Heritage Work Leads to Two Wins on Energy Policy

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In Heritage Impact

Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris

The House of Representatives rejected a big-government energy bill this week and approved an important reform to the Department of Energy’s national laboratories. Both conservative victories were inspired by Heritage Foundation research.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) had proposed legislation to “create a number of taxpayer-supported government programs to extract and recycle domestic rare earth minerals,” Heritage expert Nicolas Loris explains. A better solution than subsidies, Loris argues, would be to limit government restrictions on production and trade.

Thanks in part to Loris’ work to draw public attention to this proposal, and a key-vote against the bill by Heritage Action for America, Swalwell’s bill failed in the House.

Meanwhile, House lawmakers approved a bill from Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) that would pilot important reforms to the DOE’s national laboratories. Heritage experts have long been urging Congress to make these sorts of reforms (link in PDF) to enable the private sector to take advantage of basic research at these labs.

This is another example of how Heritage uses policy research and communications, as well as our partnership with the grassroots activists at Heritage Action, to win conservative victories.

How Heritage Is Leading the Way on Ukraine, Israel, and Illegal Immigration

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In Heritage Work

President Obama’s misguided leadership on the world stage is taking a very real toll. And the Heritage Foundation is educating lawmakers and the American people on the facts.

Just yesterday, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by a missile over Eastern Ukraine. The White House suspects that Russian rebels–supplied by Vladimir Putin’s government despite the administration’s “reset”–shot down the plane. To help guide the debate over next steps, Heritage experts posted an analysis of the events and what may have caused them on The Daily Signal. Heritage’s Peter Brookes discussed the outrageous incident on CNBC, and other experts are scheduled to appear this weekend on other national TV outlets.

In Israel, Hamas militants have launched another series of indiscriminate missile attacks on Israeli civilians. Israel has responded with targeted attacks on Hamas militants. Heritage’s Steve Bucci explains the moral difference between Hamas and Israel. Michaela Dodge answers your questions about the Iron Dome program that defends Israel from Hamas rockets. And James Phillips warns that “the eruption of the third Gaza war since 2008 is yet another manifestation of the growing threat posed by Islamist militants within an increasingly unstable Middle East. “

Closer to home, our borders are being assaulted by illegal immigrants. The most recent wave of young people from Latin America appears directly inspired by President Obama’s unilateral promise of amnesty to minors. Immigration is one of The Heritage Foundation’s priority issues, and experts have been working to expose the flaws in the administration’s plans and to propose a conservative alternative that secures the border and upholds the rule of law.

Heritage Vice President James Carafano points out that only Heritage is able to provide this kind of in-depth analysis on so many issues at once. “No other think tank is handling all these issues at the depth we are on the Hill and the media all at the same time,” he said.

Do you think these policy events can be linked to the Obama administration’s policies?

Kudlow Credits Heritage on Ex-Im Bank Fight

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In Heritage Impact

Economist and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow credited The Heritage Foundation with leading the fight to end the Export-Import Bank:

Heritage’s Diane Katz explains how the Ex-Im Bank threatens American jobs. The bank, she explains, hurts “domestic companies that are left to compete against foreign firms bankrolled by the U.S. government.”

The ‘Groundless’ Claims Made to Support the Ex-Im Bank

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In Heritage Work

Many of the claims made to support the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes big businesses and foreign governments, are “groundless,” Heritage Foundation economist Salim Furth explains in the Wall Street Journal:

A sense of fairness and knowledge of economics teach me to oppose subsidies by default. In this case, the recipients of the subsidy are hoping to persuade Congress to make an exception from fairness and logic on empirical grounds. But the empirical claims they make–that Ex-Im supports small business and that Ex-Im’s subsidies create jobs–are groundless.

Heritage’s Diane Katz points out that while trade benefits the economy, the Ex-Im Bank’s subsidies are costing jobs.

