Paul Ryan’s New Budget: The Path to Prosperity

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In Heritage Work

On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his budget for the federal government in 2013. Dubbed the Path to Prosperity, the plan trims spending, reforms taxes and looks to market-based reforms to health care entitlement programs—all key elements of The Heritage Foundation’s Saving the American Dream budget plan.

The Ryan budget is a tremendous improvement over liberal plans, including President Obama’s 2013 proposal, say Alison Fraser, who directs Heritage’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and Patrick Louis Knudsen, a senior Heritage budget expert. The Senate has not released a budget proposal in several years.

» Ryan will be speaking about his plan at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Watch live online.

A successful federal budget, Fraser and Knudsen argue, should:

  • Cut spending sharply and quickly
  • Begin decisive entitlement reform
  • Avoid tax hikes
  • Ensure a strong national defense
  • Include pro-growth tax reforms
  • Move swiftly towards a balanced budget

According to Fraser and Knudsen, “Ryan’s budget is not perfect. Few consensus political documents can be.” Continue Reading »

How Heritage and Heritage Action Helped Stymie a Bad Natural Gas Proposal

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In Heritage Work

Natural gas flame. Photo: Flickr/Anders Adermark

Natural gas is a key energy source--and some lawmakers want to distort its market. Photo: Flickr/Anders Adermark

Last Tuesday, the Senate defeated a misguided measure that would have granted massive new subsidies for natural gas-powered vehicles.

This victory resulted in part from work by The Heritage Foundation and our sister organization, Heritage Action for America, to explain the flaws with the New Alternatives to Give Americans Solutions (NATGAS) Act.

Heritage energy expert Nicolas Loris explains the bill’s shortcomings:

By providing preferential tax treatment to subsidize the production, use, and purchase of [natural gas vehicles] as well as supporting infrastructure, the government picks NGVs as a winner at the expense of all the other applications for natural gas. The stated goal of the bill is to promote transportation-fuel competition and reduce foreign oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. It does neither.

“These subsidies create a dependence on government and do not allow producers to recognize the full costs of entering the market,” Loris writes with Heritage’s David Kreutzer in a post on the Foundry. “They centralize power in Washington and allow lobbyists and politicians to decide what companies will produce. They concentrate benefits to the industry and disperse the costs to the rest of us.” Continue Reading »

Obama Administration Regulations Cost the Economy Tens of Billions Annually

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In Heritage Work

During the first three years of President Obama’s administration, 106 major new federal regulations alone imposed than $46 billion per year in new costs on Americans.

This is quadruple the number of major regulations issued by President Bush’s administration over his first three years, and more than five times the cost.

And that’s not all. Hundreds more such regulations are in the pipeline. Continue Reading »

Heritage Experts Get at the Facts Underlying the February Jobs Report

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In Heritage Work

Click to enlarge.

The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment remains at 8.3 percent.

Encouragingly, the private-sector saw the biggest growth, with 233,000 new jobs, while government employment decreased by 6,000. The labor force participation also increased by 0.2 percentage points.

Despite this good news, Heritage Foundation economists Rea Hederman and James Sherk report, the economic recovery is still slower than previous recoveries and better policies are needed to allow economic activity to reach its full potential:

In the context of an already good economy, February’s employment figures would be excellent news. In the context of the recovery from the worst recession of the postwar era, they are only encouraging. Certainly, job growth is better than continued stagnation, but the U.S. economy has great underlying resilience. It will eventually recover from a recession. The important questions are how long until that happens and how quickly the economy grows.

Read their full analysis here.

To ensure growth, Hederman and Sherk urge the government to skip the massive tax hikes set to go into effect after December 31. They encourage policymakers to instead enact pro-growth policies by reducing regulations and tax hikes.

Are you confident job growth will continue?

Podcast: Kim Holmes on Obama Doctrine

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In Heritage Work

Click here to listen to this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast, in which Dr. Kim Holmes discusses the Obama Doctrine on foreign policy. David Weinberger hosts. To get regular updates on Heritage in Focus podcasts, visit our RSS feed or subscribe on iTunes.

To listen to more Heritage Foundation podcasts, visit our podcast page.

10 Provisions in Obamacare That You May Have Not Heard Of

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In Heritage Work

Obamacare has been in the news a lot lately.

