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Recent Policy Studies
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy John Lee, Centre for Independent StudiesBook, 07/17/2009
Rather than moving toward a modern, successful civil society as occurred in East Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, China is walking a more dangerous and unpredictable path. China’s economic problems are causing troubling developments in Chinese civil society: including the rise of a chauvinistic nationalism encouraged by the CCP, ascent of a new army—the People’s Armed Police—to enforce order, worsening corruption, as well as inequality caused by the CCP’s state-led development model and the crowding out of the fledging domestic private sector.
Health CareBy James R. Frogue, et al., Center for Health TransformationBook, 07/17/2009
It is in this climate of government spending and fraud that the Center for Health Transformation is proud to announce the upcoming publication of an in-depth book on healthcare fraud. Given that healthcare costs make up around one-seventh of America’s economy, it is imperative at this time to ensure that funding goes to appropriate people and organizations, not crooks seeking to rob taxpayers. The book opens a serious national discussion about fraud, the perverse incentives that allow such fraud to flourish, and key strategies to bring these schemes to an end.
ImmigrationBy Ronald W. Mortensen, Center for Immigration StudiesBackgrounder, 07/17/2009
Leaders and citizens must individually and collectively take action to protect Americans and legal residents against illegal immigration-driven document fraud and identity theft. All employers must verify the employment eligibility and identities of new hires and existing employees. Illegal aliens must understand that the corruption of their home countries will not be tolerated in the United States and that document fraud, perjury on I-9 forms, and identity theft to obtain jobs is not acceptable. They must also understand that individuals committing these crimes will be held accountable.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Christopher M. Gacek, et al., Family Research CouncilInFocus, 07/17/2009
Sotomayor is a judicial activist who has no qualms about imposing her policy preferences from the bench, rather than interpreting the law as written. Judicial activism undermines the very basis of our representative democracy and deprives the American people of their right to govern themselves on the most important issues of the day. For Americans concerned chiefly about life, family, and faith issues, the prospect of confirming a justice who believes she “makes policy” from the bench is absolutely unacceptable.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Nile Gardiner, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/17/2009
The United States needs stronger leadership on the world stage from both the White House and the State Department, including a tougher stance toward America’s foes from a secretary of state whose voice is unusually meek and silent. This is a time for America to project its might and confront its adversaries—not to retreat behind a failed strategy of “engagement.”
Regulation & DeregulationBy Eli Lehrer, Competitive Enterprise InstituteOn Point, 07/17/2009
For the goal of fostering a freer, more creative market for property, casualty, life, and commercial insurance, a comprehensive optional federal charter remains the best option. Congress should remember that insurance regulatory reform need not be an all-or-nothing game. Incremental change would make sense, if it is in the right direction.
Economic GrowthBy Philip Peters, Lexington Institute07/17/2009
Raul Castro’s policies to date seem decidedly inadequate to spur the growth in employment, incomes, and output that is needed to solve the problems he has identified. The government has generally opted for policies that squeeze more production and efficiency out of current economic structures. The result is that the distinguishing feature of Cuban economic policy today is the large gap between the government’s own dire diagnosis and its relatively limited policy prescriptions.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Janice A. Smith, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 07/17/2009
In America, some people say, for example, that Islam and liberty are not compatible—the radicalization and politicization of the religion of Islam leaves little room for Muslims, Christians, and Jews to live together peacefully. Frankly, we do not accept that. The desire for freedom does not know race, religion, gender, age, or culture.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy George L. Kelling, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/17/2009
As New York confronts a fiscal crisis, its leaders need to remember that the city owes its crime decline to a broad range of public and private agencies. Maintaining the NYPD’s commitment to its proven crime-fighting methods is crucial, of course. But so is the broader citywide emphasis on public order.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Lisa Curtis, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/17/2009
When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in India tomorrow, she will need to demonstrate that the Obama Administration has a strategic vision for U.S. relations with India. This vision must acknowledge New Delhi’s growing global economic, political, and geo-strategic clout. Clinton will likely try to assuage concerns among some Indians that the Obama Administration takes a narrow view of India—one that revolves around its Afghanistan-Pakistan agenda—and that it lacks the Bush Administration’s determination to advance the relationship.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, Heartland InstituteBook, 07/16/2009
There is no evidence that CO2-induced increases in air temperature will cause unprecedented plant and animal extinctions, either on land or in the world’s oceans or will be responsible for increases in the incidence of human diseases or the number of lives lost to extreme thermal conditions.
