Timothy P. Roth, Adam C. Smith | Dec 20, 2012
The collapse of the federal budget process and the decline in trust in government threaten the stability of the self-governing republic that we inherited from our nation’s founders. Informed by their moral and political philosophy, we suggest an approach to reforming the budget process aimed at reclaiming that institutional trust. We argue that budget process reform must be animated by two related ideas: First, that post-constitutional statutory law must be impartial, and second, that both citizens and their elected representatives have a right to participate in, and to influence, the political process.
Matthew Mitchell, Nick Tuszynski | Jun 01, 2012
Matt Mitchell and Nick Tuszynski discuss two institutions that have been successful at controlling spending: separate taxing and spending committees, and item-reduction vetoes.
Scott Beaulier, Brandon Pizzola | Feb 13, 2012
This paper looks at the recent growth in Medicaid spending and attempts to explain Medicaid reform successes and failures by focusing on five reform experiences in Rhode Island, Washington, Florida, Idaho, and Tennessee.
Jeffrey Miron, Robert Sarvis | Feb 13, 2012
This paper examines the fiscal health of the states, focusing on two worrisome characteristics: an understatement of unfunded pension liabilities and ever-increasing expenditures, driven primarily by health care costs.
Richard Williams, Sherzod Abdukadirov | Feb 07, 2012
This paper proposes a cornerstone of foundational reforms on which to build comprehensive regulatory reform.
Raymond Gifford | Nov 09, 2011
A high-level consensus exists between progressive and free-market groups, the regulators and the regulated, that we need some reformation of the FCC and communications law, even if there is not agreement on the substantive details. If reform is not going to disappear again into the mists, then substantive proposals need to be brought forward.

Testimony & Comments

William Beach | Jul 06, 2016
The economic world changes most and for the good in economies where rivalrous economic behavior is allowed most to flourish, that is, in economies devoted to free enterprise. The flood of new economic knowledge that these swiftly changing economies produce generally results in higher-quality products for consumers at lower prices on average, as businesses compete with each other for the consumer’s dollars and strive to better serve consumer needs. Congress has no end to the number of things it has to do, as I experienced not long ago as a staffer. Near the top of its list of “to-dos” is the protection of this amazing process of value creation through innovation, discovery, and competition. We depend utterly on the private sector to produce nearly all of the material things we value. While the public sector is a necessary partner in this production through its provision of public goods (courts of justice, defense of the country, highways, and so forth), the betterment of the American people since 1900 is almost wholly the accomplishment of competition between entrepreneurs trying to obtain the consumer’s attention for their products or services.
Veronique de Rugy | Dec 04, 2013
Despite Washington’s recent focus on the disastrous Affordable Care Act website rollout, policymakers are missing what the rollout glitches symbolize: the fundamental flaws that imbue government intervention. The work of public choice economists such as Nobel laureate James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Mancur Olson, and William Niskanen has shown that, despite good intentions and lavish use of taxpayer resources, government solutions are not only unlikely to solve most of our problems—they often make problems worse.
Maurice P. McTigue | Oct 20, 2011
Maurice McTigue testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs on ways FEMA can become more effective and efficient in reacting to disasters.
Jerry Brito | Mar 09, 2011
Jerry Brito testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform on open government and government transparency through technology.
Richard Williams, Jerry Ellig, John Morrall | Jul 06, 2010
As always, OMB has produced a very thorough report based on the instructions provided in the Regulatory-Right-to Know Act. Nevertheless, it is time to re-examine this report to see if it can be made…
Jerry Brito | Nov 12, 2008
Earlier this year, Gov. Steve Beshear appointed an E-Transparency Task Force to develop and implement a one-stop shop on the internet to allow citizens to easily access information about the…

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

Aug 25, 2016

The bottom line is — whether you value freedom intrinsically or you're a lawmaker who wants to improve your state's economic outlook or slow down out-migration — you're better off knowing where your state stands so you know what to do. "Freedom in the 50 States" will help you achieve this goal.
Aug 14, 2013

Dodd-Frank's missing pillar, housing finance reform, has finally found its way into the halls of Congress and the speeches of the President. But this pillar will be rotten from the start if it is built around the fallacy that undergirds the current housing finance system-the notion that Americans cannot purchase and finance their homes without the help of Uncle Sam.
Aug 07, 2013

Spending on monthly Social Security disability insurance payments is exploding as the number of recipients has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, even though medical advances during the same period allow many more people to remain on the job longer than ever before.
By Nita Ghei |
Aug 02, 2013

The United States’ financial sector has historically been extremely competitive globally, as is evident from the dominance of Wall Street in world financial markets. This competitive edge, however, can be lost all too easily if destructive regulatory and tax regimes are put into place. Decreasing transparency, increasing probability of bailouts and a higher regulatory burden can all work to erode competitiveness.
By Antony Davies, James R. Harrigan |
Jul 29, 2013

The July 1 deadline for preventing the doubling of government-subsidized student loan rates has passed, and lawmakers continue to hash out the details of a plan to move beyond the current impasse.
Jul 25, 2013

[A] representative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau testified before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee about the CFPB’s use of Americans’ personal financial data. He reassured Congress that the CFPB “makes every effort to obtain market data in an efficient manner with an eye toward reducing the burden and cost on industry. The bureau also makes every effort to safeguard and protect the information that it does obtain.” In another ironic twist, on the very same day, I happened to receive a letter that makes such assurances sound a bit less comforting. The letter is from the Securities and Exchange Commission—my former employer—warning me that my personally identifiable information, along with that of some other SEC employees, has potentially been compromised.




Hester Peirce | February 06, 2014
Hester Pierce Discusses Dodd Frank on the Gary Rathbun Show

Recent Events

Please join us for lunch on Wednesday, November 19 with Mercatus Center vice president Maurice McTigue to discuss the key opportunities for reform after the mid-term elections as well as the Mercatus Center’s role in bringing about these changes.

Media Clippings

Keith Hall | Aug 07, 2013
[Keith Hall] tells McClatchy newspapers Washington Bureau that 97 percent of net job creation over the last six months has been part-time work.
Patrick McLaughlin | Jul 22, 2013
The researchers examined data from the Code of Federal Regulations and determined that over 7,000 new financial rules were implemented between 1999 and 2008, bringing the total number of regulations to 47,494 just before the crash.
| Jul 19, 2013
"Right now (the standard unemployment rate) is misleadingly low," Hall, now with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told New York Post financial reporter John Crudele.
Keith Hall | Jul 18, 2013
“Right now [it’s] misleadingly low,” says Hall, who believes a truer reading of those now wanting a job but without one to be more than 10 percent.
Hester Peirce | Jul 16, 2013
The confirmation vote “will embolden [Cordray] to be less responsive to Congress and concerns from the public,” said Hester Peirce.
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