- 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
Regulation & DeregulationBy Carl Gipson, Washington Policy CenterPolicy Brief, 06/02/2011
As the number of regulations grows, a more disconcerting trend is the type of rules that are being promulgated. Many proposed regulations take an ex ante approach to regulating an industry, rather than the previously accepted practice of ex post regulatory framework. Essentially, regulators are turning their sights on what they can predict, rather than relying on evidence that justifies a regulatory step to correct a problem in the market. We are seeing a movement toward prophetic regulations that do not rely on real scientific or economic evidence. And we are seeing the emergence of regulations that reflect what might be termed a “digital precautionary principle,” where regulators are discouraging innovations in technology by assuming the cost to humans or to the environment of an innovation outweigh the benefits of the new product of service.
EducationBy Liv Finne, Washington Policy CenterPolicy Brief, 06/02/2011
The main obstacle to improving public education is the power of the union in the system. This power is symbolized by the Common School Manual, the five pound, four-inch thick book that contains all the laws, rules and regulations that smother the ability of teachers and principals to provide the best education for children.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy David T. Hartgen, M. Gregory Fields, Elizabeth San Jose, Wisconsin Policy Research InstituteReport, 06/02/2011
Wisconsin’s 10-year likely resources for the State Highway System appear to cover only about 65% of its 10-year prudent needs. Since the magnitude of the shortfall appears to be growing, serious attention by elected and appointed officials to this issue is timely. The increasing trend in the magnitude of the shortfall should be cause for concern, and obviously a gap of this magnitude will be difficult to close. This report briefly discusses general options for bringing needs into line with resources. This report does not assess various specific mechanisms for addressing this issue, but by highlighting the magnitude of the problem it hopes to focus discussion on it.
EducationBy Scott Niederjohn, Wisconsin Policy Research InstituteReport, 06/02/2011
Given the importance of economic and financial education, one might expect to find these subjects emphasized in Wisconsin’s K-12 schools. Other states are ahead of Wisconsin. Twenty-one states now require high school students to take an economics course; thirteen states require students to take a personal finance course. In Wisconsin, neither is required, so few Wisconsin high school students take a course in economics or personal finance, and few teachers are qualified to teach one. This widespread disregard has real consequences. The financial crisis from which our nation is currently recovering illustrates some of these, having arisen in part from ill-considered decisions by financially illiterate consumers of credit. For American workers, moreover, the trend away from defined-benefit pensions toward defined-contribution pensions places increasing investment responsibilities in the hands of individuals.
EducationBy American Council of Trustees and Alumni, American Council of Trustees and AlumniReport, 06/02/2011
“As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” Such is indeed the case with higher education, as Maine faces challenges seen throughout the country. The education that Maine’s seven-campus university system provides is crucial for the well-being and progress of the state. Higher education has many vital functions, including pure and applied research, agricultural extension centers, and continuing education for adult learners, but its primary claim to public support rests on the undergraduate programs it provides for students seeking degrees and diplomas. In this regard, it is crucial that policymakers, university personnel, trustees, alumni, and taxpayers—both in Maine and every other state—learn from Maine’s successes and failures. With this in mind, ACTA adds this report card to the list of those it has prepared for North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Idaho, and the Big 12 Conference.
