Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Heritage Foundation

Obama Targets Ryan Budget to Distract from Failed Policies

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the pres...

Reaching into President Obama’s 14-page, 7,200 word luncheon speech to the Associated Press on Tuesday, some conservative observers took umbrage at a few of his choicest and more outrageous characterizations of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget bill, while leaving much behind.

Patrick Knudsen, writing on the Heritage Foundation’s blog, said the President used “shrill hyperbole” when he called Ryan’s plan “thinly veiled social Darwinism” which would, if enacted, be “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.” It would “impose a radical vision on our country” and would be a “prescription for decline.” Taking another approach, Alison Fraser also wrote on Heritage’s blog that the reason the President directed so much attention to Ryan’s plan was because he wanted to direct people’s attention away from his own failures as President over the past three years: “As a counter to his failure to lead us away from the fiscal abyss, Obama has chosen to attack Ryan and the House budget with scary rhetoric about Trojan horses, social Darwinism, and [its] radical vision for the country.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded to Obama’s comments by doubting his sincerity and chastising him for not presenting a reasonable budget alternative:

If the president were serious, he would put forward a plan to deal with our debt crisis and save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for future generations of seniors without raising taxes on small businesses that are struggling in this economy. Instead, he has chosen to campaign rather than govern, and the debt crisis he is presiding over is only getting worse.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling was even stronger, calling Obama’s speech an “unhinged attack” and an “act of desperation” to direct attention away from his failed policies. Even Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, a left-of-center think tank, agreed: Obama needs to

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Is Ryan’s Budget Plan Headed in the Right Direction?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05:  U.S. Rep. Paul Rya...

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced on Tuesday the Republican budget plan to take into the election debate; it is in sharp contrast to the Obama administration’s budget announced last month. Two key differences stand out: reducing the number of income tax brackets from the current six to just two (10 percent and 25 percent), and cutting corporate income tax rates from 35 percent currently to 25 percent. The Obama administration wants to raise taxes instead.

There were other features to Ryan’s proposal, of course: vouchers for Medicare recipients, and spending cuts to balance the budget by the year 2040. And of course, Ryan’s bill has no chance of passage. Said Ryan: “We don’t expect to make law this year, but we expect to give the country an alternative choice for the future.” Ryan’s plan echoes proposals by Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, who also want to reduce and simplify the tax code, but is a far cry from the initial first-year $1 trillion cuts proposed by candidate Ron Paul (with a balanced budget in the second year of his first term).

The Heritage Foundation gave Ryan’s proposal an initial approval, saying that it largely met its own criteria for what needs to be done to rein in the government:

  • Does it cut spending sharply and quickly?
  • Does it begin decisive entitlement reform?
  • Does it avoid any tax hikes?
  • Does it ensure a strong national defense?
  • Does it contain pro-growth tax reforms?
  • Does it move swiftly and surely to a balanced budget?

No, says the Heritage Foundation, but it comes close: “It should be bolder in implementing entitlement reforms [and] it should strive for more aggressive

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Amendment to End Energy Subsidies Fails in the Senate

Senator speaking at CPAC in .

Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced the Energy Freedom & Economic Prosperity Act (EFEPA) in February and then offered his bill as an amendment to the Transportation Bill last week. Had it passed it would have eliminated all energy tax credits not only for wind, solar, biomass and biofuels but for coal, oil and natural gas as well. Said DeMint:

Our tax code is riddled with loopholes for special interests and it’s time to end this corporate welfare that is hurting our economy. When Washington picks winners and losers in the energy market, those with the highest paid lobbyists win while the small businesses and taxpayers lose. We shouldn’t favor ethanol over hydrogen, nuclear over natural gas, or oil over renewables. The free market economy works when everyone competes on a level playing field and works to provide Americans with the best, lowest-cost products.

The original bill and the amendment were supported by a raft of free-market advocates including Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Heritage Action and the National Taxpayers Union. In a letter to its members FreedomWorks urged them to pressure their senators to vote for the amendment, noting that “these subsidies have long distorted the market for new sources of energy by allocating funding to the technologies with the best lobbyists instead of those with the most value to consumers.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s study of subsidies to the energy industry completed last July, the federal government in 2010 gave out $37 billion of taxpayer monies, more than double the amount given away in 2007. Biofuels received $6.6 billion, wind received $5 billion, solar and biomass each received $1.1 billion, coal received $1.3 billion while oil and gas received subsidies of

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Obamanomics, the State of the Union, and Reality

English: President Obama just about to deliver...

In his State of the Union address President Obama touted the “rebound” in the economy, taking credit for his administration’s policies in its recovery. He pointed to two years of job growth and the fastest job creation since 2005 but without putting such results in context.

Among the first to take umbrage at such omission was James Sherk, writing for the Heritage Foundation: “In normal economic times they [the results]would represent healthy growth, but in the aftermath of the worst recession in two generations they represent a historically slow recovery. New jobs have been created—but not nearly enough.”

