- Budget & Taxation
- Crime, Justice & the Law
- The Constitution
- Economic & Political Thought
- Economic Growth
- Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
- Family, Culture & Community
- Foreign Policy/ International Affairs
- Health Care
- Information Technology
- International Trade & Finance
- Monetary Policy/ Financial Regulation
- National Security
- Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
- Regulation & Deregulation
- Retirement/ Social Security
- Transportation & Infrastructure
- Acton Institute
- Adam Smith Institute
- Alabama Policy Institute
- Allegheny Institute
- Alliance for School Choice
- Alliance for Worker Freedom
- 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
- Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Atlas Society
- Beacon Center of Tennessee
- Beacon Hill Institute
- Becket Fund
- 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
- Great Plains Public Policy Institute
- Heartland Institute
- The Heritage Foundation
- Heritage Libertad
- Hoover Institution
- Hudson Institute
- Illinois Policy Institute
- IMANI Center for Policy & Education
- 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
- International Republican Institute
- James Madison Institute
- John Jay Institute for Faith, Society & Law
- John Locke Foundation
- Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy
- Kansas Policy Institute
- Landmark Legal Foundation
- Leadership Institute
- Lexington Institute
- Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Maine Heritage Policy Center
- Manhattan Institute
- Maryland Public Policy Institute
- Mercatus Center
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy
- National Center for Policy Analysis
- National Center for Public Policy Research
- National Taxpayers Union
- Nevada Policy Research Institute
- North Dakota Policy Council
- Ocean State Policy Research Institute
- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
- Pacific Research Institute
- Palmetto Family Council
- PERC - The Property and Environment Research Center
- Philanthropy Roundtable
- Phoenix Center
- Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
- Progress & Freedom Foundation
- Property Rights Alliance
- Public Interest Institute
- Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia
- Reason Foundation
- Rio Grande Foundation
- Sam Adams Alliance
- Science and Public Policy Institute
- Show-Me Institute
- South Carolina Policy Council
- State Policy Network
- Sutherland Institute
- The Tax Foundation
- Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
- Thomas Jefferson Institute
- Virginia Institute for Public Policy
- Washington Legal Foundation
- Washington Policy Center
- Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
- Yankee Institute for Public Policy
- Young America’s Foundation
Recent Policy Studies
WelfareBy Katherine Bradley, Robert Rector, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/26/2010
The Obama budget is sending a clear message to members of high-risk communities: “Stay on welfare and don’t get married.”
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/26/2010
The U.S. and other countries are justified in demanding assurances that their charity toward the North Korean people is not being misused.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Dean Cheng, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/26/2010
The United States is the provider of both tangible security and political stability to the Taiwan Strait. Given China’s ongoing military buildup, particularly toward Taiwan, it is essential that the United States provide Taiwan with the physical and political means to resist the capacity of the Chinese military to alter the political status quo. This should include continued U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and maintaining a robust U.S. military capability in the region.
Economic GrowthBy Doug Stout, Public Interest InstitutePolicy Study, 02/26/2010
American Gothic is a survey of current issues and challenges facing Iowa farmers as they enter a new decade. It seems as though they are often underappreciated and that their role in Midwest life has been taken for granted. Iowa is still a farm state and although economic diversification is a positive development, we can not overlook the continued role that agriculture plays in our economic and social environment. This essay strives to paint a more balanced view of the practices and realities facing the farmer today. Like the market price of their products and the weather conditions in any given growing season, today’s producers face many criticisms and challenges which are beyond their control.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Stephen P. Halbrook, Independent InstituteBook, 02/26/2010
What did it mean to take civil rights seriously—especially the “right to bear arms”—in the years following the abolition of slavery? By quoting legislative debates, Congressional hearings on Ku Klux Klan violence, and newspapers and law books of the time, constitutional scholar Stephen Halbrook shows that both supporters and opponents of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) believed that it protected all Bill of Rights guarantees—especially the Second Amendment—from infringement by the states.
Economic GrowthBy James Sherk, J.D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/25/2010
Senator Reid’s jobs bill will do little to encourage new investment and hiring. Instead it will increase the debt, placing a further drag on private-sector investment, job creation, and the economy.