EducationBy Lindsey Burke, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 06/02/2011
Increasing federal intervention and the resulting burden of complying with federal programs, rules, and regulations has caused a significant growth in state bureaucracy, much of which has a parasitic relationship with federal education programs, straining the time and resources of local schools. Instead of responding first to students, parents, and taxpayers, federal education funding has encouraged state education systems and local school districts to orient their focus to the demands of Washington. Instead of building on the failed policies of the past and continuing top-down education reform from Washington, a drastically different approach should be taken to significantly limit the federal role in education and empower state and local leaders. The proposed Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act directs educational accountability to those with the most at stake in student and school success: parents and taxpayers.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy George J. Mannina, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 06/02/2011
On May 2, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register a draft guidance document explaining how EPA and the Corps will implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Corps of Engineers, and Rapanos v. United States. The Guidance will dictate which waters are subject to the Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory processes. A careful reading of the Guidance suggests that its practical effect will likely be to accomplish something Congress lacked the votes to do – effectively circumvent the Supreme Court’ intention to place limits on how far the Corps and EPA can go in asserting jurisdiction under the CWA.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Steven J. Willis, Nakku Chung, Washington Legal FoundationWorking Paper, 06/02/2011
Some people argue the constitutional objections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Health Care Act” or “the Act”) are moot because Congress could constitutionally accomplish the same goals with a credit for health insurance purchasers; however, such a credit would not likely have the same substantive effects as Section 5000A – the health care penalty. Credits differ from taxes in several ways: constitutionally, procedurally, substantively, economically, and psychologically.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy David M. Young, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Backgrounder, 06/02/2011
In Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit emphatically rejected the use of a “25 percent rule of thumb” for determining reasonable royalty damages for patent infringement. The ruling is important not only because this “rule of thumb” was often employed by patentees and recognized by lower courts as an alternative method of calculating the amount of a reasonable royalty, but also because it is yet another decision in a series of Federal Circuit cases that have circumscribed the manner in which patent infringement damages must be proven. Such rulings continue to demonstrate the Federal Circuit’s interest in refining the proof that must be presented in connection with patent damages. It is clear that the appellate court is not waiting for congressional patent reform action with respect to this issue.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Kasey J. Curtis, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Opinion Letter, 06/02/2011
Nearly every business has a website. Businesses frequently believe that the more developed and interactive their websites are, the better. But is that really the case? Businesses are often unaware that merely operating an interactive website may provide a basis for courts to exercise jurisdiction over them, even in states where they otherwise do little or no business. Under U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit precedent, an “active” website is often sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over a business while a “passive” website is not. As a practical matter, businesses may often find it difficult to be able to tell the difference between the two. Even more confusing is the fact that precedent does not always draw clear distinctions between the two.
Crime, Justice & the Law
Avoiding the Sideshow: One Trial Judge’s Textbook Application of Daubert to Exclude Dubious TestimonyBy Katharine R. Latimer, Matthew J. Malinowski, Washington Legal FoundationLegal Opinion Letter, 06/02/2011
Properly applied, the federal rules offer formidable protection against junk science and paid advocates. One federal court recently got it right by excluding purported expert testimony, including that of widely-used plaintiffs’ expert Suzanne Parisian, due to its “concern that all of plaintiff’s experts, to some degree, are being proffered as ‘superlawyers’ to serve as scientifically informed advocates of conclusions that plaintiff wants the jury to reach and which belong only in summation, not expert testimony.”
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Neil Maghami, Capital Research CenterGreen Watch, 06/02/2011
In his 2006 State of the Union address President Bush called for a new era in “clean, safe nuclear energy.” Four years later President Barack Obama boasted that his Administration would provide “roughly $8 billion in loan guarantees to break ground on the first new nuclear plant in our country in three decades...” Unfortunately, the prospects for the nuclear industry are less bright today. An old enemy – the environmental movement—is taking advantage of the nuclear tragedy in Fukushima, Japan, and it is building a coalition linking advocates of “renewable” wind and solar power to opponents of nuclear proliferation. A surprising linchpin of the coalition: former Secretary of State George Shultz. This issue of GreenWatch looks at how the greens are developing their antinuclear strategy.
Budget & TaxationBy F. Vincent Vernuccio, Capital Research CenterLabor Watch, 06/02/2011
The battle in Michigan between government sector labor unions and a new generation of political leaders has not received as much mainstream media coverage as the tumultuous events in Wisconsin. And Governor Rick Snyder is not yet a conservative YouTube internet sensation like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But lawmakers in Lansing are weakening the power of Big Labor in a state that is a legendary union stronghold. And public sector unions are pulling out all the stops to protect their privileges.
