American Action Forum

American Action Forum A policy institute with forward-looking research on: Education, Regulation, Economy, Foreign Policy, Energy, Housing and Healthcare Policy. http://www.americanactionforum.org http://twitter.com/AAF

Operating as usual

The Trump Administration’s lack of follow-on negotiations on the “Phase One” U.S.-China trade deal suggests that U.S. LN...
10/27/2020
LNG Exports and the Trade Deal - AAF

The Trump Administration’s lack of follow-on negotiations on the “Phase One” U.S.-China trade deal suggests that U.S. LNG will continue to be at a disadvantage.

Executive Summary The “Phase One” U.S.-China trade deal requires China to purchase over $50 billion in U.S. energy resources, including liquid natural gas (LNG). Despite this trade deal with China, U.S. LNG exports continue to be subject to Chinese tariffs, depressing demand and making it unlike...

The consensus on the liberal side of the policy aisle is that higher taxes have no real impact on the labor supply of up...
10/27/2020
A Guide to the Tax-Hike Debate - AAF

The consensus on the liberal side of the policy aisle is that higher taxes have no real impact on the labor supply of upper-income Americans, and thus there is no reason to mitigate tax hikes out of concern for the growth consequences. This is misguided.

Eakinomics: A Guide to the Tax-Hike Debate One of the most high-profile policy promises in the 2020 cycle is Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes by roughly $2.8 trillion, with the taxes targeted on those making more than $400,000. The key elements of the plan are a higher individual income tax rate, h...

Tracker: The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet — As of October 21, the Fed’s balance sheet stands at $7.2 trillion.
10/26/2020
Tracker: The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet - AAF

Tracker: The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet — As of October 21, the Fed’s balance sheet stands at $7.2 trillion.

Introduction This tracker follows the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) balance sheet, the best indicator of the Fed’s direct intervention in the economy. Context The Fed’s dual mandate requires it to ensure both stable prices and maximum employment. The traditional tool the Fed uses to accomplish these...

With the imposition of regulatory budgets on the Cabinet agencies and enforcement by the Office of Management and Budget...
10/26/2020
Regulation Reform and the Courts - AAF

With the imposition of regulatory budgets on the Cabinet agencies and enforcement by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the growth in overall regulatory burden has been dramatically slowed.

Eakinomics: Regulation Reform and the Courts Eakinomics has devoted considerable attention to the Trump Administration’s efforts to control the regulatory state. With the imposition of regulatory budgets on the Cabinet agencies and enforcement by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of I...

AAF-commissioned polling in five key states shows that the sharp partisan divide in politics spills over to nearly every...
10/23/2020
Policy Priorities and the Election – Evidence from Polling - AAF

AAF-commissioned polling in five key states shows that the sharp partisan divide in politics spills over to nearly every policy issue as well.

Eakinomics: Policy Priorities and the Election – Evidence from Polling Sometimes it is a good idea to ask the customer what they want. This lesson holds in the think tank world as well as the broader economy. After all, what good is it to analyze esoteric policies that have no chance of being supp...

In this episode of the AAF Exchange, AAF Director of Health Care Policy Christopher Holt discusses the potential outcome...
10/23/2020
The AAF Exchange — Ep. 53: The State of Health Coverage in 2020 - AAF

In this episode of the AAF Exchange, AAF Director of Health Care Policy Christopher Holt discusses the potential outcomes for the Affordable Care Act in California v Texas, the loss of health coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and how some Americans are reluctant to take a vaccine for COVID-19.

In this episode of the AAF Exchange, AAF Director of Health Care Policy Christopher Holt discusses the potential outcomes for the Affordable Care Act in California v Texas, the loss of health coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and how some Americans are reluctant to take a vaccine for COVID-19.

From premium impact to the number of insured and effects on the federal budget, here are the key results of the Center f...
10/22/2020
The Health Care Choices Proposal - AAF

From premium impact to the number of insured and effects on the federal budget, here are the key results of the Center for Health and Economy's score of the Health Policy Consensus Group's new health care reform plan.

In October, the Health Policy Consensus Group released a health care reform plan called “The Health Care Choices Proposal.”[1] The stated purpose of this plan, referred to in this report as the Proposal, is the expansion of choice, lowering of costs, and protection of the vulnerable via safety n...

If history is any guide, the Google case will take years to come to resolution. The concern in the interim is that compa...
10/22/2020
Google - AAF

If history is any guide, the Google case will take years to come to resolution. The concern in the interim is that companies, in general, will avoid actions that they fear will trigger DOJ scrutiny, and innovation will be harmed in the process.

Eakinomics: Google The big tech story of the week is the Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against Google. (Just for fun, Google “Google antitrust.”) Essentially DOJ argues that Google pays companies like Apple billions of dollars to make its search engine the default option on their...

Instead of blaming Congress for an error of omission in cutting off the stimulus spigot, it might make sense to reflect ...
10/21/2020
Revisiting Stimulus and the Great Recession - AAF

Instead of blaming Congress for an error of omission in cutting off the stimulus spigot, it might make sense to reflect on the vast errors of commission by the Obama Administration that resulted in stunted economic growth.

