In the News

November 20, 2014
On FDA practices discouraging biologic market competition: "The PCMA argues that competition within branded drugs is undervalued in FDA priorities and that FDA’s structures and regulations fundamentally hinder competition. . . . 'Because FDA is so focused on the approval of innovative products that address unmet need, drugs that offer benefits comparable to existing drugs are not eligible for expedited approval and get backlogged in the FDA approval system.' said Alex Brill, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and author of the report." (

July 24, 2014
On corporate tax inversions: "These deals are strategies to minimize tax liabilities on foreign source income, primarily for America's multinational corporations. Lawmakers and the President are sitting on their hands and doing nothing about the tax code, while all agreeing that the tax code is broken. If the President put this energy into tax reform that he is putting into inversions deals, we would have a more active and real debate about tax reform." (CNBC Squawk Box)

July 23, 2014
MGA releases estimate of lost savings from tactics to delay generic drugs: Use of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) and other restricted access programs to delay generic market entry results in $5.4 billion in lost savings annually, according to a new survey and analysis by MGA. REMS programs are intended to improve drug safety, but brand drug manufacturers use REMS programs and other distribution restrictions to prevent generic drug manufacturers from accessing drug samples. (Press Release)

March 11, 2014
On expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit: "The dynamics surrounding EITC are changing. . . . There’s a little bit of a shift among conservatives and Republicans -- an increased level of interest in issues around the working poor. . . . many large policy reforms don’t appear and get enacted in a single year, the legislative process takes time,. . .we’re going to be talking a lot about the EITC." said Alex Brill, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and former Republican Ways and Means staffer." (Bloomberg)

February 20, 2014
MGA releases analysis of economic studies of "pay-for-delay" settlements: Three studies of the economic impact of "pay-for-delay" settlements share a methodological flaw that undercuts their usefulness to policymakers and courts alike, according to a new MGA analysis. A settlement involving consideration cannot be deemed pro- or anti-competitive without considering all aspects of the patent dispute and settlement agreement. (Press Release)

February 5, 2014
MGA releases study of FDA's proposed generic drug labeling rule: A recently proposed FDA regulation affecting generic drug labeling would result in an estimated $4 billion in additional U.S. health care costs annually, according to a new MGA study. The rule would dramatically alter the legal and financial landscape for generic manufacturers and suddenly expose them to product liability lawsuits. (Press Release)

December 19, 2013
On Ron Wyden replacing Max Baucus as Senate Finance chair: "News that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus will be nominated as ambassador to China spells the end to his long-shot efforts to overhaul the tax code and puts the focus on Ron Wyden. . . . 'Eventually, Sen. Wyden could be a forceful leader on a tax code overhaul as well [as Baucus], but certainly some of the momentum will be lost at first,' said Alex Brill, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and former Republican Ways and Means staffer." (Politico)

December 14, 2013
On extending unemployment benefits: "Research fellow Alex Brill says it's time to let extended [unemployment] benefits expire. 'More than $200 billion has been spent on benefits,' most of it ineffectively, he says. 'I don't think the program is working well,' especially for the long-term unemployed. . . . Brill thinks the money could be better spent on retraining and relocation assistance so people can move to better job markets. 'We need radically different policies,' he says." (San Francisco Chronicle)

October 3, 2013
On the economic impact of the government shutdown: "'The impact of the partial government shutdown will be largely temporary from a macroeconomic perspective,' said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. 'The impact of our growing entitlement obligations including Obamacare have a permanent long-run impact on GDP.'" (Fiscal Times)

Click here for a video of Alex Brill discussing the shutdown

September 16, 2013
On the debate over raising the debt ceiling: "Republicans and Democrats are going to need to find a middle ground, a path forward. Leaders in both parties need to recognize--in my view--that compromise is necessary on this issue. Democrats cannot simply say that the issue is nonnegotiable. . . . On the other hand, Republicans have to be willing to find a place that they feel comfortable as well that's short of the absolute demands and requirements that we hear coming out of certain Republicans currently." (Bloomberg TV "Bottom Line with Mark Crumpton")