Economic GrowthBy Derek Scissors, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/16/2009
For those worried that China is rising to replace a declining America, take heart: If the U.S. is headed in the wrong economic direction, the PRC is moving in that same direction—only faster. Official statistics from the first six months of the year show a Chinese economy that strengthened noticeably in the spring but at the cost of recreating some of the worst policy mistakes of the past.
Information TechnologyBy Deborah Taylor Tate, Free State FoundationPerspectives from FSF Scholars, 07/16/2009
Most broadband consumers would be astounded that some members of Congress want to block our ability to pay for broadband Internet use in precisely the same way we now pay for other commodities: Pay more if you use more; pay less if you use less.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy H. Sterling Burnett, Tomas Castella, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 07/16/2009
The U.S. Department of Energy, the Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels and other energy experts say the nation’s untapped oil shale offers a long-term source of reliable, affordable and secure energy. Public lands should be leased and the permitting process for production facilities should be streamlined. For instance, firm deadlines could be set for filing administrative or court challenges. The scope of such challenges could be narrowed. The right to challenge leases in court could be limited to those who claim direct harm.
Regulation & DeregulationBy H. Sterling Burnett, Michael Hand, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 07/16/2009
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has ordered manufacturers, distributors and retailers to reduce the lead content of children’s products from the current standard of 600 ppm. The new law does not combat the leading causes of childhood lead poisoning. It effectively criminalizes the production, sale or loan of many common children’s products. Congress should revisit this issue and lift the restrictions on the resale of old children’s books and toys. Rather than pursue phantom risks of lead exposure, Congress should focus on the single item that poses the highest risk of lead poisoning to children: deteriorating paint in older houses.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Todd Zywicki, Mercatus CenterTestimony, 07/16/2009
Instead of creating a new bureaucracy, Congress instead should consider expanding the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission and strengthen the Federal Reserve to meet the discrete categories of true consumer protection issues that arise under current law. Alternatively, this committee should consider the Republican proposal to streamline regulatory authority into a new consolidated agency that might perform the Federal Reserve’s traditional oversight function more effectively.
Budget & TaxationBy Pavel Yakolev, Antony Davies, Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy AlternativesPolicy Brief, 07/16/2009
Pennsylvania, like many other states, is required to operate on a balanced budget, which is rather difficult to do during the ongoing economic downturn. The state is already falling short in its revenue collections and will have to increase taxes, create new taxes, or make spending cuts to balance the budget. This will be all the more difficult to do if the film tax credit is maintained. The state may simply be unable to afford this luxury, and it would be inappropriate to offer $58 million in tax credits to the film industry while raising taxes on working Pennsylvanians and other job creators.
Economic GrowthBy Will Wilkinson , Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 07/16/2009
Until we are better able to grasp how it is possible for well-functioning market institutions to narrow gaps in health, longevity, happiness, and real standards of living by unleashing the entrepreneurial energy and competitive spirit that can also lead to unfathomable fortunes, our democracy will continue to fail to deliver the conditions most likely to provide each person sufficient opportunity, a fair chance, to thrive.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Steven F. Hayward, Kenneth P. Green, American Enterprise InstituteEnergy and Environment Outlook, 07/16/2009
Not only is Waxman-Markey a titanic giveaway to the very people that environmentalists have blamed for destroying the planet, it will prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and from undoing the environmental nightmare of corn ethanol. To their credit, a few environmental organizations, as well as people such as NASA’s James Hansen, have denounced Waxman-Markey, but the major environmental groups seem willing to go along with the bill no matter how absurd and ineffective it becomes. Some believe that the Senate will “fix it,” though it is more likely that if the bill gets through the Senate, it will end up allocating perhaps 150 percent of the emission permits instead of the 85 percent, as it stands now.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy John H. Makin, American Enterprise InstituteEconomic Outlook, 07/16/2009
While the Fed will not accommodate a sharp rise in federal borrowing that is underway, it would be far better not to force the Fed into a position in which it would have to demonstrate its commitment to price stability by engineering a sharp increase in real interest rates to contain rising inflationary expectations from the federal government’s extravagant debt issuance. We experienced that extraordinarily uncomfortable situation between 1980 and 1982. Repeating it now in the midst of a sharp global recession with massive extant excess capacity would not be pleasant.