What’s Behind the Attack on For-Profit Colleges? How Concern over Student Loan Defaults Obscures the Real IssueBy RiShawn Biddle, Capital Research CenterOrganization Trends, 06/02/2011
America’s for-profit colleges and universities have been leading innovators in higher education. They provide millions of college students, many of them older and working full-time, with flexible and affordable ways to acquire a worthwhile education. But a soon-to-be announced Department of Education regulation is set to penalize for-profit colleges for their high rates of student loan default. The federal crackdown on privately-operated for-profit colleges is prompted by radical philanthropist George Soros, a phalanx of stock manipulators, and left-wing activists and politicians. Their efforts to damage this vital sector of higher education ignore the real issues: the runaway spending and declining quality of higher education.
PhilanthropyBy Martin Morse Wooster, Capital Research CenterFoundation Watch, 06/02/2011
The Atlantic Philanthropies is a picture-perfect example of a foundation that honors the “donor intent” of its creator. It adheres closely to the mission envisioned by founder Chuck Feeney. On the other hand, it funds left-wing causes and is run by a George Soros protégé.
Budget & TaxationBy Leonard Gilroy, et al., Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy AlternativesReport, 06/02/2011
The “Yellow Pages test,” says that if a service can be found in the Yellow Pages of a phone book, government should consider buying it rather than using taxpayer dollars to hire and manage public employees. Pennsylvania is involved in an array of yellow page services. While many Pennsylvanians are aware of efforts to privatize Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor stores and to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike, this report examines some of the lesser-known government-run businesses. For example, municipalities throughout Pennsylvania own a total of 49 golf courses; numerous local governments operate fitness centers; the Dauphin County Authority owns the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh airport; the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources owns a luxury hotel at Bald Eagle State Park; and about thirty counties in Pennsylvania operate nursing homes.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Wendell Cox, National Center for Policy AnalysisPolicy Report, 06/02/2011
There is general agreement the financial crisis that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, was worsened by the bursting of the U.S. housing price bubble. It is also generally acknowledged that some of the fuel for the housing bubble came from a relaxation of mortgage loan standards that allowed many families to purchase homes they could not afford with loans on which they subsequently defaulted. New and excessive demand from mortgagees drove up home prices faster than the increase in the housing supply. It is less well understood that the U.S. housing bubble was not a monolithic event. It varied substantially by geography. Gross national house value increases and losses were overwhelmingly concentrated in metropolitan areas with more restrictive land use regulations—known by a variety of names, such as compact city policy, growth management or smart growth.
Budget & TaxationBy Daniel M. Rothschild, Mercatus CenterMercatus on Policy, 06/02/2011
Federal, state, and many local governments tax cell phone subscribers at a variety of rates that almost always exceed tax rates on other goods and services. In some states, consumers now pay as much as a quarter of their total cell phone service bills to government entities. And some local governments are aggressively increasing taxes and fees. There is no economic justification for these high tax rates: reducing cell phone ownership is not a public policy goal, cell phone use by one customer does not affect other customers or other people, and these taxes fall disproportionately on lower-income households. Governments at all levels should bring cell phone taxes in line with taxes on similar goods and services and avoid discriminatory taxes on new and emerging wireless communication products.
Budget & TaxationBy David R. Henderson, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 06/02/2011
Imagine this scenario: a federal government runs a large deficit. The deficits are so large, in fact, that the ratio of federal debt to Gross Domestic Product approaches 70 percent. Meanwhile, voters have gotten used to large federal spending programs. Does that sound like the United States? Well, yes. But it also describes Canada in 1993. Yet, just 16 years later, Canada’s federal debt has fallen from almost 70 percent to only 29 percent of GDP. Moreover, every year between 1997 and 2008, Canada’s federal government had a budget surplus. In one fiscal year, 2000-2001, its surplus was a whopping 1.8 percent of GDP. If the U.S. government had such a surplus today, that would amount to a cool $263 billion rather than the current deficit of over $1.5 trillion.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Richard A. Epstein, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 06/02/2011
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’s approach toward regulatory reform has two major defects: First, it talks only about small matters whose significance is lost in the current environment that features higher taxes, massive new regulatory initiatives such as the Dodd-Frank financial reform, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, both of which will soon have their regulatory wheels turning at full blast. Second, it fails to take a real inventory of existing programs in ways that are credible to a public evermore skeptical of the government.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Charles Calomiris, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 06/02/2011
The euro zone’s likely failure to avoid at least some departures, if not total collapse, reflects its poor initial institutional design. Countries were joined together that were unlikely to be able to survive as a common currency zone, and there were no credible institutions in place to enforce long-term fiscal discipline or to coordinate the resolution of exigencies.