September 6, 2013
On the September jobs report: "The headline might look like it's not so bad. We added jobs, and the unemployment rate did tick down a notch. But anyone, liberal or conservative, who takes a look at this report--everyone is saying the same thing: We're seeing bad news in today's labor numbers. . . . We're growing. We're adding jobs. Those facts are true. But we're doing it at a slower and slower pace, when really we should be adding jobs at twice this rate." (Fox Business Willis Report)

August 8, 2013
On the likelihood of a government shutdown: "Alex Brill, former GOP chief economist for the House Ways and Means Committee. Research fellow, American Enterprise Institute: 'I think the likelihood of a government shutdown is near zero. While a showdown in the debt limit and government funding is set for this fall, neither side wants a shutdown. Numerous Republicans have expressed their view that a shutdown is bad politics as well as bad policy. I wonder if Democrats feel likewise or perhaps they are hoping for Republicans to misstep.'" (

August 7, 2013
On sequestration's impact on Medicare Part B: "The sequestration cuts may also violate a law requiring that the government pay physicians for in-office drug treatments under Medicare Part B with a simple calculation: the estimated sales price of the drug plus 6 percent. . . . CMS is taking the two percent off the top of this figure to comply with sequestration. Alex Brill . . . concluded that this will amount to 'a de facto' reimbursement policy of 4.3 percent. . . . 'Democrats won a battle they have been waging against the drug industry and have effectively cut reimbursement for Part B drugs.'" (Daily Caller)

June 10, 2013
On Israeli corporate tax policy: "Finance Minister Yair Lapid's plan to hike corporate tax rates on foreign direct investors will jeopardize Israel's standing as the 'start-up nation,' according to a report by the American Enterprise Institute. . . . 'We don't expect those companies to uproot themselves [as a result of the tax hike],' Alex Brill, the author of the report, told The Jerusalem Post. 'But for these multinational corporations, when they go to spend their next billion dollars, that's when the effects will be felt.'" (Jerusalem Post)

Click here to read the full report and here for an op-ed on the issue
Click here and here for blog posts on the issue

May 24, 2013
On the implications of the federal debt: "Interest rates are very low. It's actually a great time to buy a home because we can get low mortgage interest rates. Same thing for the government--the government's able to borrow at very low interest rates. But they're borrowing huge amounts of money for very long periods of time. And when interest rates start to rise and that debt turns over, those interest costs are going to become increasingly and increasingly more significant." (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

April 24, 2013
On the long-term budget effects of obesity prevention: "A study released by a leading economist, Alex Brill, highlights shortcomings in how Congress estimates the costs of health proposals: our model timelines are too short to capture the true effects of good legislation. So while we work to advance policies that help address the prevalence of chronic diseases--including obesity, diabetes and heart disease--our budgeters do not tell us whether these policies will work in the long-term and what savings they generate." (Rep. Michael Burgess on The Hill's "Congress Blog")

Click here for a PDF of the study
Coverage by Roll Call, Education Week, and MedPage Today

March 29, 2013
On trends in consumer spending: "The personal income report in January was terrible, and that's the result of the tax law changes and the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. . . . But the good news is that things have started to turn around. Those numbers are pointing up. People are willing to spend, and they are earning a little bit more. I attribute some of this just to the resolution of all of the uncertainty that we were facing right around the end of last year." (Fox Business Markets Now)

March 4, 2013
On cuts to entitlement programs: "Alex Brill . . . says tackling entitlements is the only way the long-term fiscal outlook for the U.S. can be stabilized. 'This president can do it or he can punt to the next president to make the more difficult choices for this country,' he says. 'There have to be some steps forward, primarily in Medicare, but also in Social Security.' The cuts made in sequestration have been inadequate in terms of curbing spending and debt, according to Brill." (

November 19, 2012
On Republicans and tax reform: "By holding firm on rates, Republicans are showing they can 'stare down all the constituent interests that have worked their way into the tax code,' says [Alex] Brill. . . . 'It's a lot easier politically in this town to leave those preferences in place and use the other levers to get more revenue.' Brill says, however, that putting a cap on itemized deductions for high-income earners would not be nearly as meaningful as a plan to carefully restructure or eliminate individual preferences." (CQ Weekly)

November 8, 2012
On deficit-reduction negotiations: "Boehner is avoiding breaking with Republican positions without specifying what concessions he might make in negotiations with Obama, said Alex Brill. . . . 'They're choosing their words carefully so as to preserve their options,' said Brill, a former aide to Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee. 'He can't be coming out today and saying something that will be perceived as a reversal or contrary to some long-held views.'" (Bloomberg)

