New America Policy Papers: 2008

Papers and other formal publications from our policy programs are available below. To jump to another year in the archives, please use the links at right.

The Fiscal Roadmap Project

  • By
  • Anne Vorce,
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
December 18, 2008

The Fiscal Roadmap Project was created to help policymakers navigate the serious economic and fiscal challenges facing the country.

Currently, fiscal policy is being shaped in a haphazard way: bailing out a firm here, letting another firm go bankrupt there; attaching conditions to a company bailout, writing a check to another company without strings attached. These are not ordinary times.

The Effectiveness of Youth Financial Education

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Karen Murrell,
  • New America Foundation
December 15, 2008

As a result of the current financial crisis, consumers are more concerned about their personal finances than ever before.  Household confidence in job security and future employment prospects, income stability, and the ability to preserve and build assets is plummeting; meanwhile, high fuel and food prices and tightening credit conditions are placing more pressure on households to maximize their financial decisions.

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: Central and South Asia

December 8, 2008

As the true central front in the war on Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations, South Asia has been the subject of a massive increase in U.S. arms transfers and security assistance since 9/11, rivaled only by U.S. aid and sales to the Middle East. As the Obama administration makes its transition to power with a pledge to increase U.S. commitments of troops and assistance to this region, the difficulties of using arms to quell terrorist activities and fundamentalist insurgents will become apparent.

Programs:

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: Eurasia

December 8, 2008

U.S. arms transfers and security assistance to Georgia and Turkey have raised particularly vexing questions for U.S. policymakers.In the case of Georgia, the question is how far to go in cementing a security alliance with the government in Tbilisi while carefully gauging the impacts on U.S.-Russian relations.With respect to Turkey, one key issue is whether the billions in U.S.

Programs:

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: Western Hemisphere

December 8, 2008

The Western Hemisphere has received less attention and far fewer security assistance resources from Washington since 9/11 than major "fronts" such as the Middle East and South Asia.The one major exception to this pattern is Colombia.

Programs:

U.S. Weapons at War 2008

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • Frida Berrigan,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2008

The United States, which entered into over $23 billion in Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreements in fiscal year (FY) 2007 and $32 billion in FY 2008 (see table 1), is the world's largest arms supplier. U.S. exports range from combat aircraft to Pakistan, Morocco, Greece, Romania, and Chile to small arms and light weapons to the Philippines, Egypt, and Georgia. In 2006 and 2007, the United States sold weapons to over 174 states and territories, a significant increase from the beginning of the Bush administration when the number of U.S. arms clients stood at 123.[1] While many of these sales were relatively small deals licensed commercially by the State Department, a number of important new states were added or restored to the U.S. client list, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, East Timor, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: East Asia and the Pacific

December 8, 2008

East Asia has been an area of growing importance in Washington's "war on terror," as evidenced by growing levels of U.S. security assistance and military collaboration with nations including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. Whether these increases in U.S. security assistance will have the desired effect without aggravating the region's existing conflicts remains to be seen.

Programs:

Protecting Human Rights, Safeguarding Democracy?

December 8, 2008

This table is part of the larger "U.S. Weapons at War 2008" report. For the full document, please click here.

Programs:

U.S. Weapons at War 2008 (Executive Summary)

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • Frida Berrigan,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2008

The United States is the world's leading arms exporting nation, accounting for over 45 percent of all weapons transferred globally in 2007.

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: Near East

December 8, 2008

Despite sharp increases in U.S. security assistance and arms transfers to Asia as part of the global campaign against terrorism, the Middle East remains the largest market for U.S. weaponry, with the bulk of it going to Washington’s two closest allies in the region, Iraq and Israel.

Programs:

Success Depends on Public Investment and Civic Engagement

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2008

As the saying goes: Reports of the death of municipal wireless are greatly exaggerated. Most mainstream media simply got it wrong. Most municipal wireless networks across the United States didn't take a tumble over the past year. Rather, in high-profile cities where deals fell apart - including Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston - what failed were exclusive commercial franchise forays.  Local governments were not going to finance, own or operate their respective networks. These weren't municipal networks at all.

U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07: Africa

December 8, 2008

U.S. arms transfers to Africa are being carried out against the backdrop of a major strategic shift in U.S. attention toward the continent, as embodied in the creation of the Africa Command. Before the establishment of AFRICOM in October 2007, U.S. strategic planning and military missions in Africa were split between the European Command (for North Africa) and the Central Command (for sub-Saharan Africa). But with the growing U.S. interest in curbing terror and expanding access to oil in Africa, the Pentagon moved to create a dedicated military command for Africa.

Programs:

A Family-Based Social Contract

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • David Gray,
  • New America Foundation
November 25, 2008
Executive Summary

Americans instinctively revere the family as an institution that helps facilitate all other aspects of life. The family fosters attachments across generations, provides a nurturing environment in which to raise children, and is a means of transmitting values from one generation to the next. It is the foundation upon which our social contract has been built.