Economic GrowthBy Botagos Kazbogarova, Jürgen Wandel, Mercatus CenterPolicy Series, 07/16/2009
Kazakhstan is a major success story in Central Asia, having experienced double-digit growth rates between 2000 and 2007. The country has made significant market-oriented reforms and large amounts of foreign investment. However, following the maxim adopted by many successful countries in Southeast Asia, “First the economy and then politics,” political reform in Kazakhstan has lagged.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Todd Zywicki, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 07/16/2009
Payday lending, known in earlier eras as “salary lending” or “wage-assignment lending,” serves as a valuable source of short-term, small-amount lending to wage earners with steady employment but a critical need for short-term emergency funds. The overwhelming bulk of the evidence indicates that payday lenders provide a valuable service for many low-income consumers. Further restrictions on payday lending would likely prove counterproductive and harmful to the very people they are intended to help.
Economic GrowthBy Myron Magnet, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/16/2009
To the Founding Fathers, having to pay duties they hadn’t voted for themselves was a tyrannical taking of property—theft—and, in true Lockean fashion, they concluded that since government exists to protect life, liberty, and property, a regime that does the opposite renders itself illegitimate. What would they make, then, of today’s New York City, where 1.2 percent of the taxpayers—40,000 households—pay 50 percent of the income taxes, and half the households pay no income tax at all? If the tax code ensures that those who pay the bulk of the taxes are always a minority of those who vote for the legislature that imposes the taxes, isn’t that taxation without representation?
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy David C. John, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/16/2009
The U.S. regulatory system should meet the needs and risks facing American financial institutions. Since the pressure from most other countries will be for tighter restrictions rather than for simplified commonsense regulations, Congress should treat this section with the deep suspicion that it deserves.
Health CareBy Donald B. Marron, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/16/2009
Congressional Budget Office analyses often rely on sophisticated economic modeling and are usually framed in ways that match the specific, sometimes arcane, requirements of the congressional budget process. As a result, the health cost estimates and related analyses may sometimes be challenging to understand. The result can be confusion about what the scores mean and, equally important, what they do not mean.
Health CareBy Brian M. Riedl, Curtis S. Dubay, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/15/2009
It’s time for lawmakers to stop unaffordable, government expansion. Over the past eight years, lawmakers have created a new Medicare drug entitlement, doubled the education budget, enacted a $700 billion financial bailout, and passed a second “stimulus” bill that cost $1.1 trillion—all on top of unaffordable entitlement programs in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Regulation & Deregulation
“Ecosystem-Based Management”: A Stealth Vehicle To Inject Euro-Style Precaution Into U.S. RegulationBy Lawrence A. Kogan, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 07/15/2009
As debate continues over whether the United States will accede to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, recent developments in Congress and the Executive Branch indicate a quiet but concerted effort to inject UNCLOS environmental principles into U.S. law. Some, including this author, have argued that U.S. accession to UNCLOS would explicitly usher into the U.S. legal system an aggressive version of Europe’s precautionary approach to regulating economic conduct. In advance of accession, though, this “Precautionary Principle” is finding its way into U.S. policy statements and proposed legislation in the more politically palatable and innocuous-sounding, but no less unscientific, form of “ecosystem-based management.”
Health CareBy Jeffrey H. Anderson, Pacific Research InstituteHealth Policy Prescriptions, 07/15/2009
There is only one reliable pursuer of value in American health care: the American consumer. If Congress and the president are truly serious about improving American health care, they should end the tax discrimination against the uninsured. They should issue a tax credit to put the uninsured and self-insured on the same ground as those with employer-provided insurance. They should promote a more vibrant private market with greater competition across state lines, greater consumer freedom, and greater incentives for consumers to pursue value.
Economic GrowthBy Lawrence J. McQuillan, Pacific Research InstituteReport, 07/15/2009
During the past three years, California’s total enterprise value share as a percentage of the national has grown significantly in telecommunication services, materials, and utilities; grown slightly in consumer discretionary, energy, and industrials; and remained nearly flat in health care. California’s EV share, however, has dropped significantly in consumer staples and financials, and also declined in information technology.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Victor E. Schwartz, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 07/15/2009
Granting state attorneys general even greater authority to enforce federal law presents serious public policy problems whose claimed benefits remain suspect. There is no sound justification for expanding state attorney general enforcement through federal legislation. Rather, there are compelling reasons not to increase the authority of these already extremely powerful state officers. Congress should take care when meting out federal law enforcement authority, and view with great skepticism the efforts of plaintiffs’ lawyer lobbying groups to buoy the office of the state attorney general for the advancement and profit of private attorneys.
