Heritage experts released Blueprint for Reform last week to provide a comprehensive policy roadmap for the next administration.

Here’s how the influential Morning Consult describes the project:

The plan calls for cuts to federal welfare spending, restructuring agencies, and updating the federal tax code — with the goal of balancing the budget by 2024.

“The budget is one of the first things that every new administration has to put together, and what we wanted to do was put out what we consider to be a unified, conservative budget for the next president,” said Paul Winfree, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Thomas A Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, in an interview Wednesday.

Along with the calls to repeal President Obama’s signature health care law and balance the federal budget, the blueprint renews conservative calls for a consumption-based tax on individuals and a flat tax on businesses, to restructure government agencies, to raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare, and for Medicaid recipients to be provided direct assistance to purchase private health care plans…

Winfree said the Heritage Foundation had been in contact with the Trump campaign’s policy team. He said the campaign team was “very interested” in Heritage’s views, but they have not yet nailed down “exactly what reforms they would implement.”

Do you think the next administration should turn to Heritage for policy solutions?

Illinois has passed a bill to automatically register people to vote based upon information in state databases. This isn’t a good idea, Heritage expert Hans von Spakovsky tells the Illinois Business Journal:

Using state databases to automatically register individuals to vote may result in the enrollment of large numbers of ineligible voters, as well as multiple or duplicate registrations of the same individuals. Worse, it won’t remedy the supposed problem it’s intended to solve – low turnout in elections.

Do you agree with automatic voter registration? Why or why not?

President Obama’s Iran deal has been a disaster, Heritage expert Ted Bromund tells us in Newsday:

 

This week marks the anniversary of President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. That deal was never about stopping Iran’s nuclear program. It was about resetting the United States’ relations with Iran and the wider Middle East. By that standard, the deal has been a failure.

Here’s the bottom line. The Obama deal was frontloaded, specifically to make it hard for any future U.S. administration to change. The administration has led the charge to bring Iran back into the world’s financial system, which will make it tougher to reimpose sanctions if Iran breaks the deal.

How should the next administration deal with Iran’s growing influence?

President Obama has suggested making two years of community college free for everyone. Problem is, this would put additional burden on the taxpayer and could effectively simply extend high school by two years rather than expand more rigorous higher education standards to more people.

Heritage researcher Mary Clare Reim lays out why “free” community college is such a bad idea:

Yet such proposals are problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is subjecting community colleges, considered by many today to be an affordable option, to the same types of subsidies-induced inflation endemic at four-year institutions. Taxpayer-financed “free” community college also prefers the community college sector over for-profit and trade schools, and creates potential opportunity costs for those students who might have been better served by immediately entering the workforce. Further, community colleges suffer from generally poor academic performance, with few students graduating within 150 percent of program time. Finally, low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can cover the bulk of community college tuition.

Do you believe providing “free” community college to students is a good idea?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently claimed that lawmakers were back to work because they have passed more bills than at the same point in recent years. But bills passed is a poor measure of legislative success, Heritage’s James Wallner explains on The Daily Signal:

More importantly, using the overall number of bills passed as a metric to assess the Senate is completely off base. It’s like rating a quarterback solely on the basis of passes thrown, rather than his completion percentage, passing yardage and touchdowns….

Adopting the majority leader’s narrow measure of productivity effectively equates a Congress that nationalizes health care and passes amnesty with one that repeals Obamacare and secures the border. Both are equally productive according to the leadership’s logic.

How would you define a successful year for the Senate?

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