October 15, 2012
On taxing small businesses: "President Obama [is] suggesting that he's cut taxes 18 times for small businesses. It's not very difficult to look at the tax code and realize that's not true. Almost half those cuts have expired, and half of the remaining half were policies first originally created by George Bush. . . . If President Obama was saying that to deal with our structural challenges we need to raise taxes on small businesses I think he'd be much more accurate about describing his own proposals." (CNBC Closing Bell)

October 13, 2012
On renewing the payroll tax cut: "Alex Brill, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and former top economist for the Republican-led House Committee on Ways and Means, said he would oppose another temporary payroll tax cut. 'I don't think a one-sided approach where we make further commitments to unsustainable deficits is going to be an effective approach,' he said. 'We need permanent tax policy and not to use the tax code as a turn-it-on, turn-it-off tool for managing the quarter-to-quarter performance of the economy.'" (Washington Post)

October 2, 2012
On the effect of capping mortgage interest deductions: "'The amount of itemized deductions a taxpayer claims depends critically on if they own or rent a home, if their state has an income tax, and their amount of charitable giving,' [Alex Brill] said in an e-mail. He pointed out that only one-third of all taxpayers claim itemized deductions, meaning two-thirds of all taxpayers would not be affected by this proposal." (The Hill's On the Money blog)

October 2, 2012
On criticisms of the Romney tax plan: "[The Tax Policy Center] concluded that Mr. Romney's actual reform proposal--cutting rates across the board by 20%, combined with closing loopholes at the higher end--was 'mathematically impossible.' They then imagined multiple details for a 'Romney' tax plan that existed only in their own minds and that would raise taxes among the lower brackets by $86 billion. In a recent paper, Alex Brill . . . pointed out errors that--by the Tax Policy Center's own reasoning--would take that figure down to $41 billion, then to $12 billion, then to a net tax cut." (Wall Street Journal)

Click here to read the op-ed
Click here to listen to Alex Brill discuss the op-ed on AEI's podcast, Banter
Coverage in Washington Post, National Review Online, NRO's The Agenda blog,
Investors Business Daily, and Fiscal Times

August 29, 2012
On the negative effects of the U.S. corporate tax rate: "The U.S. corporate tax rate--it's a simple fact--is the highest among the OECD countries . . . but beyond that fact, the U.S. tax system taxes not only income earned here in the United states . . . [but] taxes income earned abroad as well. . . . When the question comes to the management [of U.S. corporations], 'Can we do things to help our shareholders, our workers, our investment and research strategies by minimizing our taxes,' reincorporating abroad is definitely one of the options that they have to explore." (CNBC Closing Bell)

August 6, 2012
Congratulations to Christy Robinson: Matrix Global Advisors is proud to announce that Christy Robinson, who is pursuing a master's degree in public policy at George Mason University, has been named a Bryce Harlow Fellow for 2012-2013. Recent press coverage in Politico names the twenty recipients, including Christy. According to the Bryce Harlow Foundation, "Since 1985, the Foundation has awarded fellowships to highly motivated students who are pursuing a career in professional advocacy. . . . The Foundation considers its Bryce Harlow Fellows to be the future of professional advocacy."

August 2, 2012
On Governor Romney's tax plan: "We need to keep in mind that only some of the dollars that we earn today are actually taxed by the tax code. Obviously we have a system that's very progressive . . . but even well-to-do Americans are claiming tremendous numbers of deductions. . . . By reforming or repealing some of these tax expenditures, we can broaden the tax base, which permits us to lower the rates. . . . That's the framework that I understand that Governor Romney's promoting."" (CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront)

Click here for a blog post on the Romney tax plan

July 26, 2012
On S corporation employee stock ownership plans: "A study released today by Alex Brill, former advisor to the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan deficit reduction commission and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, finds that private employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) organized as S corporations increased employment over the last decade more quickly than the overall private sector." (Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch)

Click here for a PDF of the full study
Click here for a Financial Advisor article on the study

