Issues Archive

  • Budgets image


    Restoring accountability to government spending is another way to mend local budgets over the long run. Every local government should have a budget transparency website, allowing citizens to more easily find out how their tax dollars are spent. More fundamentally, local government should budget for outcomes. This means identifying the core functions of local government and measuring results.

    +Budgets In Depth

  • Criminal Justice image

    Criminal Justice

    Currently, nearly one in every 100 American adults is behind bars and once released from prison more than four in ten return within three years. This failing system costs federal, state and local governments approximately $85 billion, yet does not deliver adequate public safety results for taxpayers and victims. In addition to the enormous budgetary costs, our current criminal justice …

    +Criminal Justice In Depth

  • Economic Development image

    Economic Development

    The United States is among the most developed economies in the world. This has led to a standard of living that is simply unmatched throughout the world or throughout history. Even in such a developed and comparatively wealthy nation, policymakers still must allocate resources appropriately to encourage further economic development in their own communities and bring the benefits of a …

    +Economic Development In Depth

  • Education image


    An excellent education has long been recognized as key to the American Dream. Unfortunately, the current monopolistic and expensive K-12 education system is failing students leaving them unprepared for college, careers or life. Similarly, higher education is leaving students with higher debt burdens and fewer career guarantees than ever before. Over the last 30 years, public education expenditures have increased …

    +Education In Depth

  • Innovation image


    Whether improving processes, creating products or developing new ideas, the application of technology can enable real changes in how local government works, both in quality of services delivered to constituents, cost savings and quality of life. Many localities have the opportunity, by the powers given to them by the state government, to address policy challenges through innovation and experimentation, to …

    +Innovation In Depth

  • Local Tax Reform image

    Local Tax Reform

    Mainstream economists, small business owners and taxpayers across the country understand that growth-oriented reforms mean increased opportunity for all. As demonstrated by the annual Rich States, Poor States: American Legislative Exchange Council-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, sound tax and fiscal policies are critical to economic health, allowing businesses and households to flourish. A dynamic local economy starts with local governments …

    +Local Tax Reform In Depth

  • Regulatory Reform image

    Regulatory Reform

    In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that “the sum of good government” was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry.” Sadly, governments – federal, state and local – have ignored this axiom and continue to rapidly expand the …

    +Regulatory Reform In Depth

  • Transportation image


    Maintaining a functional and healthy infrastructure is one of the cornerstones to economic growth. Local transportation policy should encourage the use of public-private partnerships to build and maintain infrastructure, give localities the flexibility to determine how to best utilize transportation dollars and remove unnecessary burdens to innovation. Adopting free-market policies that include collaboration with the private sector, transportation systems and …

    +Transportation In Depth