Heritage ‘one of the most influential forces’ shaping Trump transition

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A new article in Politico explains the extraordinary impact The Heritage Foundation and Heritage members are having on Donald Trump’s transition team:

[T]he Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, embedding the veteran Washington group into the operation of a candidate who ran loudly against the Beltway.

Part gate-keeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself, and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected.

Heritage is “absolutely the fulcrum, and essential to staffing the administration with people who reflect Trump’s commitments across the board,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the prominent Susan B. Anthony List group…

Heritage experts spent much of the past year preparing Mandate for Leadership, a series of reports outlining specific policies the new administration should enact. Heritage also helped craft a list of potential conservative Supreme Court appointees–and as Politico notes, “it’s hard to overstate the importance of that list.”

The Politico writeup also explains that Heritage helped build a “shadow transition team” by identifying conservatives who could serve in the administration:

Three sources from different conservative groups said that Heritage employees have been soliciting, stockpiling and vetting resumes for months with an eye on stacking Trump’s administration with conservative appointees across the government. One source described the efforts as a “shadow transition team,” and “an effort to have the right kind of people in there.”

What do you think of the transition so far? Tell us in the comments.

We Need Trade Without Government Regulation

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The conventional wisdom on the campaign trail is that trade deals like NAFTA have impoverished America. This couldn’t be further from the truth, Heritage economist Brian Riley explains on The Daily Signal.

Americans have benefited tremendously after NAFTA went into force, Riley points out:

U.S. income per person is much higher than when NAFTA took effect. Average income per person has actually increased more here than in Mexico.

U.S. manufacturing output is way up, and manufacturing workers make more money than ever…

That’s not to say that NAFTA single-handedly generated all these improvements. But it certainly didn’t inflict the damage that some politicians and other critics assert.

Not all trade deals are good deals, however. In a separate article, Riley points out that good deals expand free enterprise and limit government intervention. But we need to be wary of deals that expand regulations and limit sovereignty — rules like those British voters rejected when they voted last week to leave the European Union.

Heritage guidance on free enterprise and trade is being heard. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) tweeted last night about a Heritage report making the case from a decade ago:

Do you think the government should tax and regulate international commerce?

The Human Consequences of the Obama Administration’s Overtime Rules

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New overtime rules enacted by the Obama administration will have harmful consequences for small businesses and charities.

The change makes all salaried employees making $47,476 annually eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. This will lead employers to limit workers’ base salaries, more closely monitor employee work, and limit flexible work schedules, Heritage’s James Sherk predicts.

This isn’t just a prediction — real people are affected. Michigan business owner Rodney Kloha tells Heritage’s Daily Signal that he may “lose a guy who said he’s worked too many years to go back to being an hourly person”:

I’m in Michigan. It’s a rural area. We have [industry] and everything, but it’s not urbanized like Washington, D.C., or New York City. Salaries in the range of 35, 40, $50,000 are good wages. With my salaried people, we have an agreement that we come together on what the salary is and what’s expected to do the job. I don’t abuse them, and they don’t abuse their salaried position. My employees are seeing [the switch to hourly] as a demotion.

Find out more about the human consequences of this regulation in The Daily Signal.

Do you think the government should force companies to treat salaried workers like hourly employees?

‘Brexit’ Would Be Good for Britain–and for America

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Britain votes in a referendum this week on whether to endorse “Brexit”–leaving the European Union–or to remain in the EU. Heritage Foundation experts make a strong case for voting to leave.

Heritage Founder Ed Feulner:

The European Union is not the simple “open trading area” envisioned in the 1950s. It has become a bureaucratic monstrosity, unaccountable to national parliaments, imposing a heavy thumb on the regulatory scale of its 28 members…

So why leave? Because Britain, with the world’s oldest Parliament, can reassert its authority over and responsibility to its own people, their laws, customs and traditions — and so I can go into a pub and buy a pint of beer and not have to ask for “473 milliliters of beer.”

Many of the arguments against Brexit don’t hold water, Feulner explains. For example, there’s no reason to think the world’s fifth largest economy would suddenly be unable to trade with other nations.

In fact, Jim DeMint argues in The Daily Signal, “the Brexit would create an opportunity for a closer, reinvigorated alliance between the U.S. and U.K., boosting trade and investment between the two nations.”

There’s another big issue animating the Leave campaign, Heritage’s Ted Bromund points out: “since all EU citizens have the right to move to the UK, Britain can’t control immigration as long as it’s in the EU.”

Heritage experts will be in London on Thursday to provide conservative analysis of the historic vote.

Do you think Britain should vote to leave the European Union?

