No More Rainy Days: How to Make State Revenue Estimates More AccuratePosted on April 09, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach
Revenue forecasts matter for planning and policy purposes. When revenues are underestimated, surpluses encourage government growth and swings in tax policy that might be ill-conceived. When revenues are overestimated, governments typically resort to financially damaging gimmicks, debt, and raids on reserves, just delaying the politically disruptive controversy that comes with prioritizing less spending. By not confronting reality, states can be led to impose otherwise unnecessary and ill-conceived tax increases.
A Parent’s Guide to School Choice: Education Options for Arizona FamiliesPosted on March 11, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher
From tax-credits to fund tuition scholarships to charter schools to the revolutionary education savings account program, Arizona is the national leader in school choice; the state has a broader range of school options than anywhere else in the country. Unfortunately, many families simply don’t know how to take advantage of these opportunities. 87,000 Arizona children, or almost ten percent, are languishing in failing schools. It is clear that more needs to be done to increase the involvement of parents in choosing the best education option for their children.
Airing Out the Smoke-filled Rooms: Bringing Transparency to Public Union Collective BargainingPosted on January 17, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias
When total secrecy in negotiations is combined with laws forcing government employers to engage in collective bargaining—often euphemistically called “meet and confer”—government unions are free to deploy maximum leverage in negotiations—consisting of political pressure and monopoly power—while hiding from any meaningful oversight. It is no wonder that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has most recently reported that state and local government employees make nearly 43 percent more per hour on average in total compensation than private sector workers. Even when controlling for similar occupations and skills, Arizona pays its employees average hourly total compensation that is nearly 20 percent more than what is paid to private sector workers.
Key Points on Health Insurance ExchangesPosted on November 15, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Christina Sandefur
As policymakers in Arizona decide whether or not to establish health insurance exchange, they should keep several key points in mind.
Increasing Entrepreneurship is a Key to Lowering Poverty RatesPosted on November 13, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Stephen Slivinski
During the economic boom of the 2000s, poverty rates declined in many states. Yet some states were more effective at getting the poverty rate down than others. While there has been much analysis of why some states are more successful than others, what’s been missing is a discussion of the role of entrepreneurs in the process. This paper suggests that economic freedom and entrepreneurship are keys to escaping poverty for many.