Homes With Tails

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Derek Slater, Google
November 19, 2008

America’s communications infrastructure is stuck at a copper wall. For the vast majority of homes, copper wires remain the principal means of getting broadband services. The deployment of fiber optic connections to the home would enable exponentially faster connections, and few dispute that upgrading to more robust infrastructure is essential to America’s economic growth. However, the costs of such an upgrade are daunting for private sector firms and even for governments. These facts add up to a public policy challenge.

Remapping a Nation without States

  • By
  • Mark Paul,
  • Micah Weinberg,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2008

California is a state of many distinct regions. To give citizens a voice on regional issues and to reinvigorate California's Legislature, the state's central institution of self-government, we propose Personalized Full Representation for the 21st Century (PFR21), a system of representation by means of regionally based legislative elections that will allow the state'scitizens to set the agenda for their regions and for the state as a whole.

Financial Education in the Workplace

  • By Lewis Mandell, Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute
November 17, 2008

One of the most important lessons the subprime mortgage crisis holds for us is just how poorly informed many Americans are when it comes to making important financial decisions. Clearly, there is a need for basic financial education. But when, where, and how should such education be delivered? Financial literacy programs aimed at high school students do not appear to be effective, and few adults are willing to expend the time, money, and effort to acquire the sort of general education that would help them make good lifelong financial decisions.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
November 13, 2008

Introduction
The U.S. health care system is in crisis. Health care costs too much; we often get too little in exchange for our health care dollar; and tens of millions of Americans are uninsured.

AutoSave Concept Paper

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Ellen Seidman,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2008

Introduction

America used to be a nation of thrift. Saving was seen as beneficial both individually and collectively. Against a backdrop of increased access to quick credit and short-term loan products, and a financial marketplace with new and constantly changing products that add complexity to a consumer's decision making process, both individual and collective saving has declined precipitously. Historically low levels of personal savings and high levels of consumer debt place in jeopardy the economic stability of working families.

Fiscally Responsible Stimulus

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Philip Sugg,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2008

In light of the current state of the economy, it appears likely that Congress will pass another stimulus package...

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recognizes that there is a strong enough risk of a prolonged recession that a fiscal stimulus package may well make sense. Given the many risks associated with a significant downturn, it makes sense to err on the side of caution in determining whether more stimulus is appropriate. Assuming Congress proceeds with plans to offer some type of stimulus package, CRFB offers three recommendations.

CRFB Projects a One Trillion Dollar Deficit

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2008

The fiscal year 2009 deficit could reach over one trillion dollars, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). This deficit would be more than twice as large as the 2008 deficit of $455 billion and would represent a post-war record both in nominal terms and as a share of GDP.

Changing the Culture of Pentagon Contracting

  • By
  • Maria Figueroa Kupcu,
  • Michael A. Cohen,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Roger D. Carstens, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security
November 5, 2008

While the U.S. military has long relied on private contractors, the outsourcing of key national security functions has increased dramatically over the past five and a half years. From intelligence gathering and logistical support to personal security services, training, and operational support tasks, the efforts of contractors are now integral to the success of America's security and stabilization missions around the world. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, one dollar out of every five has been spent on private contractors.

Guide to Health Care Policy: The 2008 Presidential Election

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
October 31, 2008

One of the most pressing issues facing policymakers in the United State is rising health care costs. Cost growth is putting ongoing stress on the budgets of families, employers, and governments. The U.S. already spends $2.2 trillion a year - 16 percent of GDP - for health care. Nearly a third of this comes from the federal government.

Guide to Tax Policy: The 2008 Election

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
October 29, 2008

The next president will have to address fiscal imbalances within the government and a dramatically rising federal debt.National debt has been on a more or less steady rise since 1974 when, after a steady decline from the massive debt accumulated during WWII, it hit a low of 33.6 percent of GDP.Total national debt was more than $10 trillion at the start of fiscal year 2009.

Guide to Social Security: The 2008 Presidential Election

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
October 28, 2008

Social Security is the single largest government program. In 2007, the program cost $585 billion and provided benefits for roughly 50 million retirees, dependents, survivors, and disabled workers. It is financed primarily through the payroll tax -- a 12.4 percent tax on wages up to $102,000. The tax is split equally between employees and employers. The remaining revenues come mainly from the taxation of Social Security benefits for wealthier recipients.

The Lobby that Cried Wolf

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • New America Foundation
October 27, 2008

In an October 2007 letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), executives from the four largest TV networks told the Commission that proposals to allow low-power Wi-Fi type devices to operate on vacant TV channels, “could cause permanent damage to over-the-air digital television reception." Such a dire warning would ring alarm bells for policymakers, if not for the fact that similar nightmare scenarios have been predicted before.