Eakinomics: Revisiting Stimulus and the Great Recession There has been a steady drumbeat of calls for additional “stimulus” to counter the fallout of the COVID-19 recession. I want to stipulate that I think the case can be made for an appropriately structured fiscal bill, but the case is not bei...

The Biden clean energy plan is advertised as one element of his proposals that will increase the pace of economic growth...
10/20/2020
Biden, Climate-Change Policy, and the Economy - AAF

The Biden clean energy plan is advertised as one element of his proposals that will increase the pace of economic growth. The more that this plan is implemented by regulatory fiat, the less this assertion of future growth is true.

Eakinomics: Biden, Climate-Change Policy, and the Economy Policies toward clean energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change are of increasing importance across the electorate. As a reflection of this importance, presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised to take executive action on “Da...

Biden plans to raise somewhere between $2.4 and $2.8 trillion in taxes over 10 years. The notion is that the taxes would...
10/19/2020
Biden’s “Tax” Plan and “Growth” - AAF

Biden plans to raise somewhere between $2.4 and $2.8 trillion in taxes over 10 years. The notion is that the taxes would be targeted exclusively on businesses and individuals making more than $400,000. How should one think about this?

Eakinomics: Biden’s “Tax” Plan and “Growth” Okay Eakinomics fans, fire up the coffee and buckle in. The presidential campaign has finally zeroed in on a meaty policy issue: Will Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes hurt growth? Or, as the New York Times phrased it, “Would Biden’s Tax Plan...

ICYMI: AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin discusses growing concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections, the l...
10/16/2020
The AAF Exchange — Ep. 52: The Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis (Pt.28) - AAF

ICYMI: AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin discusses growing concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections, the latest on business closings and cutbacks, and the possibility of another aid package in this episode of the AAF Exchange.

AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin discusses growing concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections, the latest on business closings and cutbacks, and the possibility of another aid package in this episode of the AAF Exchange.

The best responses to COVID-19 have been bold and bipartisan. One can hope that a commission and review of which emergen...
10/16/2020
Deregulation Unearthed by the Pandemic Response - AAF

The best responses to COVID-19 have been bold and bipartisan. One can hope that a commission and review of which emergency waivers should be made permanent deregulatory actions is such an effort.

Eakinomics: Deregulation Unearthed by the Pandemic Response Tracking the regulatory state during the Trump Administration has been fascinating. The institution of regulatory budgets – annual limits on the additional compliance burden agencies can impose on the private sector via rulemaking – bro...

EVENT: Join AAF’s Jennifer Huddleston and PPI experts for an online panel discussion concerning the effects of COVID-19 ...
10/15/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Panel Discussion with Tech Policy Experts on the Future of the Gig Economy and a New Vision for Workers. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

EVENT: Join AAF’s Jennifer Huddleston and PPI experts for an online panel discussion concerning the effects of COVID-19 on the gig economy, Oct 16, 11:00 AM ET.

We invite you to join us for a panel discussion on the challenges facing workers in the gig economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for a new policy visions that can guarantee flexibility while providing portable benefits. Featuring Experts from the Progressive Policy Institute and America...

With the arrival of the pandemic, it was necessary to expand the existing social safety net to the self-employed and ind...
10/15/2020
The Gig Economy, Pandemic, and Policy - AAF

With the arrival of the pandemic, it was necessary to expand the existing social safety net to the self-employed and independent contractors. Maybe it should have been that way to begin with?

Eakinomics: The Gig Economy, Pandemic, and Policy The so-called gig economy has waxed and waned as a focus of public policy in recent years. For those new to the area, there are three interrelated phenomena: (1) the gig economy – workers with alternative work arrangements, (2) the online gig econo...

Last Week in Regulation, federal agencies published $4.2 billion in total net costs but cut 397,056 hours of annual pape...
10/14/2020
Immigration Rule Brings Significant New Costs - AAF

Last Week in Regulation, federal agencies published $4.2 billion in total net costs but cut 397,056 hours of annual paperwork.

There were nearly two dozen actions last week with some kind of measurable economic impact. Topics varied from assistance for “microentrepreneurs” to railroads to “Test Procedure and Labeling Requirements for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pump Motors.” The main bulk of costs, however, came from a s...

The trade war and now pandemic have taken a real toll on an already-weakened farm economy. As a result, the farm sector ...
10/14/2020
Federal Aid and the Farm Sector - AAF

The trade war and now pandemic have taken a real toll on an already-weakened farm economy. As a result, the farm sector is more reliant on federal aid than in the recent past.

Eakinomics: Federal Aid and the Farm Sector A bit over a year ago, Eakinomics checked in on the financial status of the farm sector. The trade/tariff war with China had added to the woes of a sector that had already been slumping since 2012. Federal direct payments (which omit federal support of loa...

