Reform

Reform

Research

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.
Dwight M. Jaffee, Arnold Kling, Peter Wallison, Lawrence J. White, Michael Lea,, Edward Glaeser | Feb 29, 2012
This research compendium presents a variety of articles that discuss the problems with housing finance in the U.S. and presents alternative reforms to the current GSE model.
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.

Testimony & Comments

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…
Maurice P. McTigue | Jun 26, 2008
In his testimony before Congress, Maurice McTigue proposed five specific items that Congress could work on right now to improve the nation's fiscal…

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

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.
Jul 23, 2013

While it is too late to save Detroit, it may still be possible to prevent similar disasters from unfolding elsewhere by ending our long-standing practice of putting state and local governments in charge of pensions.

Charts

This chart by Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy uses data from the International Monetary Fund’s Cross-Country Fiscal Monitor to compare projected 2010 structural deficits…

Experts

Jerry Brito is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of its Technology Policy Program. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University. His research focuses on technology and Internet policy, copyright, and the regulatory process.
Jerry Ellig is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a former assistant professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in the federal regulatory process, economic regulation, and telecommunications regulation.
The Honorable Maurice McTigue, QSO, is vice-president for outreach at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is director of the Mercatus Center’s Government Accountability Project and a member of its Spending and Budget Initiative and State and Local Policy Project.
Matthew Mitchell is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he is the lead scholar on the Project for the Study of American Capitalism. He is also an adjunct professor of economics at Mason. In his writing and research, he specializes in economic freedom and economic growth, public-choice economics, and the economics of government favoritism toward particular businesses.
Eileen Norcross is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. As lead researcher on the Mercatus Center’s State and Local Policy Project, she focuses on questions of public finance and how economic institutions support or hamper economic resiliency and civil society. She specializes in fiscal federalism and institutions, state and local governments and finance, pensions, public administration, and economic development.

Podcasts

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

Recent Events

Please join the Mercatus Center for a discussion with Maurice McTigue, former cabinet minister and member of parliament in his native New Zealand, for a discussion about the changes that must occur in order to return to a society ruled by laws that are written by fairly elected representatives.

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, Robert Greene | 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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