- Budget & Taxation
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- Regulation & Deregulation
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- Acton Institute
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- Alliance for School Choice
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- America’s Future Foundation
- American Council on Science and Health
- American Enterprise Institute
- American Institute for Full Employment
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Arkansas Policy Foundation
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- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Atlas Society
- Beacon Center of Tennessee
- Beacon Hill Institute
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- Bluegrass Institute
- Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
- Business & Media Institute
- Calvert Institute
- Cascade Policy Institute
- Cato Institute
- Center for Consumer Freedom
- Center for College Affordability and Productivity
- Center for Equal Opportunity
- Center for Health Transformation
- Center for Immigration Studies
- Center for International Private Enterprise
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Center of the American Experiment
- Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
- Citizens Against Government Waste
- Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy
- Club For Growth
- Commonwealth Foundation
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Council for Affordable Health Insurance
- Empire Center for New York State Policy
- Ethan Allen Institute
- Evergreen Freedom Foundation
- Federalist Society
- Foreign Policy Research Institute
- Fraser Institute
- Foundation for Defense of Democracies
- Foundation for Educational Choice
- Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability
- Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment
- Free Congress Foundation
- Free State Foundation
- Galen Institute
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation
- Goldwater Institute
- Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
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- The Heritage Foundation
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- Hoover Institution
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- Independence Institute
- Independent Institute
- Institute for Health Freedom
- Institute for Energy Research
- Institute for Humane Studies
- Institute for Justice
- Institute for Market Economics
- Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
- Institute for Policy Innovation
- Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Intercollegiate Studies Institute
- International Policy Network
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- James Madison Institute
- John Jay Institute for Faith, Society & Law
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- Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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- Mercatus Center
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy
- National Center for Policy Analysis
- National Center for Public Policy Research
- National Taxpayers Union
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- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
- Pacific Research Institute
- Palmetto Family Council
- PERC - The Property and Environment Research Center
- Philanthropy Roundtable
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- Property Rights Alliance
- Public Interest Institute
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Recent Policy Studies
LaborBy Hans A. von Spakovsky, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 03/20/2009
The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 would fundamentally change the nature of the relationship between unions, employers, and employees. The only reason to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections is to give union leaders and managers the power to manipulate individual workers to guarantee the success of the union and not to reflect the true choices of the employees.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ariel Cohen, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
The Obama Administration should use extreme caution in negotiating Russian cooperation on Iran.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
Congress should realize the prudential limits of its powers and competence and take no action against those receiving deferred compensation for work that they have already performed.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ted R. Bromund, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
The United States should not join the Inter-Parliamentary Union. To do so would imply the Inter-Parliamentary Union is a respectable international organization, not the friend of dictatorships and the enemy of liberal values and democratic sovereignty it has sadly become.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ray Walser, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
On March 15, citizens of El Salvador elected – for the first time in the nation’s history – a president hailing from the political Left. Whether the FMLN charts a course of its own or becomes an echo chamber for the rhetoric of the left is of great importance to the United States.
Health CareBy J.D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/20/2009
The Treasury Department’s general fund subsidizes Medicare by an amount equal to about 1.3 percent of GDP, a large but manageable sum and an apparently sustainable level of support. It faces excess costs of $85.6 trillion. Medicare reform needs a clear goal for sustainability. Eliminating all of Medicare’s excess costs might be ideal, but that would be more than is necessary to achieve sustainability.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Sally McNamara, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/20/2009
In an effort to create “one telephone line” to Europe, the EU’s proposed Lisbon Treaty, successor to the European Constitution, would remove foreign policy from the intergovernmental sphere and make it a supranational EU competence. An EU foreign policy will be characterized by inaction, Franco-German dominance, and an attempt to limit American power.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Greg Forster, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 03/20/2009
The idea of politics based on moral law is not inherently totalist and does not imply an unlimited mandate to impose a total vision of the good. Quite the contrary: It is the only possible basis for limits on government authority. The question is not whether there are moral laws at the heart of politics, but which moral laws are at the heart of politics.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Matthew Spalding, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 03/20/2009
The fusion of our ideas and our politics is to be found not as much at the level of policy as at the level of principle, where there is foundational agreement among a broad swath of the American people, and therein lies our greatest opportunity. But this depends on political leaders who are consistent in principle but also innovative in practice.
