How to Respond to North Korea’s Sony Hack

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In Heritage Work

North Korean Leader Kim-Jong Un     Credit: Yonhap News/YNA/Newscom

North Korea’s suspected hack of Sony Pictures, and the subsequent withdrawal of “The Interview” from theaters, was a blow against freedom.

“A tin-pot dictator was able to dictate what can be said in America,” Heritage’s Steve Bucci writes. “Our freedom of expression, guaranteed by our Constitution, has been abridged because of Kim Jung-un’s wounded pride. Freedom lost.”

So what do we do now? Rather than using North Korea’s suspected hack of Sony Pictures as a reason for new government regulations on cybersecurity, we should focus on resisting North Korean aggression through further sanctions and other measures to show we do not tolerate such attacks.

Heritage expert Bruce Klinger has previously explained how the U.S. should isolate North Korea’s regime:

The new Senate could instead be more amenable to imposing additional punitive measures on Pyongyang, particularly after another North Korean provocation. Such measures could include supporting the House-initiated North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2014 (H.R. 1771) as a way of pressing President Obama to enforce U.S. laws more fully.

Read more about the Sony Pictures cyber hack here and here.

What steps do you think the U.S. should take in response to the hack?

Right-to-Work Laws Help Workers and Put a Leash on Unions

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Credit: Jim West/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Right-to-work laws make union dues voluntary. Without them, unions require that all contracted workers pay union dues, whether they want to join the union or not.

Unions have constructed several myths meant to cast right-to-work laws in a bad light.

Myth: Right to work laws prohibit unions.

Fact: Right-to-work laws make union dues voluntary. 

Myth:   Right-to-work laws lower wages.

Fact: Workers have the same or higher buying power in right-to-work states. 

Myth: Right-to-work laws divide Americans.

Fact: Americans overwhelmingly support right-to-work laws.

Read Heritage Foundation expert James Sherk’s full list of myths and facts about right-to-work laws for more.

Do you support right-to-work laws? Why or why not?

Chart: Almost One Trillion of Your Tax Dollars Are Spent on Welfare

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In Heritage Work

One huge chunk of federal spending that needs to be brought under control is the cost of welfare programs. The 1964 “War on Poverty” marked the beginning of taxpayer money being funneled to fight poverty. Fifty years later, spending on anti-poverty programs has skyrocketed–and has made no progress in actually ending poverty.

Welfare reform is an essential part of cutting spending and getting debt under control. Read more about The Heritage Foundation’s plan to reform welfare and reduce out-of-control government waste.

 Do you think we need another round of welfare reforms?

Here’s What the Daily Schedule of a Heritage Expert Looks Like

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In Heritage Work

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a Heritage expert is like? Take a look at Norbert Michel’s daily schedule to see how your support is being put to use.

Daily Schedule:

7:00 am – In the office, bright-and-early. Check Twitter, Facebook, The Daily Signal, Wall Street Journal and Politico Pro for the latest news.

8:00 – 9:00 am – Final draft of new Backgrounder showing how bipartisan “reform” measure in the Senate is fatally flawed. More proof that Democrats and Republicans get housing finance issues wrong. Very important for Heritage to lead the way to the right solutions. Continue Reading »

Six Questions with David Azerrad: Why First Principles Are the Basis for Everything Heritage Does

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In Heritage Work

David Azerrad

David Azerrad

At The Heritage Foundatiomn, there’s a unifying force for every public policy question: the First Principles established by America’s Founding Fathers. We asked David Azerrad, director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, for his insights on what First Principles mean for Heritage, our supporters, and our great nation.

How would you define First Principles?

First Principles are the bedrock principles that guide our thinking. For any worldview there must be a North Star from which you take your bearings. First Principles are conservatives’ North Star—timeless guiding principles on the basis of which we address specific policy questions. Continue Reading »

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?

Take a Measure of the Nation: The Index of Culture and Opportunity

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In Heritage Work

Want to know how much the marriage rate has dropped in the past decade? Or the degree to which self-sufficiency has declined in America? Did you know that the abortion rate and the rate of violent crime have both decreased?

You can find this information and more in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Culture and Opportunity – a new tool to help you expand your knowledge of the cultural health of our nation.

This unique resource features charts that track changes in 31 key economic and social factors in American society, as well as commentary from numerous experts that explains the trends.

This is information you can use to prepare for any conversation—whether at a town hall meeting with a politician or at the dinner table with friends and family—about the future of this great nation.

Find the facts and figures you’re looking for in the Index of Culture and Opportunity.

Cut Spending to Cut the Debt

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In Heritage Work

As lawmakers debate the $1.1 trillion business-as-usual “Cromnibus” spending bill, we should reexamine how the federal government spends your money.

The solution is simple: Congress should cut spending to rein in the runaway federal debt, according to a new Heritage Foundation report.

That’s because spending growth is the real driver of future deficits. Spending, especially spending on health care and Social Security,  is expected to grow by 66 percent over the next decade.

Heritage Foundation experts recommend:

Lawmakers should eliminate waste, duplication, and inappropriate spending; privatize functions better left to the private sector; and leave areas best managed on a more local level to states and localities. Most important, Congress should reform the entitlement programs so that they become more affordable and benefit those with the greatest need.

What would you cut from the federal budget?

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?

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.

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