National SecurityBy Douglas J. Feith, et al., Hudson InstituteReport, 07/15/2009
The U.S.-Russian Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991 is set to expire in December 2009 and the Obama administration intends to negotiate a START renewal treaty before then. The administration wants to keep alive START’s verification regime, achieve agreement with Russia on further nuclear arms reductions, and move further down the road toward President Barack Obama’s declared goal of zero nuclear weapons in the world.
Budget & TaxationBy Tax Foundation, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 07/15/2009
States have been raising taxes on high-income tax returns, leading to concern over how high the combined tax rates would be in each state, especially in the growing number of states with double-digit tax rates. Some commentators merely sum the rates at the federal, state and local level to give a statutory total tax rate. A more accurate method is to calculate the effective marginal tax rate, which takes into consideration deductions and adjustments.
Budget & TaxationBy Kail Padgitt, Mark Robyn, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 07/15/2009
A number of states are still negotiating their 2009-2010 budgets, and income tax increases are under consideration in several, including Illinois, Connecticut, Arizona and Pennsylvania. When the recession ends, states need to have the right policies in place that will promote economic growth and maintain revenue stability. Relatively high taxes on high-income individuals can make a state less attractive and create more volatility in an already uncertain economic climate.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Sarah A. Sunday, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Opinion Letter, 07/15/2009
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a Warning Letter to General Mills, Inc. objecting to claims the company makes on its Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal. The letter objects to the statement that Cheerios can lower cholesterol levels. The agency views these claims as impermissible because they are not made in accordance with FDA regulations. The Warning Letter has potential implications for the food and supplement industries, and is noteworthy for a variety of reasons, including the support it has inadvertently provided for a consumer fraud lawsuit that was filed in a federal court in California following FDA’s issuance of the letter.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Michael F. Healy, Kelly J. Savage , Washington Legal FoundationCounsel's Advisory, 07/15/2009
The Federal District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma recently refused to expand the California First District Court of Appeal’s decision in Conte v. Wyeth and instead, like the majority of other jurisdictions having considered the issue, concluded that innovators can not be held liable for harm caused by a generic version of a brand-name product. This decision will likely have little impact on claims brought against innovators in the near future.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Peter J. Wallison, American Enterprise InstituteTestimony, 07/15/2009
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 sets up procedures and incentives that will deny some consumers the opportunity to obtain certain financial products and services while making them readily available to others—discriminating based on perceived experience, sophistication, and perhaps even intelligence disparities. The CFPA may also impair innovation, reduce the availability of low-cost credit, and increase the likelihood of costly litigation. This legislation should be rejected.
Economic GrowthBy Desmond Lachman, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/15/2009
Obama can choose, as he now seems to be doing, to counsel patience and assure us that all is well at considerable cost to his credibility on economic policy management. Or he can own up to the facts that he misread the economy in January and that his economic team now needs to go back to the drawing board. For the sake of the U.S. economy, one has to hope that he has the courage to review the overall coherence of his policy approach before it is too late.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy John P. Avlon, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/15/2009
New York City spends more money on lawsuits than the next five largest American cities combined. New York now allocates more taxpayer dollars to settling personal-injury lawsuits than it does to parks, transportation, homeless services, or the City University system. As the city seeks ways to save money during the financial crisis, it should focus on reforming the warped system that makes such unreasonable and unproductive expenditures possible.
ImmigrationBy Jena Baker McNeill, Matt A. Mayer, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/15/2009
On Friday, July 9, the Obama Administration announced plans to revise the Memorandums of Agreement that are negotiated under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The section 287(g) program is designed to allow state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws. For participating cities and states, this program is a critical tool for enforcing America’s immigration laws, because it has become a force multiplier for the under-resourced Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
National SecurityBy Jim Talent, The Heritage FoundationSpecial Report, 07/15/2009
Support for increased defense spending is a practical position rather than an ideological one. The global leadership role that America adopted after World War II, though not without its downsides, has successfully prevented the two worst disasters that could befall the world: totalitarian domination and another general war. It would be the height of folly to imperil those achievements by failing to make the modest sacrifices necessary to sustain the military power that made them possible.