National SecurityBy James Jay Carafano, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
The White House and congressional leadership should make establishing an undersecretary for policy and planning in the Department of Homeland Security a priority.
Budget & TaxationBy J.D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/20/2009
President Obama pledged to create 3.5 million new jobs by 2010. The President’s jobs promise means total employment should be at least 138.6 million by 2010. Unfortunately, though, his policies will more likely decrease employment than reach his target.
Budget & TaxationBy Brian M. Riedl, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/20/2009
President Obama has framed his budget as a break from the Bush Administration’s policies. However, Obama’s budget would double the publicly held national debt to more than $15 trillion and hike annual spending from $24,000 per household to $32,000. Obama’s budget would also raise taxes by $1.4 trillion over 10 years. These policies would raise taxes for everyone, not just “the rich.”
EducationBy Daniel B. Klein, Charlotta Stern, Independent InstituteThe Independent Review, 03/20/2009
In baseball, fans of different teams can agree on general issues concerning rules, umpiring, and performance evaluation because such matters are separable from support for a specific team. In academia, however, we find that rules and standards for performance are not separable from support for specific beliefs. Ideological sensibilities and commitments in academia tend to be bound up with notions of the whole academic enterprise. Thus, one’s positions on how performance should be umpired or evaluated and one’s support for a certain “team” are not separable.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Steve Chapman, Reason FoundationReason, 03/19/2009
Not many of us would want the federal government to leave military procurement to defense contractors, Medicare reimbursement to doctors, or banking regulation to Citigroup. But President Obama says when it comes to allocating federal funds for scientific studies, we should defer to scientists. That assertion came in reference to research on the use of embryonic stem cells to find treatments for various diseases. Obama announced that he was junking President Bush’s rules, which limited federal funding to research using embryonic stem cell lines that existed before August 2001.
Economic GrowthBy Veronique de Rugy, Reason FoundationReason, 03/19/2009
If politicians actually want to do something cost-effective to solve our economic woes, here’s some advice: Stay away from spending and tax rebates. Instead, focus on real incentives to work and invest, such as cutting marginal tax rates for everyone.
Economic GrowthBy Samuel Staley, Reason FoundationPolicy Study, 03/19/2009
A new Reason Foundation policy brief finds that Houston’s housing market adapts to changing economic conditions better than the housing markets in other major cities, in part because it is the only major U.S. city without zoning regulations. The brief says this allows the region to maximize flexibility and accommodate housing diversity.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Thomas D. Sydnor II, Progress & Freedom FoundationProgress on Point, 03/19/2009
Recently, courts and analysts have been debating whether U.S. copyright laws grant a “making-available right” to copyright owners. A making-available right means an exclusive right to make a work available, (i.e., to offer copies of it), over the Internet or a similar network to members of the public who can decide whether to access or copy it. Such a “making-available right” could be infringed by either a person posting a work on a web site or by someone “sharing” it with specially designed “piracy machines,” like the file-sharing programs Grokster, Morpheus, or KaZaA. This debate implicates fundamental interests of copyright owners and the United States.
Economic GrowthBy Deborah D. Thornton, Public Interest InstituteInstitute Brief, 03/18/2009
Approximately 39 percent of the money in the stimulus will go to state and local governments, something Governor Culver greatly appreciates as he deals with the Iowa budget and disaster recovery situation. It will help him keep workers on the government payroll. However, unemployment for government workers is only 2.3 percent, and for health care workers is only 3.8 percent, compared to over 15 percent in the construction industry. If the stimulus is supposed to create jobs, more jobs are needed in the construction industry, not government.
Economic GrowthBy John Hendrickson, Public Interest InstituteIssue Brief, 03/18/2009
President Barack Obama and most Democrats in Congress are pushing for a major economic stimulus bill to bring resuscitation to the economy and create jobs for the 7.6% of workers that are unemployed. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed an $819 billion stimulus bill and the Senate is considering a $780-$820 billion bill. The final House-Senate compromise over the stimulus bill could reach $789 billion. The thrust of the stimulus plan is directed at infrastructure projects, unemployment benefits, assistance to states, and tax cuts. Although the stimulus bill is capturing the attention as the major policy solution to the recession, an additional plan has been offered which focuses on a free-market solution. The American Option, which is a plan created by economic policy scholars at The Heritage Foundation, calls for making “the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent and then permanently cut income and corporate tax rates.”
