So What’s Actually in the ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill?

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In Heritage Work

Heritage experts have been working long hours to figure out what’s actually in the $1.1 trillion, 1,603-page “cromnibus” spending bill released last night.

A few things they’ve learned. The bill

More updates are sure to come as our experts work through the massive bill before tomorrow’s expected vote. Get all the latest from Heritage experts on The Daily Signal.

Want to read the bill yourself? Heritage’s Genevieve Wood offers tips on how to read bills like this.

Do you think this bill advances your conservative principles?

Heritage Staff Pull an All-Nighter Reading the ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill

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In Heritage Work

Last night, lawmakers released the massive, 1,603-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that will fund the government for the coming year.

Since lawmakers almost certainly won’t have time to read the so-called “Cromnibus” bill in time for Thursday’s budget deadline, Heritage Foundation experts stayed up past midnight reading the text.

Update: Here’s a time-lapse video of their reading session, which lasted well past midnight:

Heritage’s Romina Boccia says bills like this are part of the reason government has grown so wildly out of control.

Do you think lawmakers should vote on legislation like this without reading it first?

Heritage Analysis Credited with Ending Wasteful Government Program

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In Heritage Impact

Manufacturing and Technology News credits The Heritage Foundation with changing the debate on Trade Adjustment Assistance, an ineffective government program that offered training and other benefits to workers affected by foreign trade:

In the past, conservative backers of free trade understood that in order to pass trade agreements and Trade Promotion Authority, there needed to be a safety net — and political cover — for the workers losing their jobs to imports. But that compact has disappeared.

After the Heritage Foundation issued a paper in 2011 titled “Let the Ineffective and Wasteful [TAA] Program Expire,” “we saw the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee who were pretty faithful supporters of the program take their foot off the accelerator,” says McHugh. “They weren’t interested in expanding the program with the improvements that were made.”

Here’s the 2011 report by Heritage’s David Muhlhausen, who pointed out that the program has done little to raise the wages of participants.

Do you think the government should continue an ineffective program like this?

Many Government Social Programs Aren’t Actually Effective

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In Heritage Work

While a recent report claims that five small social programs are working, their effectiveness is the exception rather than the rule, The Heritage Foundation’s David Muhlhausen explains on National Review Online:

The majority of social programs are never rigorously assessed for effectiveness. Perhaps more important, when randomized experiments are used to assess effectiveness, the overwhelming majority of social programs are found to be ineffective. Failure to provide beneficial impacts is an especially accurate description when it comes to the performance of federal social programs. These five programs may well work; the problem is they are not typical. They are extreme outliers.

Muhlhausen literally wrote the book on the effectiveness of federal programs.

Regulations Will Strangle the Internet, Not Strengthen It

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In Heritage Work

Writing in the Boston Herald, Heritage’s James Gattuso explains what’s wrong with President Obama’s endorsement of treating Internet providers as mere utilities:

In spite of its style points, the president’s policy fails on substance. Simply put, regulating the 21st century Internet under common carrier rules designed for railroads in the 19th century simply makes no sense.

With a stroke of a pen, the networks connecting millions of Americans to the World Wide Web would be subject to thousands of regulations, requiring them to obtain FCC permission for the most basic of decisions. The nimble Internet we know would be slowed to the speed of government and the innovation level of a local water company.

The president’s call for an outright ban on paid prioritization, often referred to as Internet “fast lanes,” is also troubling, if not surprising. In comments last month, he criticized “the notion that some folks can pay a little more and get better service.”

But premium pricing is a profoundly routine practice in most markets. From airline travel to theater tickets to package delivery, premium service offerings are an established, and essential, part of the business.

Worse, rather than protect innovation, the government rules pushed by Obama would chill it.

Do you think the federal government should regulate the Internet?

Here’s the Truth About President Obama’s Bad Amnesty Plan

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In Heritage Impact

President Obama announced a unilateral amnesty plan for illegal immigrants at a speech last night.

