New America Policy Papers: 2009

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.

Response to Mark Schmitt

  • By Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science, Boston College
December 17, 2009

Let me say how grateful I am to Mark Schmitt for taking my argument seriously and responding to it so thoughtfully. He is one of the smartest DC political junkies around.

Incipient totalitarianism? Hardly. I though I had a catchy title with “All Power to the Choice Architects.” I was not aiming to compare Cass Sunstein, one of the most independent-minded and subtle thinkers of our time, to Lenin.

Tax Credit Bonds and the Recovery Act

  • By
  • Daniel Mandel,
  • New America Foundation
December 17, 2009

In a new slideshow issue brief, Economic Growth Program Associate Daniel Mandel examines several new tax credit bond programs included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Mandel describes the differences between tax credit bonds and traditional tax exempt bonds, and analyzes in particular the success of Build America Bonds, which have attracted new classes of investors to the municipal bond markets and lowered the cost of borrowing for state and local governments. 

How Oppressive Can A Nudge Be?

  • By
  • Mark Schmitt,
  • New America Foundation
December 17, 2009

Probably the most distinctive innovation in the Obama Administration's brand of liberalism is its interest in behavioral economics and the power of modest incentives--the “nudge,” as administration official Cass Sunstein calls them--as an instrument of policy.

American Healthcare: How Do We Measure Up?

  • By
  • Lauren Damme,
  • New America Foundation
December 15, 2009

This presentation compiles research on the healthcare systems, costs and health outcomes of the U.S. and other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Data from the OECD, World Health Organization, and other sources are presented in easily-referenced graphs and tables to build a picture of the overall value delivered by the U.S. healthcare system compared to that of other OECD countries.

Student Loan Purchase Programs Under the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
December 15, 2009

In May of 2008, Congress passed the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA) in response to concern that credit market conditions could disrupt federal student loan availability. The law gives the U.S. Department of Education temporary authority to purchase federally backed student loans made by private lenders, effectively providing a secondary market for the loans. Congress opted to leave the new purchase authority largely undefined in statute, giving the Department considerable discretion to design and administer it.

2010 Education Appropriations Guide

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2009

Congress completed the fiscal year 2010 appropriations process on Dec. 13, 2009, finalizing annual funding for nearly all federal education programs through September 2010 at $63.7 billion, up $1.1 billion from the prior year, excluding economic stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Making sense of the federal education budget and the appropriations process can be a frustrating task for education advocates, state and local policymakers, the media, and the public. The now concluded fiscal year 2010 appropriations process is no exception.

Education Reform Starts Early

  • By
  • Sara Mead,
  • New America Foundation
December 11, 2009

In 1998, the New Jersey Supreme Court took a then-unprecedented step. It ordered the state to provide high-quality pre-Kindergarten programs to all 3- and 4-year-old children in 31of the state’s highest poverty districts, also known as Abbott districts after the long-running Abbott v. Burke school finance case.

Children's Savings Accounts

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • David Newville,
  • New America Foundation
December 7, 2009

A growing chorus, including President Obama, now believes that a prosperous future for our country will depend on the creation of a save-and-invest economy that will enable all Americans to accumulate savings and assets. While in the short-term, public investment should be expanded in order to stabilize the economy, any long-term plan for sustainable economic growth will have to involve increased household savings over an extended time horizon. One promising approach to that goal is children’s savings accounts (CSAs), which would be established at birth for every American.

Jobs and the New Growth Agenda

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
December 2, 2009

President Obama’s December 3rd jobs summit has drawn attention to the debate over policy options for job creation. The case for intelligent and aggressive public policy to promote job creation, in addition to the helpful but inadequate stimulus package, is overwhelming. The official unemployment rate is currently 10.2 percent, and rises to 17.5 percent when marginally attached workers and those working part-time out of necessity are included.

Blueprint 2010

  • By
  • Lucy Bernholz,
  • New America Foundation
December 1, 2009

WHAT IS THIS MONOGRAPH?

Philanthropy, social investing, and the social sector are rapidly changing. This monograph, Philanthropy and Social Investing: Blueprint 2010, provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, identifies meaningful innovations, and directs your attention to corners where we can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

A Penny Saved is Mobility Earned

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Daniel Cooper (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston), Maria Luengo-Prado (Northeastern University)
November 24, 2009

As the saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but does that penny saved translate into greater economic mobility? Movement up the income ladder is fairly limited for children of low-income parents—42 percent of children born to parents on the bottom rung of the income ladder remain on the bottom rung a generation later.i To date, however, there has been less analysis that shows clearly how income mobility differs based on one’s own or one’s parents’ level of savings. This paper clearly demonstrates the relationship between savings and economic mobility.

The Savings Net

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • New America Foundation
November 23, 2009

This article appeared previsouly in the 2010 Hunger Report, published by Bread for the World Institute.

Meet Mary. She and her two young children aren’t destitute, but they’re not exactly on firm financial ground either. Working full-time, Mary earns about $18,000 a year, which means that she falls into the lowest 20 percent of U.S. earners.1 When all is going well, Mary’s checking account balance hovers around $500, but she has no savings for an emergency and she often runs out of money by the end of each month.

Revitalizing the Public Airwaves

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • Victor Pickard,
  • New America Foundation
November 23, 2009

While many policy analysts have focused on the fate of the 700 MHz auctions, the digital TV transition, and the promise of white space devices, a more vast and underutilized resource has gone largely unnoticed: government spectrum. The best available data suggests that the majority of federal spectrum capacity is left unused. Strategic reuse of this spectrum could help obviate the need for significant additional reallocation while enabling a wide range of creative new uses and social benefits.

Short-time Work May Be Too Short-Term for U.S.

  • By
  • Lauren Damme,
  • New America Foundation
November 20, 2009

Since President Obama announced the December job summit this month, the policy world has scrambled to put forth their ideas on how to best stimulate job creation in our jobless recovery. Some have noticed the surprisingly low German unemployment rate in the face of the Great Recession; Germany has been one of the worst-hit European economies, but their unemployment rate ticked down from 8.6 percent in March to 7.7 percent in October of this year.

New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country

  • By Traci Morris, Policy and Program Analyst, Native Public Media
November 19, 2009

As digital communications and the Internet become increasingly pervasive, Native Americans continue to lack access to this digital revolution. Native Americans are among the last citizens to gain access to the Internet, with access to broadband often unavailable or overly expensive in Native communities. Beyond that challenge, there is a fundamental lack of qualitative or quantitative empirical research on Native American Internet use, adoption, and access, stifling the Native voice in broadband and media policy.

The Next Step in Systems-Building

  • By
  • Christina Satkowski,
  • New America Foundation
November 18, 2009

Today, preschool and other services for young children are delivered through what is widely recognized as a non-system, with programs like child care, pre-kindergarten, special education services and Head Start operating in separate policy silos, each with differing objectives and different funding streams. This uneven and uncoordinated character of early childhood policy can impede access, quality, and return on investment to these programs.