Budget & TaxationBy Amy K. Frantz, Public Interest InstitutePolicy Study, 03/18/2009
The recently-adopted economic stimulus package provides bailout funds to the 50 states. Legislators and the Governor should take care to remember that the federal stimulus funding is a one-time, not an ongoing, funding source. Any new programs or increases in ongoing spending that are created using those funds will create shortfalls and cause problems down the road. For a more long-term solution, we suggest expenditure limits for the state budget that would limit the state’s annual spending growth to the growth in state population plus inflation. This limit must be a Constitutional limitation, to prevent circumventing the limits through the use of “notwithstanding” language in legislation, as is done with our current 99% expenditure limit law for General Fund spending. The expenditure limit must also apply to both General Fund and Non-General Fund spending.
Union Bosses, Corporate Lobbyists, and Maybe Even A Secretary of Health and Human Services: Who’s on the Obama Health Care Express This Month?By John R. Graham, Pacific Research InstituteHealth Policy Prescriptions, 03/18/2009
Politicians and others left outside President Obama’s health-care lobbyist fest should not become more “vague.” They should seize the opportunity to communicate real change, that returns health care dollars to the American people, instead of Beltway lobbyists.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Amy Kaleita, Pacific Research InstituteEnvironmental Notes, 03/18/2009
Given the current drought and water supply pinch in the Golden State, homeowners with lawns should be able to decrease their outdoor water use by switching from grass to low-water use plants, or to little or no vegetation at all. A recently proposed bill in the California Assembly would help to give some homeowners a fuller range of options.
Budget & TaxationBy Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 03/18/2009
The numbers are in. With the release of the first estimate of the FY 2009 budget, we can now summarize and assess President Bush’s fiscal legacy.
National SecurityBy Loren B. Thompson, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 03/18/2009
In his principal campaign-trail statement on military strategy, candidate Obama said: “We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft – which may not be glamorous to politicians, but are the backbone of our future ability to extend global power.” Mr. Obama did not single out any other aircraft in his statement for such recognition. Why the C-17? The fact that it is the last military aircraft built in Los Angeles certainly helped. But the candidate could have bolstered his election chances more by embracing the V-22 Osprey or F/A-18 Super Hornet, both of which are built in swing states. Instead he cited the C-17, because that program epitomizes where Mr. Obama’s advisors think the military needs to go in the future: towards greater agility, reach and versatility.
National SecurityBy Loren B. Thompson, Lexington InstituteIssue Brief, 03/18/2009
The word within the Pentagon is that the White House wants to collect 6-8 “scalps” – major program kills – in this year’s Quadrennial Defense Review. Some of the cuts are already being considered as defense secretary Robert Gates rewrites the 2010 budget. You can expect to hear a lot of rumors about which programs are being targeted between now and when the Pentagon releases details of its budget request in April. But while most of the military services are scrambling to protect programs, at least one is getting ready to offer up a signature weapons system. The Navy will propose removal of one aircraft carrier and air wing from its posture, dropping the number of carriers to the lowest number since 1942.
EducationBy Dick M. Carpenter II, John K. Ross, Institute for JusticeStudies, 03/18/2009
Leaders of the public school establishment frequently charge that scholarship tax credit programs are risky and unprecedented public policy. As this report shows, however, using tax credits to enable Indiana students— particularly low-income ones—to attend the school of their choice is an idea that is both safe and well-established. Indeed, Indiana policymakers already use tax credits to help the poor enter the workforce, purchase homes, attend college and accumulate savings.
Information TechnologyBy Barry M. Aarons, Institute for Policy InnovationIssue Brief, 03/18/2009
The history of municipal broadband projects, especially municipal wireless programs, is a history of hubris, mismanagement and failure. Such projects have been plagued by (among other things) underestimates of costs and overestimates of subscriber take up. As federal officials consider disbursing billions of taxpayer dollars to extend broadband coverage to unserved and underserved areas, they should be wary of funding municipal broadband programs.
