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B School for Public Policy Monthly 90-minute sessions on Capitol Hill »

Policy Issues


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  • hairman of the FCC Ajit Pai will reveal plans to deregulate the disparate treatment of internet traffic, so called November 21 FCC Chairman Plans Net Neutrality Deregulation

    Homeland Security ends temporary residency for 60,000 Haitians; US home sales speed up.

  • Faculty Affiliate Michael Knoll. November 20 How the Republican Tax Plan Would Impact Real Estate

    The recently unveiled Republican tax reform plan has been particularly unpopular with many in the real estate industry. The plan caps the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 for new purchases and the property tax deduction at $10,000, but eliminates deductions for state and local tax payments. Faculty Affiliate Michael Knoll, co-director of the Center for Tax Law and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, discussed what the bill would mean for individual homeowners and for the housing market.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Jennifer Blouin November 20 Is A Corporate Tax Cut Really What The Economy Needs Right Now?

    Faculty Affiliate Jennifer Blouin says it may be hard to tell. “The trouble is, we really don’t have a good way to measure what the effects on growth are, because once we have the rate cut, other things start happening over time,” she says.

    “We have natural disasters. We have failures in commodity markets. The whole credit crisis. And so once you mix that into the fold, how can you predict what the aggregate effect of just that piece of tax legislation is? And I would argue we really don’t know.”

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Michael Useem November 20 GE Shares Plunge, But Flannery Can Bring Them Back Up

    Tuesday was the “worst day of my business life,” former General Electric vice chairman Bob Wright told CNBC, after shares plunged for the second day in a row.

    Faculty Affiliate Michael Useem, a Wharton professor and director of the school’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, said new CEO John Flannery’s work is going to be extremely difficult.

    “A remake of this scale … it’s like turning a battleship. It’s going to take some serious time,” he said. “With a tough-minded executive in charge you can do it and the betting is probably going to be on Flannery doing it,” he added.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Daniel Polsky November 20 News Health Lower Medicaid fees linked to scarcer primary care appointments Lower Medicaid fees linked to scarcer primary care appointments

    When the fees paid to healthcare providers by Medicaid go up, appointments with primary care doctors suddenly become more available to Medicaid beneficiaries – and the opposite happens when fees go down, according to a recent U.S. study.

    “As funding declines it threatens the breadth of provider participation in Medicaid,” said Faculty Affiliate Daniel Polsky.

    “I don’t want to overestimate its result on patient welfare, but I think it’s a good thing to have broad choices of doctors when you’re looking to make a new patient appointment,” he said.

  • Image: Cannabis Cash, Source: North Bay Business Journal November 20 Cash, Crime, and Cannabis: Banking Regulations in an Illegal Market

    Over the span of recent decades, the federal legalization of marijuana has been a popular topic of discussion within the political arena. One aspect less frequently introduced is the financial impact legalization has within the banking sector. At the moment, most cannabis companies are unable to take out federal loans or establish any form of credit, since marijuana is federally illegal and therefore federally regulated banks are unable to work directly with marijuana businesses. A few states have legalized the use and distribution, of cannabis, both recreationally and medicinally, but this legal standing is insufficient for distributors to access services provided by national banks. All of this has led to volatility within the marijuana business structure and a business model built in violation of banking standards.