Video: Jim Talent Explains China’s Threat to America

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In Heritage Impact

In remarks at The Heritage Foundation Monday, former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) explained the military threats posed by China and how the United States can respond to this aggression.

His remarks were part of the annual B.C. Lee Lecture, an annual event focusing on U.S.-Asia relations. The lecture is named in honor of the late B.C. Lee, the founder of Samsung and a generous sponsor of the Heritage Foundation.

Previous B.C. Lee lectures have been delivered by Henry Kissinger, Jesse Helms, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Lieberman, Ed Royce and many others.

At Heritage, John McCain Says New Secretary of Defense Will Have ‘No Influence’


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President Obama’s pick for secretary of defense, Ash Carter, will have a hard time penetrating the administration’s inner circle, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said last week at The Heritage Foundation.

Ash Carter will do a good job, he has bipartisan support, but he’s the last man standing. Others have obviously refused [the position]. The biggest problem is what three former secretaries of defense have said, remember, this is the fourth in six years, and it’s that he’ll have no influence. In other words, decision-making is within the hands of three or four people in the White House which has led to this debacle which is called our foreign policy today.

The White House has micromanaged the Defense Department, Heritage Foundation experts report. That’s not likely to change with a new secretary.

As the incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, McCain will preside over Carter’s nomination.

What do you think of President Obama’s pick to head the Department of Defense?

This Is How Congress Can Stop Obama’s Amnesty


In Heritage Work

President Obama’s executive order on immigration shields immigrants from deportation who have been in America for more than five years and have a child who is a legal resident. This amounts to around five million people. These people will be allowed to apply for work permits to the Department of Homeland Security.

Today’s vote on immigration in Congress is simply symbolic. Its purpose is merely to show President Obama that Congress disapproves of his amnesty plan for over five million illegal immigrants.

The more important vote will happen next week. This one will allow Congress to use its power of the purse to block programs associated with Obama’s amnesty executive order.

Here is The Heritage Foundation’s round up of the different ways Congress can block amnesty.

Congress has constitutional powers over appropriations, meaning it is acceptable and lawful for Congress to provide or deny taxpayer funds to any government programs and can determine the conditions under which money is spent.

But what if the federal agency is funded using fees, not taxpayer money? Congress still has the power of the purse. They can limit and determine how money is expended in any federal agency, regardless of where the money comes from. So although the Department of Homeland Security funds its immigration services through fees that it collects, Congress still has the final say on how this money is put to use.

Bottom Line: Congress has the power to govern all aspects of how federal money is used.

Should Congress defund President Obama’s unlawful executive order?

Obama’s Immigration Task Force Skips Assimilation


In Heritage Work

Photo: Pete Souza

President Obama’s “Task Force for New Americans” takes a fundamentally wrong approach to immigration,  The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez explains.

His initial memorandum makes no call for assimilation, and includes no concept of encouraging immigrants to see themselves as Americans first and members of ethnic groups second. And its calls for America to be like other advanced economies–which have themselves done a poor job of integrating new immigrants.

Most troubling is the tight-knit relationship between the administration and La Raza, a far-left group that emphasizes ethnic division rather than national unity. President Obama appointed La Raza’s former vice president to be co-chair of the task force.

Do you think immigrants should consider themselves Americans before anything else?

How Conservative Principles Can End Poverty in America

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In Heritage Impact

Work, marriage, and education–not government programs–are the antidotes to poverty, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said last month at The Heritage Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Forum.

Scott, raised by a single mother in a working-class African-American community, drew on his personal experiences to explain why conservative solutions work best. Other speakers focused on health care reform, strengthening the family, and state-based reforms as necessary components for raising the living standards of the neediest.

Heritage’s annual Anti-Poverty Forum brings together academics, politicians, and leaders from non-profits and religious institutions to discuss conservative solutions to poverty and social breakdown. Heritage research shows that after 50 years, the liberal war on poverty has been a miserable failure.

During this year’s event, World Magazine highlighted the Jubilee Leadership Academy, a school that works with struggling young men to bring them off the streets and into American society as responsible citizens. The school won a $25,000 award from World Magazine. The Daily Signal tells the story of one of Jubilee’s students, Travis Crockett, who grew up in Chicago exposed to drugs, violence, and gangs at an early age.

Do you think conservative principles offer solutions to poverty?

