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  • Author: David Kris
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In December 2005, the New York Times reported, and President Bush confirmed, that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been conducting electronic surveillance of international communications, to or from the United States, without obeying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). The disclosure ignited a wildfire of political and legal controversy, which continues to generate heat, if not light, today.
  • Topic: Government, Intelligence, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Pennsylvania is at once the same and different, three years after the release of the 2003 Brookings Institution report “Back to Prosperity,” which proposed a new vision for how Pennsylvania might revitalize its cities, towns, and regions in order to compete more energetically in today's global economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Pennsylvania
  • Author: Howard Wial, Robert Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the months running up to the 2004 election the issue of off- shoring—the movement of jobs from the United States to other nations—seemed to be on the front pages of newspapers every day. Some of the concern was about the loss of manufacturing jobs to lower-wage countries such as China and Mexico, a process that had been going on for decades. The offshoring of service jobs, though, was something new. Service workers—including college- educated professionals—who previously thought their jobs immune to foreign competition began to worry about this new source of job in security. Policymakers concerned about the American standard of living wondered whether service offshoring would eliminate the United States' advantage in high technology industries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Mexico
  • Author: Joseph Cortright
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In recent years, "cluster strategies" have become a popular economic development approach among state and local policymakers and economic development practitioners. An industry cluster is a group of firms, and related economic actors and institutions, that are located near one another and that draw productive advantage from their mutual proximity and connections. Cluster analysis can help diagnose a region's economic strengths and challenges and identify realistic ways to shape the region's economic future. Yet many policymakers and practitioners have only a limited understanding of what clusters are and how to build economic development strategies around them.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This brief describes a new information tool developed by the Urban Markets Initiative to quantify, for the first time, the impact of transportation costs on the affordability of housing choices. This brief explains the background, creation, and purpose of this new tool. The first section provides a project overview and a short summary of the method used to create the Affordability Index. The next section highlights the results from testing the index in a seven-county area in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool at a neighborhood level, the third section projects the effect of transportation and housing choices on three hypothetical low- and moderate-income families in each of four different neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The brief concludes with suggested policy recommendations and applications of the new tool for various actors in the housing market, and for regulators, planners, and funders in the transportation and land use arenas at all levels of government.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary Burtless
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Observers in many industrialized countries believe population aging represents a serious economic threat. Increases in the percentage of the population past retirement age may impose unsustainable burdens on future workers. Either taxes or government debt will have to rise substantially to pay for old-age income support. This paper considers the extent of these burdens and corrects the widespread impression that the burdens are unsupportable. Population aging means that contributions needed to support the retired elderly must rise. But this extra burden will be at least partly offset by a reduced need to support the dependent young, who will become relatively less numerous. The extra burden of an aging population would be smaller still if labor force participation rates among the working-age and elderly populations increased. Indeed, employment rates among the nonaged have risen in nearly all the industrialized countries as a growing percentage of women has entered the work force. Many countries, including the United States, have adopted policies to encourage work among people past the traditional retirement age.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Economics, Government, Population
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William G. Gale, Peter R. Orszag
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Under traditional formulations, lower capital income tax rates reduce the user cost of capital and stimulate investment. The traditional approach, however, implictly or explicitly considers a revenue-neutral reduction in capital income taxation. We extend the traditional approach by considering a reduction in taxes that generates an increase in the budget deficit; the expanded budget deficit raises interest rates and the opportunity cost of investment. This provides a mechanism through which tax cuts can raise the cost of capital. Representative calculations show that, even with relatively modest interest rate effects, the net effect of making the Administration's recent tax cuts permanent or a 10-percent reduction in individual income tax rates would be to raise the user cost of capital. Thus, sustained tax cuts can raise the cost of capital and reduce investment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James C. Capretta
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: President Bush's top first-term objectives—in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—were waging and winning the global war on terror, significantly enhancing our homeland security systems, and strengthening economic growth.1 With sluggish economic growth following the 2001 recession persisting in 2002 and 2003—due, in part, to the revelation of several corporate governance scandals and the aftermath of technology stock "bubble burst"—the President placed a high premium on tax relief proposals aimed at accelerating the pace of short and long-term economic growth. In this context, it is not at all surprising that large federal budget deficits emerged.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James B. Steinberg, Gilman Louie
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The challenge of preventing and responding to the new security threats is very different from the one we, as a nation, faced in the Cold War. Today, the private sector is on the frontline of the homeland security effort: Its members are holders of information that may prove crucial to thwarting terrorist attacks; stewards of critical infrastructure that must be protected and dangerous materials that could be used to do harm; and important actors in responding to attacks. As we said in our first Task Force report, private sector information is essential to counter-terrorism, and government agencies should have timely, needed access to that information, pursuant to guidelines that give confidence that the information will be used in a responsible way.
  • Topic: Government, National Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ivo H. Daaldar
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: President Bush's first National Security Strategy presents his vision of “a distinctly American internationalism.” Media reports focused on the Strategy's support for preempting emerging threats militarily, but the 31-page document covers a far broader set of important issues. At its core, the Strategy calls for the United States to use its “unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence” to establish “a balance of power that favors human freedom” and to defeat the threat posed by “terrorists and tyrants.” These are themes that will likely resonate with the American people, who believe that the United States should play a leading role in making the world a safer and better place.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States