Ever wonder how much of your tax dollars the federal government is wasting? In our latest Federal Budget in Pictures publication – one chart breaks down what the median family spends versus how the federal government spends. It also displays the growing debt crisis.

U.S. Budget vs. Family Budget

Source: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51129-2016Outlook_OneCol-2.pdf

This week, the Acton Institute named The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson as the winner of the 2016 Novak Award.

Ryan Anderson’s reasoned and passionate advocacy for marriage and religious liberty is making a difference in public policy debates at both state and federal levels,” said Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint. “It is gratifying to see his tireless work and accomplishments be recognized by the Acton Institute, an organization that—like Ryan—is fully dedicated to the service of truth and freedom.

The Acton institute is dedicated to advancing a free and virtuous society.  And the award is only given to scholars who exhibit excellence and show impressive strides in their research early on in their academic career.   Please join us in congratulating our distinguished and impressive colleague, Ryan Anderson for his impressive achievement.

The big fight in the House of Representatives this month is over the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets military policy and budgets. The bill has many controversial provisions ranging from nuclear weapons to religious freedom, but it moves in the right direction on rebuilding America’s military.

Heritage’s Justin Johnson explains on the Daily Signal:

A smaller, weaker military is going to struggle to defend America. This is why the defense bill before Congress is so important. Congress can either “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic” or it can begin rebuilding the military. Fortunately, the bill coming to the House next week is a significant step in the right direction.

There are more than 400 amendments to the NDAA. Here are some of the top fights and amendments to watch for:

  • The Dent Amendment will remove a good religious freedom protection.
  • The Thornberry Amendment strips a previous amendment that would force women to join the draft. Heritage analysis here.
  • The Sanford Amendment strips a previous amendment that forces military recruits to buy New Balance shoes, a result of a cronyist backroom deal. Heritage analysis here.
  • The Gosar Amendment closes a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens who enlist.
  • The Buck Amendment would reverse the defense green energy mandates from the Obama administration. Heritage report here.
  • The DeSantis Amendment creates a career track for Judge Advocates. Heritage analysis here and here.

“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?

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.

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