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Free ME

Read the full Free ME study in pdf Note: I created Free ME when I was the CEO and Chief Economist of The Maine Heritage Policy Center as a long-term plan to r…

Private Consumption in the States, Part 3

The third and final installment in a series that explains how data on private consumption can help state legislators make more informed decisions.
This is the third and last part in my trilogy on private consumption (see part one and two). It explains how private-consumption data can be used to evaluate a state’s ec…

Private Consumption in the States, Part 2

Consumer expenditures are surprisingly different between the 50 states. For example, a consumer in the District of Columbia - with the highest per-capita consumption in the country - spends 90 percent more per year than does the average consumer in the na…
In last week’s article we looked at the relation between disposable income and private consumption. The basic conclusion was that a higher disposable income allows …

Private Consumption in the States, Part 1

Private consumption is responsible for approximately 70 percent of our GDP. Consumer decisions on how much to spend, what to spend money on and when to save can explain a good part of the ups and downs in our economies. Consumption data can also tell pros…
Private consumption is one of the most important indicators of how an economy, and its people, is doing. Steady growth in private consumption at rates of three perc…

Medicaid Expansion Will Break New Mexico Budget

New Mexico was one of the early states to join Medicaid Expansion. As enrollment has grown far beyond predictions, when the federal government's 100-percent cost coverage ends the cost to the state will be far higher than initially expected.
One of the best ways for a family to get into deep financial trouble is to take on payment obligations they cannot sustainably afford. The responsible thing to do, of c…

The Real Fiscal Cliff: January 2015 Federal Budget Update

Description: The Real Fiscal Cliff: January 2015 Federal Budget Update
This continues our series on “The Real Fiscal Cliff” and is based on the most recent budget projection by the Congressional Budget Office made in January, 2015 (pdf). …

The Law of Unintended Consequences, Student Loan Debt, and Housing – Oh, My!

Recently, I was reading one of John Mauldin’s excellent newsletters (you should definitely subscribe to his free newsletter) and came across this gem showing The Law of …

The Growth in Public Assistance in America

Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau released a new report on the state of public assistance in America showing detail by state and metropolitan area (pdf). P…

The Real Fiscal Cliff: August 2014 Federal Budget Update

This is an update of the recent post, “The Real Fiscal Cliff: Interest Payments on the National Debt,” based on the most recent budget projection by the Congressional Budget Offic…

State and Local Business Taxes 2014

Every year the Council on State Taxation (COST) releases their excellent study—“Total State and Local Business Taxes” (pdf)—that quantifies business taxes by state.  I h…

Illinois Taxpayers Flee to Greener Pastures

Recently, Wendy and I wrote a study on the flight of Illinois taxpayers to greener pastures called "Policy Lessons From Illinois' Exodus of People and Money" (pdf) for the Il…

The Real Fiscal Cliff: Interest Payments on the National Debt

Federal policymakers are prone to hyperbole. One recent incident involved the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” where expiring tax cuts and spending cuts would conspire to send the ec…

State Tax Collections Rise in Fiscal Year 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their state tax revenue data for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (pdf) along with the cool infographic below. The new data does not bring any g…

America's Changing Economy

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released this fascinating infographic showing America's changing economy. It shows that between 2007 and 2012, the decline in manufacturing em…

Is Social Security A Good Deal?

The question of whether Social Security is a good deal is getting more visibility.  And it is a question that deserves even more attention.   There is no short answer, bu…

Migration Patterns 2013 According to Atlas Van Lines

Obviously, we love data here at Key Policy Data. Before the internet age, most data come from the official bean counters at the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis…

Manhattan Institute Launches Obamacare: Know Your Rates WebApp

At Key Policy Data, we believe that state-by-state comparisons are critical to informing the public policy process. Afterall, that is what federalism is all about. To th…