Health CareBy Nina Owcharenko, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/25/2010
America’s health care system is in need of change, but not change that consists of overhauling one-sixth of America’s economy by centralizing health care decisions in Washington. The cornerstone provisions of the House and Senate proposals, along with the President’s recent recommendations, would put more power in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians. The legislative process thus far has been characterized by little transparency or bipartisanship. To be successful, the health care summit must begin by setting aside the highly unpopular House and Senate bills. Simply adjusting the magnitude of these proposals or adding new “conservative” provisions does not change their fundamental direction. Congress and the Administration should instead pursue bipartisan reform that gives Americans greater personal control of health care decisions.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Walter Lohman, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/25/2010
The Chinese are competing very effectively for influence in Southeast Asia. To continue leading in Asia, the United States must demonstrate that its concerns about security and geopolitical competition with China are not going to upset ASEAN’s economic applecart. Concerns in the region about China’s defense capabilities are rooted so distantly in the future that the U.S. role of security guarantor is not enough to substantiate an energetic engagement. What is needed is American free trade leadership. The U.S. must be at the ASEAN table, but it must also bring something tangible.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Robert H. Bork, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/25/2010
America has steadily become less of a republic, and the problem is both political and intellectual. Almost regardless of the outcome of the intellectual struggle, however, many politicians and their activist allieds have no interest in the legitimacy of constitutional interpretation. The appointment of new judges who are guided by the original understanding of the principles of the Constitution is therefore necessary for the preservation of republican government.
International Trade/FinanceBy Daniella Markheim, Scott Lincicome, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/25/2010
The Administration has announced its intention to root out the unfair trade practices of other nations, but such enforcement efforts will fall flat until America cleans up its own approach to trade.
Health CareBy James C. Capretta, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/25/2010
The President’s health care proposal would make a very dire federal budgetary outlook much, much worse.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Ariel Cohen, Helle C. Dale, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/25/2010
The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia’s problems on the West, particularly the United States. The partial success of this policy exposes a number of serious failures in U.S. public diplomacy, which has been in decline since the end of the Cold War. To counter Russian information warfare and to consolidate democracy and freedom in Eastern and Central Europe, the U.S. needs to reinvigorate its public diplomacy efforts, using both traditional TV and radio broadcasting and new media to reach the peoples of the former Soviet satellites and post-Soviet states.
Budget & TaxationBy Karen A. Campbell, Guinevere Nell, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/25/2010
The new White House proposal to impose a Medicare tax on investment income would reduce demand for investment, which is the last thing that the economy needs right now.
Budget & TaxationBy Justin Owen, Daryl Luna, Drew Clark, Beacon Center of TennesseePolicy Brief, 02/25/2010
Given the current revenue shortfall the state faces, the brief calls on lawmakers to consider privatizing a variety of government functions, such as driver’s license facilities, state-owned golf courses, and numerous other programs throughout state government. These measures would not only help balance the current year’s budget, but alleviate future budgetary constraints and stave off potential tax increases as well.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Elizabeth Bryan, Katrina Currie, Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy AlternativesPolicy Brief, 02/25/2010
Fearful of price gouging and initial market fluctuations, state legislators tweaked the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act to place temporary rate caps on utilities. These actions caused havoc in the market when the cost of producing electricity increased, preventing competitors who could not beat the artificially low rates from entering the marketplace. But as rate caps expire, all companies will now begin to charge the market price of electricity.
Budget & TaxationBy Commonwealth Foundation, Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy AlternativesPolicy Points, 02/25/2010
Pennsylvania faces a projected General Fund tax revenue shortfall of at least $500 million. Governor Rendell proposed a $29 billion General Fund budget for 2010-11, that increases businesses taxes, imposes new taxes on natural gas and tobacco products, and expands the sales tax to many goods and services currently exempt.