International Trade/FinanceBy Daniel J. Ikenson, Cato InstituteTrade Policy Analysis, 06/02/2011
Four out of every five U.S. antidumping measures restrict imports of inputs consumed by downstream U.S. producers in their own production processes. Yet the statute forbids the administering authorities from considering the economic impact of antidumping restrictions on those firms or on the economy at large. Such restrictions raise the costs of production for downstream firms, rendering them less competitive at home and abroad.
EducationBy Michael Van Beek, Mackinac Center for Public PolicyReport, 06/02/2011
On average, Michigan school districts comprising the city locale group received the largest total revenues per pupil and logged the largest operating expenditures per pupil from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2010, the city locale group received $12,906 per pupil in total revenues—13 percent more than the next-highest locale group (the suburban)—and spent $13,115 per pupil on operations—23 percent more than the next-highest locale group (again the suburban). The analysis also indicates that the town and rural locale groups, which generally had lower per-pupil operating expenditures than the city and suburban locales, dedicated a slightly larger portion of their operating expenditures to instruction—about 63 percent each in 2010. The suburban and city locale groups devoted about 61 percent and 58 percent of their operational spending to instruction, respectively.
International Trade/FinanceBy Claude Barfield, American Enterprise InstituteInternational Economic Outlook, 06/02/2011
With the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of negotiations facing stalemate or collapse, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will become the single most important US trade initiative after Congress passes the Korea, Colombia, and Panama free trade agreements (FTAs). Enjoying bipartisan support, the current nine-member TPP is seen as a potential building block for a larger Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific Agreement (FTAAP). The Asia-Pacific constitutes the most dynamic economic region in the world, accounting for about 60 percent of global gross domestic product and 50 percent of international trade. The TPP has overwhelming importance—not only for the United States but also for the Asia-Pacific. This Outlook assesses the progress of TPP negotiations, tracing the history and current status of the TPP and describing the substantive and structural issues that have emerged during the negotiations.
Budget & TaxationBy Joseph Antos, et al., American Enterprise InstituteReport, 06/02/2011
Our country faces a serious fiscal crisis. According to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the nation is on an unsustainable fiscal path, with spending well above tax revenue. The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current policies, federal debt will soar from 62 percent of annual GDP in 2010 to 87 percent in 2020 and 185 percent in 2035. The plan presented here re-establishes a balance between federal spending and revenue that achieves long-term fiscal stability and promotes economic growth. We cannot simply tax our way to a balanced budget without suffering the consequences of a sluggish economy and reduced prosperity. We also cannot simply cut spending without risking the loss of essential services for an aging population, undercutting our infrastructure on which economic growth builds, and reducing our ability to defend the country against its enemies.
Economic GrowthBy Aparna Mathur, American Enterprise InstituteStudies, 06/02/2011
This paper assesses the extent to which the U.S. bankruptcy system is effective in providing small businesses a “fresh start” after a bankruptcy filing. Our results suggest some areas of concern though there are clearly promising aspects as well. On the positive side, previously bankrupt firms are not any more burdened than the average small firm by problems relating to profitability, cash flow, health insurance costs, or taxes—all considered to be major problems facing all small businesses. However, the one area of concern that persists after a filing is financing or credit access.
National SecurityBy Frederick W. Kagan, American Enterprise InstituteStudies, 06/02/2011
The presence of US air power and ground troops in Iraq would assure Baghdad of its survival, and at less cost to Iraqi and regional security. The US military can provide Iraq with the ability to hold its own against Iranian proxy groups, to deter and defeat an Iranian conventional military attack or air attack, and to deter or retaliate against an Iranian missile campaign. Internally, the United States could continue to play an irreplaceable role in keeping the peace along the Arab-Kurd fault line in northern Iraq. A long-term strategic military partnership also benefits the United States. It would deter serious Iranian adventurism in Iraq and help Baghdad resist Iranian pressure to conform to Tehran’s policies aimed at excluding the United States and its allies from a region of vital interest to the West.