Budget & Taxation
Facing America’s Long-Term Entitlement Challenges Laid Out in the Financial Report of the United States GovernmentBy Brian M. Riedl, The Heritage FoundationTestimony, 07/14/2009
The challenge of financing retirement benefits is perhaps the greatest economic challenge of our era. Unless lawmakers promptly reform Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, America faces a future of soaring taxes and government spending that will cause poor economic performance.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Andrew M. Grossman, The Heritage FoundationLegal Memorandum, 07/14/2009
In the ways that count, the Classified Information Procedures Act and the State Secrets Protection Act are absolutely nothing alike. The former respects the President's authority to classify and protect important national security and diplomatic information, while the latter affords the executive branch no deference whatsoever. CIPA's deferential approach to the problem of classified information in criminal cases should lead Congress to be wary of the intrusive approach that the SSPA would bring to civil justice.
National SecurityBy Mackenzie Eaglen, Eric Sayers, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/14/2009
Congress is faced with a decision that stands to impact the next 30 years of U.S. air power and strategy in the Pacific. Purchasing additional F-22As stands to reduce the risk of a fleet that is currently sized far below the military requirement. The unique opportunity now exists to significantly enhance the military capacity of America's closest allies in the Pacific. Congress should seize this moment and reward allies like Japan, Australia, and possibly South Korea with the option to purchase the F-22A.
EducationBy Dan Lips, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 07/14/2009
In FY 2009, the federal government will spend more than $25 billion on 69 programs for early childhood education and childcare. After more than four decades, it is still unclear whether Head Start is delivering lasting benefits to participating children. Instead of creating a new federal preschool program, Congress and the Obama Administration should evaluate federal early childhood programs, eliminate ineffective programs, and consolidate duplicative programs.
Budget & TaxationBy Derek Scissors, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has noted in advance of her trip to India toward the end of July, the U.S. has an important stake in Indian success. As its clout on the world stage increases, India can play a stabilizing role in the broader Asia region, partnering with the U.S. on a range of issues including maritime cooperation, nuclear nonproliferation, education, science, and defense trade. India also serves as a powerful example of a successful democracy in the developing world.
Information TechnologyBy David A. Gross, et al., Free State FoundationTranscript, 07/13/2009
At about 80 million, the United States has more broadband users than the next three OECD countries combined: Japan, Germany, and France. However, that is not a particularly important number. The value of telecommunications, especially broadband and the Internet, is not based upon one country having more than another. This is not a zero-sum game. We all benefit from the network externalities created by having more broadband users. The more people in the world that have broadband and access to the Internet, the better it is for all that already have it.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ted R. Bromund, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
The U.S.-U.K. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, like its U.S.-Australian counterpart, addresses a serious problem in a responsible way. It will promote trade, improve American and British procurement processes, and enhance U.S. defense and security ties with its most vital partner. The treaty has strong support from all major parties in both the U.S. and Britain, and it suffers from none of the deficiencies of some of the other treaties or legislation that may shortly come before the Senate. It has been delayed primarily not because of principled objections but because it has not been pressed forward with urgency.
Health CareBy J.P. Wieske, Christie Raniszewski Herrera, Council for Affordable Health InsuranceReport, 07/13/2009
Health insurance remains a major concern for your constituents. Focusing on the overall uninsured percentage misses the point. The uninsured population is very diverse. That’s both because there are many reasons why people don’t have coverage (e.g., they have low incomes, or they are in job transition, or they don’t think they need it, etc.) and because the relative importance of those reasons varies from state to state.
Budget & TaxationBy Beacon Hill Institute, Beacon Hill InstituteBHI FaxSheet, 07/13/2009
An organization called the “Pennsylvania Tax and Budget Center” has issued a statement attacking a release of June 15, 2009 in which the Commonwealth Foundation used certain results of the Beacon Hill Institute’s State Tax Analysis Modeling Program (PA STAMP) in commenting on Pennsylvania tax and budget issues. There are numerous flaws in the Center’s attack.