A Better Way to Regulate Financial Markets

  • By
  • Thomas Palley,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2009

There is widespread recognition that the financial crisis which triggered the Great Recession was significantly due to financial excess, particularly related to real estate. Now, policymakers are looking to reform financial systems in hope of avoiding future crises. But like the drunk who looks for his lost keys under the lamppost because that is where the light is, policymakers remain fixated on capital standards because that is what is already in place.

529s and Public Assistance

  • By
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2009

529s are tax-advantaged accounts designed to help families save for post-secondary education.

All Power to the Choice Architects

  • By Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science, Boston College
November 9, 2009

If we go by election results, and no better guide to our national mood exists, the years of conservative hegemony in the United States are over, at least for the foreseeable future. Not only has the country elected a Democratic president and Congress, but conservative ideas, which once had seemed so innovative, are increasingly stale or non-existent. Meanwhile, the Republican Party seems both directionless and leaderless.

The Hidden Harms of Application Bias

  • By
  • Robb Topolski,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Chris Riley, Policy Counsel, Free Press
November 9, 2009

Application bias, the practice by network operators of placing applications into tiers of low and high priority and enforcing this prioritization through mechanisms in the middle of the network, poses hidden harms for the Internet that substantially outweigh its uncertain benefits. Application bias degrades low priority applications, decreases overall network performance, and locks the Internet into typical usage patterns of 2009, frustrating both consumer choice and Internet innovation.

PISC Comment on Fostering Innovation and Investment in Wireless Communications Market

  • By
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • New America Foundation
November 5, 2009

On behalf of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, we are pleased to submit these reply comments regarding the Commission’s Notice of Inquiry on Fostering Innovation and Investment in the Wireless Communications Market. As the Commission noted, the market for wireless broadband services has been evolving at an extraordinarily rapid pace and is delivering new and empowering technologies to American consumers. Most recently, this is reflected in an exploding consumer demand for mobile data with the increasing use and availability of smartphones and aircard modems.

AutoSave Overview

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Caroline Schultz, MDRC
November 3, 2009
AutoSave is a unique savings plan that automatically diverts through payroll deduction a small amount of post-tax wages into an individual savings account. This new infrastructure nearly seamlessly enables individuals to contribute small amounts of their wages into an accessible, non tax-advantaged savings account. It will be especially valuable for individuals who have limited liquid assets, and who may otherwise be forced to meet emergency needs with high-cost emergency loans.

Low-Cost State Policy Innovations to Help Families Save for College

  • By
  • Mark Huelsman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Margaret Clancy, Policy Director, Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis
November 3, 2009

At a time when low-income students are underrepresented in higher education and the cost of attendance is becoming increasingly unaffordable, 529 college savings plans have the potential to address issues of college readiness, access and completion. Savings can help reduce higher education debt, making college more affordable, and has the potential to change aspirations and behaviors of both students and their parents. Research from the asset building field shows that even a relatively small amount of savings may have positive impacts on behavior and educational achievement.

Getting Connected

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Dan Meredith,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Joshua Breitbart
October 29, 2009

The current national discussion to expand access and use of broadband occurring in Washington has created an ideal time for foundations to become engaged in the issue. The current economic recession, combined with an unprecedented effort by government to directly invest in the deployment and adoption of broadband, provides an enormous opportunity for community foundations to help support beneficial projects and initiatives in communities across the country.

On the Cusp in California

  • By Linda Jacobson
October 29, 2009

If children are the future, then looking at a state's educational system is like peering into a crystal ball. California is a state teeming with young children -- 4.7 million under age 8, to be exact. One in every eight young American children lives in California. And many of these children come from minority ethnic and racial backgrounds and speak languages other than English. If Americans want to get a glimpse at our future as a "majority minority" country they don't have to look beyond California.

Mobile Data Demand and the Need for Increased Spectrum Access

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
October 21, 2009

There is no doubt that consumer demand for mobile data applications is exploding worldwide. As Smartphones with PC capabilities and broadband aircards gain access to faster 4G networks beginning next year, total wireless data consumption will increase geometrically. Cisco’s annual projection of global Internet traffic predicts a 129% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for mobile data over the next five years in North America (through 2013).

Meeting consumer demand for mobile data will require some combination of four strategies:

The Jobs Deficit

  • By
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
October 20, 2009

The economy has lost 8 million jobs since the beginning of the recession. But because the population is growing, we need to create over 9.6 million jobs. Due to severe job loss and steady population growth, the unemployment rate has soared to 9.8%, nearly as high as during the early 1980s.


To read more, click on the slideshow below.

Revenge of the Drones

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
October 19, 2009

As a result of the unprecedented 41 drone strikes into Pakistan authorized by the Obama administration, aimed at Taliban and al Qaeda networks based there, about a half-dozen leaders of militant organizations have been killed--including two heads of Uzbek terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda, and Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban--in addition to hundreds of lower-level militants and civilians, according to our analysis.[1]

Increasing College Completion Among Low-Income Students through Savings

  • By
  • David Newville,
  • Mark Huelsman,
  • New America Foundation
October 19, 2009
Earlier this year, the Obama Administration released a bold new plan for improving the state of higher education in the United States. Its fiscal year 2010 budget proposal included several items aimed at increasing postsecondary education enrollment and completion rates, and decreasing the financial burden that college represents to many lower and middle class families. [1] These proposals include reforming the federal student loan program, expanding Pell Grants for low-income students, and creating a new College Access and Complet

POLICY ROUNDTABLE: The Challenge of Job Creation

  • By Timothy J. Bartik, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; James K. Galbraith, University of Texas-Austin; L. Randall Wray, University of Missouri-Kansas City
October 18, 2009

Promoting Savings as a Tool for International Development

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Shweta Banerjee,
  • New America Foundation
October 13, 2009

Scholars, policymakers, and practitioners of microfinance are increasingly turning their focus toward devising and offering effective and accessible savings services for the poor. Not only have experts argued that demand for savings services greatly exceeds that of microcredit, but many also contend that savings-led programs and products, with a focus on building assets, may be more effective than credit in providing a pathway out of poverty.

Toward Bretton Woods 3?

  • By Jörg Bibow, Skidmore College
October 7, 2009

Back in 2007 we used to refer to the current crisis as the "U.S. subprime crisis". But while it was the area where troubles first emerged, the subprime mortgage sector turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg. Today, the Lehman crisis of mid September 2008 is still widely seen as the critical blunder that pushed the U.S. and world economies off the cliff. And yet, the Lehman bust may have been no more than just the trigger of an implosion of underlying financial structures that had built-up to reach a cracking point many years before.

Credit Allocation Policies to Advance Financial Stability and Social Welfare

  • By Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
September 23, 2009

In undertaking the task of rebuilding a viable financial system in the aftermath of the 2008-09 Wall Street meltdown, the principle that should guide all discussions should be straightforward: how to design measures that are capable of promoting both financial stability and broadly-shared social welfare.

