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

Leave a Comment

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’

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

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?

Another Reason to Eliminate the Ex-Im Bank

5 comments

In Heritage Work

Export-Import Bank Chairman Ed Hochberg

Export-Import Bank Chairman Ed Hochberg

Early next week, Congress is expected to pass a short-term funding bill that would include an extension of the charter for the Export-Import Bank. While most news media has focused on the timing of the bill and how it affects the likelihood of the death of Ex-Im, Heritage Foundation expert Bryan Riley points out that the bank is “a classic case of cronyism.”

He outlines his common-sense argument for why the agency needs to be allowed to expire in a new report:

Reauthorizing the Ex–Im Bank would do absolutely nothing to encourage other countries to reduce their export subsidies. A better approach would be to encourage China, the United States, and the European Union to adhere to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, which limit the use of all export subsidies.

Ex-Im supporters are attracted to retaliatory export credit subsidies to counter those in place by other countries. This means that if China subsidizes their auto and aerospace industries, then it makes sense for America to do the same in order to level the playing field. But Heritage’s Bryan Riley points out that these export credit subsidies are in and of themselves destructive, calling it “a classic case of cronyism.”

Read more about why Riley thinks Ex-Im should expire.

Do you think the Ex-Im bank should expire? Tell us in the comments.

 

Do you think the Ex-Im bank should expire? Tell us in the comments.

How ISIS Makes $100 Million Every Month from Oil

20 comments

In Heritage Work

ISIS’s control of oil fields in Iraq and Syria is making it difficult for those countries to work with the United States to “degrade and ultimately destroy”  ISIS. Not only does their grip on oil production affect U.S. strategy, the brutal terrorist organization uses that oil wealth to help finance its terror operations.

And the profit margin isn’t small. The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness writes:

According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria.

By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.

This amounts to nearly $100 million each month allowing ISIS to, as Heritage expert James Phillips explains, have a “solid economic base that sustains its continued expansion.” In order to succeed in destroying ISIS, the U.S. and its allies need to work “intently on cutting the oil revenues that make up a large portion of that funding,” Phillips concludes.

Do you think the President Obama’s top priority in stopping ISIS should be to cut its cash flow from the oil production?

President Obama’s Response to the ISIS Crisis Is Critical

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

Later today President Obama will give a highly-anticipated speech on how he plans to handle the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. This speech should give insight into what the “Obama Doctrine” really is.

The Heritage Foundation would hope for three clear policies to be outlined in this speech. First, that President Obama will take steps to protect the United States from any domestic threats originating from the Islamic State. Second, that he is firm about the goal of driving ISIS out of Iraq. And last, that he will seek authorization for any military action that will occur.

Given the President’s admission last week that he had no strategy yet for combatting ISIS, it is imperative that some sort of congressional oversight is in place.

Heritage expert Elizabeth Slattery recently wrote:

Now is not the time for Congress and the president to engage in a turf war over who is in charge when it comes to dealing with the threats posed by ISIS. The administration must develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, communicate that strategy to the American people and Congress, and then work with Congress to accomplish that task.

In 2007 then-Senator Obama said, “It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.” However, in March 2011, President Obama did not seek any congressional authorization for military action in Libya.  If this is a precedent, it is reasonable to suspect that the President will not seek authorization for his military actions against ISIS. This would be a mistake.

Tell us what you think in the comments: How should President Obama handle the ISIS threat?

An Exclusive First Look at a Heritage Expert’s Newest Book

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

Heritage Foundation expert Mike Gonzalez’s newest book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans,” hits bookstores today.

Here’s the Daily Signal’s exclusive first look at his book, including an excerpt.

The early reviews are positive. Here’s what William McGurn has to say in the New York Post:

Now he has put his thoughts together in an extraordinary book called “A Race for the Future,” which goes on sale Tuesday. It’s Paul Ryan’s economics and Charles Murray’s sociology applied to the Hispanic experience.

His argument? That the American future conservatives hope for will largely depend on the future of Hispanic America.

Gonzalez comes out swinging. The whole concept of “Hispanic,” he points out, didn’t even exist before the 1970s.

It is an artificial identity, created by the federal government to paper over the huge differences among Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Mexicans, Guatemalans and lump them into one category.

Be sure to order your copy today!

 

 

How Overcriminal‌ization Threatens Liberty

1 comment

In Heritage Work

There’s a looming problem in America’s federal criminal justice system that “gravely threatens the liberty of ordinary citizens. It’s called overcriminalization.

The problem, law professor Stephen Smith writes in a new Heritage report, “is not simply that too many criminal laws are on the books, but that they are poorly defined in ways that give unwarranted sweep to the criminal law, raising the danger of punishment absent or in excess of moral blameworthiness.”

Congress has created, on average, 56 new federal crimes each year since 2000. This has contributed injustices “that federal prosecutors have committed against people who had no reason to know their actions were wrongful, much less illegal.”

While awareness of this problem is growing, legislation to properly deal with the problem has yet to be written. Smith explains an alternative solution: Continue Reading »

We Need Less Government in the Housing Market, Not More

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

The federal government should be less involved in the housing market moving forward, Heritage Foundation experts Norbert Michel and John Ligon argue in a new report on housing finance and free enterprise.  The authors go on to explain,

Free markets promote affordable housing, but the federal government has increasingly intervened in housing finance for decades. Housing finance reform will be successful only if policymakers recognize the flaws of previous interventionist policies and embrace the basic principles inherent in a free market.

They argue for a housing policy “that promotes individual economic freedom and affordable homeownership,” and lay out five policies to achieve that goal: Continue Reading »

No Easy Fixes in Iraq, But Action Is Necessary Nonetheless

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

Iraq is a mess. Caught between sectarian friction and open conflict with ISIS, Iraq is in need of serious support. But how can the U.S. help? And how much of a threat is ISIS? What will be Iraq’s future?

At a recent Heritage Foundation event, these questions were specifically addressed. The event, moderated by Heritage fellow Peter Brookes, brought together some of the top experts on military affairs and the Middle East, including Heritage’s Steve Bucci, Stephen J. Hadley, and Mary Habeck. Continue Reading »

Ferguson, MO and Our Overmilitarized Police Force

Leave a Comment

In Heritage Work

Preserving law and order is an essential role of government. The ongoing demonstrations and subsequent police crackdowns in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked a debate about whether military-style police tactics are the right approach.

Although introduced into police departments to deal with exceptional circumstances,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Evan Bernick reports, “the use of military hardware and tactics soon expanded.”

He continues: “While enforcing laws and stopping violent criminals are essential, routine use of military hardware and tactics in nonviolent situations has inflicted substantial unnecessary damage on persons and property.”

We need to take steps to scale back the use of military hardware and tactics in contexts where they are plainly inappropriate while ensuring that law enforcement can still respond with overwhelming force when necessary.”

Do you think police should routinely use military hardware and tactics?

« Older Entries

What You'll Find Here

  • Heritage Impact - Reports on how Heritage is changing the debate in Washington, in the media, and around the country.
  • Heritage Work - Updates on Heritage Foundation research, analysis and other work to advance conservative principles in Washington and around the country.
  • Member Stories - Profiles of Heritage Foundation members from around the nation featuring their stories and why they support Heritage and conservative ideas.
  • Other Work of Note
  • Member Events