Infographic: Here’s Where Your Tax Dollar Went

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Where did your tax dollar go?

The lion’s share of the federal budget is spent on entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as this chart from Heritage’s 2014 Federal Budget in Pictures makes clear.

This means that any serious attempt to rein in out-of-control federal spending must reform these programs, spending on which continues to grow out of control.

Including income security programs, government social spending now accounts for 64 percent of the federal budget. That leaves little money for other important programs like defense readiness.

What do you think about this graphic? Where should the government cut back its spending?

Defeating ISIS Requires a Strategy. Congressional Approval Would Help Too.

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The Obama administration needs to develop a comprehensive coordinated strategy for defeating ISIS terrorists. Congress must closely analyze whether ISIS, as a legal matter, falls under the 2001 AUMF (authorization for use of military force) given the historical ties between ISIS and al Qaeda.  And if ISIS does not fall under the 2001 AUMF then Congress and the administration must craft an ISIS-specific authorization for use of military force, Heritage Foundation expert Cully Stimson writes in a new report.

The administration “must develop a comprehensive, overarching strategy to confront and ultimately defeat this enemy,” Stimson argues. “Working with our partners and allies and the countries in the region that are most affected by ISIS, the United States must do what it traditionally has done: lead.”

He continues:

The vibrant debate among legal scholars regarding the domestic and international law basis for U.S. military action against ISIS is partly due to the fact that the Administration has yet to provide the public with a clear, comprehensive legal analysis of its power to use military force against ISIS. As a general principle, when a President puts our troops in harm’s way for a sustained period of time, it is advisable for him to propose, consult with, and obtain express authorization from Congress. That consultation and debate should be public, not buried in a continuing resolution or other must-pass legislation. Sending our troops into war requires a sober, deliberate debate that is not influenced by electoral politics.

Do you think the administration needs explicit authorization from Congress to fight ISIS?

What the Motor Voter Act Has to Do with Election Fraud

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Newscom

Millions of ineligible and invalid registrations pollute American voter rolls, J. Christian Adams writes in a new Heritage Foundation report.

This is in part because the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, popularly known as the Motor Voter Act, has been used largely by liberal interests.

“For most of the history of the law, enforcement actions have been directed against election officials who sought to clean voter rolls and against states for insufficiently pushing voter registration among entitlement recipients,” Adams writes.

The law also empowered liberal activist groups, he continues: Continue Reading »

Infographic: Obamacare’s Rising Taxes Hurt Americans

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In Heritage Work

Obamacare taxes in billions of nominal dollars. Sources: Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.

Obamacare imposes massive new taxes that will total nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years. These taxes on income and investment will slow the economy, making American families and businesses worse off.

Learn more about this infographic and browse through others in Heritage’s 2014 Federal Budget in Pictures.

Is Obamacare really the insurance plan for the hard-working middle class American? 

Here’s What the U.S. Should Focus Its U.N. Agenda Around

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In Heritage Work

The 69th United Nations General Assembly is underway. And while the body is discussing some matters of huge importance to the United States, like fighting ISIS and controlling Ebola, the U.S. could do more to drive the agenda.

“The U.S. seems to be ignoring most of the key matters that the UNGA actually has within its authority,” Heritage Foundation expert Brett Schaefer explains, “such as blocking the election of Venezuela to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) or seeking budgetary restraint and improved whistleblower protections.”

Since most “UNGA resolutions are non-binding and offer little more than rhetorical support,” Schaefer argues it would be beneficial to discuss matters that actually fall under UNGA authority.

Schaefer recommends that the General Assembly focus instead on: Continue Reading »

How Higher Fast-Food Wages Could Hurt Fast-Food Jobs–and Hike the Cost of Your Food

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The union-led push for a $15 wage at fast-food restaurants would reduce sales and profits at fast food restaurants, cost jobs, and drive up the cost of fast food meals, Heritage Foundation economist James Sherk reports.

Some workers would come out ahead from a $15 fast-food wage: those with the most experience and the highest efficiency. Sadly, marginal workers–including those with the worst alternatives and the fewest marketable skills–would be left behind,” Heritage’s Salim furth points out.

Minimum Wage Hike Would Hurt Fast-Food Restaurants

Without major operational changes, fast-food restaurants would have to raise prices by 38 percent while seeing their profits fall by 77 percent,” Sherk explains. “This would cause many restaurants to close and many others to make extensive use of labor-saving technology—eliminating many of the entry-level jobs that inexperienced workers need to get ahead. “

Do you think fast-food restaurants should be made to pay their workers more?

Infographic: Every Baby Born Today Has a $39,500 Debt

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In Heritage Work

national debt burden

Thanks to our government’s inability to spend within its means, a baby born today will shoulder $39,500 worth of debt. And by the time that child is graduated from college, his share of the U.S. debt will be a sickening $142,000.

See more charts like this at Heritage’s 2014 Federal Budget in Pictures. 

Do you think it’s time for the government to cut spending and rein in the debt?

Infographic: More States are Rejecting Common Core

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More States Rejecting Common Core

More and more states are withdrawing from participation in Common Core, the one-size-fits-all education scheme pushed by the federal government.

Widespread frustration with Common Core–parents, teachers, and students alike are pushing back–is leading more states to take back their education autonomy.

Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke explains that Ohio is the latest state to buck the standards.

What do you think of this push back against Common Core?

The Truth About Thomas Piketty That Liberals Don’t Want to Hear

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In Heritage Work

Economist Thomas Piketty made headlines earlier this year–and gave comfort to liberals–with a provocative new book predicting permanently-rising inequality and recommending massive wealth transfers.

The problem is, Heritage Foundation economists Curtis Dubay and Salim Furth write in a new report, Piketty’s claims rest on dubious premises. In fact, “almost nothing in Capital in the Twenty-First Century can be usefully applied to policymaking.”

You can use this chart to rebut liberals who use Piketty to defend their claims:

What do you think are the best arguments you use when debating liberals?

The EPA Tried to Redefine H2O. Heritage Explained Why Congress Should Say ‘No’

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EPA Clean Water Act opposition

Wisconsin farmers fight against the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’ proposed rule. (Photo: American Farm Bureau Federation via Facebook)

Earlier this year, the EPA announced that it would unilaterally expand its authority under the Clean Water Act, vastly extending the scope of regulated waters. Fortunately, the House of Representatives has now passed legislation to stop the EPA, and The Heritage Foundation helped make this victory happen.

The EPA’s proposal would give the agency unprecedented power in regulating water on private property. Ranchers, farmers, and private property owners across the nation were alarmed to hear that everything from navigable rivers down to man-made ditches and dry creek beds would now be subject to EPA scrutiny under the CWA.

Heritage Foundation expert Daren Bakst has taken the lead in educating Congress and the public about the negative effects of the EPA’s broad redefinition of its authority. Over the past several months, he has written numerous issue briefs, hosted discussion panels, and presented policy solutions to lawmakers. He explained the core of the problem in a report this summer:

This water (and land) grab is an attack on property rights. Private property owners would need to obtain permits from the federal government far more often than they already do now when seeking to use and enjoy their land. There has been widespread opposition to the rule from everyone from farmers to counties, which are concerned that the rule will impose costly new requirements on them.

The House of Representatives agreed. The new bill, if adopted by the Senate and signed into law, will prohibit the EPA from moving forward with its power grab and ensure that private property owners are not subject to burdensome government over-regulation. Do you think the House was right to limit the EPA’s powers?

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