Broadband Truth-in-Labeling

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • Dan Meredith,
  • James Losey,
  • Robb Topolski,
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
September 23, 2009

The Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation is calling for Truth-in-Labeling by our nation's broadband operators. Drawn from similar useful disclosure requirements by lenders, these Broadband Truth-in-Labeling disclosure standards will give the marketplace a much-needed tool that clarifies and adds meaning to the terms and conditions of the service being offered.

100 Megabits or Bust!

  • By
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
September 17, 2009

When the Federal Communications Commission delivers a National Broadband Plan to Congress in February 2010 the United States will not be among the first countries to implement a national broadband strategy. Taiwan, Japan, and Korea all introduced national broadband strategies in the beginning of this decade and fifteen European Union Member states proposed National Broadband Strategies in 2003. This report reviews successful strategies and goals from six of these countries: Japan, Korea, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Taiwan.

Pakistani Capabilities for a Counterinsurgency Campaign: A Net Assessment

  • By
  • Sameer Lalwani,
  • New America Foundation
September 17, 2009

Executive Summary

As a more effective Taliban steps up its operations along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Western observers increasingly are calling on Pakistan to implement a strategy of population-security counterinsurgency, or COIN. This paper will offer a net assessment of Pakistan's military capabilities to conduct such a campaign based on clearly stated assumptions, an analysis of open-source materials, and textbook COIN doctrine and best practices.

The Fiscal Austerity Trap

  • By
  • Thomas Palley,
  • New America Foundation
September 15, 2009

Fiscal conservatives are opportunistically looking to use the recession induced spike in the budget deficit to revive their crusade for fiscal austerity. The case for fiscal austerity is based on flawed economic analysis and it is not supported by thoughtful budget analysis. It was the wrong agenda before the crisis and it is even more wrong now.

Overcoming America's Debt Overhang: The Case for Inflation

  • By
  • Christopher Hayes,
  • New America Foundation
September 9, 2009

It might be called the "World's Scariest Chart." It is a snapshot of the fragile foundations of the American economy and the epic boulder it now finds itself trapped beneath. The graph shows total debt outstanding in the United States, both secured and unsecured, as a percentage of GDP. In 1981 it was a manageable 168 percent, in 1996 253 percent, and by the first quarter of 2009 with the collapse of the housing and credit bubbles it had reached a staggering 373 percent of GDP.

Overcoming Account Opening Impediments to the Bank Secrecy Act

  • By
  • Melissa Koide,
  • Emily Gallagher,
  • New America Foundation
September 8, 2009

There are 40 million persons living in the U.S. who lack a bank account. Many of these "unbanked" individuals lack sufficient identification necessary to meet banks' customer identification verification procedures, which are required by the Bank Secrecy (BSA) and USA PATRIOT Acts. Research shows that insufficient identification is one of the top three reasons for account denial and that customers who are denied a bank account once often do not return to a bank again.

The Passageway Account Proposal

Comments of the New America Foundation - NBP Public Notice #1

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • James Losey,
  • Robb Topolski,
  • New America Foundation
September 1, 2009

Determining an appropriate definition of broadband is a critical part of the Commission's development of a National Broadband Plan. An appropriate definition is essential not only for establishing "what is broadband" and "where is it available," but also for shaping the future trajectory of telecommunications innovation in the United States. The Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation makes the following recommendations for the Commission to consider in defining broadband:

Japan Rethinks Reform

  • By Ronald Dore, London School of Economics
August 25, 2009

"The Koizumi reforms" was one of the portmanteau concepts most commonly bandied about in Japanese political debates in the summer of 2009 as the parties geared up for the August election. Japan had in fact embarked on its neo-liberal agenda of deregulation and privatization well before the charismatic Mr. Koizumi laconically offered his "no gain without pain" recipes, but it was pushed with most enthusiasm during his premiership from 2001 to 2006.

Programs:

Grand Junction, Colorado

  • By
  • Julie Barnes,
  • Len Nichols,
  • Micah Weinberg,
  • New America Foundation
August 12, 2009

It is possible to delivery higher quality care at lower costs in the U.S. health care system. We have to look no further than Grand Junction, CO to prove it is possible. In 2006, average Medicare spending per enrollee in Grand Junction was $5,800, about 30 percent lower than the national average of $8,300 and more than 60 percent lower than high-cost areas like McAllen, Texas.

Bandwidth Caps for High-Speed Internet in the U.S. and Japan

  • By
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
August 10, 2009

As part of the Open Technology Initiative's continuing research to compare international broadband capabilities and policies, we have completed this report comparing bandwidth or usage cap policies between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States and Japan. Bandwidth caps are imposed limits on the amount of data or traffic a subscriber can consume over their Internet connection.

Overview of Child Development Accounts in Developing Countries

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Jeff Meyer, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Ranier D. Masa, Center for Social Development
August 1, 2009

Child Development Accounts (CDAs) as a matter of policy have existed for some time, though predominantly in developed countries. While there are at least a few government social programs with CDA components in the developing world, such policies have yet to gain significant traction. This paper finds that despite this lack of policy movement, CDAs do exist in developing countries in a variety of forms and delivered by a diverse group of institutions.

Primer on Federal Broadband Funding

  • By
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • New America Foundation
July 29, 2009
If you are interested in applying for Federal stimulus money for broadband related programs but are unsure where to start, the attached zine is a great place to start. Print it, pass it out, use it to spread the information in your community.

Savings Policy in the United Kingdom

  • By Michael Johnson, Institute for Public Policy Research (UK)
July 23, 2009
Asset ownership is seen as having an increasingly influential link to a variety of social outcomes. While the UK has experienced increases in economic wealth and improvements in overall living standards over the past 40 years, trends in asset ownership have reversed. More recently, 15 years of economic stability led to a feeling of increased financial security and individual savings were eroded in a boom of consumerism. The distribution of this increase in wealth has been unequal and the distribution of asset ownership follows a similar pattern.

America’s Exhausted Paradigm

  • By Thomas Palley
July 22, 2009

This report traces the roots of the current financial crisis to a faulty U.S. macroeconomic paradigm. One flaw in this paradigm was the neo-liberal growth model adopted after 1980 that relied on debt and asset price inflation to drive demand. A second flaw was the model of U.S. engagement with the global economy that created a triple economic hemorrhage of spending on imports, manufacturing job losses, and off-shoring of investment. Deregulation and financial excess are important parts of the story, but they are not the ultimate cause of the crisis.

Application Guide for the State Broadband and Development Grant Program

  • By
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
July 21, 2009

This document has been prepared by the New America Foundation's Open Technology initiative as an application guide for the State Broadband and Development Grant Program outlined in the July 1, 2009 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Guantanamo: Who Really 'Returned to the Battlefield'? (2009)

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
July 20, 2009

As President Obama receives formal recommendations in the coming months on issues surrounding the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, it is crucial that policymakers and the public have an accurate picture of the threat to the United States posed by those detainees already released.