June 19, 2012
On the U.S. jobs market: "These numbers are so low that we are absolutely at risk of slipping back into recession. The growth is slowing down--it may be positive, but it's slowing down. Job growth is slowing down. Europe is a big concern. That's a big export market for us. At the rate that we're going, we're starting to teeter. More bad news--we saw retail sales pull back last week--more bad news could really push us back into the negative numbers, and then we're really going to be stuck." (Fox Business Willis Report)

June 15, 2012
On reforming the G20: "In a new paper, Alex Brill and James Glassman propose imposing standards for membership in the G20. They note correctly that the economic steering group's membership was determined without explicit criteria and that members aren't held to any binding standard of conduct. The authors claim that the murkiness surrounding members' qualifications fatally undermines the group's legitimacy." (Foreign Policy blog The Multilateralist)

Click here to read "Who Should the Twenty Be?"
Click here to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the paper

June 14, 2012
On the eurozone crisis's impact on the U.S. economy: "The situation in Europe I think is very serious. . . . There's no question that there's a strong linkage between our economy and the European economy. We've seen a little bit more softness in the numbers here in the U.S., including a pullback in retail sales data, suggesting that people are getting a little more nervous than they used to be." (Sky News)

June 8, 2012
On evaluating tax extenders: "Republicans . . . have criticized the production tax credits for clean energy as giveaways that distort the market. 'Industry can grow to become dependent on these,' the American Enterprise Institute's Alex Brill told House lawmakers this morning. 'We need to think about a phase out.' And both parties may decide that eliminating smaller tax breaks is the lesser of two evils in terms of avoiding the fiscal cliff." (Washington Post Wonkblog)

Click here to read the congressional testimony

May 16, 2012
On the dividend tax rate going up in 2013: "If Republicans win [in November] and win big--especially if they win the Senate and the White House--dividend rates are likely to stay low. But if things go the other way, there's a higher probability that the dividend tax rate will go from 15, where it is now, up to roughly 45 percent. . . . We do know that companies are watching this tax issue. We know that they're aware that the rates could go up dramatically. They have the ability to act quickly if they want to in the lame duck to issue special dividends. And we know that they did that when the rate came down." (CNBC)

May 14, 2012
On GOP ideas for tax reform: "[Republicans] want to limit the deductions to help pay for their plan to lower the top federal tax rate from 35 percent. . . . 'Some people are willing to allow revenues to go a little higher if the (tax) rates come down, some people are not willing to let the revenues go higher, some people are willing but not saying it,' said Alex Brill, a former senior Republican staff member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee." (Reuters)

April 3, 2012
On the United States having the top corporate tax rate in the world: "That's not a race you want to win. The U.S. hasn't changed its corporate tax rate since the mid '80s, while most other developed countries have continually chipped away at their top rate. . . . The U.S. rate [is] over 39% when you combine federal and state tax rates, and that makes us, frankly, not competitive with most of our trading partners." (C-SPAN Washington Journal)

March 22, 2012
On restoring U.S. fiscal stability: "The plan that most closely aligns with my own views, AEI's 'Fiscal Solutions: A Balanced Plan for Fiscal Stability and Growth,' was released last spring as part of the Peterson Solutions Initiative, which called upon a number of groups, centrist, left-leaning, and right-leaning, to offer their own prescriptions." (Reihan Salam, National Review's "The Agenda" Blog)

March 16, 2012
On under-funded pension plans: "One problem, argue Alex Brill and Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute [in an Atlantic op-ed], is that . . . [i]f companies are contributing less to pensions now, when interest rates are low, they'll have to make up the gap later on with higher contributions. . . . Allowing companies to further underfund pensions now means that taxpayers might be on the hook for more failed plans later." (Washington Post's "Wonkblog")

March 7, 2012
On Obama's dividend tax hike: "In an opinion article in Wednesday's Real Clear Markets . . . [Alex Brill and Alan D. Viard] write that 'higher dividend taxation will impede the investment that fuels long-run growth, depress stock prices, and weaken incentives for good corporate governance.' . . . The two AEI scholars say that ultimately reduced investment as a result of the tax hike will erode the capital stock, making workers less productive and ultimately holding down their wages." (AdvisorOne)