Economic GrowthBy Margo Thorning, Pinar Cebi Wilber, Texas Public Policy FoundationStudies, 02/25/2010
Pending federal climate change bills would likely cause the Texas economy to experience slower growth in jobs and income. Texas’ gross state product, employment, industrial output, state budget revenues, and household income would fall relative to the baseline forecast. Higher energy costs resulting from the Waxman-Markey bill’s mandatory carbon emission reductions, energy efficiency mandates, and renewable portfolio standards passed by the U.S. House of Representatives will impede recovery from the current recession and reduce state budget receipts. In recent years, each 1 percent increase in growth of gross domestic product in the U.S. has been accompanied by a 0.2 percent increase in energy use. Thus, policies which raise energy prices are likely to have negative consequences for U.S. economic growth.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Jonathan C. Drimmer, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 02/24/2010
Talisman’s purpose test creates a higher barrier for plaintiffs pursuing Alien Tort Statute (ATS) suits than the knowledge test in use elsewhere, and it will limit corporate ATS cases to some extent. Yet the holding is confined to the Second Circuit, plaintiffs have found success under other theories of liability, and evidence sufficient to show knowledge can sometimes create an inference of intent. So while Talisman will have an impact, corporations are not yet out of the ATS woods.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Alyson Bustamante Jones, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Opinion Letter, 02/24/2010
Thanks to the leadership of Governor Haley Barbour and a legislature which has understood the corrosive effect unmeritorious vexatious litigation has on a state’s judicial system and its ability to attract new business and grow the economy, Mississippi has transformed its civil justice system and its prior litigious image through targeted tort reforms. When posed with similar legislative reforms in other states, trial lawyers have engaged in a full frontal assault against these efforts at tort reform by attempting to nullify the laws under the state constitutions with mixed and more recently unsuccessful results. This “judicial nullification” effort has migrated to Mississippi, where plaintiffs’ lawyers have taken aim at provision of the state’s tort reform.
Regulation & DeregulationBy John Berlau, Capital Research CenterOrganization Trends, 02/24/2010
Labor unions, left-leaning foundations and activists declare their support for “shareholder democracy” in calling for the adoption of shareholder resolutions at corporate annual meetings. But their efforts to gain shareholder proxies to endorse policy positions, restrict CEO pay, and replace company directors is really about shifting power from management to special interest groups. It’s also about changing the mission of the corporation from maximizing profits for shareholders to serving their own social and political goals.
EducationBy Ze’ev Wurman, Sandra Stotsky, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy ResearchWhite Paper, 02/24/2010
The case for national standards rests on more than the need to equalize academic expectations for all students by remedying the uneven and often deplorable quality of most state standards and tests. The case also rests on the urgent need to increase academic achievement for all students. In mathematics and science in particular, we require much higher levels of achievement than our students now demonstrate for this country to remain competitive in the global economy. These goals are not compatible at the secondary school level, and the tensions they create are not easily resolved. For example, although the National Mathematics Advisory Panel recommended 27 major topics for school algebra, it is unreasonable to make them a high school graduation requirement.
Health CareBy Byron Schlomach, Goldwater InstitutePolicy Brief, 02/24/2010
Too often “profit” is equated with “greed.” The word implies to many an unrelenting seeking of gain, even at the expense and suffering of others. This reasoning implies that one man’s profit is derived from another man’s loss. Government policy should, therefore, remain neutral toward nonprofits and for profits competing in the market place for government contracts. There should be no restrictions against for profit companies competing for government contracts. Issues of accountability should be completely contained in contracts, not left to vague idealistic images of what nonprofits ought to be.
Budget & TaxationBy Mark Flatten, Goldwater InstituteSpecial Report, 02/24/2010
Special deals between cities and hand-picked developers have exempted more than $2 billion in development projects from property taxes in Arizona, shifting the tax burden to surrounding property owners and creating a competitive disadvantage for other businesses, an investigation by the Goldwater Institute has found. The unpaid property taxes are supposed to be replaced by the Government Property Lease Excise Tax or GPLET. However, the Institute’s investigation found GPLET payments amount to a fraction of what would be paid in property taxes.
Budget & TaxationBy Robert Carroll, Tax FoundationSpecial Report, 02/24/2010
The Congress and Administration decided to postpone action on major changes in international tax rules until this year. While the preoccupation with health care reform was undoubtedly a major factor, the concern that the Administration’s proposals might undermine the competitiveness of U.S. companies operating abroad was also reported to be a major consideration.
Budget & TaxationBy Justin Higginbottom, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 02/24/2010
Recessions can stimulate needed tax changes. Georgia should take this opportunity to get smarter with its tax policy, doing everything possible to soften a future recession’s blow and increase reliable revenue now. This report summarizes Georgia’s tax climate and proposes reform for this end.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Michael Ennis, Washington Policy CenterLegislative Memo, 02/24/2010
Have you ever wondered how much of your transportation tax money pays for that Metro bus you always see on the road? Or how much of it funds light rail as opposed to roads and bridges? New research by transportation expert James W. MacIsaac, P.E. shows that if you live in the Puget Sound region, you might be surprised just how officials spend your hard earned money.