Guide to Stimulus Proposals: The 2008 Presidential Election

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Philip Sugg,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
October 26, 2008

Background

The United States is in the midst of an economic crisis. Financial institutions are failing, the credit markets are frozen, and global stock markets have experienced large-scale losses. This crisis has also had significant effects on the "real" economy. Home values have tumbled, consumption has dropped, and jobs are disappearing.

The Effectiveness of Youth Financial Education

  • By Martha Henn McCormick, Networks Financial Institute
October 26, 2008

Executive Summary

Comprehensive strategies for educating children and youth so they can become effective managers of money and successful navigators of a complex financial marketplace have not yet emerged from the dialogue and debate surrounding financial education. A rich and growing body of research about adult financial education exists, but youth financial education research has been slower in developing.

Descriptive Bibliography

  • By Networks Financial Institute
October 25, 2008

Baker, C. and D. Dylla (2007). "Analyzing the Relationship Between Account Ownership and Financial Education." New America Foundation.

Abstract: Account ownership and financial knowledge are understood to be critical components of financial stability and wealth accumulation.

Slipping Through the Cracks

  • By
  • Sara Mead,
  • New America Foundation
October 22, 2008

When Congress resumes consideration of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, strengthening the federal role in supporting high school reform will be a key issue on the agenda, and with good reason. While elementary school students, on whom most of NCLB’s funding and accountability requirements focus, have made significant achievement gains in recent years, high school achievement has stagnated. Only 70 percent of high school freshmen graduate within four years. Among those who do make it to graduation, only a third have the skills they need to succeed in college.

Programs:

College Savings

  • By
  • Hosai Ehsan,
  • New America Foundation
October 18, 2008

Although the State of California currently offers its residents a 529 college savings plan through the ScholarShare program, the investment vehicle lacks incentives that encourage low- and middle-income individuals to participate in the program. Other U.S. states offer a variety of attractive incentives, such as matching contributions and state tax deductions. Californians are ready to adopt a stronger and more incentive oriented 529 plan that will encourage families to build savings for their children's college education.

Behaviorally Informed Financial Services Regulation

  • By Eldar Shafir, Michael Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan
October 17, 2008

Financial services decisions can have enormous consequences for household well-being. Households need a range of financial services-to conduct basic transactions, such as receiving their income, storing it, and paying bills; to save for emergency needs and long-term goals; to access credit; and to insure against life's key risks. But the financial services system is exceedingly complicated and often not well-designed to optimize household behavior. In response to the complexity of our financial system, there has been a long-running debate about the appropriate role and form of regulation.

How Not to Lose Afghanistan (and Pakistan)

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
October 10, 2008

In late May, some 40 Pakistani journalists received a summons to an unusual press conference held by Baitullah Mehsud, the rarely photographed leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who is accused of orchestrating the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, sending suicide bombers to Spain earlier this year, and dispatching an army of fighters into Afghanistan to attack U.S. and NATO forces in recent months. Surrounded by a posse of heavily armed Taliban guards, Mehsud boasted that he had hundreds of trained suicide bombers ready for martyrdom.

Across State Lines Explained

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Len Nichols,
  • New America Foundation
  • and John Bertko, Actuarial Consultant, New America Foundation
October 8, 2008

As we enter the home stretch of a long presidential campaign, the good news is that both major candidates recognize that our health care system, especially the insurance marketplace, does not work well. The concept of selling health insurance across state lines has been included in health care proposals put forth by several Members of Congress and most recently in the campaign plan of Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain.

Saver’s Bonus Act

October 7, 2008

Overview

Each year the federal government provides hundreds of billions of dollars in incentives for families to save and build wealth through the tax system. Low-income families, however, are not eligible for most of these tax incentives because they are poor. Low income families, like any other household, need to save to gain economic mobility and financial stability. Research has also shown that despite their low incomes, poor families can and do save when presented with the right incentives and methods to do so.

SAFE-T Accounts

October 7, 2008

Overview

Over the past two decades, policymakers, academics, and others have pursued an array of policies and strategies to help lower and middle income households build savings and assets and access reasonably-priced financial products. While progress has been made, there have been few advances to delivering a high-value, affordable financial product at scale.

New Saver’s Act

October 3, 2008

The New Saver's Act would introduce a series of new, innovative and low-cost initiatives to increase access to financial services and savings for all Americans.  Specifically, these initiatives would facilitate access to financial services during tax preparation; expand funding for low-income tax clinics; establish national savings performance measures; improve electronic transfer accounts; expand financial education; create children's savings accounts; expand the types of financial products eligible for the Saver's Credit; promote and facilitate access to U.S.