A Citizens Constitutional Convention for California

  • By
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
July 17, 2009

“Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government…I am not among those who fear the people.”  --Thomas Jefferson

“This representative assembly should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large.  It should think, feel, reason, and act like them.”  -- John Adams

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”  - Alexis de Tocqueville

Broadband Infrastructure Application Guide for BTOP

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
July 16, 2009

This guide has been prepared by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative as a reference guide for applications for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). In addition to general information about the application process and eligibility requirements outlined in the July 1, 2009 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), this guide breaks down the application into categories of responsibility and a sample timeline.

Broadband Infrastructure Application Guide for BIP

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
July 16, 2009

This guide has been prepared by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative as a reference guide for applications for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).  In addition to general information about the application process and eligibility requirements outlined in the July 1, 2009 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), this guide breaks down the application into categories of responsibility and a sample timeline.

Sustainable Broadband Adoption Application Guide

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • James Losey,
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • New America Foundation
July 15, 2009

This guide has been prepared by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative as a reference guide for applicants for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). In addition to general information about the application process and eligibility requirements outlined in the July 1, 2009 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), this guide breaks down the application into categories of responsibility and a sample timeline.

Public Computer Centers Program Application Guide

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • James Losey,
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • New America Foundation
July 15, 2009

This guide has been prepared by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative as a reference guide for applicants for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). In addition to general information about the application process and eligibility requirements outlined in the July 1, 2009 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), this guide breaks down the application into categories of responsibility and a sample timeline.

The Pitfalls of Manufacturing a Market

  • By
  • Emily Gallagher,
  • New America Foundation
July 14, 2009

Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done, carbon!  You’re driving us all mad and keeping hundreds of financial wizards employed, trying to figure out why you never follow the price models.

Since 2005, Europe has had the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System (ETS).  It’s a bizarre market that refuses to behave like that of other commodities – not like oil, natural gas or coal, nor like corn or pork bellies.  Currently, the most obvious quirk is that carbon allowances tr

The Assets Report 2009

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Collin Siu
July 14, 2009

Asset ownership plays a central role in the economic security of American families and the broader economy. Assets can be deployed productively, such as to pay for a college education, or tapped to help individuals and families weather unexpected events. Additionally, assets have behavioral effects that can change the manner in which people think about and plan for the future.

The Pitfalls of Manufacturing a Market

  • By
  • Emily Gallagher,
  • New America Foundation
July 13, 2009

Despite its aim, the European Trading Scheme (ETS) for carbon is widely regarded as an inefficient market. The initial design of the scheme has caused trading reactions that do not follow the pricing patterns of other, more efficient commodities.

Within ETS, it isn’t carbon’s price volatility that makes its market seem uncharacteristic of other commodities markets; commodity markets are often characterized by volatility. Instead, it is the fact that carbon’s price drivers are not so easily pinpointed and, therefore, its volatility seems arbitrary.

Manufacturing and the U.S. Economy

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
July 13, 2009

manufacturing_0.jpg

Click here to download the full report.  

Rethinking the Middleman

  • By
  • Ben Miller,
  • New America Foundation
July 13, 2009

Each year, the federal government guarantees billions of dollars in loans disbursed through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, a public-private partnership that provides financial aid to students attending institutions of higher education. Despite the significant investment of taxpayer dollars, the actual  administration of the FFEL Program is largely handled by participating lenders and a group of 35 non-federal guaranty agencies across the country. Guaranty agencies perform a number of administrative functions, such as disbursing federal default insurance provided to private lenders issuing FFEL loans, preventing loan default, and collecting or rehabilitating loans that borrowers have failed to repay.

The American-German Divide

  • By Jörg Bibow, Skidmore College
July 8, 2009

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has just completed her first official visit to Washington since President Barack Obama took up office. At home Mrs. Merkel has only a few months left to go until an upcoming general election will determine her own political future. This was surely one more reason to send a message of harmony with President Obama back home, as the new U.S. president, much in contrast to his predecessor, enjoys great popularity among German voters.

Summary, Concerns, and Strategic Guidance Regarding Notice of Funds Availability for BTOP

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Joanne Hovis, President, Columbia Telecommunications Corporation
July 7, 2009

Executive Summary

This memorandum provides analysis, strategic guidance, and policy concerns and recommendations with regard to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).[1] 

This memorandum includes:

1.      A summary of the latest developments in the BTOP and how they will impact many would-be applicants;

The ASPIRE Act of 2009

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
July 1, 2009
  1. What does the bill do?
  2. Why is a bill to promote asset building for children necessary?
  3. Who is eligible?

The Hidden Drain

  • By
  • Niko Karvounis,
  • New America Foundation
June 30, 2009

Recently, discussions around health care reform have begun in earnest among politicians and policymakers in Washington, D.C. and beyond. President Obama has spent the month of June hitting the trail and the airwaves making the case for reform,  and legislators are now aiming to pass a health care reform bill sometime this summer. With the possibility of comprehensive changes to health care on the horizon, it is important for leaders and policymakers—as well as citizens—to understand the full argument for reforming the health care system in the United States.

Not Out of the Woods

  • By
  • Niko Karvounis,
  • New America Foundation
June 30, 2009

In recent weeks, new signs of an economic recovery have emerged in the form of stock market rallies, surprisingly high bank profits, and better-than-feared official unemployment and economic growth reports. But accompanying these so-called green shoots is worrying evidence of a recovery that could be compromised if not cut short altogether by high levels of unemployment and by a long period of unusually weak and uneven job creation.   Not only is actual unemployment more severe than is reflected in official measures, it is also concentrated in those industries and sectors that must grow in

Crucial Details of a California Constitutional Convention

  • By
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
June 29, 2009

With California's fiscal woes mounting, and the government in Sacramento seemingly frozen in place, a constitutional convention has been proposed as a way to fix the Golden State's deeply entrenched structural problems.  But as more people have begun considering this option, several important questions have arisen about some of the details of the Convention, specifically:  1) how would the delegates to the Convention be chosen; 2) how would a Convention of delegates chosen by random selection function, and how would the delegates be educated; 3) what would be the scope of the issues taken

A Potential Alliance for World-Wide Dynamic Spectrum Access

  • By Preston F. Marshall
June 24, 2009

Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) Systems are one of the most promising technologies available to increase the range and efficiency of spectrum dependent services. DSA systems locate unused spectrum, and organize their users to operate within the spectrum they have identified. DSA systems ensure no interference to other users by scanning and sensing the environment, as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) NeXt Generation spectrum sharing field tests have established, or through pre-existing knowledge, such as the geolocation database proposed for unlicensed access to TV band white space, or a combination of both. Reported experimental results to date have shown that the promises from DSA technology are realistic and achievable.