Economic GrowthBy Victoria Strokova, Property Rights AllianceStudies, 02/23/2010
The 2010 International Property Rights Index (IPRI) is an international comparative study that measures the significance of both physical and intellectual property rights and their protection for economic well-being. In order to incorporate and grasp the important aspects related to property rights protection, the Index focuses on three areas: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR), and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The current study analyzes data for 125 countries around the globe, representing ninety-seven percent of world GDP. Of great importance, the 2010 gauge incorporates data of PR protection from various sources, often directly obtained from expert surveys within the evaluated countries.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Laurence J. Kotlikoff, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 02/23/2010
There are many critical lessons to be learned from the financial crisis that began in the fall of 2008 and how it has since been handled. The federal government responded aggressively–at a huge cost–but nearly two years later little progress has been seen in the country’s economic health. If the nation’s financial services industry is to be revived, the system needs to be restructured and rebuilt from the ground up.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Laurence J. Kotlikoff, National Center for Policy AnalysisBrief Analysis, 02/23/2010
Each financial crisis is different, yet they all feature financial institutions making promises they cannot keep. The conventional explanation for the 2008 financial crisis and recession is that it was caused by a housing bubble, spurred by the Federal Reserve’s low interest-rate policy and by lax regulatory oversight. All three claims may be true, but they do not identify the underlying institutional cause.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy H. Sterling Burnett, National Center for Policy AnalysisStudies, 02/23/2010
The human population is growing–especially in countries where people are already malnourished–and will probably plateau sometime this century between eight and nine billion people. With approximately six million square miles of land under cultivation, the world currently produces more than enough food to feed Earth’s six billion people minimally adequate diets. However, as populations grow and developing countries strive for Western living standards, the world will need approximately three times more food than is currently produced.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Daniel Klein, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 02/23/2010
Adam Smith’s moral theory considered a number of sources of moral approval, and at each turn he invoked an accompanying spectator, however sketchy. In judging an action, at each turn the readers consult their sympathy with a spectator that is natural or proper to the occasion. In this paper the author suggests that common economic talk of market communication, market error and correction, and policy error and correction similarly invokes such a spectatorial being and similarly appeals to sympathy with such being. Behind such common economic talk, the author suggests, are implicit allegories wherein an allegorical figure communicates knowledge, errs in its instructions, and corrects its instructions. The allegory behind such talk is vital and necessary because without it, the talk of market communication, error, and correction cannot be sustained. Unfolding the allegory behind such theorizing helps to clarify the meaning, limitations, and value of such talk.
Elections, Transparency, & AccountabilityBy Jerry Brito, Mercatus CenterBook, 02/23/2010
When government refuses to make itself transparent and open and fails to make public information meaningfully available, hackers will liberate the data. It has happened many times over, and it will doubtlessly happen again. Each time government data is freed, citizens gain useful access to valuable information that rightly belongs to them. But perhaps more importantly, government is forced to deal with the new reality of a networked world in which the people demand free online access to public information.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Jonathan Jacobs, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 02/23/2010
This present discussion focuses on the intersection of some issues in moral psychology and some normative issues. It explicates how and why patience can be crucial to the preservation of a liberal political order. In particular, it grounds the significance of patience as a political virtue in the mutually reinforcing insights and arguments of Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Johan van der Walt, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 02/23/2010
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, a new and interesting strand in the new comparative political economy has developed, the Varieties of Capitalism literature. This literature has gained widespread attention in the fields of economics, business, law, political science, and sociology. This paper contributes to this discussion by arguing that the absence of an analytical framework that accounts for the differences between firms in the Varieties of Capitalism paradigm warrants some more consideration. It argues that variation in firms can be explained as a function of the diverse modes of action chosen by entrepreneurs through the acquisition, combination, and recombination of resources in the economy to exploit profit opportunities.
Economic GrowthBy Peter Leeson, Mercatus CenterWorking Paper, 02/23/2010
According to a popular view the author terms “two cheers for capitalism,” capitalism’s effect on development is ambiguous and mixed. This paper empirically investigates that view and finds that it’s wrong. Citizens in countries that became more capitalist over the last quarter century became wealthier, healthier, more educated, and politically freer. Citizens in countries that became significantly less capitalist over this period endured stagnating income, shortening life spans, smaller gains in education, and increasingly oppressive political regimes. The data unequivocally evidence capitalism’s superiority for development. Full-force cheerleading for capitalism is well deserved and three cheers are in order instead of two.