Economic GrowthBy Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, Jonathan Williams, American Legislative Exchange CouncilBook, 03/18/2009
This second edition of Rich States, Poor States by the American Legislative Exchange Council is yet another invaluable resource ALEC has provided for state lawmakers and citizens to evaluate their state’s fiscal and economic policies, as well as the results and ramifications of those policies. Authors Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams provide an in-depth analysis of policies, some of which foster economic growth and prosperity in states like Utah, Arizona and Texas, others of which cause economic malaise in states like California, New York and Michigan.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade SystemBy Andrew Chamberlain, Tax FoundationWorking Paper, 03/18/2009
Many U.S. lawmakers view cap and trade as a politically superior non-tax approach to climate policy. However, cap and trade imposes identical economic burdens on households to a similarly designed carbon tax. Using the newly-released 2002 input-output accounts we present new estimates of the distributional impact of a typical cap-and-trade system by income, age, U.S. region and family type. In total, households would face an annual burden of roughly $144.8 billion per year with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households, those under age 25 and over 75 years, those in Southern states, and single parents with dependent children. Using RIMS II multipliers we estimate the broader economic impact of cap and trade. Depending on how the system is structured, cap and trade could reduce U.S. employment by 965,000 jobs, household earnings by $37.8 billion, and economic output by $136 billion per year or roughly $1,145 per household. Lawmakers weighing the costs and benefits of climate policy should be aware that cap and trade would impose a significant and regressive annual burden on U.S. households, and would not represent a “tax free” way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Dick M. Carpenter II, Independent InstituteThe Independent Review, 03/18/2009
Although the mandatory disclosure of state ballot-initiative contributors is supposed to improve democracy by making voters better informed, poll data suggest that it has a negligible or even harmful effect on the democratic process. Although voters seem to like the idea of disclosure for others, their support weakens when it involves themselves, owing to privacy concerns and fears of negative repercussions, particularly in the workplace.
Economic GrowthBy Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Hudson InstituteReport, 03/18/2009
For the second month in a row, American consumers have surpassed analysts’ predictions in their spending. Retail sales in February declined a mere 0.1% from January sales, which were revised upwards from 1.0% increase to 1.8% increase. More importantly, excluding the volatile auto sector, retail sales increased 0.7%. While sales for motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 4.3% in February, rising purchases were seen at gasoline stations (3.4%), clothing and clothing accessories stores (2.8%), general merchandise stores (1.3%), and electronics and appliance stores (1.2%).
Budget & TaxationBy Nick Dranias, Goldwater InstitutePolicy Report, 03/17/2009
Arizonans face significant challenges stemming from overspending combined with the national financial crisis. One of the biggest challenges involves deciding what to do about local governments that have grown unsustainably numerous, large, intrusive, and irresponsible.
Health CareBy Private Enterprise Research Center, Private Enterprise Research CenterPERCspectives on Research, 03/17/2009
To forecast spending several questions must be answered regarding the future evolution of excess health care cost growth. First, will this relationship persist into the future and if so, how long will it continue? Secondly, if the excess cost growth is anticipated to decline through time, at what rate will it decline? Different answers to these questions produced the range of outcomes reflected in the CBO and the CMS estimates for health care in general and for Medicare in particular. The accuracy of the forecasts is difficult to assess given the length of the horizon, the economic implications, and, of course, uncertainty.
LaborBy W. James Antle III, Capital Research CenterLabor Watch, 03/17/2009
Elaine Chao was the longest serving Cabinet-level appointee of the Bush administration. As head of the Labor Department, she worked hard to modernize antiquated labor regulations, force unions to come clean about how union dues are spent, and prosecute labor lawbreakers. The Left vilified her for her successes, but could some of her reforms survive?
Family, Culture & CommunityBy Marvin Olasky, Capital Research CenterCompassion and Culture, 03/17/2009
Many of Manhattan’s churches have become liberal social clubs where sophisticated savages talk about foreign hearts of darkness without examining the condition of their own hearts. Eric Metaxas, founder of Socrates in the City, points out: “We cannot delude ourselves into thinking that, simply because they live in America and speak English, these cultural elites have heard the Gospel already, and have rejected it. If the Gospel has not been translated into a language that they understand, and if it has not been brought to them by people with whom they have some cultural affinity, they have not heard it.”
Economic and Political ThoughtBy John S. Adams, et al., Center of the American ExperimentSymposium, 03/17/2009
“How Can Conservatism Better Allay the Economic Fears of Working-Class and Middle-Class Americans?” is the third in a current series of American Experiment symposia aimed at vitalizing conservatism in Minnesota and the nation. Actually, conservatism may revive with unexpected, double-jet speed if Washington continues passing trillion-dollar bills without reading them first. But even if this comes about, serious self-study and policy imagination will remain advisable.
