In remarks this week at The Heritage Foundation, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) defended the Tea Party and said its principles are shared by most Americans.

The modern Tea Party stands for three very basic things. Number one, we are taxed enough already. Number two, government should not spend more money than what it take in. Number three, government should live under the constitution.

This agenda, she said, is hardly extreme. “If these are the principles we stand for, I think whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, they are ones that you would agree with.”

In her 50 minute speech, Bachmann hit on several other conservative themes. Among other proposals, she called for a drastic simplification of the tax code, the termination of the Export-Import Bank, and increased border security.

The Tea Party is close to Bachmann’s heart. She was one of the first in 2010 to identify with the Tea Party’s protest against the growing size of the federal government. She also founded the House Tea Party Caucus.

The speech was one of the last of Bachmann’s congressional career. The four-term Representative and 2012 presidential candidate has elected to not seek re-election next month.

Watch the video above for her whole speech.

Do you belong to the Tea Party or support its mission? Tell us in the comments.

Annuities, bequests, charitable trusts. When I started my internship at the Heritage Legacy Society office a few short months ago, these terms were somewhat confusing. Now, they have become inspiring.

At our nation’s core rests the belief that every individual has a right to liberty, a right for which we all must fight. Nowhere have I seen this better understood and demonstrated than through the efforts of our Heritage Legacy Society members. Just as the Constitution seeks to ensure the “blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” our members have sacrificed not only throughout their lifetimes, but have committed their time and resources to my generation.

Their giving has enabled my fellow interns and me to join the conservative movement that aims to return America to its founding principles. We have gained a better understanding of today’s most pressing issues through innovative briefings from policy experts and through leading Conservative conferences featuring today’s leaders. We have also looked at the past, appreciating the vision of our Founders through visits to the Capitol and Mount Vernon.

Most importantly, our members have also given us the opportunity to learn from them.

Whether conversing on the phone, assisting with gift annuities, or giving Heritage Foundation tours that take us to the very Wall of Freedom commemorating our Heritage Legacy Society members, our supporters have demonstrated their understanding that the size and form of the gift doesn’t matter, rather, it is the willingness to commit to our principles that gives this country hope.

We have inherited a legacy of liberty thanks to the dedication of American citizens such as our members. By their generosity, we have also gained the practical knowledge and equipping to continue spreading those values.

I will take my experiences back to Pennsylvania, and my friends will return to their campuses and home towns, equipped to hold our government and society accountable to the American Constitution. We have seen that it’s not only possible, but necessary to care for my generation to ensure that we preserve and increase freedom for generations to come.

The facts are in. As The Heritage Foundation predicted, Obamacare is turning out to be a disaster. Heritage expert Robert Moffit has more in a new article in the National Interest .

  • Deductibles increased. Average deductibles on employer-based health plans run about $1,000, while average Obamacare deductibles are about $2,000.
  • Premiums increased. The president promised to lower all premiums by $2,500 annually. The opposite happened. Premiums increased by 100 percent for 27-year-olds in some states. They increased by 50 percent for 50-year-olds in others. For employees who get their health insurance through small businesses, 11 million saw premium increases, while just six million saw premium decreases.
  • Competition was reduced. The number of insurers offering coverage on the individual markets in all fifty states declined by 29 percent. Over half of counties in America have only one or two insurance providers.
  • And we still don’t know how many are covered. The Congressional Budget Office reported 6 million had signed up for Exchange plans. The administration said 8 million, then backtracked.

And what about the so-called crucial 18- to 34-year-old demographic, which would determine the health of the program? Well, the administration said 35 percent of enrollees were in that range, which sounds pretty close to their goal of 40 percent. “But thanks to excellent reporting by Politico,” Moffit notes, “we learned that [this] number included children enrolled in the exchanges. Nice try.”

Should Obamacare repeal remain a priority for the new Congress? Tell us in the comments.

In an effort to crack down on global corruption, some are advocating an international anti-corruption court. This is a bad idea.

“Among other problems, it would not address widespread and deeply entrenched petty corruption, would prove ineffective in cases of true impunity, and arguably would trivialize genocide and war crimes by equating them with theft and abuse of power,” Heritage Foundation experts Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, and James M. Roberts explain in a new report.

Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” The map above makes clear that corruption is a serious issue world-wide. But an international solution would threaten American sovereignty and do little to solve the underlying problem.

Heritage’s experts recommend the U.S. should: Continue Reading »

Photo: Newscom

Lawmakers and the public are turning to The Heritage Foundation for leadership and answers about Ebola. A new report by Heritage expert David Addington explains the facts about Ebola, what we know about its spread, and what the government can do to contain it.

The basics about Ebola

Ebola symptoms are (1) fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, (2) severe headache, (3) muscle pain, (4) weakness, (5) diarrhea, (6) vomiting, (7) abdominal pain, and (8) unexplained bleeding.

Symptoms will begin anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure, though eight to 10 is typical.

Ebola is passed through contact with infected bodily fluids, and items that have been in contact with bodily fluids, such as needles and syringes. It does not spread through air, water, or, generally, food.  People who have recovered from Ebola are no longer contagious. The mortality rate is around 50 percent.

What can you do?

In order to help prevent the spread of Ebola, practice careful hygiene. Carry an alcohol based hand-sanitizer and wash frequently with soap and water. Do not come into contact with the clothes, bedding, needles, medical equipment, or the live body or remains of an individual with Ebola.

What can our leaders do?

America has a long tradition of providing humanitarian assistance to countries in need, Addington notes, especially when a crisis may pose a direct threat to our homeland, like the Ebola virus does. That’s why American assistance to African countries suffering from Ebola is appropriate.

Domestically, “state, local, territorial, tribal and private sector medical personnel constitute the first responders to a serious communicable disease outbreak when it occurs in the United States.” If this response is insufficient to contain an outbreak, he adds, “the federal government can exercise broad legal authorities to address the situations.”

Lawmakers should also ensure timely and accurate information:

Those at the highest levels of responsibility in the U.S. Congress and executive branch should keep themselves fully informed on the health and economic consequences of the Ebola outbreak so they can help ensure (1) effective and efficient use of the substantial U.S. taxpayer funds involved, (2) that the professionals with the requisite training at all levels of government work together effectively, and (3) that the public is kept accurately informed in a timely manner. Both at home and abroad, and at all levels of government, the dissemination of accurate, understandable information about the Ebola situation, and about government and private responses to it, is crucial.

Read the rest of Addington’s report.

Please share this with your friends and family so that we can all stay safe.

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