Important Reforms that Can Make America Safer

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In Heritage Work

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Photo: Newscom

To more effectively defend the country, lawmakers and military leaders should change the way the Pentagon manages personnel, property and equipment, Heritage Foundation expert Jim Carafano explains.

Making defense operations more efficient is a natural common cause for Congress and the Pentagon. Increased efficiency would save money—freeing up dollars that the Pentagon could plow back into rebuilding the capacity and capabilities needed to defend the country.

One change, known as Performance Based Logistics, could help the Pentagon work better with the resources it has. Other changes would improve how the Pentagon acquires equipment. This requires leadership changes, real accountability for major weapons acquisitions, cutting red tape, and ensuring the Pentagon gets the equipment it actually needs.

These reforms address a real challenge, as outlined in Heritage’s 2014 Defense Reform Handbook:

The armed forces are already inadequate to protect all the nation’s vital national interests because of shortfalls in training and maintenance. By the end of his second term, the shortfalls in readiness will be compounded by reductions in military capabilities. It is not an overstatement to conclude that the capabilities-requirements mismatch will rival the hollow forces of the 1970s under President Jimmy Carter.

How would you ensure America is properly defended?

Jeff Sessions Condemns Obama’s Amnesty in a Speech at Heritage


In Heritage Impact

Senator Sessions (R-AL) speaks at the Heritage Foundation

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) says that President Obama “undermines the moral integrity” of our laws.

Speaking today at The Heritage Foundation, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) condemned President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty for ignoring America’s laws and “undermining their moral integrity.”

Granting amnesty to those who violated our immigration laws is not just unconstitutional but would undermine the rule of law, he said:

Do you believe in open borders? Or do you believe in a sovereign state that has a legitimate right to establish [rules of] entrance and exit in our country? People want a system that is lawful, that they can be proud of.

Giving away four million work permits could have consequences for the economy, Sessions said. It could drive up unemployment and lower wages, particularly for those with lower incomes.

Was President Obama right to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants by executive dictat? Tell us in the comments.

Video: Jim DeMint Exposes President Obama’s Amnesty on CNN


In Heritage Impact

President Obama’s amnesty is both unlawful and “unfair to those who have come here the legal way,” Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday.

Despite the President’s rhetoric, DeMint argued during the ten-minute interview, giving work permits to those who came here illegally amounts to amnesty.

DeMint’s interview ensured that millions of Americans heard a principled, conservative alternative to the liberal spin on amnesty.

Watch the video above and tell us you think about this abuse of presidential power in the comments below.

Why Did Japan Just Unexpectedly Slide into Recession? The Answer Won’t Surprise You

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In Heritage Work

The Japanese economy experienced negative growth for two quarters in a row, technically meaning it has entered a recession. (Photo: Natsuki Sakai/Newscom)

Japan unexpectedly announced this week that its economy is hurting, with negative growth reported for both the second and third quarters of 2014. Why? Stephen Moore, The Heritage Foundation’s resident economist, gives us the answer — and it probably won’t surprise you.

Japan raised taxes, in particular its sales tax.

It was supposed to be a way to help lower the national debt after massive government spending on infrastructure. Liberals also persuaded the Japanese Central Bank to flood the country with printed money in an effort to stimulate the economy. The result was a negative economic recovery as well as a devalued yen that makes it harder for the Japanese to buy imported goods – and all in just over six months.

Moore concludes:

It’s all a tragic story of economic playmaking that has gone all wrong.  But don’t tell that to Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who predicted Japan “may end up showing the rest of us the way out” of stagnation.

Should the United States follow the Japanese example?

3 Steps the New Congress Can Take to Control Debt

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In Heritage Impact

Congress should cut spending and rein in the national debt, Heritage Foundation economist Romina Boccia argues in The Hill.

Boccia has three suggestions for the incoming Congress:

  1. Reform the big three entitlement programs – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Reform should be focused on helping those who are truly in need and discouraging dependence on the government. If nothing is done, 85 percent of spending increases will come from these three programs alone.
  2. Cut duplicative, wasteful government spending and spending that’s outside of federal authority. Boccia suggests an independent commission charged with finding ways to whittle away at waste and cut back on spending that exceeds the proper scope of the federal government.
  3. Control spending with firm caps. “Spending caps that limit spending growth to the rate of inflation encourage Congress and federal agencies to operate more efficiently and prioritize spending in the public interest,” she explains.

What spending would you cut first? Tell us in the comments.

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