BPC Blog

Sep. 12, 2014
If Congress and the president are committed to bringing the country closer together, they must expand service opportunities to meet the demand

Today marks the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, our country’s foremost domestic service program. Nearly 900,000 Americans have served their nation and communities through AmeriCorps, each pledging to get things done. In two decades, they have completed more than one billion hours of service and improved the lives of millions of Americans

Retirement in America: What’s Working and What’s Not?

Automatic enrollment is a powerful tool to combat non-participation. Workers in these plans automatically begin contributing to their defined contribution retirement account at the default rate unless they actively choose a different rate (or opt-out completely).

Defined retirement plans

The only ally that shares a border with Iraq and Syria, Turkey has several concerns underlying its hesitance

While the nation waits for President Barack Obama to announce his strategy for dealing with the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS or, alternatively, ISIL)—the terrorist group that has seized land in Iraq and Syria, declared a caliphate, persecuted ethnic and religious minorities, and beheaded two American journalists—U.S. officials have been traveling the globe, seeking out partners to help shoulder the burden. 

CBO releases score of bipartisan bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of S.1217, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014, which was approved by the Senate Banking Committee this past spring on a bipartisan basis. CBO estimates that the bill would decrease the federal deficit by $58 billion over the period from Fiscal Years 2015 to 2024 – though CBO cautions that those estimates are subject to significant uncertainty.

The latest report on Iran’s nuclear program by the IAEA suggests that Tehran is resorting to a preferred tactic: divisive diplomacy

The latest report on Iran’s nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the first since the expiration and subsequent extension of the interim deal, known as the “Joint Plan of Action”, suggests that Tehran is resorting to a preferred tactic: divisive diplomacy. Exploiting the fact that they are currently engaged in two ongoing diplomatic efforts—one by the P5+1 world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program going forward and one by the IAEA to reveal the extent and nature of Iran’s past nuclear work—Iran is cooperating with one and thwarting the other.

“Labor Market Dynamic and Monetary Policy.” Speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
By Janet L. Yellen, Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

“I believe that our assessments of the degree of slack must be based on a wide range of variables and will require difficult judgments about the cyclical and structural influences in the labor market. While these assessments have always been imprecise and subject to revision, the task has become especially challenging in the aftermath of the Great Recession, which brought nearly unprecedented cyclical dislocations and may have been associated with similarly unprecedented structural changes in the labor market--changes that have yet to be fully understood.” 

CBO projects that federal deficits will rise from 2.9 percent of GDP ($506 billion) in 2014 to 3.6 percent of GDP ($960 billion) in 2024

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an update to its annual Budget and Economic Outlook yesterday. According to CBO’s projections, deficits will continue falling for the next two years but will then begin to grow again near the end of the decade. Federal debt held by the public is expected to rise from 74 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 77 percent in 2024.

Although consumption in the electric power sector is projected to increase, incentives to expand end-use energy efficiency may result in less growth

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from the electric power sector. BPC examined the effects of the proposed Clean Power Plan on natural gas consumption in the electric power sector by comparing results from the EPA modeling analysis across regions of the United States.

EPA Modeling Natural Gas 1

Peter Elkowitz

New insights from former FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery will be showcased at the opening session of the 2014 Housing Summit. He will join three other former FHA commissioners and current Commissioner Galate. With three weeks to go, don’t forget to register here.

In a game of musical chairs, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is set to become the country's new prime minister this week, after the outgoing prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is sworn in as president on August 28, 2014. The choice may seem odd, given the widespread sense in the West, as well as in many circles in Turkey, that Davutoğlu presided over a failed Turkish foreign policy. But from Erdoğan’s perspective, Davutoğlu was the natural choice.

The federal government should broaden efforts to share most federal health data, with appropriate privacy protections

Access to federal health care data plays a critical role in supporting new delivery system and payment models that deliver better outcomes. It also serves the needs of consumers who want more information to support decision-making, and health care leaders who are taking important steps to improve the population’s health.

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