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Cato Institute senior fellow, Michael Tanner heads research into a variety of domestic policies with a particular emphasis on poverty and social welfare policy, health care reform, and Social Security.

Tanner’s new book, Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, will be released in June.  He is also the author of numerous other books on public policy, including Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican RevolutionHealthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free ItThe Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society, and A New Deal for Social Security.

Under Tanner’s direction, Cato launched the Project on Social Security Choice, which is widely considered the leading impetus for transforming the soon-to-be-bankrupt system into a private savings program. Time magazine calls Tanner, “one of the architects of the private accounts movement,” and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the nation’s five most influential experts on Social Security. The New York Times refers to him as “a lucid writer and skilled polemicist.”

More recently Tanner has undertaken a major project to develop innovative solutions to poverty and inequality.

Tanner’s writings have appeared in nearly every major American newspaper, including the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today. He writes a weekly column for National Review Online, and is a contributing columnist with the New York Post. A prolific writer and frequent guest lecturer, Tanner appears regularly on network and cable news programs.

More from Michael D. Tanner


Cato Studies

The Pros and Cons of a Guaranteed National Income

Policy Analysis No. 773. May 12, 2015.

War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet?

Policy Analysis No. 761. October 20, 2014.

Obamacare: What We Know Now

Policy Analysis No. 745. January 27, 2014.

Public Filings

Cato Reviews & Journals


Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis

June 16, 2015. Book Forum.

Lessons from Baltimore

May 22, 2015. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Can We End Poverty?

March 26, 2015. Conference.

Downsizing the Federal Government