Do you think Congress should reauthorize the Export-Import Bank?

Here’s the Latest Washington Threat to Your Freedom of Speech

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Elizabeth Slattery has some discouraging news about how Washington wants to limit your free speech rights:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised the Senate will take up a proposed constitutional amendment this year that would radically alter the First Amendment.

The Senate resolution would allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on election campaigns and independent political speech. Reid and others insist restricting the amount of money that may be raised and spent on political speech is not the same as limiting speech. That’s like saying that limiting the amount of newsprint a newspaper can buy does not limit its speech.

Having lost the battle at the Supreme Court, Reid and his cohorts are now pushing this constitutional amendment to reverse decisions—including Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC—that protect the rights of Americans to speak their minds about elected officials and candidates and to engage in the political process.

The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Heritage Guide to the Constitution explains what that wording means and why it’s important to protect it.

Read more about why Harry Reid’s plan is a terrible idea.

Why America Should Lift the Ban on Crude Oil Exports

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In Heritage Work

American oil production has increased dramatically in recent years, yet the federal government maintains a ban on the export of crude oil. Arguing that this policy is economically harmful, Heritage’s Nicolas Loris urges Congress to lift the export ban.

Expanding market opportunities will not just benefit oil companies. By opening the door to establish more efficient global oil markets, all Americans will reap the benefits of lower prices and a stronger economy. Free trade is one of the principal drivers of improving standards of living both in the United States and abroad, and removing unnecessary restrictions on oil exports will help power that growth.

Do you think we should expand the market for American oil?

Raising the Minimum Wage Is ‘a Clever Diversion,’ Rand Paul and Steve Moore Say

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In Heritage Work

Hiking the minimum wage isn’t the solution to America’s economic problems, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore argue:

Obama says it is time working people “got a raise,” and he’s right. But we’d argue that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 is a clever diversion from the real crisis: falling middle-class incomes.

For the vast majority of workers, the problem isn’t a flat minimum wage; it’s a declining middle-class paycheck. The minimum wage affects, at most, only 6 percent of workers – and almost half of them are in starter jobs or are teenagers. What about the other 95 percent – especially those working parents with children?

A better solution, Paul and Moore suggest, would be to undo the government policies that are holding down wages–Obamacare, taxes, overtime rules, and fossil fuel restrictions.

How would you help American workers?

Jim DeMint Travels to Asia to Push Economic Freedom

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In Other Work of Note

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint is in Asia this week to promote Heritage’s 2014 Agenda for Economic Freedom, which makes the case for lowering government barriers to commerce, strengthening property rights, and limiting corruption.

During a stop in Taiwain, he took in the sights:

Be sure to follow @JimDeMint on Twitter.

Why Following Thomas Pikkety’s Economic Advice Would Be Foolish

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In Heritage Work

Capital in the Twenty-First CenturyEconomist Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is a bestseller that’s getting rave reviews in the media. It argues that economic inequality is a terrible evil, and it prescribes tax rates as high as 80 percent as a remedy.

If we follow his recommendations, Heritage Foundation chief economist Steve Moore warns, we’d end up making everyone poorer and returning to a 1970s-style economy:

That the left has come full circle to celebrating the anti-growth tax rates of the bad old days of the 1970s is a depressing reminder that liberals really haven’t learned much of anything over the past several decades. In the Carter years, the combination of high tax rates and high inflation pushed Americans into ever-higher tax brackets, which contributed to the worst losses in middle-class incomes since the Great Depression.

If America is foolish enough to follow Mr. Piketty’s advice, which is based purely on class warfare and envy, we may very well re-create the 1970s economic results all over again.

Do you think we need higher taxes to combat inequality?

What the Media Are Saying About The Daily Signal

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In Heritage Impact

The media are covering the announcement that Heritage will launch The Daily Signal next month to reach more Americans with a conservative message.

Here’s a roundup of some of the reporting: Continue Reading »

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