While directly cutting police budgets could have negative consequences, there are opportunities to transfer some targete...
10/13/2020
Opportunities for Police Reform - AAF

While directly cutting police budgets could have negative consequences, there are opportunities to transfer some targeted responsibilities of police to others who are better suited.

Recent calls to defund the police, while controversial, have brought to light opportunities for more targeted reform.

The scientific accomplishment of vaccine development has been astonishing and it seems quite likely that there will be m...
10/13/2020
Vaccination Prospects - AAF

The scientific accomplishment of vaccine development has been astonishing and it seems quite likely that there will be multiple vaccines widely available in 2021. The emerging issue is whether the U.S. public will take advantage of them.

Eakinomics: Vaccination Prospects Gallup is reporting that “Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against the coronavirus has dropped 11 percentage points, falling to 50% in late September.” This means that willingness to be vaccinated has fallen from about two-thirds in July to only one-hal...

PODCAST: AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch discusses the Trump Administration’s FY2020 regulatory budget, th...
10/09/2020
The AAF Exchange — Ep. 51: The Latest on Regulations - AAF

PODCAST: AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch discusses the Trump Administration’s FY2020 regulatory budget, the biggest rules over the last year, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected regulatory activity.

AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch discusses the Trump Administration’s FY2020 regulatory budget, the biggest rules over the last year, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected regulatory activity in this episode of The AAF Exchange.

Most police forces continue to be predominantly White and the majority of minority officers are relatively newer hires. ...
10/09/2020
A Closer Look at Police Budgets - AAF

Most police forces continue to be predominantly White and the majority of minority officers are relatively newer hires. Broad cuts to police budgets would likely reduce the diversity of some cities’ police forces.

Eakinomics: A Closer Look at Police Budgets Guest authored by Tara O’Neill Hayes, AAF’s Director of Human Welfare Policy The summer was filled with protests over the deaths of several Black men and women at the hands of police officers. In response to these deaths, activists called for “defund...

Instituting a carbon tax as a pricing mechanism would not only set the price on carbon that we need but would also remov...
10/08/2020
Carbon Pricing - AAF

Instituting a carbon tax as a pricing mechanism would not only set the price on carbon that we need but would also remove regulatory burden.

Eakinomics: Carbon Pricing Guest authored by Ewelina Czapla, AAF’s Director of Energy Policy Carbon pricing has seen increased interest from regulators recently. Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency headed by a bi-partisan panel of commissioners, hosted...

Presidents make policy decisions that affect, to varying degrees, the economy and the federal budget that’s built upon i...
10/07/2020
What’s the Score? - AAF

Presidents make policy decisions that affect, to varying degrees, the economy and the federal budget that’s built upon it. This reality is typically elided in assessing the economic and fiscal legacies of executives.

Eakinomics: What’s the Score? Guest authored by Gordon Gray, AAF’s Director of Fiscal Policy The degree to which any given president is responsible for the U.S. economy, or even more plausibly, the federal budget, is usually overstated. Presidents simply don’t have anything like the ability to...

10/07/2020
The Pelosi and Mnuchin Legislative Aid Packages — The AAF Exchange Ep.50

Speaker Pelosi released a new, $2.2 trillion legislative aid package related to COVID-19, and Secretary Mnuchin is pushing a package similar to the Problem Solvers Caucus's proposal. AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin explains why the two sides remain far apart in this episode of The AAF Exchange. https://www.americanactionforum.org/multimedia/the-aaf-exchange-ep-50-the-economic-impact-of-the-covid-19-crisis-pt-27/

Do we need a Glass-Steagall for tech? How about a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-style agency for data protection?...
10/06/2020
The Real Lesson From Financial Regulations? How NOT To Regulate Technology - AAF

Do we need a Glass-Steagall for tech? How about a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-style agency for data protection? The analogy to financial regulation is at best problematic.

Eakinomics: The Real Lesson From Financial Regulations? How NOT To Regulate Technology Guest authored by Jennifer Huddleston, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Do we need a Glass-Steagall for tech? How about a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)-style agency for data prote...

Is the Trump version of regulatory budgeting a success? Yes and no.
10/05/2020
Assessing Trump’s Regulatory Budgeting - AAF

Is the Trump version of regulatory budgeting a success? Yes and no.

Eakinomics: Assessing Trump’s Regulatory Budgeting Guest authored by Dan Bosch, AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Last week the Trump Administration wrapped up its fourth regulatory budget cycle. For the uninitiated, a regulatory budget is similar to a fiscal budget; each executive agency is g...

Based on agency estimates of economic impact among rules published in the Federal Register, the Trump Administration is ...
10/04/2020
Projecting FY 2020 Regulatory Budget Results - AAF

Based on agency estimates of economic impact among rules published in the Federal Register, the Trump Administration is projected to achieve regulatory budget savings of $171.7 billion for FY 2020.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A review of the 179 federal rules subject to the regulatory budget that were finalized between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, shows that covered agencies have saved an estimated net present value of $171.7 billion. The totality of the savings comes from the Safer, Afforda...

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