New Approaches to Private Sector Sharing of Federal Government Spectrum

  • By Michael J. Marcus, Sc.D., F-IEEE
June 24, 2009

As the U.S. economy and society becomes more and more information-centric and mobile, wireless systems are becoming a major factor in the efficient functioning of our society. Radio spectrum is a key economic input into wireless systems that power our information society and economy and enhance public safety and national security. Since the earliest days of radio regulation in the United States; federal government use of spectrum has been handled independently of other users’ access to spectrum. Thus, the FCC controls spectrum use by private parties and states and local governments while the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) controls federal government spectrum use.

Revitalizing the Public Airwaves

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • Victor Pickard,
  • New America Foundation
June 24, 2009

The time has arrived for the unmet potentials of federal white spaces to receive some well-deserved attention. While many policy analysts have focused on the fate of the 700 MHz auctions, the digital TV transition, and the promise of television white space devices, the best available data suggests that the majority of federal spectrum capacity is left unused (McHenry, 2003; McHenry, 2004) – a situation that has gone largely unexamined. Strategic reuse of this spectrum could help obviate the need for significant additional frequency reallocations while enabling a wide range of creative new uses and social benefits. Based on what little information is publicly available, it is reasonable to assume that the repurposing of government spectrum would go far in addressing a number of access-related communication problems. Repurposing currently unused U.S. government-controlled spectrum for opportunistic unlicensed use would benefit society by dramatically expanding access to high-speed broadband and increasing the pace of wireless technological innovation. This approach to spectrum policy presents a “third way” for reform, drawing from both the commons and property rights models of spectrum management.

The End of Spectrum ‘Scarcity’

  • By
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
June 24, 2009

Wireless is the most cost-effective and rapid means to bring broadband access to under-served rural and urban residents. Even after high-capacity Internet access becomes universal, wireless remains as the complementary infrastructure needed to achieve the larger goal of pervasive connectivity. Within a few short years, most Americans are likely to spend more hours each week on mobile than on wired Internet connections. Demand for spectrum will outpace availability under current spectrum man-management policies. Meanwhile, in every community across the country, large swaths of valuable spectrum lie fallow the majority of the time. This underutilized spectrum represents enormous, untapped, public capacity for high-speed and pervasive broadband connectivity. Therefore it is vital to a national broadband plan to consider policies that will encourage more intensive and efficient use of the nation’s spectrum resources.

U.S. vs. Japan: Residential Internet Service Provision Pricing

  • By
  • Chiehyu Li,
  • New America Foundation
June 24, 2009
  • The following chart lists the price, download and upload speeds of residential Internet services in the U.S. and Japan.
  • NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) is the major incumbent telephone operator in Japan. NTT has focused on fiber-optic business while Yahoo! BB (a subsidiary of SoftBank Telecom Corp.) has had first-mover advantage for DSL Internet. Due to unbundling requirements, Yahoo!

Green Trade Balance

  • By
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Jason Peuquet, Research Intern, New America Foundation
June 22, 2009

Green investment is a major pillar of the president's economic recovery plan.  Yet, America's dependence on foreign countries to produce green technologies may undermine this recovery strategy.  Using a list of green goods derived from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), we have determined that the United States ran an overall green trade deficit of -$8.9 billion in 2008, including a deficit of -$6.4 billion in the critical category of renewable energy, one of the main targets of the Obama administration's green agenda.  The U.S. economy also suffered a significant deficit in the pollution management category.  On the positive side, the United States ran modest surpluses in two categories--energy efficiency and a grouping of other environmental goods related to water purification and sustainable agriculture.  

Workers of the World

  • By Harold Meyerson
June 15, 2009

Davos Man, by all accounts, is worried. The severity of the global economic recession has alarmed many of the architects of the global economy. Fears of resurgent economic nationalism are rampant. At the same time, some world leaders - most prominently, French President Nikolas Sarkozy, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel - argue for instituting a new regime of regulation for the financial sector that will be global rather than merely national in scale.

Realigning U.S. Health Care Incentives to Better Serve Patients and Taxpayers

  • By Health CEOs for Health Reform
June 12, 2009

Our Vision for Health System Reform:

Recalibrating U.S.-China

  • By Peter Morici, University of Maryland
June 11, 2009

The United States now confronts its greatest economic challenges since the Great Depression. In addition to resolving crises in financial and housing markets, trade deficits with China and on oil must be addressed for the U.S. economy to achieve robust growth.

Instant Runoff Voting for the City of San Jose:

  • By
  • Blair Bobier,
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
June 8, 2009

Executive Summary

San Jose uses a two-round runoff system to elect its mayor and city council, with the first election in June and a runoff election in November if no candidate wins a majority of votes in June. Voter turnout in the June primary election is about half that of the November general election, with turnout disproportionately lower among traditionally disenfranchised communities. With most elections being decided in a low turnout June election, a small and unrepresentative segment of the community is having an oversized effect on the outcome of San Jose's elections.

Equitable Resources in Low Income Schools

  • By
  • Lindsey Luebchow,
  • New America Foundation
June 8, 2009

Teachers with the least experience and fewest credentials teach in our poorest schools, putting low-income students at a disadvantage. School finance disparities in teacher spending within school districts are a major cause of this problem. However, school district budgeting techniques mask these intra-district disparities, allowing administrators and policymakers to ignore them.

In Defense of the Uptick Rule

  • By
  • Emily Gallagher,
  • New America Foundation
May 26, 2009

A Background to Short Selling
There are two dominant ways of making money off of a stock price change.  The most obvious way is to go "long" on the stock, meaning that the investor believes that a stock is undervalued and the price is destined to rise in the future.  So the investor buys this stock on the market, waits for the price to rise before selling the stock.  The profit is in the spread.

Banking Development Districts

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
May 21, 2009

To promote local economic development, California policymakers should create Banking Development Districts, a proven way to connect lower-income unbanked Californians with the financial products and services they need to enter the financial mainstream and begin to build savings and assets. It is modeled after New York State's successful Banking Development District program.

For the full text of the issue brief, please see the PDF attached below.

The Saver's Bonus

  • By
  • David Newville,
  • New America Foundation
May 20, 2009
What is the Saver's Bonus?

The Saver’s Bonus is a policy proposal that would reward low- and moderate-income individuals and families who save at tax time. Every dollar deposited in a designated savings product would be matched with an additional dollar from the federal government, up to a $500 annual maximum. Participants would make or report contributions to an eligible account on their federal income tax return, and the bonus would then be transferred directly to the designated account. The bonus could go toward a variety of restricted savings products and those without a designated savings product would be able to open an account directly on their federal income tax return.      

Jobs Solutions for Our Jobless Recovery

  • By
  • Leo Hindery,
  • New America Foundation
May 19, 2009

This speech was delivered at The New School on May 19, 2009.

Views on the U.S. economy

Building a Solid Foundation

  • By
  • Sara Mead,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2009

In April, the states and school districts began receiving the first installment of more than $48 billion in federal economic stimulus funds for education and child care appropriated under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). This unprecedented federal investment in education—from early childhood through college—is a tremendous opportunity for state and local investments to improve our nation's schools. The danger is that states and school districts may squander these funds on ill-conceived projects or use them simply to maintain the status quo.