Cost Estimates for Federal Student Loans

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
October 1, 2008

In an ongoing debate about the relative costs of the federal government’s direct and guaranteed student loan programs, some budget experts and private lenders have argued for the use of “market cost” estimates. They assert that official government cost estimates for federal student loans differ from what private entities would likely charge taxpayers to deliver the benefits and services the program provides. A market cost estimate would take such information into account.

Saver's Bonus Act

September 30, 2008

Each year the federal government provides hundreds of billions of dollars in incentives for families to save and build wealth through the tax system. Low-income families, however, are not eligible for most of these tax incentives because they are poor. Low income families, like any other household, need to save to gain economic mobility and financial stability. Research has also shown that despite their low incomes, poor families can and do save when presented with the right incentives and methods to do so.

Programs:

There is No Windfall in the White Space

  • By
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Dr. Gregory Rose, Econometric Research and Analysis
September 24, 2008

As Alexander Pope opined, hope springs eternal: And exploiting this natural optimism are interest groups holding out the hope of a budgetary windfall for a cash-strapped Congress if only more spectrum can be auctioned at ever-higher prices. Now it is the turn of the digital television (DTV) "white space" to spur this forlorn hope. And this hope is as precisely forlorn as the economic analysis presented below concludes.

Presidential Promises

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Mark Huelsman,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
September 19, 2008

The presidential election of 2008 has been historic by many measures. The campaign has featured an extended and competitive primary season, which has given way to a general election contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. As the campaign has unfolded, economic conditions have worsened along with rising levels of unemployment, personal debt, and mortgage defaults. The erosion of savings and household assets have increased the economic insecurity of many families and heightened interest into each candidate’s prescription for a policy response.

Learning from the Past

  • By
  • Ellen Seidman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Andrew Jakabovics, Center for American Progress
September 19, 2008

This paper, written for Furman Center at New York University in May 2008 by New America Foundation's Ellen Seidman and the Center for American Progress' Andrew Jakabovics, discusses asset disposition lessons learned from previous financial crises -- including the activities of the New Deal-era Home Owners Loan Corporation, the Resolution Trust Corporation formed in the wake of the savings and loan crisis, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's more recent Asset Control Area program to dispose of foreclosed properties acquired through the Federal Housing Administration.

Financing the Productive Economy: The Heartland Development Bank

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Delore Zimmerman, Praxis Strategy Group
September 18, 2008

Infrastructure and Economic Opportunity

Ambulance Diversions

  • By
  • Guy Clifton,
  • Hannah Graff,
  • New America Foundation
September 3, 2008

Every minute in the United States, an ambulance is turned away from a hospital because of a practice known as ambulance diversion. Diverting ambulances away from emergency departments (EDs) poses a serious threat to the health outcomes of both the insured and uninsured population. Ambulance diversions also indicate a struggling health system in need of comprehensive delivery system reforms.

The Assets Agenda

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
September 3, 2008

The current economic downturn, triggered in part by excessive household debt and deflating housing prices, underscores the central role asset ownership plays in the economic security of American families and the broader economy. Broad asset ownership, whether through savings or investment, has the potential to connect economic opportunity with economic security and ensure that every member of society is afforded a real stake in the commonwealth.

Promises, Promises: A Fiscal Voter Guide to the 2008 Election

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
August 20, 2008

The United States faces serious fiscal challenges. Large budget deficits have returned, and shifting demographics along with growing health care costs are putting intense pressure on the long-term federal budget outlook. Over time, sustained deficits will weaken the economy and adversely affect the American standard of living.

Deadly Traffic: China's Arms Trade With The Sudan

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • New America Foundation
August 5, 2008

Child Savings Accounts: A Primer

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2008

Executive Summary 

Poverty reduction strategies increasingly focus on the importance of creating financial assets. Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) are a novel and promising tool that builds on that focus by promoting savings starting at a young age. Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) exist as policies, products, and programs, and are being offered by governments, financial institutions, and non-profits for a variety of purposes.

Child Savings Accounts: Global Trends in Design and Practice

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Jeff Meyer,
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
July 30, 2008

INTRODUCTION

Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) exist as policies, products, and programs, and are currently being offered by governments, financial institutions, and non-profits. CSAs are more than basic savings accounts. What distinguishes CSAs from standard savings accounts is the degree to which they serve as means to an end-most often to spur the social and/or economic development of children. Another distinguishing feature is they are often intentionally targeted to children of low- and moderate-income families (as opposed to only children of middle-class and well-off families).

Global Savings, Assets and Financial Inclusion

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Michael Sherraden and Li Zou, Center for Social Development; Leslie Meek and Amy Feldman, Citi Foundation; Kate McKee, CGAP
July 30, 2008

Foreword

In 2000, 196 Member States of the United Nations committed themselves to halve extreme poverty in the world by the year 2015. Since then, broad availability of well-designed and appropriately delivered financial services and products, including those that lead to savings and productive assets, has become increasingly recognized as essential to alleviating poverty and fostering economic security and opportunity. Yet eight years later (and with less than eight years remaining to reach this goal), some three billion people worldwide lack access to basic financial services.

