Heritage Work Leads to Two Wins on Energy Policy

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In Heritage Impact

Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris

The House of Representatives rejected a big-government energy bill this week and approved an important reform to the Department of Energy’s national laboratories. Both conservative victories were inspired by Heritage Foundation research.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) had proposed legislation to “create a number of taxpayer-supported government programs to extract and recycle domestic rare earth minerals,” Heritage expert Nicolas Loris explains. A better solution than subsidies, Loris argues, would be to limit government restrictions on production and trade.

Thanks in part to Loris’ work to draw public attention to this proposal, and a key-vote against the bill by Heritage Action for America, Swalwell’s bill failed in the House.

Meanwhile, House lawmakers approved a bill from Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) that would pilot important reforms to the DOE’s national laboratories. Heritage experts have long been urging Congress to make these sorts of reforms (link in PDF) to enable the private sector to take advantage of basic research at these labs.

This is another example of how Heritage uses policy research and communications, as well as our partnership with the grassroots activists at Heritage Action, to win conservative victories.

Kudlow Credits Heritage on Ex-Im Bank Fight

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In Heritage Impact

Economist and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow credited The Heritage Foundation with leading the fight to end the Export-Import Bank:

Heritage’s Diane Katz explains how the Ex-Im Bank threatens American jobs. The bank, she explains, hurts “domestic companies that are left to compete against foreign firms bankrolled by the U.S. government.”

This Map Shows All the Unfriendly Regimes Your Tax Dollars Are Funding

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In Heritage Work

A new map from The Heritage Foundation shows exactly how much money taxpayers are sending to unfriendly regimes like Russia and China under the auspices of the Export-Import Bank.

Heritage’s Diane Katz makes the case for allowing the Ex-Im Bank to simply expire this fall.

What’s Really Wrong with the Food Stamps and Farm Subsidies Bill the House Just Passed

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In Heritage Work

Daren Bakst

Daren Bakst

By a vote of 251-166, the House of Representatives today passed a $956 billion bill to fund food stamps and subsidize farmers.

This bill is substantially worse than earlier versions of the legislation, one of which had followed Heritage Foundation suggestions to split the welfare and agriculture elements.

Heritage agriculture expert Daren Bakst explains how this handout-laden monstrosity came about in The Federalist: Continue Reading »

6,300 Dead Farmers Collected Farm Subsidies Over the Last Five Years

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In Heritage Work

Design Pics / Dave Reede/Dave Reede/Newscom

Farm subsidies have been controversial for some time. But surely no one can argue that dead farmers should collect taxpayers’ money.

Yet recent reports show that from 2008-2012 the U.S. Department of Agriculture handed out over $36 million to 6,300 dead farmers. The Heritage Foundation’s Diane Katz says this alarming figure is actually an improvement:

Taxpayers may take some solace from the fact that the number of expired payments has declined. For example, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), which oversees income subsidies and disaster payments, had paid a whopping $1.1 billion to 172,801 deceased farmers between 1999 and 2005.

There’s plenty of room to cut from wasteful agriculture programs. Heritage experts Daren Bakst and Romina Boccia proposed billions in specific cuts earlier this year.

Do you think Congress will ever act to rein in farm subsidies?

New Energy-Efficiency Law Would Give Handouts to Special Interests

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In Heritage Work

New energy-efficiency legislation “amounts to nothing more than handouts to companies in the energy-efficiency business at the taxpayers’ expense,” Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris writes.

The legislation, authored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–OH), would impose paternalistic new rules on Americans. It would also create new taxpayer-funded programs that “would benefit special-interest groups and promote corporate welfare.”

Lawmakers should avoid intervention in the markets, Loris explains: Continue Reading »

Your Tax Dollars Are Paying for Animated Squirrels

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In Heritage Work

Animated squirrel

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “California walnuts?” Apparently, for the federal government, it’s animated squirrels that fight a villain called “The Colesterator”.

This is just one of many strange projects the federal government has subsidized to bring attention to American agricultural products overseas. Heritage Foundation expert Daren Bakst has some data: Continue Reading »

Infographic: Where the Farm Bill Money Really Goes

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In Other Work of Note

The farm bill currently being debated isn’t really a farm bill at all. It’s more than 80 percent food stamps.

But even the farm portions of the bill aren’t what they seem. Heritage Foundation experts made this infographic to expose the truth. Share it on Facebook!

Infographic: Who Really Gets Farm Bill Money

Why the Farm Bill Is a ‘Tangle of Subsidies, Welfare Payments and Environmental Patronage’

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In Heritage Work

The 'farm bill' is 80% food stamps

Congress is currently debating the so-called “farm bill,” which Heritage Foundation experts Daren Bakst and Diane Katz call “a multi-billion-dollar tangle of agriculture subsidies, welfare payments, and environmental patronage.”

In fact, this legislation is really a food-stamp bill with farm programs tacked on. As Bakst and Rachel Sheffield explain, this approach allows urban and rural lawmakers to join forces to spend taxpayer money. Continue Reading »

Mike Gonzalez Explains the Liberal Disconnect on PBS Funding

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage Foundation vice president Mike Gonzalez explains the liberal mindset on funding PBS to US News:

There’s a reason liberals have taken up Big Bird as the face of public broadcasting and not, say, Bill Moyers. Mr. Bird is feathery and cuddly, while Moyers likes to compare American flag lapel pins to Mao’s Little Red Book. This is how the left undermines our institutions from within: make the effort appear homey and apple pie-ish. Show Big Bird, not Big Bill…

Only PBS and NPR journalists think they’re entitled to a conservative taxpayer’s dime. And this is the nub of the problem. How can an institution that represents the views of only the liberal half of the population, and only grudgingly acknowledges conservatives and their principles in passing, believe it has a claim on all taxpayers?

Do you think the federal government should continue to subsidize PBS?

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