Economic GrowthBy J. D. Foster, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/23/2010
The Federal Reserve’s actions to stabilize financial markets and the U.S. economy during the recent credit crisis created a mountain of excess reserves owned by banks and held at the Fed. If released into the economy too quickly, these excess reserves would trigger a burst of inflation forcing the Fed to raise the Fed funds rate quickly and likely triggering yet another recession. How well the Fed responds to this inflation threat by managing the excess reserves will heavily influence the near-term course of the economy. The Fed appears to have the necessary tools, especially its newly granted ability to pay interest on excess reserves. The greater uncertainty is whether the Fed will use those tools wisely.
Budget & TaxationBy John L. Ligon, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/23/2010
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act could be considered an excellent piece of legislation—if, that is, the goal of the legislation was to ensure massive Social Security deficits without creating a single new job. Yet another attempt by the federal government to coerce companies into hiring more workers, the HIRE Act also signals two fundamental and likely permanent shifts to the Social Security system: A move away from a system where benefits are paid for entirely by worker contributions to a system; and backdoor increases in taxes as a consequence of partial or full general fund financing. Rather than hobbling America’s economic recovery with an ineffective payroll tax holiday like the HIRE Act, Congress should encourage productive and sustainable job creation—policies capable of generating real growth in the U.S. economy.
International Trade/FinanceBy Derek Scissors, The Heritage FoundationViewpoint, 02/23/2010
The China Global Investment Tracker created by The Heritage Foundation is the only available comprehensive dataset relating to large Chinese foreign investments and construction contracts in all areas of the world. Details are available on all attempted transactions over $100 million in a variety of industries, including energy, transportation and banking.
National SecurityBy Baker Spring, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/23/2010
The Obama Administration’s proposed defense budget would create gaps in the overall U.S. defense posture, including some combination of inadequate manpower, lack of operational capacity, inadequate modernization of the force, a force structure that is too small, a hollow military strategy, and a weakening of U.S. security commitments. Spending 4 percent of GDP for the core defense budget would provide enough resources to meet U.S. security commitments and would be a humanitarian and financial bargain.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy David C. John, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
The Volcker rule would do nothing to improve the stability of the banking system but could actually damage it.
National SecurityBy Mitch McConnell, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/23/2010
America is very much at war, but the current Administration seems to have a blind spot when it comes to prosecuting this war. Its handling of the Christmas Day bomber may have been the most egregious example, but it was no isolated case. Treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter is precisely the attitude that kept us from seeing this threat when we should have. Reverting to it now is potentially disastrous.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Jack Spencer, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
President Obama’s effort to terminate the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project could end America’s nuclear renaissance before it even begins.
National SecurityBy Mackenzie Eaglen, Jim Dolbow, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
Despite its vital contribution to homeland defense and international security, the Coast Guard’s future ability to respond to maritime crises is at risk, and the pending President’s budget request will hasten the fleet’s decline.
Economic GrowthBy The Heritage Foundation, The Heritage FoundationFact Sheet, 02/23/2010
Obama’s first $862 billion stimulus bill was supposed to create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010, but since it passed in February 2009, 3.3 million Americans have been put out of work. The unemployment rate lingers around 10% and businesses continue to shed jobs, including 20,000 more lost in January. Congress is now considering yet another multi-billion dollar stimulus that features tax breaks for businesses who hire new workers.
National SecurityBy Paul Rosenzweig, Jena Baker McNeill, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act makes some progress, but it breaks no new ground in terms of cyber security.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Marion Smith, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/23/2010
The Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are fundamentally incompatible with the political and constitutional principles of the United States. For example, the rights to trial by jury, a speedy trial, and the presumption of innocence are conspicuously absent from the ICC’s legal due processes. Accordingly, the Clinton and Bush Administrations held the ICC at arm’s length, continuing the centuries-old U.S. policy of abstaining from excessively entangling international institutions. The Obama Administration’s enthusiastic engagement with the ICC therefore represents a significant shift in the U.S. approach and is cause for serious concern.
Economic GrowthBy James Sherk, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
Congress should jettison ideology and instead promote entrepreneurship and investment with a no-cost stimulus that would create jobs without adding to the deficit.
National SecurityBy Charles D. “Cully” Stimson, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 02/23/2010
The capture of Abdul Ghani Baradar raises questions that go to the heart of President Obama’s approach to counterterrorism and his ever-shifting detention policies.