California Employee Savings Program Bill Summary

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
May 15, 2009

The California Employee Savings Program creates a voluntary, universal, portable retirement account for California workers who do not have access to a workplace retirement savings plan. It would give six million California workers and their families an opportunity to have their own workplace retirement savings plans to supplement their basic Social Security benefits. The California Employee Savings Program would also give hundreds of thousands of California small businesses an easy, low-cost, voluntary way to offer a retirement savings plan to their employees.

CA Workforce Mobility and Savings Initiative Bill Summary

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
May 15, 2009

The CA Workforce Mobility and Savings Initiative, reforms the asset limit in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, to encourage low-income families to build the savings they need to permanently exit welfare. The measure repeals the $2,000 asset limit in CalWORKs for current recipients and raises it for new applicants from $2,000 to $7,000 while also eliminating the $4,650 vehicle limit.

Summary and Analysis of President Obama’s Education Budget Request

May 11, 2009

President Barack Obama submitted his first budget request to Congress on May 7, 2009. This request follows the initial summary budget request he submitted in February that included only aggregate funding levels for federal programs and agencies.

Nuclear Bailout

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • New America Foundation
May 7, 2009

Despite President Obama's recent pledge to seek a world free of nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is proposing a major upgrade to the nation's nuclear weapons complex.

Asset Building in California

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2009

Overview

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 California families and the broader economy.  Yet, half of all Americans currently have few or no assets, in part due to policies that encourage savings and wealth accumulation that benefit the upper half of earners.  The purpose of New America's Asset Building Program, is to significantly broaden savings and assets ownership in America, thereby providing all Americans with both the means

The ASPIRE Act of 2009 Bill Summary

May 6, 2009

Title of the Bill

The America Saving for Personal Investment, Retirement, and Education Act of 2009 ("The ASPIRE Act of 2009")

Purpose of the Bill 

To encourage savings, promote financial literacy, and expand opportunities for young adults by establishing a Lifetime Savings Account for every newborn child.

Lifetime Savings Accounts

Key Questions on the Obama Administration’s 2010 Education Budget

  • By Education Policy Program
May 5, 2009

President Barack Obama submitted his first budget request to Congress on Thursday, May 7, 2009. This request follows the initial summary budget request he submitted in February that included only proposed funding levels for federal programs and agencies in aggregate. The detailed budget request includes proposed funding levels for federal programs and agencies in aggregate for the upcoming five to ten fiscal years, and specific fiscal year 2010 funding levels for programs subject to appropriations.

A New American Trade Consensus

  • By
  • Bruce Stokes,
  • New America Foundation
May 5, 2009

New_american_trade_consensus.jpgThe 2008 presidential election was not about globalization or U.S. trade policy. However, the challenges facing the administration of President Barack Obama-the financial crisis, the lengthening and deepening recession-are inextricably bound up with America's trading relationships.

Five Low-Cost Federal Policy Ideas to Help Families Save for College

  • By
  • David Newville,
  • Rourke OBrien,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Margaret Clancy, Policy Director, Center for Social Development
April 29, 2009

The Potential of 529 College Savings Plans

At a time when low-income students are underrepresented in higher education and the cost of attendance is becoming increasingly unaffordable, 529s have the potential to address issues of college readiness, access and completion.  College savings can help make higher education more affordable, and have the potential to change aspirations and behaviors of both students and their parents.  Research from the asset building field has shown that even a relatively small amount of savings can have positive impacts on behavior and

10 Ideas to Ensure College Readiness in the No Child Left Behind & Higher Education Acts

  • By
  • MaryEllen McGuire,
  • New America Foundation
April 27, 2009

It is a stark, indisputable fact that many of America's high school graduates are not ready for the rigors of college. Fewer than half of the high school juniors and seniors who took the ACT national college admissions test in 2008 met its college readiness benchmark in mathematics. Of the 40,000 freshmen admitted into the California State University system in 2007, more than 60 percent needed remediation in English or math. Nationwide, nearly a third of all incoming freshmen—42 percent of first-year students at public two-year colleges—require remediation.

A Stimulus for Second-Generation QRIS

  • By
  • Christina Satkowski,
  • New America Foundation
April 25, 2009

On April 1, 2009, the states began to receive education and child care funds appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, or "the stimulus").[1] Child care advocates in several states have urged policymakers to use some of the stimulus funds to launch or expand a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for providers of early childhood education and care.

The SAFE-T Account

  • By
  • Melissa Koide,
  • New America Foundation
April 24, 2009

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 at mainstream institutions. While some progress has been made, there have been few advances in delivering a high-value, affordable financial product at scale.

Savings-Linked Conditional Cash Transfers

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Yves Moury, President, Proyecto Capital
April 20, 2009
ABSTRACT: This policy brief makes the case for linking conditional cash transfers to savings as a two-pronged poverty reduction strategy of supplementing income and building productive assets, while increasing effective financial inclusion of a given population. While conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs and policies have proven effective in achieving certain poverty alleviation goals, such as better health and education, only recently have we begun to explore the potential of CCTs to enhance economic inclusion and poverty reduction through wealth accumulation.

Savings, Responsibility and Opportunity in America

  • By Dalton Conley, New York University
April 20, 2009

When President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, he changed the moral debate over poverty. No longer could Ronald Reagan's heirs wave help-wanted ads and ask sarcastically why those welfare queens couldn't find a job when there were so many to be had. Now everyone was working, training for a job, or looking for one. It was the law, after all. With benefits now linked to work, progressive politicians could have argued for a new type of social safety net.

Revitalizing U.S. Democracy Promotion

  • By
  • Maria Figueroa Kupcu,
  • Michael A. Cohen,
  • New America Foundation
April 20, 2009

Over the past several years, the cause of democracy promotion has been at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. Along with heightened rhetorical attention to democratization, the Bush administration's so-called Freedom Agenda brought increased resources for democracy promotion activities and created new programs (including the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Middle East Partnership Initiative) geared toward spurring democracy and encouraging good governance.

James K. Galbraith on the Recovery to Come

  • By James K. Galbraith
April 17, 2009

Let me first congratulate Dimitri Papadimitriou and the Levy Economics Institute.  Clearly the Minsky conference is the go-to event on these issues at this important moment.

The economist Dean Baker has a small book entitled Plunder and Blunder, in which he explains how he saw the housing bubble when others did not.  The story is quite simple: Dean plotted price/rental ratios, and when these departed sharply from trend he assumed they would return. What went up, had to come down.