2007-2008 California Legislative Summary

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
July 24, 2008

The purpose of New America's Asset Building Program is to significantly broaden savings and assets ownership in America, thereby providing all Americans both with the means to get ahead and with a direct stake in the overall success of our economy. While pursuing an ambitious policy agenda at the federal level, we recognize that it is at the state level, in our nation's ‘laboratories of democracy', where the most innovative policies are often enacted.

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AutoSave Overview

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Ellen Seidman,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
July 16, 2008
The overview below revisits the proposal explored in a July 2006 Working Paper by Reid Cramer. Please click here to access that document, or see below for the updated overview.

Rural Broadband and the TV White Space

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • New America Foundation
June 25, 2008

In 2004, the FCC initiated a proceeding to determine rules to allow the unlicensed operation of wireless communication devices in unused television band spectrum between channels 2 and 51. These vacant and unassigned television channels, known as the TV “white spaces,” would help make affordable wireless broadband in rural America a reality.

Kids' Share 2008

  • By
  • Adam Carasso,
  • New America Foundation
  • and C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute; Gillian Reynolds, Urban Institute; Tracy Vericker, Urban Institute; Jennifer Macomber, Urban Institute.
June 23, 2008

Children are a declining priority in the federal budget -- a trend that shows no signs of stopping. In 2007, the federal government paid out $2.7 trillion through spending programs and disbursed roughly another $1 trillion through the tax code. Rapidly expanding entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- and the country's defense system consumed the largest shares of the budget, while spending on children remained essentially stagnant and did not keep up with growth in the economy.

Redressing America's Public Infrastructure Deficit

  • By
  • Bernard L. Schwartz,
  • New America Foundation
June 19, 2008

Chairman, Oberstar, Representative Mica, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on the question of "financing infrastructure investments."

Over the past several decades, we have accumulated a sizeable public infrastructure deficit. As a result, a variety of infrastructure bottlenecks-traffic congested roads, clogged ports, and an antiquated air traffic system, to mention just a few-have begun to undercut our economy's efficiency and undermine our quality of life.

White Space Devices & The Battle Over Innovation:

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
June 19, 2008

I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of a “White Space Device.” And yet, white space devices have the potential to be one of the most revolutionary new technologies to come along in the past twenty years. White space devices will have a greater positive impact than Wi-Fi and spur far more innovation than mobile phones.

Sovereign Wealth Funds: Foreign Policy Consequences In an Era Of New Money

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
June 11, 2008

Over the past several months, few issues in international finance have generated as much discussion and comment as have Sovereign Wealth Funds (“SWF”s). This Committee deserves enormous credit for recognizing the potentially significant foreign policy consequences of the rapid accumulation by foreign governments of enormous, growing pools of capital. These large concentrations of government controlled wealth raise complex issues that transcend traditional boundaries between foreign policy, financial markets, international economics and national security.

Smart Globalization Policy Agenda

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Steven Clemons,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Leo Hindery, Managing Director, InterMedia Partners
June 9, 2008

The policy ideas that would make up the Initiative's competitiveness and growth strategy would fall under two main pillars of the Initiative. As noted earlier, the first pillar would consist of an international strategy to balance and respond to the economically dysfunctional practices of other economics and to create a supportive global economic environment for strengthening America's productive economy.

Public Comments on the Proposed Regulations On Foreign Investment Into the U.S.

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • Heidi Crebo-Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
June 9, 2008

The Honorable Nova Daly
Deputy Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Dear Mr. Daly:

We are pleased to submit these comments with respect to the recently proposed regulations regarding the implementation of the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (“FINSA”) amendments to Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“Exon-Florio”).

Financing America’s Infrastructure

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • Heidi Crebo-Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
June 8, 2008

America’s basic infrastructure is outdated, worn, and in some cases, failing. Most experts agree that it is inadequate for meeting the demands of the 21st-century global economy. If we are to remain competitive, we must invest in capital assets like roads, ports, bridges, mass transit, water systems, and broadband infrastructure. Many other countries -- both rich and poor -- see investing in infrastructure as imperative for economic survival and success in an increasingly competitive economic environment.

Iraq War Spurs Growth in Vehicle Manufacturing and Fuel Supply Contracts

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • New America Foundation
June 5, 2008

The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have spurred strong growth in Pentagon prime contract awards to companies involved in armored vehicle production and fuel supply. In the mean time, major arms makers like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have experienced much more modest growth rates.