This plan is not just lawless and unconstitutional but bad policy, Heritage’s David Inserra writes in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Addressing the National Council of La Raza in 2011, President Barack Obama said it was “tempting” to bypass Congress on immigration. “But,” he quickly added, “that’s not how our system works; that’s not how our democracy functions; that’s not how our Constitution is written.”

Today the president is singing a different tune, vowing to ignore Congress and unilaterally grant administrative amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants via “executive action.” Last week, the White House’s 10-point plan was leaked to Fox News and The New York Times. Mr. Obama, it seems, is determined to disregard the limits of presidential power and plunge our nation into a constitutional crisis.

The president argues, in essence, that because Congress hasn’t passed legislation granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, he has no choice but to ram it through on his own. In addition to flouting the democratic process and undermining the rule of law, this autocratic course of action will actually encourage yet another wave of illegal immigration — worsening rather than relieving the problem.

What do you think Congress should do to stop President Obama’s overreach?

Obamacare ‘Is Mainly a Simple Expansion of Medicaid’

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In Heritage Work

The increase in health care coverage under Obamacare results largely from the expansion of Medicaid rolls, a new Heritage Foundation report concludes.

Since many of those who signed up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges were already covered, Heritage’s Ed Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski write, “the inescapable conclusion is that, at least when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is mainly a simple expansion of Medicaid.”

Here’s how the numbers break down:

The data show that in the first half of 2014, private health insurance enrollment increased by a net of 2,465,586 individuals. That net figure reflects the fact that 61 percent of the gain in individual coverage was offset by a drop in employer group coverage. During the same period, Medicaid enrollment grew by 6,072,651 individuals. Thus, while a total of 8.5 million individuals gained coverage, 71 percent of that net coverage gain was attributable to the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults.

A report last year explained why the Medicaid expansion is bad for taxpayers and bad for patients.

Do you think there’s a better way to expand health coverage to the uninsured? Tell us in the comments.

Is the Federal Reserve Stabilizing the Economy? Or Destabilizing It?

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In Heritage Work

While the conventional wisdom holds that the Federal Reserve has stabilized the economy, this isn’t necessarily true, Heritage Foundation economist Norbert Michael writes in a new report.

“There is evidence that the Fed has not been as effective as once thought in accomplishing its stabilization goals, and even some evidence that the Fed era has had more economic instability than the pre-Fed era,” he explains.

This infographic lays out the case: Continue Reading »

Six Steps to Eliminate Government Waste and Control Government Spending

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In Heritage Work

“Eliminating waste and controlling government spending is best accomplished by reducing the size and scope of government,” Heritage Foundation economist Romina Boccia argues in a new report.

She explains:

The federal government does too many things that would be done better by individuals and organizations in the private sector, or by state and local governments, or that should not be done at all. A smaller, more limited federal government would focus on providing essential public services, legal services, and a basic social safety net, and would otherwise leave individuals free to determine their own affairs to the maximum extent possible in the defense of liberty.

Congress should take the following six steps to reduce the size and scope of the federal government, Boccia writes: Continue Reading »

These 5 Photos from Heritage Members Will Be Featured in Heritage’s 2015 Calendar

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In Other Work of Note

In early November, The Heritage Foundation will mail our 2015 calendar to all 600,000 Heritage members. And for the first time, this year’s calendar will feature photos taken by Heritage members and supporters.

The 2015 calendar will feature images that tell the story of what we love about America, the things we do outside of government in the cities and towns and countryside where we live, that make us the people we are. So we decided to ask our members for photos they’ve taken that match this theme.

More than 130 Heritage supporters submitted 282 photos in response to our call for submissions earlier this year. Our creative team, who produces the calendar, carefully reviewed all submissions and picked the five photos below.

Watch your mailbox for your Heritage calendar in mid-November!

Here are the photos selected:

January: Sandy Seaman–Austin, TX

Denali National Park, Alaska. Photo: Sandy Seaman

Denali National Park, Alaska Continue Reading »

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