National SecurityBy James Carafano, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 06/02/2011
Congress has every right to be angry with the President regarding the situation in Libya. Regardless of any views on the merits of the Libyan intervention, there is no question that from the start President Obama failed to consult Congress in an appropriately deliberate manner. The President has ill-served Congress, and there is no reason Congress should stand for it. As it responds, Congress should mindful of its obligations: to uphold the Constitution, act in America’s interests, and not unduly put the lives of American allies at risk.
National SecurityBy Jena Baker McNeill, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 06/02/2011
As Congress moves through the fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations process, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy may receive a dramatic decrease in funding. While it is important that Congress seek out cost savings within DHS, the Office of Policy is a critical player in policy development and interagency activities. It is also home to key programs—such as the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—that are essential for DHS’s success. Congress should ensure that the office’s operations are adequately funded while cutting funding in areas that need less money, such as bureaucratic and inefficient homeland security grants.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Alexandra Liddy Bourne, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 06/02/2011
Electricity is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy—it is essential for all transportation, and for manufacturing all food and consumer products on which Americans rely every day. Many small businesses and families are still struggling to make ends meet during this fragile economic rebound, and the last thing they need is the rapidly increasing electricity, fuel, and food costs. Affordable energy is the key to lasting economic recovery, and a market-based energy policy is the best way to achieve it. An effective energy policy embraces and encourages the use of abundant and reliable domestic energy resources. Any energy policy that tightens supplies and raises prices will hurt everyone—but especially the lower and middle income—and needlessly prolong the economic misery. It is vitally important to thwart policy initiatives that raise energy prices, make American manufacturing uncompetitive, and send American jobs abroad.
National SecurityBy Donald C. Winter, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 06/02/2011
In confronting the federal debt crisis, Congress should take special care not to cut the defense budget in ways that would reduce the U.S. military’s ability to dissuade, deter, and, if necessary, defeat future adversaries. While America has made significant cuts to defense spending before when threats receded, today the U.S. faces a disturbingly diverse set of national security challenges ranging from Somali pirates to transnational terrorist organizations to rogue nations with nuclear weapons. One of the best investments the U.S. can make is in military capabilities that dissuade and deter future adversaries.
National SecurityBy Paul Rosenzweig, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 06/02/2011
Over the past 10 years, the United States has devoted significant resources to the development of a counterinsurgency strategy for fighting non-traditional enemies on the ground. As the global scandal caused by the unauthorized publication of classified government material on the infamous WikiLeaks Web site has demonstrated, it is time for a counterinsurgency strategy in cyberspace as well. While the U.S. government has authored a number of cybersecurity strategies, they all focus too much on technology and not enough on a comprehensive approach to battling cyber insurgency. This Heritage Foundation Backgrounder explains what the U.S. should do if it wants to win the escalating cyber battle.
National SecurityBy Ernest Istook, The Heritage FoundationAmerica at Risk Memo, 06/02/2011
National defense receives unique and elevated emphasis under the Constitution. It is not “just” another duty of the federal government. Most government spending goes to purposes not mentioned in the Constitution, but defense receives not only explicit constitutional mentions but also more emphasis than any other purpose of government. A proper debate about the size of the federal government should take into account the U.S. military’s unique and well-deserved emphasis within the Constitution. Yet defense needs are being subjugated to other spending that lacks an explicit foundation in the Constitution.
National SecurityBy Baker Spring, Ariel Cohen, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 06/02/2011
The Obama Administration is already preparing for negotiations with Russia on an arms control treaty that goes beyond New START, which just entered into force in February. The Administration may see this next treaty as the means for establishing a “minimal deterrence” posture for the U.S. as a way station between today’s posture and its ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. It is never too early in the arms control treaty process for Senators to exercise their power to advise the President and his Administration. Given U.S. national security interests and the actions of the Administration regarding arms control to date, most particularly in negotiating and bringing into force a lopsided New START agreement, their prerogatives in this process should be clear.
