The Farm Bill Isn’t Just a Bill About Farms

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In Heritage Work

The farm bill is responsible for the dramatic increase and expansion of many subsidy programs. Worse, the debate over its renewal is often confused by unrelated programs tacked onto the legislation, Heritage Action for America CEO Mike Needham and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal.

Heritage Action is a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation.

The bill funds policies such as farm subsidies, crop insurance, and commodity quotas. But 80 percent of what has been marketed as a farm bill actually goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

Needham and Stutzman urge lawmakers to consider these different programs separately: Continue Reading »

Angelise Schrader: Educating Future Conservative Leaders

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In Other Work of Note

Angelise Schrader

Angelise Schrader

Moving from Hawaii to Washington, D.C. could be quite a difficult adjustment for anyone. However, Angelise Schrader’s passion for the conservative movement led her to make this transition eight years ago, and she hasn’t looked back.

“Hawaii is so different,” Schrader says. “The people there are very laid back. I have really enjoyed being in D.C. where everyone is busy working hard for what they believe in.”

Schrader originally moved to the mainland to attend Patrick Henry College, a conservative school outside of the nation’s capital. Before joining The Heritage Foundation, Schrader worked with Star Parker at the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, an organization that addresses issues of race and poverty with principles of freedom and personal responsibility.

Schrader currently works with Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, an initiative that promotes the conservative mission to the next generation through a variety of programs and opportunities for both students and young professionals. Continue Reading »

A Common Sense Approach to Regulation Reform

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In Heritage Work

 There is no doubt that federal regulations have increased over the past few years. Heritage Foundation policy expert James Gattuso explains:

106 new major regulations—each imposing $100 million or more in new costs on Americans—were adopted in the first three years of President Obama’s tenure…In dollar terms, the acceleration is even starker, with $46 billion in new burdens being assessed since January 20, 2009.

In an attempt to combat the economic burden of federal regulations, the House of Representatives passed legislation that aims to reduce the red tape. The major reform proposed by the House would ban the adoption of new regulations until our unemployment rate is less than 6 percent. While this freeze will not cure the economy, it sends a strong message to regulators that our economy does not need any more restrictions.

The freeze is one among many common sense changes that will help limit unnecessary burdens and promote economic growth. Click here to learn more about regulation reform.

Combined with other reforms already approved by the House, these reforms represent a major step toward limiting the regulatory burden on the economy, job creators and American consumers.

Do you think regulations are holding the economy back?

The Truth About ‘Outsourcing’ and the Real Fix for Our Economy

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In Heritage Work

Our nation’s unemployment rate is an important focus for the upcoming Presidential election. It’s also been a potent campaign tool, as both parties have accused the other of “outsourcing” and “sending jobs overseas.”

“Outsourcing” continues to make headlines. But an important question goes unaddressed: what are its real consequences?

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne, outsourcing opponents fail to understand “the reality of jobs in America, and the ways to bring even more jobs to the home front.” Continue Reading »

Why the Federal Reserve’s Operation Twist Is Unlikely to Work

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In Heritage Work

The Federal Reserve’s $267 billion expansion of Operation Twist, an effort to boost economic growth, is unlikely to be effective and should be suspended, Heritage Foundation economist J.D. Foster explains.

Operation Twist, he explains, is “the Federal Reserve’s latest effort to compensate, through monetary policy, for the failure of the Obama Administration’s fiscal and regulatory policies to stimulate the economy.”

With the U.S. economy languishing, the global economy struggling, and no help on the horizon from the President or Congress, Chairman Ben Bernanke understandably seeks to do something, indeed anything, to help. If nothing else, the Fed’s actions should put to rest any doubt President Barack Obama’s economic policies have failed. The Fed would not be driven to desperate measures if the President had pursued effective measures instead of a political agenda to grow the federal government and federal debt to European proportions.

But however well intentioned, the plan will likely be ineffective because it will add even more confusion and uncertainty to markets, Foster writes. Continue Reading »

How Israel Ortega Counters Liberal Bias in the Spanish-Language Media

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage's Israel Ortega, right, leads Heritage's efforts to educate Hispanic Americans about the importance of conservative ideas.

Heritage's Israel Ortega, right, leads Heritage's efforts to educate Hispanic Americans about the importance of conservative ideas.

Israel Ortega has made a career out of his two passions:  promoting conservative ideas and celebrating his Hispanic heritage.

As The Heritage Foundation’s chief spokesman to Spanish-language news media, Ortega is involved with communicating The Heritage Foundation’s message to America’s fastest-growing minority.

“This is a very impressionable demographic,” says Ortega. “If we don’t reach out to them, they are likely to become open to bigger government. We must focus on this group to advance the conservative movement.” Continue Reading »

How to Cut Health Care Costs While Maintaining Quality

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In Heritage Work

Health care spending is spiraling out of control in part because consumers are becoming “increasingly insulated from the costs of health care,” Heritage Foundation experts Kathryn Nix and Alyene Senger argue in a new report.

Third-party payment for health care means that many Americans are unaware of the full cost of their care, meaning they make decisions with little regard for cost.

Plans that put consumers in control of their health spending, known as consumer-directed health plans or CDHPs, offer a promising solution to bridging this information gap by enabling consumers to make more cost-conscious decisions about their health care. They provide comprehensive coverage by combining a high-deductible health plan with a tax-preferred health savings account (HSA) or an employer health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).

Consumer-directed health plans are becoming more attractive for good reason, Nix and Senger argue: Continue Reading »

Education Reform: Preparing Our Future Competitors

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In Heritage Work

 

As the world becomes increasingly more competitive, our country has struggled to adequately prepare its future competitors. Despite its efforts, millions of children each year fail to receive a quality education that puts them on a path to success.

The government has responded to this problem with increased funding that attempts to close the academic achievement gap, but we have not yet seen results: graduation rates have not changed, achievement gaps between white and minority children persist, and American students continue to rank in the middle when compared to their international peers.

Education experts Lindsey Burke and Jennifer Marshall from The Heritage Foundation elaborate on the issue:

Taxpayers will spend $120,000 on the average student entering kindergarten today before that student finishes high school. Families should have greater control of this investment. Giving families the power to choose safe and effective schools for their children will encourage the innovation and improvement that American education needs for the 21st century. It is time to move educational control out of Washington, D.C., and back to families and local communities.

The Heritage Foundation’s policy recommendations encourage success in schools while requiring less government involvement in education.

Click here to read more about Heritage’s solutions for education.

Do you think that public education adequately prepares America’s youth for the future?

Why the Declaration of Independence Still Matters 236 Years Later

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In Other Work of Note

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

While the Declaration of Independence formally declared our independence from Great Britain, it accomplished so much more. Its unique combination of general principles and government theory has resulted in an enduring nation.

With Independence Day just around the corner, it is important to be reminded of our Founding Fathers’ foresight and why the Declaration’s principles matter 236 years later.

“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,” drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was unanimously approved on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress.  In the second paragraph, the Declaration spells out the fundamental principles of American government: Continue Reading »

Candace Porter: The Master of Customer Service

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In Other Work of Note

Candace Porter

Candace Porter

When it comes to customer service, The Heritage Foundation’s Candace Porter is an expert. She is well known in the office for her warm, friendly smile and is always willing to help someone in any way that she can.

In addition to her work overseeing mail with Heritage’s nearly 700,000 members, Porter manages our customer service operations. Her goal, she says, is “to bring Heritage’s customer service to an elite status ranking.” It’s no wonder that she is so successful in the membership department, where she serves our members with a smile.

How important is smiling to her? Continue Reading »

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