Twelve Principles for Fiscal Responsibility

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Paul McLaughlin,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
May 20, 2008

The United States faces a number of serious fiscal challenges. Budget deficits are back, the economy has weakened, Social Security is unsound, growing health care spending is putting immense pressure on the budget, tax policy is at a major crossroads, and borrowing is projected to reach unsustainable levels. Politicians will have to take concrete steps to confront these challenges, and some level of sacrifice will be required.

Golden Dream Accounts

  • By
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
May 14, 2008

As the percentage of workers covered by traditional employer pension plans has plummeted in recent years, saving has become the only path to secure retirement income beyond social security. Although a significant proportion of employers now offer their workers a tax advantaged retirement savings product like the 401(k), tens of millions of workers nationwide simply do not have access to an employer sponsored retirement savings plan.

Employer Health Costs In a Global Economy

  • By
  • Len Nichols,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2008

Increasing Employer Health Costs, Lowering U.S. Competitiveness

Although most Americans get health insurance through their employers, business leaders are increasingly united in their belief that rising health care costs threaten America’s competitiveness in the global economy. Business support for comprehensive health reform has been growing as a result.

How Much Does the Federal Government Spend To Promote Economic Mobility, And For Whom?

  • By
  • Adam Carasso,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Gillian Reynolds, Urban Institute; C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute
April 17, 2008

In an economically mobile market economy, individuals and families are able to raise their private incomes, wealth, and ability (sometimes referred to as human capital) over time and across generations. In the United States, many associate economic mobility with the pursuit of the American Dream. Education, work experience, and saving enhance the opportunity for upward economic mobility. To this end, many federal spending and tax expenditure or tax subsidy programs aim to enhance economic mobility. But exactly how much does the federal government encourage economic mobility?

Uprooted And Unstable

  • By
  • Nir Rosen,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Kristele Younes, senior advocate, Refugees International
April 15, 2008

Five years after the US -led invasion, Iraq remains a deeply violent and divided society. Faced with one of the largest displacement and humanitarian crises in the world, Iraqi civilians are in urgent need of assistance. Particularly vulnerable are the 2.7 million internally displaced Iraqis who have fled their homes for safer locations inside Iraq. Unable to access their food rations and often unemployed, they live in squalid conditions, have run out of resources and find it extremely difficult to access essential services.

Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolutions

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
April 8, 2008

This Budget Update looks at the budget resolutions passed by both the House (H. Con. Res. 312) and Senate (S. Con. Res. 70), compared to each other as well as to the CBO March baseline and the President’s budget as reestimated by CBO.

Taking Back Our Fiscal Future

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Please see below for a full list of co-authors.
April 4, 2008

The authors of this paper are longtime federal budget and policy experts who have been drawn together by a deep concern about the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook. Our group covers the ideological spectrum. We are affiliated with a diverse set of organizations.

Financial Services Corps

  • By
  • Melissa Koide,
  • New America Foundation
April 2, 2008

Today's complex financial marketplace makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to understand and navigate the array of products and services available from a variety of financial service providers. For low to middle income individuals who have fewer financial resources to begin with, a solid grounding in personal finance and a clear understanding of the options and implications of one's financial decisions are all the more critical.

Cost Of Failure

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
March 25, 2008

In 2000, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that the “annualized economic cost of the diminished health and shorter lifespan of Americans who lack health insurance is between $65 and $130 billion for each year of health insurance forgone.”

Nuclear Bailout

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • New America Foundation
March 25, 2008

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to undertake an extensive, multi-billion dollar investment in new nuclear weapons facilities and new nuclear warhead designs. The initiative, known as “Complex Transformation,” is unnecessary on strategic and technical grounds, not to mention exorbitantly expensive. The various plans being considered by the DOE have more to do with bailing out the nuclear weapons industry than they do with determining what size complex makes sense in an era of nuclear arms reductions.

Partners In Closing the Achievement Gap

  • By
  • Sara Mead,
  • New America Foundation
March 21, 2008

Over the past eight years, states have dramatically expanded their support for publicly-funded pre-k programs, and the number of children enrolled in these programs has grown significantly.

Letter On the Budget Resolution And Taxes

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
March 18, 2008

Thank you for your inquiry concerning whether the budget plan reported by the House Budget Committee increases taxes. The budget resolution does not raise taxes. Both tax rates and tax revenues as a share of GDP will increase under the budget resolution because tax increases are part of current law, not because of policies introduced as part of the budget resolutions currently under consideration.

The Assets Report 2008

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
March 12, 2008

The purpose of this annual report is to summarize and take stock of the current state of federal policy through an asset-building lens, especially as it affects the asset base of families with lower incomes and fewer resources, which is the focus of our work. The report is divided into three sections.

A Primer on the Budget Resolution’s Impact on Education Funding

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
March 11, 2008

The budget resolution put forward by Congress each year -- which sets out the congressional budget plan for the next five years -- and the ensuing budget process itself are enormously significant for education funding. However, the arcane procedures under which Congress produces and acts upon the budget resolution are often confusing to the media and education advocates alike. This confusion is made worse by political rhetoric and partisan spin.