Information TechnologyBy Jim Harper, Cato InstituteTechknowledge, 03/17/2009
Most people assume, and it’s probably true, that our nation’s networks and databases aren’t secure enough. The risks range from corporate espionage to data breach and identity fraud to “cyber warfare.” The White House is taking on this problem—it’s conducting a 60-day cyber security review. The review should explicitly deny federal responsibility for securing private infrastructure.
Budget & TaxationBy Chris Edwards, Cato InstituteTax & Budget Bulletin, 03/17/2009
President Barack Obama has introduced his federal budget plan for the coming years, and it includes large increases in spending, taxes, and debt. The Obama plan includes the costs of recent financial bailouts and the stimulus package, but it also foresees a long-term increase in regular domestic spending. The plan builds on spending precedents set by President Bush, and would boost nondefense outlays to a record share of the economy.
International Trade/FinanceBy Daniel J. Ikenson, Cato InstituteFree Trade Bulletin, 03/17/2009
Today we have the benefit of understanding the consequences of the actions taken in the 1930s. Although that understanding does not guarantee avoidance of past mistakes, we also have solid institutions and incentives to help steer policymakers away from the abyss. The rules governing more than 60 years of trade liberalization have fostered greater certainty and stability, and thus more investment, trade, and economic growth. And today, the commercial and political appeal of protectionism is considerably diminished because most countries have established domestic constituencies that depend on a trade and investment environment that is open in both directions.
EducationBy Richard Vedder, Marc Kilmer, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy SolutionsPolicy Report, 03/17/2009
While the idea of examining the future of higher education is a good one, and while the Regents do say some useful things and have some good ideas, the overall tenor of the report is disappointing. It sounds too much like special interest pleading for more resources rather than a scientifically based and economically balanced approach to assessing the higher education needs of the citizens of Ohio in the coming decade and beyond.
Budget & TaxationBy The Buckeye Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy SolutionsPolicy Report, 03/17/2009
Before one more tax dollar is used and any taxes are increased, the state legislature must cut out the waste, fraud and abuse marbled throughout the Ohio state budget.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Newt Gingrich, Emily Renwick, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/17/2009
America’s economy can no longer withstand an accounting system that is so shortsighted and defective. We believe that two reforms—repealing mark-to-market and enacting the Financial Accounting Oversight Board—will lead to an immediate improvement in the credit markets. At the same time, congressional action will give relief to banks on Main Street, which will in turn improve lending access for individuals and business, thus driving up economic growth.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy John E. Calfee, American Enterprise InstituteOn the Issues, 03/17/2009
On March 4, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in Wyeth v. Levine that Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company, is liable for injuries suffered when its drug Phenergan was given to a patient according to a method that, if done incorrectly, as it was in this case, could be very dangerous. Even though the label warned against the dangers of this method, and even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not required any further limits on this method for Phenergan, the Court opened the door for jurors to retroactively determine what should and should not be included on drug labels. The Wyeth decision will hurt new drug development and limit physicians’ willingness to use certain drugs.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Charles Murray, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/17/2009
The advent of the Obama administration brings this question before the nation: Do we want the United States to be like Europe? President Obama and his leading intellectual heroes are the American equivalent of Europe’s social democrats. There’s nothing sinister about that. They share an intellectually respectable view that Europe’s regulatory and social welfare systems are more progressive than America’s and advocate reforms that would make the American system more like the European system.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Desmond Lachman, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/17/2009
Since the Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting in January, there has been a significant deterioration in the U.S. economic outlook and a further substantial decline in U.S. equity prices. In his recent semi-annual congressional testimony, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the Fed had significantly downgraded its 2009 economic forecast. The Federal Reserve now expects that GDP will decline by between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent in 2009, unemployment will rise to between 8.5 and 8.75 percent, and inflation will moderate to between 0.25 and 1 percent for the year. Bernanke also cautioned that resolving the financial sector crisis was a necessary condition for a sustained economic recovery.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Vincent R. Reinhart, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/17/2009
In our open society, there are few words that people dare not speak. One such word in conversations about financial policy, however, is “nationalization,” meaning government ownership of large banks and other major financial institutions. Despite our squeamishness about the term, nationalization will most likely have to be done. Until the financial institutions at the center of the global trading system revive, the greater economy will be held hostage because lending will be crimped and financial market activity will be impaired. In a perfect world such a step would not be necessary. We are far from a perfect world.
