of Americans behind bars rose from roughly 314,000 to about 2 million. Today, the United States …

Strange bedfellows: SmarterSafer.org and the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012

  PDF Download Text This paper by R Street President Eli Lehrer, which originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum,  focuses …

Defending America, defending taxpayers

PDF Download Text As conservative organizations, the R Street Institute and National Taxpayers Union believe strongly in a robust national defense. However, our groups also believe strongly in …

Spotlight on NC’s auto insurance system: Seven things to understand

Authored by R Street Senior Fellows R.J. Lehmann and Alan Smith, this paper outlines how the North Carolina Rate Bureau works and how it stifles competition and innovation. …

R Street policy statement on crop insurance reform

As Congress returns for a second attempt at crafting fiscally responsible food and farm policy, it should ensure that basic limitations to taxpayer liability are applied to federally …

Cutting the corporate tax rate means cutting corporate taxes

In 1986, the United States cut its corporate tax rate close to the current rate of 35 percent as part of broad, comprehensive tax reform at both the …

Reducing smoking: A guide for state policy makers

PDF Download Text A review of public health literature related to smoking cessation suggests smoking bans and efforts to stop minors from smoking can be very effective. They …

Analysis of the South Carolina coastal property insurance market

PDF Download Text This paper aims to clarify the debate over property insurance rates and provide a basis for rational discussion of the current situation in South Carolina’s …

Reforming Michigan’s auto insurance market

PDF Download Text Michigan’s unaffordably high auto insurance premiums result in large part from its unique requirement granting all policyholders unlimited lifetime medical benefits. Higher rates of medical …

Coastal preservation through Citizens reform

PDF Download Text The 30-year-old federal Coastal Barrier Resources Act has been successful in promoting conservation of natural resources, fiscal responsibility, and the reduction of inappropriate high-risk coastal …

R Street policy on tobacco harm reduction

Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) is a policy and process by which smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking are enabled and encouraged to switch to a …

Medical cost containment in the Wisconsin workers’ compensation market

Wisconsin’s 20-year-old certified database system, used to resolve disputes about the reasonableness of medical reimbursements paid by workers’ compensation carriers, has failed to control costs and should be …

The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the Fiscal Cliff

With the end of the year fast approaching, the conversation about how Congress should address the “fiscal cliff” is heating up. If Washington fails to act, the New …

A tax hit list for the 113th Congress

As Congress ponders whether it can reach agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," this paper argues that, in addition to identifying credits, deductions, and exemptions that could …

Conservation compliance: The obscure environmental provision key to protecting taxpayers and privatizing crop insurance

The overwhelming majority of American farms receive federal subsidies of some sort. These payments are controversial and, in the opinion of many who favor smaller government, ought not …

Small business credit still a problem

PDF Download Text American small businesses create 65 percent of all net new jobs and employ roughly half of all workers in the private sector. According to the …

Analysis of S. 637, the Earthquake Insurance Affordability Act

PDF Download Text S. 637, introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would displace an existing private market by replacing private reinsurance with a federal government …

R Street Shorts – Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association

Under Michigan’s unique personal injury protection auto insurance system, every insured driver in the state must pay a fee to the state-run Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association and, in …

How should insurers treat tobacco use?: A review of the research

Co-published by R Street and the Heartland Institute, this paper explores a growing body of data, including several studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, finding that certain …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

2012 Insurance Regulation Report Card

PDF Download Text A state-by-state study of the U.S. insurance regulatory system, examining which states are doing the best job of regulating insurance through limited, effective and efficient …

Texas’ margins tax: principles for reform

This policy brief, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Texas Director Julie Drenner, was issued by the Heartland Institute in February 2012. The pair looked at …

Workable solutions for Florida’s challenging insurance problems

PDF Download Text This paper, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann, was published in January 2012 by the James Madison Institute. …

The case for creating a Michigan auto insurance fraud prevention agency

PDF Download Text This report, authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued by the Heartland Institute in November 2011. It recommends the State of Michigan, which …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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