Programs:

Lessons From California's Health Reform Efforts For the National Debate

  • By
  • Leif Wellington Haase,
  • Len Nichols,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Peter Harbage, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
March 7, 2008

In January 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a comprehensive health care plan that aimed to provide quality, affordable health insurance to all Californians. Based on individual responsibility, the plan focused on prevention and wellness and emphasized a shared responsibility approach to financing.

Health Care Reporting Guide for Journalists

  • By
  • Joanne Kenen,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2008

For reporters new to the health beat -- or for political or business reporters who need to delve into health policy now and then -- the topic can be daunting. Luckily, there are many, many resources on the web, useful whether you are in Washington or around the country... If you find yourself drowning in jargon and acronyms, it helps to take a breath and remember that health care is about people, and that it affects every one of us, and everyone we care about.

This issue brief discusses three common health care concepts:

What Hill Staff Should Know About Health Care

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2008

Our current health system is not sustainable. It leaves many Americans without access to quality, affordable health coverage, weakens the ability for U.S. businesses to compete internationally, and threatens the stability of our economy.

There are many ways that we could achieve a system of coverage for all Americans. However, in order to be economically and politically sustainable over time, any comprehensive reform plan must:

What Does 'Post-Partisan' Mean?

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2008

One might well have imagined over the last few years that we were headed toward an era of deeply partisan politics. Under the tutelage of Karl Rove, the Bush Administration “played to the base.” Most of the energy on the other end of the spectrum came from “netroots” bloggers who flamed Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, and the centrist Democratic Leadership Conference with nearly the same contempt they showed for George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

Who Receives Uncompensated Care?

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2008

Uncompensated care (UC) is health care that is delivered, but not paid for by either a patient or a third party payer. Most UC is delivered to the very ill during or after a visit to an emergency room. In 2004, UC was estimated to total $41 billion dollars.

This issue brief finds that individuals with incomes above 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or $41,300 for a family of four and people living at or below the poverty level account for two-thirds of all UC in the U.S.

Three policy solutions may be necessary to reduce UC costs:

The American Public and the Next Social Contract

  • By Cliff Zukin, Rutgers University
February 25, 2008

The first premise of the New America Foundation’s initiative on the Next Social Contract is that the structures that help American workers and their families balance economic security and opportunity involve much more than a set of government programs. What we call the social contract is a set of formal and informal systems and assumptions, involving individuals, employers and government, that provide, as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

More Details on the President's FY2009 Budget

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
February 21, 2008

As the Committee pointed out in its earlier release (FY 2009 Budget), the President’s Budget reaches balance in 2012 only through a number of questionable assumptions regarding future fiscal policy. This update will extend that analysis by looking in more detail at the policy and baseline assumptions that underlie the Administration’s budget request.

The President's Medicare Proposal

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
February 21, 2008

Last week, the Bush administration released a proposal to

Rethinking Social Insurance

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Stuart M. Butler, Heritage Foundation
February 19, 2008

The single greatest threat to the fiscal health of the United States is the runaway growth of the nation’s major retirement and health care entitlement programs. Social Security and Medicare are projected to grow from 7.5 percent of GDP today to almost 13 percent of GDP by 2030. Already, the two programs consume over a third of the federal budget.

Myths About the Individual Mandate

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
February 18, 2008

Requiring individuals to purchase health insurance -- the so-called “individual mandate” -- is the subject of much debate. In its latest fact sheet, the Health Policy Program addresses some of the most popular myths about an individual mandate and explains why requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is a necessary component of any plan that seeks to cover all Americans.

Do Sovereign Wealth Funds Make the U.S. Economy Stronger or Pose National Security Risks?

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
February 13, 2008

By way of introduction, I spent most of the last seventeen years working as an investment banker and private equity investor based primarily in London, England. This experience, I believe, gives me a somewhat different perspective on Sovereign Wealth Funds and the role that they play in today’s international capital markets. Currently, I co-direct the Global Strategic Finance Initiative at the New America Foundation. The New America Foundation is a non-profit, post-partisan public policy institute in Washington D.C.

Analysis of Bush’s Education Budget Request

February 7, 2008

President George W. Bush submitted his eighth and final budget request to the Congress on Monday. Under the proposal, fiscal year 2009 discretionary spending—spending subject to annual appropriations—would be at the same level as in the prior year for domestic programs and agencies not involved in homeland security efforts. The budget request for the Department of Education fits this general theme. Fiscal year 2009 discretionary spending at the Department of Education would total $59.2 billion, the same level of funding provided in 2008.

