Pro-Business Policies Aren’t the Same as Pro-Freedom Policies

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Genevieve Wood explains that being pro-business is not the same thing as favoring free enterprise:

Whether through outright lobbying for corporate welfare programs or backing down on onerous laws such as Obamacare, business lobbying groups, for all their talk about free markets and free enterprise and economic freedom, are too often ultimately not in the game for the American worker or individual entrepreneur on Main Street, but for the big guys on Wall Street.

Big business can afford all the lawyers, accountants, record-keepers, and lobbyists that are needed in an increasingly regulated and mandated business environment. The average worker and small business owner cannot. Many corporate giants don’t want a level playing field. Instead, they want to be the only players on the field. The Chamber and others will likely disagree, but their actions in Washington speak louder than words.

Do you think government policy should support business? Or should it support free enterprise? Tell us in the comments.

Video: The Pork-Laden Sandy Relief Bill

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In Heritage Work

A new Heritage Foundation video calls attention to the billions of dollars in earmarks and special-interest giveaways in the costly Hurricane Sandy aid legislation.

“The Senate’s version of the bill,” Heritage’s Ericka Andersen reports, “included notorious pork projects such as $100 million for Head Start, $150 million for fisheries in Alaska, $2 million to fix a Smithsonian roof, and $28 billion for future disaster-mitigation projects, among other things.”

Fortunately, conservatives in the House of Representatives have cut the bill down from $60 billion to $17 billion that includes only relief money. And they are proposing to cut $17 billion in other spending to pay for this emergency relief. If this proposal is enacted, Heritage budget expert Patrick Knudsen writes, it would, “refreshingly enough, prevent the legislation from increasing net spending, despite its ‘disaster’ and ‘emergency’ labels.”

Should Congress pass a relief bill without earmarks?

The Obama Administration’s Bloated Hurricane Sandy Aid Package

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In Heritage Work

Lawmakers from the northeast, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), are accusing Congress of being “selfish” for not holding a vote on a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill before lawmakers adjourned for the last time.

But as The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne reminds us, the law wasn’t really about helping the hurricane’s victims: Continue Reading »

Where to Cut Spending

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In Heritage Work

Money. Photo: Flickr/Logan Sakai

Photo: Flickr/Logan Sakai

Lawmakers often complain that while they favor cutting spending, they just can’t find any excess spending to trim. Fortunately, Heritage Foundation economist Alison Fraser has compiled a list of dozens of federal programs and initiatives that can be cut, saving taxpayers billions every year: Continue Reading »

Will Congress Repeal the Earmark Ban?

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In Other Work of Note

Special interest grease the skids of big government.

Special interest handouts and earmarks grease the skids of big government.

Some Republicans in Congress are looking to roll back the common-sense earmark ban conservatives imposed after the 2010 election.

They favor using an obscure type of legislation called a miscellaneous tariff bill to allow lawmakers to direct spending to individual companies or interest groups.

Mike Needham and Tim Chapman, CEO and COO of Heritage Action for America, explain the challenge with this approach:

Earmarks grease the skids by — for all intents and purposes — buying the votes of individual lawmakers who would not otherwise vote in favor of a specific bill. The $30 billion in taxpayer bailouts for the disastrous 2005 highway bill — with its 6,300 earmarks — should serve as a stark reminder for congressional Republicans of how disastrous policy can become law. . . .

In order to win big in November, conservatives must be committed to bold reforms that limit the size and scope of the federal government. Those reforms will never happen if Congress — and the members most naturally committed to limited government — return to business-as-usual legislating and self-dealing. Congress needs to live by the earmark moratorium it put in place and pursue the necessary goal of comprehensive tariff reduction.

Heritage Action is a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation.

What do you think? Should the earmark moratorium be continued? Tell us in the comments.

Heritage Investigation Leads to Lawsuit Against the White House

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In Heritage Impact

A public advocacy organization is suing the White House for failing to disclose its administrative earmarks, and cites a Heritage Foundation investigation as evidence.

Cause of Action, an organization that uses public advocacy to ensure transparency in government, announced its suit last week.

Heritage investigative reporter Lachlan Markay broke the news that the timing and allocation of administrative earmarks has been strikingly correlated to crucial congressional votes on the Obama administration’s liberal agenda.

Continue Reading »

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