Click here for a summary of the op-ed on

March 6, 2012
On the state of the economy: "The economy's improving. We've seen a few months where jobs have been added, and output is certainly growing, but . . . we're way below potential in terms of output. The GDP forecast for the remainder of this year is less than where it should be. . . . Wage growth has been rather tepid, and I think there's a lot of uncertainty in terms of what's going to happen in Washington, where we're running one more year of a deficit that could exceed a trillion dollars." (Bloomberg TV)

March 1, 2012
On Mitt Romney's tax plan: "'I surely am curious about what tax expenditures [Mitt Romney would] curtail or repeal, but I understand the difficulty any campaign faces in describing that much detail.'" (Reuters)

February 24, 2012
On President Obama's corporate tax plan: "[The Obama administration's] view is that the more you do outside the U.S., the less you do here. My view is quite the opposite. Companies that grow abroad grow domestically as well." (Fox News Special Report with Bret Baier)

Click here for a Nightly Business Report interview on the tax plan

February 22, 2012
More on Mitt Romney's tax plan: "'There is an understanding in Romney's plan that the purpose of the tax code is to raise the revenue that is necessary and not pick winners and losers. . . . The problem we have with the system today is it is riddled with winners and losers through narrow provisions and broad policies that favor one industry over another.'" (Washington Examiner)

February 16, 2012
On those who pay no income tax: "Alex Brill, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said it is important to note how the numbers not paying income taxes have grown over time. 'What concerns me is not that low-income households pay no federal income tax but that lawmakers have consistently sought opportunities to increase the number of households excluded from paying income tax,' Brill said, noting expansion of the child credit." (Reuters)

On Medicaid drug program waste: "Another study estimated that Medicaid's potential cost savings from increasing generic substitution from 81 percent to 100 percent for 20 popular brand drugs was $329 million in 2009. The study was based on Medicaid drug utilization data and incorporated the price impact of drug manufacturer rebates to state Medicaid programs into its calculations." (GAO letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, January 31, 2012)


On Newt Gingrich's optional 15% flat tax: "I don't think that the American people need another tax system laid on top of the existing tax system. We already have two: the ordinary system and the alternative minimum tax. Layering on a third one is only going to make things more complicated. And furthermore, it's costly to the budget. . . . [Low rates] need to be achieved in a responsible way and one that doesn't confuse the taxpayer, one that's overall a simplification." (Bloomberg TV, January 20, 2012)


On a new tax reform plan: "Alex Brill . . . said the tax code would still be far from perfect under his proposals but would give a jolt to the economy." (The Hill's "On the Money," January 19, 2012)


On Rick Santorum's tax plan: "'The Santorum tax plan would, by any metric, lead to a massive increase in the deficit and would take tax receipts well below its average post-war level,' said Alex Brill, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. 'By keeping all the biggest tax expenditures while increasing other deductions and credits, the plan simply doesn't add up. Where will the revenue come from?'" (Reuters, January 9, 2012)


Gage Skidmore
On Mitt Romney's tax plan: "His policy doesn't explicitly insist on lowering the individual income-tax rates right away . . . but doing so is a clear long-term possibility. If anything, says Alex Brill . . . this caution makes Romney's plan politically palatable. 'He's reaching, but he's not reaching somewhere beyond plausible,' Brill says. 'Some of the other Republican proposals have huge tax cuts. Even congressional Republicans are not talking about huge tax cuts right now.'" (, January 5, 2012)



On cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate: Alex Brill refuted a finding in a recent CRS report, telling Reuters that the report "is not consistent with an emerging tax literature that demonstrates a myriad of faults with a high corporate tax rate." The Reuters story then continued, "At 35 percent, the official top U.S. corporate income tax rate is among the world's highest. Many business leaders and Republicans say it hurts U.S. firms and must be reduced." (Reuters, December 30, 2011)


On the economic impact of policy uncertainty: "People are hesitant. They're not sure what the rules of the game are going to be in the future. They don't know what the energy policy is going to be; they don't know what the tax policy is going to be. The result is a lot of workers and investors just simply wait." (Nightly Business Report, December 29, 2011)
    Click here to see Brill discuss consumer uncertainty on FOX News


On a recent op-ed on the payroll tax holiday: "Brill said the payroll tax holiday is similar to the tax rebates passed in 2001 and 2008 in that consumers mostly save the extra money rather than spending it, providing little boost to the economy." (The Hill, December 22, 2011)
    Click here to read the December 6 op-ed
    Click here to see Dana Perino reference the Brill op-ed