Most recently, it came out that the Obama administration is imposing an anti-conscience mandate requiring all religious employers to provide insurance covering contraception — including abortion-inducing drugs — thereby trampling upon their constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of religion.

But the anti-conscience mandate is just the latest harmful policy revealed within Obamacare.

On The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation’s Alyene Senger points out 10 additional bad provisions that most people are completely unaware of: Continue Reading »

Inside a Terrorist’s Plea Bargain

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In Heritage Work

Guantanamo Bay

The plea deal between the government and a terrorist detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “is a significant milestone in the war against terror,” says Heritage Foundation legal scholar Charles Stimson.

Majid Khan’s plea deal, in which he agreed to testify against other terrorists, may mean more trials and more guilty pleas by terrorists, Stimson argues. The government followed a similar model in taking down the Gambino crime family in New York.

Khan pleaded guilty  to charges of conspiracy, murder, support for terrorism, and spying before a military commission. In exchange for his plea and cooperation in testifying against future detainees, he will receive a prison sentence capped at 25 years.

But how did this extraordinary plea agreement come to pass?

Stimson explains:

After the 9/11 attacks, Khan, who had graduated from Owings Mills High School in Baltimore, traveled to Karachi, Pakistan, to “explore the possibility of entering Afghanistan and understanding jihad from close terrorist associates.

Once in Pakistan, an unnamed co-conspirator introduced Khan to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Khan told KSM that his family owned gas stations in the United States, and they discussed a plot to blow up underground gasoline storage tanks at gas stations in the United States and poison water reservoirs. KSM ordered Khan to attend training on explosive device detonators and timers and then return to Baltimore in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Continue Reading »

Video: Setting Biden Straight on Obamacare’s Anti-Conscience Mandate

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In Heritage Work

As the Obama administration reels from the backlash against the anti-conscience mandate packaged inside Obamacare, Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd last week at the University of Iowa that the Administration has a “new” version of the mandate that respects religion. Unfortunately, that version is neither “new” nor respectful of religious liberty.

To set the record straight, The Heritage Foundation’s Sarah Torre and Brandon Stewart have put together a point-counterpoint response to the Vice President’s remarks.

Watch the video above, and click here to learn more about the anti-conscience mandate.

The Truth Behind the High Gas Prices

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In Heritage Work

With the national average price of gasoline $3.60 or higher, many are wondering why gas prices have jumped 20 cents just one month’s time. Gas prices in California and New York have already surpassed the $4 per gallon mark and relief is not in sight.

Last week, President Obama addressed the issue of rising gas prices. He took many facts out of context and suggested he wants to micromanage the solution from Washington.

In a new analysis, The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris lays out the five half truths in the President’s speech:

  • Half-truth #1: Oil production is the highest it has been in eight years.
  • Half-truth #2: Increasing oil production takes too long and would not impact the market for at least a decade.
  • Half-truth #3: Oil is not enough. America has only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.
  • Half-truth #4: Oil is not enough. The country needs an “all-of-the-above” approach to reduce its dependence on oil.
  • Half-truth #5: Speculators are driving up the price of gas, and they need to be reined in.

Continue Reading »

Video: Obamacare’s Impact on Religious Liberty

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In Heritage Work


Most Americans agree: our health care system needs reform. But not the sort of changes enacted under Obamacare. The health care law’s one-size-fits-all scope centralizes America’s health care decisions in Washington.

With the administration’s new mandate that religious institutions provide free contraceptives and abortifacients, religious liberty is the latest victim of Obamacare. That’s why several institutions, from colleges to churches, joined forces to fight against the anti-conscience mandate. President Obama’s “accommodation” does nothing to resolve the moral matter, since the institutions and their employees still foot the bill.

Click here to watch The Heritage Foundation’s new video, Religious Liberty: Obamacare’s First Casualty, to learn more about this issue.

At Heritage, we have an entire website dedicated to the negative impact of Obamacare. From how it affects patients and doctors to how it harms the families of future generations.

Check out the new-and-improved website here.

The right way to move America forward starts with repealing Obamacare. From there, Congress can implement principled, conservative solutions that address the problems millions of Americans face under the current system. In a one-size-fits-all system, everyone loses.

Share with us in the comments: how will Obamacare impact your life? 

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