“It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.” – George Washington

The Heritage Foundation earlier this month bestowed our George Washington’s Generations Yet Unborn Award to Billi Jean Murphree of Texas.

The award, given at the Annual Leadership Conference, recognizes Heritage members who’ve demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the future of America by remembering Heritage in their estate plans. Through their support, Murphree and  her late husband Terence showed an inspiring commitment to ensuring freedom for future generations.

Their estate commitment, which included separate provisions for both The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America, was the first dual estate commitment ever recorded in Heritage’s history.

“Terence was a passionate person. He was passionate about our country, he was passionate about maintaining freedom, justice, liberty, and integrity—all the elements that embody The Heritage Foundation…I promised to carry on his work and to ensure his will. Not just his written will in death, but his amazing will in life. His will for the future of our country—for future generations.”—Billi Jean Murphree

Are you thinking about including Heritage in your estate plans, or have you already done so? Get more information about our Heritage Legacy Society >>

 

Back in March, Heritage expert Ed Haislmaier predicted that major insurers would start withdrawing from offering Obamacare coverage:

a number of carriers, most notably UnitedHealth Group, have incurred significant losses from offering exchange coverage and have publicly stated that they are reassessing the extent to which they will continue participating in the exchanges…

With [Obamacare’s reinsurance] subsidy soon ending, more carriers will likely be taking a hard look at whether it remains financially feasible for them to continue offering exchange coverage.

The Daily Signal reported last week:

Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group opted out of most Obamacare health exchanges on [April 19] after a review of its first-quarter earnings suggested the exchanges would be a risky investment…

Abandoning Obamacare exchanges is not new for insurance companies. Last year, the nation’s third largest health insurance provider, Aetna, decided to pull subsidized health plans from Kansas, Utah, and Washington, D.C.

North Carolina’s largest health care provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, recently pulled plans from New Mexico’s exchange, and is considering a withdrawal from North Carolina’s exchange in 2017.

Obamacare’s heavy regulations and skewed subsidy structure limit the viability of the insurance market, Haislmaier wrote in January. He urged lawmakers to:

  • abolish Obamacare’s onerous regulations
  • ditch Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, and
  • replace its subsidies with a straightforward tax benefit.

Do you think Obamacare can and should be repealed?

Did you know there are thousands of federal regulations that effectively raise the prices on goods and services you buy each day? These “hidden taxes” are paid regularly when you do things like put gas in the car or buy groceries.

Heritage’s Salim Furth points to just six regulations Congress whose repeal would save the average American household over $1,000 a year!

  1. Repeal fuel economy regulation: Save $448 per year. These taxes add about $3,800 to the cost of a new car. Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards have been increasing since 2007.  Congress and the next administration should reverse this uneconomical trend.
  2. Repeal the ethanol mandate: Save $255 per year. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline. Processing corn to make it suitable for a car engine raises the price of fuel an average of 19 cents per gallon. This can add up to over $200 a year.
  3. Reform corporate taxes: Save $230 per year. Corporate taxes are too high and immensely complicated.  Simplifying the code and lowering the tax rate would mean more corporate revenue could be used for the purposes of enterprise, and not inflating government coffers.
  4. Restore free trade in sugar: Save $29 per year. The sugar industry in America is a classic case of crony capitalism. Trade restrictions allow U.S. sugar growers to charge higher prices. These tariff protections imposed by Congress make American sugar an uncompetitive industry and provide revenue for the federal government, all at the taxpayer’s expense.
  5. Restore competition in milk markets: Save $29 per year. Repealing the federal Milk Marketing Orders would save American consumers 50 cents on every gallon. Like the sugar industry, the milk market is protected by restraining free enterprise.  This allows dairy producers to form cartels, disadvantaging those who are not involved.
  6. Repeal one environmental rule: Save $14 per Year. Congress and the EPA are bad at gauging the cost of their environmental programs. Placing restrictions on startup companies and businesses allows well-established, wealthier, businesses to form an effective monopoly and raise prices.

Do you think these regulatory “hidden taxes” are worth it?

Liberals have declared war on religious liberty in America and are seeking to punish states and local institutions that refuse to fall in line.

Fortunately, two state governments–North Carolina’s and Mississippi’s–have bravely stood their ground and are refusing to surrender their principles despite harsh criticism. Both have enacted laws defending their citizens’ religious liberty

Now the left is arguing that these states are against “equality,” and are inundating the media with scathing attacks about “discrimination” and “bigotry.”

That’s not what these bills are about. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint explains the Mississippi bill:

All it does is reaffirm First Amendment rights that religious orders, schools, and businesses have enjoyed for 227 years. It doesn’t give anyone a license to discriminate, and it doesn’t victimize anybody.

Big business is only adding fuel to the fire, DeMint argues, and being hypocritical too:

PayPal pulled out of North Carolina because the state wouldn’t let men share bathrooms with girls. Let that sink in. Meanwhile, PayPal does business with several countries where being transgender or gay is punishable by imprisonment, torture, and death.

These two brave states seek to prevent the government from compelling people to act against their beliefs. That’s the same principle that animates the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. Punishing people, businesses or institutions for refusing to participate in activities that go against their religious beliefs is not equality, that’s oppression.

Liberals are wrong in both these cases, and their rhetoric of equality is misguided. We applaud North Carolina and Mississippi for setting an example.

Do you think liberals are right that the North Carolina and Mississippi laws are violations of equality?

No child should be trapped in a failing school because of where he lives. That certainly includes Native American children who attend Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools. These schools rank so poorly in all of their assessments that they’ve been called the worst in America.

Not only that, BIE schools have higher per-pupil expenditures than traditional public schools, The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke points out. Federal funding appears to be doing little to improve test scores (see chart below), not to mention a dismal graduation rate of 53 percent.

Source: Heritage

It goes without saying that the BIE needs serious reform, and Burke suggests Education Savings Accounts. Burke explained how ESAs work in a 2011 report:

ESAs redirect a portion of the funding the state would have spent on a child in the public-school system to an education savings account, from which parents can then pay for private-school tuition and a variety of other educational options. Education Savings Accounts are an innovative new approach that many states could take to provide school choice options for families.

The government is not the ultimate solution when it comes to education. It is the responsibility of parents to provide their children with the education that best meets their needs. With ESAs, parents would be able to fund private school tuition, online learning, tutoring, text books, and so forth–and escape government schools that don’t meet their needs.

Do you think Education Savings Accounts can helps students in BIE schools?

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