On Congress's debate over a payroll tax cut extension: "'Politically, especially now, this is difficult to oppose,' said Alex Brill. . . . 'Anyone who opposes it is going to face political criticism, whether it is for playing politics with the economy or the criticism is raising taxes, whatever it may be.'" (Politico, December 7, 2011)
    Click here to see Brill discuss the payroll tax holiday extension on CNBC
    Click here to hear Brill discuss the issue on Marketplace


On the supercommittee's failure: "It's going to take some new leadership, including new leadership from the administration . . . before we start to see real policy change." (CCTV, November 24, 2011)


Question to GOP presidential candidates: "Even if the supercommittee hadn't failed, the savings that they would have proposed would have been a drop in the bucket relative to the $11 trillion deficit our country may face in the subsequent decade. In the decades after that, without entitlement reform we'll borrow even more. To strengthen our economy, to strengthen our country, what entitlement reform proposals would you make to address our long-term structural deficit." (AEI-Heritage-CNN debate, November 22, 2011)


On a payroll tax holiday and unemployment: "'I don't think that the payroll tax [holiday] extension is a good policy for helping the economy. I don't think that a temporary tax cut is going to create permanent employment, which is our ultimate goal, creating jobs,' said Alex Brill. . . . 'I don't see any evidence that it's worked previously, and I don't think that an extension would be money well spent.'" (Las Vegas Sun, November 29, 2011)


On the deficit-reduction supercommittee: "What's getting in the way is a really strong political fight between the parties. How this deal shapes the upcoming election, who takes blame for failure, who can claim credit for success--those dynamics are really intense right now." (MarketWatch, November 18, 2011)


On the GOP candidates' economic plans: "Romney has laid out a very detailed set of proposals. . . . It's the kind of thing that could move forward through the legislative process. . . . While simple and unquestionably pro-growth in my opinion, [Cain's 999 plan] is not something that I think we'd ever see Congress act on." (Bloomberg TV "InsideTrack," October 11, 2011)


On income tax reform: "Revenue-neutral base broadening can be useful if it is done properly. . . . [I]t is particularly important to avoid increases in the tax penalty on saving."
    Click here to read the full September 2011 AEI Tax Policy Outlook
    Tax Foundation podcast about the Outlook
    National Center for Policy Analysis summary of the Outlook


On the economic impact of government shutdown brinkmanship: "The first time the government came close to a shutdown was probably the scariest, said Alex Brill. . . . The more often Congress reaches the brink and comes to an agreement before shutting down, the less damaging the process becomes. . . . So long as the process marches toward a better budget, the cost of the brinkmanship is worth it, Brill contends." (, September 28, 2011)


On job creation: "[I]t is incredibly difficult if not impossible for politicians to guess where the next generation of jobs will come from. . . . Thus, a good jobs agenda will be one that spurs growth through greater economic neutrality. Washington cannot reduce the national unemployment rate through a commitment to one industry or even just a handful of industries." (Reuters, September 7, 2011)


On the deficit-reduction supercommittee: "[T]he congressional panel needs to move toward broad-based tax reform 'to create a competitive economy and eliminate distortions in the code,' said Alex Brill, research fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and adviser to the president’s fiscal commission. Changing the corporate tax rate along with rates on capital gains and dividends may be the place to start, Brill suggested." (The Hill's On the Money, September 6, 2011)


On continued U.S. unemployment: "Friday's Labor Department report showed [for] the first time in nearly a year that the economy had failed to create jobs. . . . 'It will cause more attention and focus on the president's forthcoming proposals, but the report also highlights the difficulty in crafting any short-run policy to move the unemployment rate down,' said Alex Brill." (Reuters, September 2, 2011)


White House photo
On the midsession budget review: "The White House will release its delayed midsession budget review Thursday, updating projections for the economy ahead of a congressional review to lower the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. . . . 'The midsession review will be a reality test to see if the president's forecast matches the gloomy outlook of the private sector,' said Alex Brill." (Reuters, August 31, 2011)