National SecurityBy Baker Spring, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 06/02/2011
The United States Senate voted to reject ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on October 13, 1999. This determinate action by the Senate should have marked the end of consideration of the treaty by the U.S. Nevertheless, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher recently told an audience that the Administration is preparing to engage the Senate and the public on an education campaign that is designed to lead to U.S. ratification of the CTBT. The substantive problems that led to the Senate’s considered judgment in 1999 remain relevant today. If anything, they have worsened in the intervening years.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Diane Katz, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 06/02/2011
The Environmental Protection Agency has postponed imposition of unduly onerous regulations governing emissions from hundreds of thousands of commercial, institutional, and industrial boilers. While the action is welcome, it would be premature to conclude that the Obama Administration has undergone a regulatory epiphany. Instead, the postponement reveals the extent of the EPA’s blunders in crafting the rules.
The Constitution/Civil LibertiesBy Claire Priest, The Heritage FoundationFirst Principles, 06/02/2011
So important is the power to borrow money that it was one of the few real powers expressly delegated to the weak and ineffectual government created under the Articles of Confederation. In drafting the Constitution, the Framers recognized the importance of empowering the government to provide for emergencies—in particular in times of war—and did not therefore place a limit on how much money Congress could borrow. They deemed it wise to leave this a political question to be determined on prudential grounds by our elected representatives. That is not to say, of course, that Congress should borrow recklessly. As George Washington exhorted his fellow Americans in his Farewell Address: “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible.”
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy David John, The Heritage FoundationWebMemo, 06/02/2011
The housing market is still weak, and federal regulators are considering a regulation that could make matters even worse. Known as the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule, the draft rule could have the effect of requiring many home buyers to have at least a 20 percent down payment in order to qualify for a best interest rate mortgage. In addition to making it harder for qualified consumers to obtain loans, the proposed regulation would preserve the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored finance agencies whose collapse has already cost taxpayers in excess of $150 billion. It would also further concentrate mortgage lending in the largest financial institutions.
Budget & Taxation
How Colorado Has Raised $300 Million in Debt Without Asking Its Citizens: The Colorado Bridge EnterpriseBy Richard Sokol, Independence InstituteIssue Backgrounder, 06/02/2011
Colorado’s citizens are supposed to have a final say before our state can borrow money. But the 2009 FASTER law1 subverted citizens’ rights to vote on tax and debt issues. The law allows an unelected group of bureaucrats to appoint an unelected administrator and together borrow whatever amounts of debt can be backed by FASTER funds. On December 1, 2010, they did just that. And now Colorado’s citizens are burdened with $300 million of newly issued debt—with the promise of more to come. Because of the borrowed money, it is unlikely a future legislature can ever repeal the FASTER tax. All this, and we weren’t asked!
Budget & TaxationBy Kristina Rasmussen, Illinois Policy InstituteTax & Budget Brief, 06/02/2011
According to data from the Illinois Department of Revenue, the top 14 percent of income earners (those with over $100,000 in adjustment gross income) paid 56 percent of the personal income tax collections ($4.6 billion) in 2009.
Budget & TaxationBy Ted Dabrowski, Collin Hitt, Illinois Policy InstituteTax & Budget Brief, 06/02/2011
According to data from the Illinois Department of Revenue, the top 14 percent of income earners (those with over $100,000 in adjustment gross income) paid 56 percent of the personal income tax collections ($4.6 billion) in 2009.
Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
No More Unaccountable Government: Legislators, not Unelected Bureaucrats, Should Make Major Policy DecisionsBy Daren Bakst, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 06/02/2011
Provisions in the state budget addressing regulatory reform have drawn attention to two necessary changes to existing law: 1. State agencies should not be allowed to issue regulations that exceed federal requirements. 2. Cost-benefit analysis should be required for all agencies.