BPC Blog

The U.S. led a 24-nation sample in family-based immigration, but ranked 19th in employment-based immigration

Today, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the International Migration Outlook 2013, which contains standardized statistics on permanent legal immigrants for 23 OECD countries and the Russian Federation. These statistics enable comparisons of how different countries prioritized different immigration categories in 2011. Among the 24 nations, the U.S. ranked first in total permanent immigration, but ranked 19th in permanent immigration as a share of its total population (0.34 percent).

Setting a small but important precedent for bipartisan reform to reduce debt and improve efficiency

Peter Huff contributed to this post.

A bipartisan bill was introduced in the Senate on June 6 to reduce overlapping unemployment and Social Security disability benefit payments. The proposal, submitted by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and projected by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to save the government $1 billion over the next ten years, is an important step promoting bipartisan cooperation to address duplicative federal spending. While the legislation offers only small savings compared to the $2.3 trillion combined cost of these programs over the coming decade, the bill importantly portends sensible steps toward achieving budget savings finding support in both parties.

The legendary American inventor Thomas Edison once cautioned, “we shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” Edison, of course, was warning that complacency, a satisfied acceptance of the status quo, could be the enemy of progress.

By Shai Akabas and Matt Graham

Brian Collins, Kristen Masley, and Holt Dwyer contributed to this post.

The purpose of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is to reduce federal income and payroll taxes for workers with low to moderate incomes. The credit is particularly supportive to low-income workers because it is refundable; even if the credit’s dollar amount exceeds a worker’s income tax liability, the balance is still paid to the worker through the tax refund process. In this manner, the credit can offset or even exceed federal income and payroll taxes owed.

As the Commission on Political Reform’s July 23rd town hall on public service draws closer, we’ll highlight the best submissions to our Snaps of Service photo contest.

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Senators Tom Coburn, Jeff Flake, Angus King, and Joe Manchin introduce cost-saving legislation

A bipartisan quartet of United States senators started what we at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Economic Policy Project hope is a trend: they have authored a piece of simple, effective, and goal-oriented legislation that would save the federal government money that is currently being wasted. In particular, the senators’ legislation would stop abuse of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Disability Insurance (DI) programs.

Existing standards and institutions may be inadequate to combat and respond to growing threats

The electric power sector has features that make it a useful case study for cybersecurity governance. The electric grid is not an island unto itself -- it depends on critical infrastructure in the telecommunications, natural gas pipeline, water, and other sectors to keep the lights on. Numerous federal, state, and local agencies are involved in some aspect of cybersecurity, including standard setting, collection of intelligence on threats, information sharing, and response to cyber attacks. Furthermore, international consistency and cooperation is desirable because the U.S. electric grid is interconnected with grids in both Canada and Mexico. Notably, a significant portion of the grid (the bulk power system) already has cybersecurity standards developed and enforced by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The industry itself has extensive voluntary efforts underway and some power companies have already spent significant resources to protect customers from costly disruption of electric services.

This post was originally published by the Ripon Society.

A 1996 Wall Street Journal article once described us as the “odd couple” of federal housing policy. While hailing from different backgrounds and holding divergent political views, we remain united -- some 17 years later -- in our belief that ensuring broad access to decent and affordable housing is a goal our country must never abandon. This sentiment has guided the work of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission and is a key principle of the commission’s report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy. We are privileged to serve as co-chairs of the commission, along with former Senators George Mitchell and Mel Martinez.

If the two parties fail to reach a budget agreement, another sequester will be triggered for FY 2014

Asim Manizada contributed to this post.

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably heard of the across-the-board cuts – sequestration – that are currently being implemented for defense and many domestic programs. You’ve also probably read in various places that those reductions will total $85 billion for the current fiscal year. At one time, that was true, but not anymore.

Today, the Congressional Budget Office released its own estimates of the President’s proposals in his fiscal year 2014 budget, including several health-related measures. One such proposal would reduce subsidies to higher-income Medicare beneficiaries by expanding an existing approach known as income-related premiums, and is projected to save $56.3 billion over the next ten years. Similar proposals have been made by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and BPC included such a proposal as part of a comprehensive, integrated approach to improving Medicare.

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