Liberal Lawmaker Says Heritage Runs the Senate

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The Heritage Foundation runs the United States Senate, one Democratic lawmaker says:

While Heritage doesn’t run the Senate, we have outlined a comprehensive agenda Senators can draw on: Solutions 2016 provides guidance on 40 separate issues covering both foreign and domestic policies. We have also provided lawmakers with a detailed budget plan for 2017 that cuts spending, reins in debt, and restores constitutional government.

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court List Includes Five Heritage Recommendations

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In March, Heritage legal scholar John Malcolm identified eight highly qualified candidates for the United States Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. These candidates all demonstrate a principled understanding of the Constitution and the role of the judiciary.

On Wednesday, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump identified his list of candidates for the high court–and five of them were drawn from Heritage’s list.

The five judges on both lists were federal Judges William Pryor, Diane Sykes, Steven Colloton, Raymond Gruender, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

Heritage has also recently briefed the Trump campaign on Heritage’s conservative solutions to poverty and national security. We will share our conservative policy solutions–including our comprehensive Solutions 2016 guide–with any candidate who asks.

America’s Airports Should Be Allowed to Use Private Screeners

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“It is time for Congress to rethink airport screening for a long-term solution,” Heritage’s David Inserra writes on The Daily Signal:

It’s time to allow the private sector to manage the screening line through the expansion of the Screening Partnership Program.

The Screening Partnership Program was created by Congress so airports could take advantage of private sector efficiency in the screening lines while still remaining under TSA oversight and security rules. One estimate by the House Transportation Committee found that switching the largest 35 airports to the program would save $1 billion over five years. It should come as no surprise that the private sector is better able to manage a workforce at lower cost, which means better staffing at airports.

Private screeners can deliver better security and better customer experience than federally-run TSA screeners, Inserra writes.

Do you think private screeners can improve airport security and resolve problems like long lines?

DeMint to Meet with Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

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Heritage President Jim DeMint will be meeting this week with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to discuss allegations of anti-conservative bias at the social network, DeMint writes in a Facebook post:

Leaders of other conservative organizations are going to be there as well. We’ve been invited to Facebook HQ in California to discuss concerns that Facebook has been showing bias against conservative news outlets and subject matter.

Even before these recent allegations surfaced, for years there were questions of whether conservative stories and authors were suppressed in the Facebook newsfeed.

The truth is that conservatives have been the strongest advocates for keeping the government from interfering with technological innovators like Facebook. We believe that as a private organization, Facebook can manage its algorithms however it wants. The government can’t—and shouldn’t—dictate “fairness” to Facebook, any more than it can force TV and radio stations to air certain views.

But Mr. Zuckerberg has made a public dedication to equal treatment and fair play. Millions of Americans, myself included, depend on that guarantee to discuss important issues and share stories that affect our country.

Nor is it only limited to Americans, whether liberal or conservative. There are over 1 billion active Facebook users across the globe, living under both free and oppressive regimes. It’s important that they get all the information they need to tackle the challenges and controversies of their daily lives.

That’s why I’m hoping for a fruitful discussion at Facebook.

Stay tuned.

Heritage’s New Book Is ‘a Devastating Indictment’ of Dodd-Frank

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Rather than dealing with the causes of the crisis,the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act exacerbated and compounded the economy’s existing ills.

That’s according to a new Heritage Foundation book, The Case Against Dodd-Frank, that includes analysis of the law and recommendations about how to repeal it from scholars across the conservative movement.

In an editorial, Investor’s Business Daily calls the book “a devastating indictment of the law”:

The book crushes the conventional media and liberal political narrative that deregulation was at the heart of the crisis. Based on that faulty notion, the 2007-2008 financial crisis was greeted with a chorus of big government types calling for more regulation. They got it, in the form of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Dodd-Frank, writes Mollie McNeill, a Heritage Foundation researcher, “polices everything from derivatives markets to payday lending, and it has (so far) burdened the U.S. economy with thousands of pages of rules.”

Those rules aren’t free. Dodd-Frank’s restrictions are now costing the economy hundreds of billions of dollars in lost potential output, jobs and profits.

Get your free digital copy of the whole book.

There’s More to Foreign Policy than Overseas Travel

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President Obama’s high-profile overseas visits serve only to highlight the deficiencies of his administration’s foreign policy, Heritage’s James Carafano writes in the Boston Herald.

This administration thought it could bring peace and stability in the world by backing off and giving space to accommodate others. But the Obama doctrine has largely proved a dud. Our foes and competitors have taken every place where he has given — and then they’ve looked for more…

Obama has traveled widely, yet accomplished little. It takes more than a massive carbon footprint to make friends, influence people and advance American interests overseas.

Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia was overshadowed by chaos in the Middle East, while he punctuated his trip to Britain by weighing in on the country’s upcoming European Union referendum.

Do you think the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been successful?

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