Another Big-Government, Big-Spending Budget from President Obama

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In Heritage Work

Photo Courtesy of whitehouse.gov

Not only is President Obama’s proposed budget for 2015 a month late, but it’s also unrealistic, Heritage Foundation experts report. It’s more of the same tax-and-spend liberalism:

  • Spending would go from $3.5 trillion in 2013 to nearly $6 trillion in 2024.
  • Debt borrowed in credit markets (public debt) would grow from $12 trillion in 2013 to $19 trillion in 2024.
  • The national debt, including debt owed to government agencies, would grow from $17.3 trillion today to $25 trillion in 2024.
  • The President’s budget includes about $1 trillion in new spending, partly offset by other spending cuts, and about $1.2 trillion in tax increases.

Here’s more from the Heritage analysis: Continue Reading »

This Costly Mandate Would Make Your Doctor Fill Out Oddly Specific Paperwork When You Get Sick

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Reuters

The “doc fix” bill sent to President Obama for his signature Tuesday contained an important provision to delay a costly new medical mandate from going into effect, Heritage Foundation expert Robert Moffit argues in a new report.

A federal rule would require many doctors to switch to a new method for classifying medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures by October 1. The new classification, known as ICD-10, would replace the existing 18,000 codes with 155,000 entries—creating headaches and costs for doctors.

Moffit explains the oddly specific nature of the new codes, which he urges Congress to delay or even scrap:

A number of [codes] have been highlighted in popular journalistic accounts, including codes for injuries sustained in a collision with a bicycle, while knitting and crocheting or gardening and landscaping, or in a collision with a balloon. Codes are also assigned to cases where a patient has been bitten by a parrot, injured in a spacecraft collision, or sucked into a jet engine.

There are even separate codes for injuries at museums, art galleries, music halls, theaters, and opera houses.

Doctors already spend 22 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork. The switch to ICD-10 can only make matters worse.

Do you think the federal government should require doctors to use the new system?

How to Fix President Obama’s Misguided International Affairs Budget

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In Heritage Work

Photo: United Nations

Heritage Foundation expert Brett Schaefer has identified eleven critical ways Congress can fix President Obama’s unrealistic budget for foreign affairs.

Schaefer’s proposed fixes include: increased oversight over the United Nations; reversing the massive increase in spending on foreign affairs; trimming spending on climate change initiatives; prohibiting funding for U.N. organizations that grant full membership to the Palestinians; and capping U.S. contributions to United Nations peacekeeping.

Find out what else is on the list.

Do you think the President’s budget is misguided?

China’s Threat to Take Over a Democratic Ally Puts American Interests at Risk

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In Heritage Work

Marines of the People's Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)) stand at attention as Commander, Pacific Fleet Rear Adm. Gary Roughead greets them following a demonstration of the brigade's capabilities.

Photo: navy.mil

It may be too late to prevent Russia from taking over Crimea, but there is still plenty that can be done to protect one of the U.S.’s staunchest allies from being annexed by China.

How to defend Taiwan and promote America’s interests in Asia is the focus of a new report by Heritage Foundation expert Dean Cheng.

Taiwan is a strategically important bulwark to China’s expansionism in the Pacific. And the Chinese government hasn’t been shy in expressing a clear desire to conquer the island. Continue Reading »

How Freeing the Energy Market Can Help Free Ukraine

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In Heritage Work

To help free Ukraine, the United States should free its energy markets, Heritage Foundation experts Nicolas Loris and Jack Spencer argue in a new report.

This policy, which wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything, would free Western Europe from dependence on Russian energy. Not only that, it would boost the economy here at home.

Russia has held the West hostage through its control of natural gas flowing into Europe. This effectively limits these countries’ ability to act in Ukraine.

Loris and Spencer identify three specific reforms that would end Russia’s monopoly of Europe’s energy market and limit Russia’s ability to use energy as a weapon: Continue Reading »

The Obamacare ‘Fix’ That Benefits Members of Congress

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In Heritage Work

Photo: whitehouse.gov

Obamacare requires members of Congress and their staffs to ditch their existing health care plans and purchase coverage through the law’s exchanges.

This provision has proved unpopular with lawmakers, who had become accustomed to paying as little as 28 percent of the cost of their premiums.

But the Obama administration feared that amending the law would open the door to other changes or even repeal. So President Obama created a loophole for his Congressional cronies so they can keep their taxpayer-funded plans.

Heritage Foundation legal experts Andrew Kloster and Joseph Morris explain what happened: Continue Reading »

The Obama Administration’s Most Abusive Executive Actions

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In Heritage Work

Photo: whitehouse.gov

Time and again, President Obama has stretched the limits of his executive powers, and the media has turned a blind eye.

To keep the public informed, Heritage Foundation experts have compiled a fact sheet listing his top ten most abusive executive actions.

The list includes unilateral Obamacare “fixes,” giving preferential treatment to illegal immigrants, side-stepping Senate approval when making appointments, and suspending welfare-to-work rules.

Find out what else is on the list.

Do you think the executive branch ought to be able to abuse the system in this way?

How to Get a Real All-of-the-Above Energy Policy

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In Heritage Work

A few years ago, President Obama announced what he called an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. In this year’s State of the Union address, he proclaimed it was working.

But the energy sector’s success comes in spite of the administration’s policies, not because of them, Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris argues: Continue Reading »

A Way to Start Fixing Higher Education

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In Heritage Work

Over the past few decades, the cost of college education has climbed, while the quality of education has declined.  This results, in part, from a accreditation regime that endorses the status quo and limits market competition.

Heritage Foundation education expert Lindsey Burke highlights one proposal that moves higher ed in the right direction by encouraging innovation and competition.  Sen. Mike Lee (R – UT) has introduced new legislation called The Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act, which would Continue Reading »

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