LaborBy Thomas P. Gies, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 03/17/2009
Card check should be seen for what it is: an attempt to rebuild the private-sector union movement by making it dramatically easier for unions to organize American workers. Adding card check to the already heavy burden of U.S. labor and employment law that companies face today will cost the U.S. economy additional jobs. This is hardly a recipe for getting the country through the current economic crisis without substantial additional damage.
Health CareBy Greg D'Angelo, Robert E. Moffit, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
A proposal that gradually phases out the current income tax exclusion while phasing in a more equitable and efficient system is essential to achieving serious bipartisan health care reform.
Economic GrowthBy Terry Miller, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
An announcement by the governments of the G-20 of what they will not do to intervene in markets would probably go a lot further in restoring trust than any announcement of joint action or new regulations.
Budget & TaxationBy Karen A. Campbell, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/16/2009
America’s corporate income tax rate is one of the world’s highest and imposes indirect costs in the form of reduced investment, lower wages, lower productivity, higher consumer prices, and less demand for workers. Repealing the corporate income tax would increase employment, wages, and equity values and would also attract global companies to invest and create jobs in the United States.
Economic GrowthBy Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
If GM and Chrysler are to survive and prosper, they must undergo real reorganization in bankruptcy, not anything less.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ariel Cohen, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 03/16/2009
President Barack Obama has expressed concerns over Russia’s increasingly truculent behavior and the threat it poses to the current international system. These concerns are valid and the threat of a resurgent Russia is palpable. Moscow’s efforts at carving out a “sphere of privileged interests” throughout Eurasia and rewriting the rules of European security have negative implications for U.S.– Russia relations, international security, the autonomy of the newly independent former Soviet states, and Europe’s independence. History has shown that the most dangerous times are the ones when new powers (or in this case, resurgent ones) attempt to overturn the status quo. The United States and its allies must remain vigilant and willing to defend freedom and prevent Russia from engendering shifts in the global power structure detrimental to U.S. national security interests.
Crime, Justice & the Law
Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act: Revising Federal Gratuities Law to Criminalize Innocent ConductBy Brian W. Walsh, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would greatly expand the reach of a key “public corruption” offense, an offense that is already far too broad.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
The Alliance of Civilizations’ attempt to quell perceived tensions between Muslim and Western nations has little prospect for success due to bias and objectionable proposals to freedom of expression.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Robert A. Book, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
Simply exempting D.C. residents from federal taxes would help revitalize the District – and do so in a way consistent with what the Founders had in mind for the “federal city.”
Economic GrowthBy Terry Miller, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
The World Bank has proposed a “Vulnerability Fund” to siphon off 0.7 percent of developed countries’ stimulus packages for assistance to poor countries.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Nicolas Loris, Ben Lieberman, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
The No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 would open up resources and streamline regulatory, environmental and judicial review processes to provide a real stimulus to the economy without huge costs to the American taxpayer.
LaborBy James Sherk, Ryan O’Donnell, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 03/16/2009
Under EFCA, union organizers will be free to use aggressive and emotionally manipulative sales techniques to pressure or mislead employees into joining a union.
Budget & TaxationBy Jason Mercier, Washington Policy CenterLegislative Memo, 03/16/2009
The largest and most difficult task facing lawmakers this legislative session is building the state’s 2009-11 operating budget. As of the November revenue forecast, revenues are projected to increase by five percent, $1.4 billion, in the next biennium, but the planned increases built into the existing budget result in a projected $5.7 billion shortfall. There is now concern this fiscal problem could approach more than $7 billion in planned spending over expected revenue when the March revenue forecast is released. A problem of this magnitude cannot be solved without fundamentally rethinking how state leaders approach budgeting. To begin the necessary changes, lawmakers should re-evaluate all existing programs and activities against a prioritized, performance-based matrix.
Economic GrowthBy Carl Gipson, Washington Policy CenterLegislative Memo, 03/16/2009
Washington state is facing a projected $6 billion budget deficit, because the rise in state revenues is not keeping up with the legislature’s planned spending increases. The unemployment rate at the end of 2008 jumped to 7.1%, from 4.6% a year before. The U.S. economy is on shaky ground, and the state economy is also teetering. So policymakers should resist the urge to feel safe that a recent ranking of the best states to open a business put Washington state at the top, and that everything in the business community – especially the small business community – is fine and dandy.