Programs:

The California Assets and Transaction Account

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • Melissa Koide,
  • New America Foundation
February 6, 2008

In support of state-wide efforts to bring more Californians into the financial mainstream, the State of California could deliver a pre-paid account through the state’s tax filing process. The Assets and Transaction Account, or ATA, would expedite tax filers’ access to their tax refunds and serve as a safe, affordable, and convenient financial tool for lower-income Californians to conduct routine financial transactions and build saving throughout the year.

An Alternate Baseline

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
February 4, 2008

As the Committee noted in an earlier release, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) currently projects that—after three consecutive years of decline—the deficit will increase to $219 billion in fiscal year 2008. The CBO baseline also shows the budget returning to surplus in 2012.

10 Questions on the Bush Education Budget Request

February 4, 2008

K-12 EDUCATION

1) The administration proposes increasing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title I grants to school districts by 2.9 percent, essentially an increase matching inflation. It also proposes redirecting a greater proportion of Title I funds to high schools. Does this mean that school districts will have to cut Title I funding for K-8 schools, since districts will effectively receive the same level of funding as in the previous year? How will this affect the student achievement in grades 3 through 8?

A First Look at the President's FY 2009 Budget

February 4, 2008

The White House released the budget for FY 2009 today.The budget assumes revenues of $2.7 trillion, expenditures of $3.1 trillion, and a deficit of $407 billion in 2009. Our initial impressions of the budget are...

 

For the full text, please see the PDF attached below...

 

 

Why Does Health Insurance Matter?

  • By
  • Elizabeth Carpenter,
  • Sarah Axeen,
  • New America Foundation
February 4, 2008

Presidential candidates are travelling across the nation touting their respective plans to reform our nation’s struggling health system. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, do you ever wonder: why all the fuss about health coverage? Campaign rhetoric aside -- why does health insurance really matter?

As the Stimulus Negotiations Continue...

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
February 4, 2008

While we believe that fiscal stimulus done right would be likely to help the economy, we also believe that a good stimulus package is hard to come by. We have expressed concern that fiscal stimulus might come too late to help the stalling economy and that a package might be loaded up with costly and unrelated items.

Yeoman's Return

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
January 31, 2008

Though Americans are deeply divided in their politics, they still generally share one transcendent political value. It is the distinctly American notion that the widespread ownership of property—particularly homes, small businesses, and financial savings—benefits individuals and the nation. This core American belief descends from a political tradition in American life that is older than the Republic itself.

Wireless Pittsburgh

  • By Jon M. Peha, Carnegie Mellon University
January 31, 2008

Abstract

Many cities are considering the deployment of a wireless metropolitan-area network (WiMAN) based on Wi-Fi technology.

The Bush Education Budget Legacy

  • By
  • Heather Rieman,
  • Jason Delisle,
  • Lindsey Luebchow,
  • New America Foundation
January 31, 2008

Next week, President George W. Bush will submit his eighth and final budget request to the Congress. How has he fared with respect to education budget proposals thus far?

Programs:

CBO Baseline: The Deficit is Growing Again

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
January 23, 2008

The Congressional Budget Office released its new January baseline today. Assuming current laws and policies, the CBO forecasts that in FY 2008, revenues will total $2.7 trillion, expenditures will be $2.9 trillion, the deficit will be $219 billion (up from $163 billion in 2007), and the on-budget deficit will be $414 billion. As a share of GDP, revenues will be 18.7%, expenditures will be 20.2%, the deficit will be 1.5%, and the on-budget deficit will be 2.9%.

For the full text of this CBO Baseline release, please see the PDF attached below.

Wireless Carterfone

  • By Rob Frieden, Penn State University
January 22, 2008

Wireless carriers in the United States operate as regulated common carriers when providing basic telecommunications services, such as voice telephone service, text messaging and speed dialing to services and content. Remarkably, stakeholders debate whether this clear cut regulatory status requires wireless carriers to provide service to any compatible handset, subject to a certification process to ensure that such use will not harm carrier networks.

Fiscal Stimulus: Do It Right or Don't Do It At All

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
January 22, 2008

Congress appears poised to move forward with a fiscal stimulus package. In theory, a mixture of monetary and fiscal policy is generally most appropriate to help a slowing economy; in practice however, fiscal policy becomes politicized so easily that it is often ineffective, and is sometimes even counterproductive. Too often in the past, stimulus bills have been poorly timed, poorly targeted, and larded up with unrelated items. If Congress moves forward with a stimulus package, the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget believes that stimulus should be...

 

Why the State's Budget Gap Shouldn't Derail Health Care Reform

  • By
  • Leif Wellington Haase,
  • Len Nichols,
  • Peter Harbage,
  • New America Foundation
January 15, 2008

On January 15, 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle featured an opinion piece authored by Leif Wellington Haase and Peter Harbage of the New America Foundation. The article, titled “Why the state’s the budget gap shouldn’t derail health reform,” presented several statistics on the importance of health reform.

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