Voter Vitals are non-partisan, fact-based explainers written by Brookings experts on the issues shaping the 2020 election.
Production of Brookings’s Voter Vitals is possible thanks to editorial guidance from Senior Fellows David Wessel, who also serves as Director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, and Elaine Kamarck, who also serves as Founding Director of the Center for Effective Public Management.
William Gale disproves a popular mischaracterization of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Grace Enda and William Gale detail the problems with how the U.S. currently taxes capital gains and present four potential options for reform.
David Wessel explains why the federal debt is on an unsustainable course and the potential consequences on the way.
David Wessel presents the pros and cons of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
William Gale explains how tax reforms could simplify taxes, address income inequality, and raise government revenue.
Ryan Nunn and Jay Shambaugh explain whose wages are rising and why many Americans are experiencing weak wage growth.
Ted Gayer compares the industrial policy approaches of President Trump and leading Democratic presidential candidates.
Many Democratic presidential candidates have advocated for using a financial transaction tax (FTT). Aaron Klein explains what an FTT would apply to, the range of proposals, and how they compare to current policy.
Matthew Fiedler and Christen Linke Young provide an overview of what are among the most prominent issues in 2020 the election: health care coverage and health care costs.
Christen Linke Young and Matthew Fiedler provide an overview on the state of healthcare coverage and explain how popular proposals would change current arrangements.
Experts from the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy explain the reasons for surprise medical billing, the consequences such billings have on healthcare premiums, and solutions for policymakers interested in ending the practice.
Christen Linke Young and Abigail Durak assess the severity of the opioid crisis and present policies for preventing opioid abuse and treating the currently addicted.
Carol Graham discusses the causes and consequences of the opioid crisis and what policymakers can do to address it.
Isabel Sawhill and Sarah Nzau explain the current state of paid family leave legislation in the United States.
Elaine Kamarck and Christine Stenglein outline recent trends in illegal immigration to the U.S. and explain why accurately determining the size of the America’s undocumented population is so difficult.
Elaine Kamarck and Christine Stenglein explain both the challenges the Trump administration faces when trying to construct a wall across the U.S. southern border and what progress they have made.
Lindsey Ford and James Goldgeier provide important background on how America’s alliances were formed and what the United States gains from those relationships.
Ryan Hass unpacks what led China to become a more prominent political issue in the U.S. and the likelihood it drives the national conversation in 2020.
George Ingram discusses foreign aid—what it is, what percentage of the federal budget it makes up, its efficiency, and who supports it.
Michael O’Hanlon explains why context rather than size helps us make sense of the defense budget.
Jon Valant explains the controversies around charter schools and why it’s difficult to reach consensus on their efficiency.
Adam Looney, David Wessel, and Kadija Yilla explain the severity of America’s student loan challenge, the rate of default, and candidates’ proposals for forgiving those debts.
Jenny Schuetz explains the current housing affordability crisis and how the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are proposing to fix it.
Jenny Schuetz and Tiffany Ford discuss the rationale for housing subsidies targeted to middle-income families and discuss the political and economic implications of those policies.
Molly Reynolds explains the history of the Senate filibuster and the possible, but politically unlikely, ways to reform or eliminate it.
Elaine Kamarck explains what happens at a brokered convention, and at a contested convention.
Russell Wheeler explains the contemporary proposals to alter the size and structure of the Supreme Court.