Economic GrowthBy Carl Gipson, Washington Policy CenterLegislative Memo, 03/16/2009
The Governor and other policymakers are proposing a multi-pronged strategy of state financed infrastructure and transportation projects, along with increased unemployment insurance payouts and housing assistance, in an effort to stimulate Washington’s economy. As Washington policymakers work on putting together a state version of a comprehensive economic stimulus package, they should take into account a core set of principles prior to deciding which actions to undertake.
Health CareBy John Bridges, et al., Galen InstituteBooklet, 03/16/2009
At the heart of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was a promise to transform the health sector in the United States by bringing down costs, improving quality, and broadening coverage so that all Americans, starting with children, will have health insurance. The outlines of the specific policies he has offered to achieve those goals would lead to a fundamental shift in the way that the U.S. health sector is organized. Many of the proposals that have been offered, both from the White House and in Congress, have a distinctly European flavor. Many of those who are taking the lead in advancing these initiatives have visited with government leaders and policy experts in these countries, but few have any experience in actually living with the health care systems they praise so highly. What has been missing so far are the voices of those familiar with the realities of European and Canadian systems – the physicians and policy experts who work within and study these systems on a daily basis.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Arthur A. Ekirch Jr., Independent InstituteBook, 03/16/2009
In the book, renowned historian Arthur Ekirch chronicles the powerful and moving story of individual liberty across three centuries of American history. Contrary to the conventional view that this decline in liberty, de-humanization, and immense expansion and centralization of government power are temporary or manifest some sort of “progress,” Ekirch believes that this change “though hardly perceptible, often uneven, and occasionally reversed, is nevertheless a real descent.”
Health CareBy John C. Goodman, et al., National Center for Policy AnalysisReport, 03/16/2009
The health care systems of all developed countries face three unrelenting problems: rising costs, inadequate quality, and incomplete access to care. Much analysis published in medical journals suggests that other countries have found superior solutions to these problems. This conclusion is at odds with economic research that is published in journals physicians seldom read, using methodologies that are unfamiliar to physicians. In this essay, we attempt to shed light on topics frequently discussed in proposals for health care reform, drawing on the relevant medical and economics literature.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Randall G. Holcombe, James Madison InstituteBackgrounder, 03/16/2009
Data on private versus state management of conservation lands suggests that creating a public/private partnership for the management of conservation lands could lower the cost to the state substantially. If half the state’s conservation lands were managed by private land management firms, there would be the potential for an annual saving conservatively estimated at $15 million – and possibly much more if the state agencies involved made workforce reductions commensurate with their reduced responsibilities.
Economic GrowthBy Joseph B. White, Hillsdale CollegeImprimis, 03/16/2009
As I have tried to suggest, it’s hard enough for professional managers and technicians—who have a clear profit motive—to run an enterprise as complex as a global car company. What will be the fate of a quasi-nationalized enterprise whose “board of directors” will now include 535 members of Congress, plus various agencies of the Executive Branch? As a property owner in suburban Detroit, I can only hope for the best.
Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
Procurement Policies and the Differences among Open Source Software, Open Standards, and Open GovernmentBy Carl Gipson, Washington Policy CenterPolicy Note, 03/16/2009
It is through a combination of those with a business interest and those with an ideology that pressure is put on governments to mandate one form of software or an “open standard” based on just OSS, while shutting out proprietary software.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Thurston Twigg-Smith, Goodale PublishingBook, 03/16/2009
As Will and Ariel Durant state in The Lessons of History, “Our knowledge of any past event is always incomplete, probably inaccurate, beclouded by ambivalent evidence and biased historians, and perhaps distorted by our own patriotic or religious partisanship.” So it is with Hawaii’s 1893 Revolution and the subsequent events that continue to reverberate today. History is being ignored or rewritten to serve the perceived needs of those partisans of the sovereignty movement in Hawaii. One of the unfortunate aspects of this is that many tend to accept the revised history without question and with no attempt to revisit the scene in 1893 to examine the events leading up to and following the confrontations that took place.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Jeff Benedict, Grand Central PublishingBook, 03/16/2009
Susette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this inspirational true story, as one woman found a host of friends and champions to help her take on big government and corporate America to save her home.