Our projects are designed to empower policy makers to create positive change. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, we provide original, standards-based research on key policy issues.
SCEPA joined with the Economic Policy Institute on Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff and policy experts on tax expenditures, or incentives given through the tax code without scrutiny by Congress.
SCEPA economists are working on the prospects for a more progressive economic order to emerge from the shock of the recession. They have published papers and documents that place current events in a longer-term context as well as policy proposals to deal with short-term concerns. They are also documenting the emerging discussion of how the discipline of economics is reacting to the Great Recession and the questioning of conventional economic analysis.
Lance Taylor, a SCEPA Faculty Fellow, presents an overview of his new book, Maynard’s Revenge, in a Google Tech Talk.
The book, published this November by Harvard University Press, is a timely analysis of mainstream macroeconomics, posing the need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis.
The government spends $143 billion through tax breaks in an effort to expand pension coverage and security. Yet, over half of the American workforce does not have a pension. Retirement insecurity hurts business plans, workers’ lives and retiree well-being. Reform is needed.
SCEPA’s Guaranteeing Retirement Income Project, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, has a plan to guarantee safe and secure retirement income for all Americans.
- Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today launched its Personal Savings Initiative (PSI). The initiative will examine whether savings rates and available savings vehicles are meeting the retirement goals of Americans and the nation's investment needs.
Co-chaired by former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, and Jim Lockhart, former Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration under President George W. Bush, the initiative will issue recommendations from a bipartisan commission, which includes SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci.
Accoring to Forbes' coverage of the launch announcement, "Lockhart cited a recent Gallup poll that found that not having enough money for retirement is the top financial worry among middle-aged Americans. Then he recapped some sobering retirement statistics to show why the issue is so important and why Congress should take it up."
The initiative will address important financial security issues, including, but not limited to:
- The impact of federal policies on private savings.
- The finances and operation of Social Security Disability Insurance and its interaction with private disability insurance.
- Interaction of Social Security with personal savings, especially those in tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles.
- The impact of long-term care needs on retirement security.
- The role of homeownership and student debt.
During 2014, the PSI will hold roundtables and issue a series of white papers highlighting challenges related to retirement savings, defined contribution accounts, annuities, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the intersection among housing, higher-education debt, and savings. The commission will develop a set of policy recommendations and model their impact on personal savings, retirement readiness, the macro economy and the federal budget to be presented in a final report in early 2015.
- Published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
'Eminent Economists in the World Today,' the sequel to 'Eminent Economists,' presents the ideas of influential economists of the last 50 years. SCEPA is proud to announce that Anwar Shaikh, economist and professor at The New School for Social Research, is included in this distinguished honor, which recognizes his work on the economic patterns of the developed world.
Shaikh has always held the belief that economics is a moral science and has dedicated his research to understanding inequality. His entry, "Order In and Through Disorder" is a brief autobiography that captures significant moments in his life that influenced his research.
- Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
SCEPA Faculty Fellow Rick McGahey's opinion piece on CNN.com today, "How Paul Ryan's Budget Fails," calls out the House-approved budget for using 'voodoo economics' to pose as 'balanced' while calling for tax cuts for millionaires.
In short, McGahey notes, the math fails, which leaves a budget meant more for political posturing than for the health of the nation's economy.
"How can Ryan claim that his budget is balanced? By invoking what used to be called "voodoo economics" -- assuming budget cuts and unfair tax cuts will unleash economic growth and generate enough tax revenue.
Former Reagan administration economist Bruce Bartlett has criticized this approach as "just another way for Republicans to enact tax cuts and block tax increases. It is not about honest revenue-estimating; it's about using smoke and mirrors to institutionalize Republican ideology into the budget process."
Of course, Paul Ryan isn't stupid, so why the phony budget math and the return of voodoo economics? Because it serves his presidential ambitions."