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Panelist Bio


Michael Tanner
The Cato Institute

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

Most recently, Tanner co-edited Replacing Obamacare: The Cato Institute on Health Care Reform, a compilation of the Cato Institute’s work over the past several years on health care reform and Obamacare, with contributions by over a dozen national experts, including Tanner himself. He is also the author of numerous books on public policy, including Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution (2007), Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It (Second Edition, 2007), The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society (2003), and A New Deal for Social Security (1998). 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.
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.” Before joining Cato in 1993, Tanner served as director of research of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and as legislative director for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Current Topic


04/16 - Opiates & the Bayou State

How is Louisiana tackling this serious addiction epidemic?

Special Presentation


12/15 - Election 2015: An Analysis

What strategies did each of the major candidates use during the Governor's race?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges face our returning veterans?

Recent Topics


03/16 - Justice on Hold: Louisiana’s Public Defender Shortage

How serious of a problem is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana?


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

How will the lives of those who now have access to health care change?


01/16 - Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana

What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters?


11/15 - Living Below the Line

What is living in poverty like?

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