The Savings and Financial Electronic Transaction (SAFE-T) Account

  • By
  • Melissa Koide,
  • New America Foundation
April 14, 2009

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

Singapore's Central Provident Fund

  • By Vernon Loke, Center for Social Development; and Reid Cramer, New America Foundation
April 7, 2009

In recent years, policymakers around the world have been attracted to the concept of integrating a consideration of assets into policy efforts aimed at securing and enhancing social welfare. The theory behind asset-based welfare policy suggests that while income facilitates immediate consumption, social development over the long-term occurs primarily through asset accumulation and investment (Sherraden, 1988, 1991). Assets may not only provide individuals with the ability to exert control over resources that can increase their financial security, they might also orient owners to future aspirations and be linked with positive economic, psychological, and social effects. To explore policy efforts consistent with this theory, Sherraden (1991) proposed the establishment of life-long asset accounts for each individual, preferably for newborns, as a vehicle to implement asset-based welfare policies. He further suggests that asset-based policy should be inclusive, progressive, and built around a single integrative and coherent framework (2003a).

2009-2010 California Legislative Agenda of the Asset Building Program

  • By
  • Olivia Calderon,
  • New America Foundation
April 2, 2009

In the current legislative session, the Asset Building Program is advancing a comprehensive legislative package of state policy intiatives to broaden savings and ownership opportunities for Californians. A listing of current bills supported by New America follows.

For the printer-friendly, PDF version of this agenda, see 'Related Files' in the righthand column.

Bold Action for the G20 Summit

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
March 31, 2009

With the London Summit rapidly approaching, I urge participants to take bold steps to address the fundamental structural issues in global finance that have, in part at least, led to the current economic crisis. I recognize that there remains a debate between those who believe that the current economic environment compels a dramatic rethink of the foundations, systems and structures upon which the global economy operates, and those who believe that such sweeping reforms are both unnecessary and politically impossible.

AutoSave Pilot Overview

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Caroline Schultz, MDRC
March 26, 2009
AutoSave is a unique savings plan that automatically diverts through payroll deduction a small amount of post-tax wages into a non-tax-advantaged savings account. AutoSave’s design incorporates key factors that encourage saving, such as facilitation of automatic transfers to a savings account through an existing system (payroll deduction), and the use of strategies to make putting money into a savings account—rather than not saving—the preferred option.

The Hill Physicians Medical Group and the Baylor Health Care System

  • By
  • Len Nichols,
  • Tom Emswiler,
  • New America Foundation
March 25, 2009

In these case studies for The Commonwealth Fund, Dr. Nichols and Tom Emswiler examine high-performing health care systems to see how they achieve better outcomes at lower cost. Both the Hill Physicians Medical Group, an association of physicians in individual practice, and the Baylor Health Care System, a highly integrated delivery system, have successfully standardized care, implemented electronic medical records, and improved clinical outcomes.

Making Medicare Sustainable

  • By
  • Len Nichols,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Robert A. Berenson, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
March 19, 2009

About the Collection:

The ever-growing cost of health care is the largest threat to our nation's long-term fiscal future. One way of tackling this problem is by using Medicare-the nation's largest purchaser of health care-as a catalyst for widespread efficiencies in the private sector. Medicare must become a more value-based purchaser to make the Program sustainable over time and incent the private sector toward change. It is imperative that we act decisively and soon.

Revitalizing the U.S. Savings Bonds Program

  • By
  • Alejandra Lopez-Fernandini,
  • New America Foundation
March 18, 2009
Overview

U.S. Savings Bonds are a convenient, secure, and low-cost product that facilitate savings.  Today, an estimated 55 million people hold U.S. Savings Bonds. Bonds retain a reputation as an easy-to-use and trusted brand-- even though they have not been actively marketed since 2003. It is a product that is especially attractive to small, first-time, or shorter-term savers. Bonds may be purchased for as little as $50 and redeemed as early as twelve months after purchase. They are backed by the U.S.

The Promise and Responsibility of Community Finance

  • By
  • Ellen Seidman,
  • Mark Huelsman,
  • New America Foundation
March 17, 2009

We are in the midst of a period of intense and frustrating contradictions for our country in general and for community finance.  Just take these examples:

A Primer on the 2009 Budget Resolution’s Impact on Education Funding

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
March 15, 2009

The budget resolution put forward by Congress each year sets out a budget plan for the next five to ten years. The budget resolution and the ensuing budget process itself can have significant effects on education funding. The arcane procedures Congress uses to produce and act upon the budget resolution, however, are often confusing to the media and education advocates alike. This confusion is made worse by political rhetoric and partisan spin.

2009 Education Appropriations Guide

  • By
  • Jason Delisle,
  • New America Foundation
March 12, 2009

Congress completed the fiscal year 2009 appropriations process on March 10th, 2009, finalizing annual funding for nearly all federal education programs through September 2009 at $62.6 billion, up $3.4 billion from the prior year. Making sense of the federal education budget and the appropriations process can be a frustrating task for education advocates, state and local policymakers, the media, and the public. The now concluded fiscal year 2009 appropriations process is no exception due to numerous stopgap funding measures and emergency economic stimulus legislation.

A Modest Proposal for a Competing Public Health Plan

  • By
  • Len Nichols,
  • New America Foundation
  • and John M. Bertko, Actuarial Consultant, New America Foundation
March 11, 2009

For the full text of the paper, please click here.

For a brief summary of the paper, please click here.

More on the President’s FY2010 Budget Blueprint

  • By
  • Anne Vorce,
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
March 9, 2009

In our previous release (President Obama's FY2010 Budget), we discussed the broad fiscal impact of the FY2010 Budget Blueprint. We commended the President for having a specific fiscal goal, honestly budgeting for expected costs, and for providing offsets for many of the new policies he supports.

Military Spending and Employment: The Case of the F-22

  • By
  • William D. Hartung,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2009

As part of its campaign to secure additional funding for the F-22 Raptor combat aircraft, the Lockheed Martin Corporation has asserted that 95,000 jobs are at stake if the program is terminated after the Pentagon's preferred production run of 183 planes.

Using two different estimating techniques (elaborated below), F-22 expenditures generate jobs in the range of 35,000 to 37,000 per year-- less than 40% of the levels claimed by Lockheed Martin.

The Basics of Progressive 529s

  • By
  • David Newville,
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Margaret Clancy, Project Director, Center for Social Development; Michael Sherraden, Director, Center for Social Development
February 24, 2009

Background on 529 college savings plans

In 2001, the Internal Revenue Code authorized college savings plans (529 plans) as a tax-advantaged savings tool. In a 529 plan,[1] individuals save money in an account that is dedicated for future college expenses of a beneficiary.

The Rise of the Intranet Era

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • Victor Pickard,
  • New America Foundation
February 20, 2009

No starter pistol announces the beginning of a new technological era.[1] There are no cannon blasts or tower bells ringing forth the end of the old and dawn of the new.

10 New Higher Education Ideas for a New Congress

  • By
  • Michael Dannenberg,
  • New America Foundation
February 20, 2009

(1) Social Insurance for College Costs

The families of undergraduates can borrow a minimum of $57,500 in federal Stafford loans.[1] Standard repayment for that level of debt equals approximately $660 per month, burdening young borrowers and constraining career choices.

Programs:

The Case for Health Reform

February 20, 2009

About this paper:

"The Case for Health Reform: The Moral, Economic, & Quality Motives for Action" compiles the facts and figures that explain why health reform is a moral imperative, an economic necessity, and a necessary step toward ensuring our health system delivers high-quality care to us all.