On the deficit: "'When the economy is slower, we have more unemployment, more insurance costs, and more food stamp costs,' explains Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute. 'You get less revenue and a little more spending and, obviously, a bigger deficit.' . . . Brill says the critical period for lowering the deficit will be based on where the economy is in 2013, 2014 and onward." (Politico 44, August 15, 2011)


On the budget battle: "The creation of a super committee in Congress to consider additional deficit cuts ensures that the budget battle will continue throughout the year." (Reuters, August 3, 2011)


More on the budget battle: "How exactly those spending cuts are implemented . . . is absolutely yet to be determined. . . . One man's waste is another man's critical program." (Marketplace, July 29, 2011)


On the Senate proposal for Medicaid generic substitution: "A joint statement on the proposal released July 13 from the three legislators cites a study [by Alex Brill] . . . which found that in 2009 states spent approximately $329 million more than necessary on brand name drugs. . . . Calling the proposed policy a 'very good idea,' Brill said an important finding of his research was that . . . there's an opportunity for [states] spending more than they should to learn from their neighbors." (WAMC, July 19, 2011)


On government assistance for U.S. manufacturers: "'If you dedicate resources to one industry at the exclusion of the other, then I think you restrict the flexibility that's in our economy,' said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who was formerly chief economist to the House Ways and Means Committee." (Politico, June 28, 2011)


On Medicaid drug program waste: "Medicaid wastes $329 million a year paying for expensive brand drugs when cheaper generic versions are available, according to a study that calls into question how well managed the federal healthcare program is. . . . [S]tates could save millions of dollars, if they were stricter about transferring patients to generic drugs or charging patients more if they insist on the brands." (BNET, June 13, 2011)


On poor labor market conditions: "We don't just have a short-term problem with our economy. We're actually facing important long-term structural problems. We have fundamental problems with our tax code. We've got structural problems in our entitlement programs. In terms of the labor market, I think employers are aware and are hesitant to start to create jobs because they're fearful of potential pending tax increases." (CBN News, June 10, 2011)


On the debt limit debate: "Republicans are demanding deep spending cuts in return for raising the $14.3 trillion U.S. borrowing ceiling . . . . 'It is a virtual certainty that this process will go to the absolute last minute, and then for five minutes longer,' said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who worked in President George W Bush's White House."
(Reuters, May 22, 2011)


On Social Security: "On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee gathered to ask whether changes to Social Security should be part of Congress's debate over deficit reduction. 'Congress should simply take a first step, pursue incremental options for Social Security, and begin now,' witness Alex Brill, an economist from the American Enterprise Institute, told the committee." (National Journal, May 10, 2011)


On the first hundred days of the 112th Congress: "Many of the freshman members in the House didn't come here to compromise. They came here to win. And they believe that there's a difference between compromising and winning. I think that a lot of members who have been here for a longer time and have served in the majority understand that winning and compromising are actually one and the same, and that without getting a deal, you've got nothing." (C-SPAN, April 1, 2011)


On overspending in the Medicaid drug program: Medicaid "spent $329 million extra in 2009 purchasing 20 brand-name drugs instead of available generic copies, according to an American Enterprise Institute report. . . . 'There's $300 million-plus in money that's being left on the table in the Medicaid program at a time when we can't afford' it, Alex Brill, the study's author, said . . . . 'We're not talking about taking away services, we're talking about providing them in a more efficient way.'" (Bloomberg, March 28, 2011)


On peer-to-peer lending: "Peer-to-peer lending is another example of innovation underpinning U.S. economic growth, said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and former senior adviser to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. 'I think we sometimes forget that innovation doesn't just come from more fuel-efficient cars or faster computers,' Brill said. 'Financial market innovation is equally valuable.'" (Kansas City Business Journal, February 11, 2011)


On corporate tax reform: Alex Brill "notes that tackling corporate tax would be less demonised in an election. The dilemma, of course, is that cutting the corporate rate will entail coming up with a way to pay for it. That means closing loopholes, which in effect would raises taxes on some. 'There isn't low-hanging fruit, so you'd have to go after everyone collectively. . . . If it is a high enough priority for the president and there is a carrot--the lower rate--companies would be willing to play ball.'"(Reuters, January 5, 2011)



On Congress's failure to pass a spending bill: "Removing the ability to earmark makes it more difficult to get these bills done. It might at the end be for the better, but Congress needs to find a new way to govern if they're going to appropriate without earmarks."
(Marketplace, December 17, 2010)