Health CareBy Linda Springer, Donald J. Devine, Dan G. Blair, Robert E. Moffit, The Heritage FoundationHeritage Lecture, 02/23/2010
On Christmas Eve 2009, the U.S. Senate passed a mammoth health care bill that would dramatically expand the role of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Why should Americans care about this? OPM is the government agency that runs the federal civil service and also administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-and does a decent job at both. But with its new powers, OPM would no longer merely act as referee in the annual competition among private health plans trying to attract federal workers. OPM would become the official sponsor of at least two national health plans (read: public option) that would compete against private plans in every state in the country. The possibility of OPM’s new role opens up a near-endless array of questions and concerns. In a panel discussion on January 20, 2010, hosted by The Heritage Foundation, four health policy experts, including three former OPM directors, address some of them.
Family, Culture & CommunityBy Christine C. Kim, Robert Rector, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 02/23/2010
Teen sexual activity is costly, not just for teens, but also for society. Teens who engage in sexual activity risk a host of negative outcomes including STD infection, emotional and psychological harm, and out-of-wedlock childbearing. Genuine abstinence education is therefore crucial to the physical and psycho-emotional well-being of the nation’s youth. In addition to teaching the benefits of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage, abstinence programs focus on developing character traits that prepare youths for future-oriented goals. When considering effective prevention program aimed at changing teen sexual behavior, lawmakers should consider all of the available empirical evidence and restore funding for abstinence education.
Crime, Justice & the Law
To Disclose Or Not To Disclose?: Eliminating Materiality From Government’s Pre-Trial “Brady” AnalysisBy Donald J. Goldberg, Amy Shellhammer, Washington Legal FoundationWorking Paper, 02/22/2010
The unique role of the prosecutor in our nation’s justice system never faces greater scrutiny than in the months following a glaring Brady violation in a high-profile criminal case. The most recent example of this phenomenon arose during the corruption prosecution of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. In the wake of a trial that was rife with instances in which prosecutors relied on their own questionable evaluations of “materiality” and failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, Senator Stevens’s conviction was set aside and the charges against him dismissed.
Health CareBy Peter Ferrara, Institute for Policy InnovationIPI Ideas, 02/22/2010
Health reformers looking to start anew on health policy legislation should start with the list in this article. Instead of rationing, new bureaucracies and increased taxes, government policy should seek to maximize incentives so that patients, in consultation with their physicians, seek value for their health care dollars. Getting the incentives right will go a long ways towards solving the problems in our health care system.
An Interim Report Card on Massachusetts Health Care Reform Part 2: Equitable and Sustainable FinancingBy Amy M. Lischko, Kristin Manzolillo, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy ResearchWhite Paper, 02/22/2010
The simple fact is that the reform is an experiment. It is likely to succeed on some fronts and fail on others. Given the early stage of our 2006 reform, we are now only starting to gain access to data on outcomes, and the series of years covered is often inadequate to making judgments. This second chapter focuses on the sustainability and fairness of the financing model employed. It is worth noting that the cost and quality of care will be dealt with separately, in the fourth and final installment in this series.
EducationBy Neal McCluskey, Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 02/22/2010
The argument for national curriculum standards sounds simple: set high standards, make all schools meet them, and watch American students achieve at high levels. It is straightforward and compelling, and it is driving a sea change in American education policy. Unfortunately, setting high standards and getting American students to hit them is extremely difficult. Politically powerful interest groups must be overcome. Crippling conflicts between different religious, ethnic, and ideological factions must be avoided. And a culture that is generally averse to an intense focus on academics must be transformed. These challenges help to explain why the research on national standards is both very limited and inconclusive.
EducationBy Frederick M. Hess, Jon Fullerton, American Enterprise InstituteEducation Outlook, 02/22/2010
Educators lack the data necessary to pinpoint concerns and successes in schools. A focus on collecting student achievement data in the past ten years has increased the amount of information school districts have, but these data are insufficient. Successful organizations use extensive data analysis to guide decisions, but few K–12 districts have the metrics needed to do the same. This Outlook outlines several steps that, if implemented, could make data-driven management in education a reality and lays out key measurements districts should collect to make data analysis an effective tool for improving education.
Colorado Schools and Association Release Time: Making the Privilege Accountable and Transparent to CitizensBy Benjamin DeGrow, Independence InstitutePolicy Analysis, 02/22/2010
The issue of school employee release time certainly is controversial. But policy makers should at least forge a consensus to ensure greater accountability and transparency in the process. For the benefit of students, parents and other taxpayers, school districts should adopt and enforce clear guidelines on acceptable uses of employee association release time.