Economic GrowthBy David G. Tuerck, Benjamin Powell, Paul Bachman, Beacon Hill InstitutePolicy Study, 07/13/2009
Forecasts of future green jobs are completely unreliable. The Center for American Progress’s report relies on the application of inappropriate methodology. Yet even if this methodology were appropriate, the authors fail to account for foreign purchases of U.S. goods and investments. The Conference of Mayors based its forecasts on nothing more than an arbitrary set of assumptions of how many jobs will be created. The application of Beacon Hill Institute’s own general equilibrium model to a cap-and-trade proposal, such as in the state of Indiana, finds net job losses rather than gains.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Beacon Hill Institute, Beacon Hill InstituteAnalysis, 07/13/2009
Waxman-Markey would create a “cap-and-trade” system, under which U.S. producers would receive tradable permits to emit greenhouse gasses. Producers buying the permits would, in effect, pay a tax for the privilege of emitting greenhouse gasses currently emitted without charge. The resulting “carbon tax” would have an effect on production and employment similar to an explicit excise tax on production.
Budget & TaxationBy Phil Levy, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/13/2009
As unemployment rises ominously toward 10 percent and the economy continues to appear listless, leading economic voices have begun to call for a second fiscal stimulus. The first stimulus was controversial among economists; it seemed to discard a great deal of what had been learned about macroeconomics in recent decades. The calls for a second stimulus seem to discard logic altogether.
National SecurityBy Mackenzie Eaglen, Eric Sayers, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
Without congressional intervention, the Air Force’s ability to conduct air superiority missions will be increasingly at risk over the next three decades. President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2010 defense budget request would stop production of the F-22A Raptor at just 187 aircraft and permanently shut down this production line.
International Trade/FinanceBy Neena Shenai, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 07/13/2009
The United States has been just as—if not more—guilty as many of its G-8 counterparts in employing protectionist measures. One need only recall that the February 2009 stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), included the “Buy American” provision, which requires U.S. companies receiving federal funds to purchase only U.S.-made materials and equipment. We have only begun to see the provision’s destructive effects to global supply chains and U.S. jobs.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Peter J. Wallison, American Enterprise InstituteFinancial Services Outlook, 07/13/2009
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 is one of the most far-reaching and intrusive federal laws ever proposed by an administration. Not only does it reach down to regulate the most local levels of commercial activity, but the act would also set up procedures and incentives that will inevitably deny some consumers an opportunity to obtain products and services that are readily available to others.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
Africans have too long been encouraged to look abroad for their salvation. The key to African development lies in freeing African economies, combating corruption, unleashing the entrepreneurial talents of the people, and embracing competition in the global marketplace. Accomplishing these tasks depends on political will and action in African countries, not the United States. Although he may not be lauded for it, this is the message that President Obama should communicate to African governments and citizens.
Budget & TaxationBy Steven Malanga, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/13/2009
A post-bubble New York, one that can no longer harness Wall Street’s old earning power, will have to lure new businesses by hacking away at taxes. First to go after should be the personal income tax, a levy that only a few American cities and virtually no suburban areas impose. Making New York more competitive will also mean reforming its property-tax system to lighten the heavy burden on businesses that locate here.
Economic GrowthBy Edward L. Glaeser, Manhattan InstituteCity Journal, 07/13/2009
New York’s strength will depend on its continuing ability to attract entrepreneurs. And that, in turn, will hinge on delivering a decent quality of life at a reasonable price. If city streets become unsafe or unclean, the skilled will leave. New York’s government faces three additional challenges to keeping the city attractive to smart innovators. One is the public school system, whose problems have long pushed people out of New York. Another is local taxes, which are among the highest in the nation and constitute another incentive to leave. The third challenge is New York’s housing prices, some of the highest in the nation.
National SecurityBy James Jay Carafano, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
This week, the Department of Homeland Security announced it plans to kill some responsible, reasonable workplace verification rules. As a result, the department will perform less—not more—workplace checks. Enforcing workplace laws is a vital component to create disincentives to unlawful immigration. Congress should not authorize or fund efforts to scale back workplace enforcement.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Deborah O'Malley, Robert Alt, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 07/13/2009
Since Judge Sonia Sotomayor was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, she has received fierce criticism for a number of her public statements and court opinions that reveal a troubling judicial philosophy. She has questioned whether judges can and should set aside personal bias, mocked the idea that judges do not “make law,” and argued that judges of certain ethnicities or a particular gender will reach superior conclusions possibly due to “physiological differences” in logic and reasoning.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Ben Lieberman, The Heritage FoundationTestimony, 07/13/2009
Cap and trade adds a significant element of instability, which we have seen in Europe with wild swings in the price of carbon allowances, and energy companies less interested in long-term investment and more interested in short-term gaming of the system. The economic realities of cap and trade are becoming clear in Europe. If we adopt a similar approach here, expect considerable economic pain for minimal environmental gain.