Analysis of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

  • By
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
February 17, 2009

Today, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The "stimulus bill" represents the latest and largest effort by the federal government to boost the deteriorating economy. (For details of all efforts to date, see www.usbudgetwatch.org/stimulus).

Moving Forward with Bipartisan Tax Policy

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Robert Carroll, Co-Director, The Center for Public Finance Research at American University, Vice-President, Economic Policy at the Tax Foundation; John E. Chapoton, Former Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Reagan Administration; Diane Lim Rogers, Chief Economist, The Concord Coalition
February 12, 2009

U.S. tax policy is urgently in need of reform. Our tax system is overly complex and has failed to keep pace with changing economic conditions. The current economic crisis has led to an escalating budgetary shortfall, which will exacerbate the already significant fiscal challenges facing the country. Moreover, looming changes written into the tax law will require Congress to make major decisions regarding the tax code. On December 31, 2010, most of the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 ("the Bush tax cuts") will expire.

Comparing the Stimulus Packages

  • By
  • Anne Vorce,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
February 11, 2009

Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by a vote of 61 to 37. Differences between the House and Senate are being worked out in a conference committee.

In total, the House bill costs roughly $820 billion over ten and a half years, while the Senate bill costs $838 billion. Although similar in size, the two stimulus bills contain
a number of important differences. The Senate version relies more on tax cuts and less on spending than its House counterpart; and money is distributed more quickly.

Foreign Policy Implications of the Financial Crisis

  • By
  • Douglas Rediker,
  • New America Foundation
February 11, 2009

Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of this committee for the honor of addressing you today.  Mr. Chairman, it is a tribute to your leadership that this roundtable is being convened in recognition of the centrality of economic and financial issues to American foreign policy. 

Comparing the Stimulus Packages

February 11, 2009

Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by a vote of 61 to 37. Differences between the House and Senate are being worked out in a conference committee.

In total, the House bill costs roughly $820 billion over ten and a half years, while the Senate bill costs $838 billion. Although similar in size, the two stimulus bills contain a number of important differences. The Senate version relies more on tax cuts and less on spending than its House counterpart; and money is distributed more quickly.

Paying for the Stimulus

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
February 6, 2009

Summary

We are currently in the midst of two immense economic challenges: an immediate and severe financial crisis, which has already wiped out over $20 trillion in global wealth; and a longer-term fiscal crisis, which existed before the financial crisis but will be made worse because of it.

10 New Ideas for Early Education in the 111th Congress

  • By
  • Sara Mead,
  • New America Foundation
February 4, 2009

As a new congress and new administration take their places in Washington, early education is attracting more attention. The 111th Congress will have numerous opportunities to enact policies that improve access, quality, efficiency, and alignment in early education, including the forthcoming economic stimulus package and the scheduled reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The Millennial Pendulum

  • By Peter Levine, Tufts University; Constance Flanagan, Pennsylvania State University; Les Gallay, Pennsylvania State University
February 1, 2009

Today’s young people have considerably more progressive opinions about economic issues than do their elders. Under-30s voted very strongly for Barack Obama in 2008 and expressed liberal views about the economy (and about other issues) in pre-election polls. Observers and strategists are now asking whether we will see a lasting change in American politics as a result of the Millennials’ arrival. It is possible that they are liberal because they are young, and they will move to the right as they grow older.

Yes We Can

  • By Neil Howe, President, LifeCourse Associates; Reena Nadler, Program Director, LifeCourse Associates
February 1, 2009

The 2008 presidential election unleashed a potent new force in American politics. It is the Millennial Generation: Americans born since 1982, now age 26 and under. Politicians and pundits alike were surprised by the waves of young volunteers who manned the campaign front lines, phone banking, blogging, canvassing door-to-door, and organizing large groups of peers to do the same. Politics was suddenly cool, pushing Time to jump ahead of longtime favorite Cosmo as the most popular magazine on college campuses.

Bridging the Gap

  • By
  • Stephen Burd,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Ulrich Boser
January 29, 2009

Far too many students leave high school unprepared for the rigors of college and the workplace. Nearly a third of all incoming freshmen- 42 percent of first-year students at public two-year colleges-require remediation. At some postsecondary institutions, more than 90 percent of first-time freshmen need to take remedial classes before enrolling in courses that count toward their degrees. Remedial courses are offered at 99 percent of public two-year colleges and more than 75 percent of public four-year institutions.

CRFB Warns Against Slipping Permanent Policies into Stimulus

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
January 28, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) warned against slipping policies intended to be permanent, into the stimulus bill under the guise of temporary stimulus measures.

Federal Debt and Interest Costs

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
January 27, 2009

Summary

The Congressional Budget Office's January estimates of baseline federal budget deficits have grabbed the attention of members of Congress and the public. The
cumulative effects of persistently large deficits show up in the stock of debt held by the public and the net interest costs of servicing that debt. This brief will
provide historical data on those items and CBO's current projections. It also will discuss some of the risks to CBO's estimates.

Debt Held by the Public

A Budget We Can Believe In

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
January 27, 2009

To:            President Barack Obama

From:       Robert Bixby, William Galston, Ron Haskins, Julia Isaacs, Maya MacGuineas, Will Marshall, Pietro Nivola, Rudolph Penner, Robert Reischauer, Alice Rivlin,  Isabel Sawhill, Eugene Steuerle

Subject:   A Budget We Can Believe In

Date:        January 27, 2009

2009 Legislative Priorities of the Asset Building Program

  • By
  • Justin King,
  • New America Foundation
January 26, 2009

The ASPIRE Act - Universal, lifelong savings accounts at birth

  • The ASPIRE Act promotes lifetime savings, financial literacy, and opportunities for all young adults by establishing a progressively funded savings account for every child born in America.
  • Each account receives $500 at birth.

Building a 21st Century Broadband Superhighway

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
January 19, 2009

U.S. technological leadership is in a state of decline. Once the unequivocal frontrunner in information technology and telecommunications, the U.S. has fallen from 1st to between 15th and 21st in the world in terms of broadband access, adoption, speeds and prices. The most recent data from OECD (through June 2008) underscores the fact that the U.S.

Promoting the Vision

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
January 16, 2009

Introduction/Background

In recent years, the role that savings and assets play in shaping people's lives has increasingly captured the attention of researchers, policy analysts and elected officials. Their interest in savings and building wealth has grown along with an increased awareness of specific policy tools and interventions, such as matched savings accounts available for lower-income workers.

Rental Assistance Asset Accounts

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Jeffrey Lubell, Executive Director, Center for Housing Policy
January 13, 2009

The rental housing market in the United States is characterized by a fundamental disconnect between rents and household incomes. It has been this way for decades. Millions of Americans simply earn too little to afford to rent a decent home. To meet these families' basic needs for shelter, the federal government spends more than $25 billion each year to provide rental assistance to more than four million poor and near-poor households.

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