On Obama's proposed business tax cuts: "Alex Brill, a former tax adviser to the House Ways and Means Committee who is now a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said companies are more likely to borrow because the administration's proposal 'will create a large tax subsidy for debt-financed investment. . . . To get the economy back on track with a subsidy for debt seems a funny way to do it,' Brill said." (Bloomberg, September 8, 2010)


On improving retirement savings in 401(k)s: "The general [employer-sponsored 401(k)] structure is an opt-in structure. But increasingly employers are turning that around and making it opt-out, and we see very strong results. We see people getting into the plan sooner, and we see the default contribution levels being higher. Yes, some people do choose to opt out. That should be their choice."
(Ideas in Action, September 2, 2010)


On the mid-session budget review: "[The Troubled Asset Relief Program's] initial $700 billion price tag has been slashed and now stands at $105.4 billion. . . . Analysts say this is positive for the short-term budget picture but is by definition providing only temporary relief. 'People are paying it back and it is a positive. . . . That just needs to be understood in the right context. The banks can only repay the TARP funds once,' said Alex Brill." (Reuters, July 22, 2010)


On State Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds: "[According to Alex Brill] the real problem with state UI trust fund shortfalls is not a lack of revenues, but the high payouts resulting from double-digit unemployment rates. . . . '[T]he crisis that the state trust funds are facing is a result of the economy, not simply the result of the 'wrong' tax base or the 'wrong' tax rate,' Brill said." (Bureau of National Affairs, May 7, 2010, on Alex Brill's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support)


On digital money: "Outside the economists that study [the payment system], the regulators and lawyers that practice in this area, and the executives who lead this industry, this topic receives relatively little public attention, but in fact it permeates the economy. . . . In the payment system, technology has . . . reduced costs, sped up transaction times, and improved convenience. . . . Digital money [offers] ways to pay safely, efficiently, and conveniently." (C-SPAN, April 23, 2010)


On the budget deficit: "'This is not showing a tremendous amount of leadership in the face of what is a very serious near- and long-term fiscal deficit,' said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and former economist at the House of Representatives ways and means committee. . . . 'Raising the marginal tax rate on a few [wealthy] people is a damaging way to try to bring more revenue to Washington.'" (Globe and Mail, February 1, 2010)


On down-payment-assistance for homebuyers: "Better screening [of applicants] would help, said Alex Brill, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington who conducted a study of the program and favors restarting it with stricter standards, even if it means that fewer families qualify. 'Some people should own homes and some shouldn't,' said Brill. 'There's a trade-off, a balance to be struck in terms of how much assistance you can provide people.'" (BusinessWeek, January 21, 2010)



White House
On the stimulus bill: "The things that have been either proposed or--and importantly--done so far are not working and not helping. And I think the first one is the stimulus bill is not working. The best thing we could do--one of the best things, at least--would be to stop the stimulus bill, which is not creating jobs, and save that money and think about other ideas that might work better." (Fox News, December 4, 2009)


On follow-on biologics: "Research conducted by Alex Brill--a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute--and recently confirmed by the Federal Trade Commission clearly shows that seven years [of market exclusivity] is plenty to ensure adequate incentive for research and development." (, September 1, 2009)


On national deficit consequences: "'The last time we had a really large deficit was in the early '80s, when it was about 5 percent of the GDP,' said economist Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute. 'Now it's 13 percent of GDP.' Brill says that can lead to inflation, higher interest rates and higher taxes to pay it back." (Fox News, July 15, 2009)


On health care: "'Obama's pledge to hike taxes only on the 'rich,' coupled with concerns from unions and others that a cap will pinch more than just those with the gold-plated plans, will pose a political challenge for lawmakers,' Alex Brill, a scholar at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, said." (Bloomberg, June 25, 2009)


On international corporate tax rates: "As the differential between [the U.S. corporate tax rate] and [other countries'] rate grows, there's more incentive for investment to be abroad. . . . That's going to have negative consequences for tax revenue in the U.S. . . . I think a reasonable approach might be a phase-down in the U.S. corporate rate. . . . To drop the rate a point a year until we can't drop it anymore might be one place to start." (Tax Policy Podcast, October 2, 2007)