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Cato Institute Senior Fellow Michael Tanner heads research into a variety of domestic policies, with an emphasis on poverty and social welfare policy, health care, and Social Security and entitlement reform.

His most recent book, The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor, looks at the ways government contributes to poverty in the United States and suggests reforms that will enable the poor to more fully participate in a growing economy. Tanner is the author of numerous other books on public policy, including Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution, Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society, and A New Deal for Social Security.

Tanner’s writings have appeared in nearly every major American newspaper, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall 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.

The New York Times refers to him as “a lucid writer and skilled polemicist.” And Congressional Quarterly named him one of the nation’s five most influential experts on Social Security. Time magazine calls Tanner, “one of the architects of the private accounts movement.”

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

More from Michael D. Tanner


Trump’s Trade Critics Don’t Offer Better Options

National Review (Online). August 21, 2019.

Some Thoughts on the El Paso Shooting

National Review (Online). August 7, 2019.

Donald Trump, the Profligate President

National Review (Online). July 24, 2019.

Cato Studies

Five Myths about Economic Inequality in America

Policy Analysis No. 797. September 7, 2016.

The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: Europe

Policy Analysis No. 779. August 24, 2015.

The Pros and Cons of a Guaranteed National Income

Policy Analysis No. 773. May 12, 2015.


How Government Causes Poverty

Cato's Letter. Vol. 17. No. 2. Spring 2019.

The Real Impact of the New Health Care Law

Cato's Letter. Vol. 8. No. 4. Fall 2010.

Public Filings

Cato Reviews & Journals

Running Out of Other People’s Money

Policy Report. May/June 2015.

Is America Becoming Greece?

Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2013.

Introduction: Europe’s Crisis and the Welfare State

Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2013.


Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2019

September 27, 2019. City Seminar.

Sphere Summit: Teaching Civic Culture Together

July 14, 2019 to July 18, 2019. Conference.

The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor

April 8, 2019. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Downsizing Government