This was echoed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in its just-released study which noted, 

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Don’t Get Sick! ObamaCare Means More Government, Fewer Doctors

Senate Passes Insurance Industry Aid Bill

After asking 501 practicing physicians about the future of health care in the United States, The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions’ conclusions were hardly surprising. Under ObamaCare:

  • More people will demand medical care.
  • There will be fewer doctors to handle them.
  • Those who do will get paid less.
  • Those who do will be subject to increasingly onerous regulations.

In its heavy-handed attempt to provide medical coverage to some 34 million Americans, ObamaCare is going to provide it to them for free. But those “free” services are predictably going to increase the demand for medical care while simultaneously reducing the number of doctors available to supply it.

According to the Deloitte study, only one out of four doctors think ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs, while half of them expect access to such care to be increasingly restricted. Those surveyed think there will be fewer hospitals and fewer physicians. And many of those remaining are likely to seek administrative positions in the healthcare industry rather than continuing to provide hands-on primary care of patients.

Three-quarters think that as primary care doctors get busier, patients needing immediate attention will increasingly be sent to emergency rooms, which is likely to extend waiting times there as well. Four out of five are certain that it will be increasingly difficult for their patients to obtain

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North Korea’s “Great Successor” Inherits Political, Economic Quagmires

 

English: PYONGYANG. Vladimir Putin with North ...

North Korea’s official government-controlled media announced that the country’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-Il, died on Saturday at age 69 from “physical and mental overwork.” A teary-eyed TV anchorwoman claimed, “It is the biggest loss by the party…and it is our people and nation’s biggest sadness…[but we must] change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties.”

Those “difficulties” can be traced back to at least the assumption of power by Kim Il-Sung in 1945 as he established a Stalinist totalitarian system in the country and enforced it with iron rule until his death in 1994. His son, Kim Jong-Il assumed the mantle of dictator after having been groomed for the position for years prior to his father’s death.

A “cult of personality” was firmly established by the “Eternal President” (a title given to Kim Il-Sung at his funeral service) and extended by his son: Portraits of them hang in every building and every North Korean wears a Kim Il Sung lapel pin.

North and South Korea are still officially at war following cessation of hostilities of the Korean War in 1953. The North, under the “Dear Leader’s” control, has continued provocations and militarization. In 1983, he ordered the bombing that killed 17 South Korean officials who were visiting Burma (now Myanmar), the bombing of a Korean Air Liner that killed 115 people in 1987, as well as other numerous provoca6tions.

He continued to press forward the country’s nuclear development, with its first test of a nuclear bomb in October 2006 followed by another in 2009. President Bush accurately described Kim in 2005 as a tyrant: “Kim Il-Jong is a dangerous person. He’s a man who starves his people. He’s got huge concentration camps. And…there is concern about his capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon.”

Massive starvation is a continuing fact of life in North Korea. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, its support for Kim’s regime ended, resulting in the starvation of

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Government Dependency Reaches Pandemic Levels

English: Scanned image of author's US Social S...

Conservative economist Robert Higgs‘ warnings about the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependence on Government were already outdated when they were published on Thursday. The updated statistics from Heritage for 2011, published the next day, showed the situation in the United States to be even worse than Higgs warned.

Higgs noted that the so-called “ruling class” (taken from Angelo Codevilla’s book of the same name) is a tiny percentage of the total population in the country, and has in the past only been able to maintain its legitimacy through vote-buying and mainstream media credibility. The fear of the ruling class has always been that dissatisfaction and distrust would result in their expulsion from the seats of power. But Higgs notes that now there are so many Americans dependent upon the government for their very subsistence that resistance to the tyranny of the ruling class is being increasingly neutralized.

The more dependent the citizens become on their government, the less influence they are likely to have in any substantial downsizing of that government: 

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Institute for Justice Celebrates 20 Years of “Litigating for Liberty”

Institute for Justice

Economist and conservative commentator Don Boudreaux attended the opening of the Institute for Justice (IJ) on September 10, 1991, and thought to himself at that time that “it sounded like a good idea.” Looking back at what IJ has accomplished since then, Boudreaux says, “IJ’s success over the past two decades is nothing short of phenomenal.”

At the ceremony marking the beginning of IJ, co-founder Clint Bolick spelled out exactly what they intended to do, and recognized the enormous changes in the way of their doing it. IJ is going to be focused, he said, on “removing barriers to opportunity and helping low-income people earn their share of the American Dream.” For instance:

Little Devon Williams, who was able to escape the cesspool of the Milwaukee Public Schools and instead get a good education in an excellent neighborhood private school, thanks to

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Think Teachers are Underpaid? Think Again.

Teacher at Chalkboard

Despite the public perception that public school teachers in general are underpaid, Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of “Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers,” says “the reality is that it’s just not true. There’s no way to look at the data and conclude that they are underpaid. They are certainly paid more than they can get if they work in the private sector…” In fact, Richwine found that “public-school teachers receive

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Romney’s Advisors Are Leftist Elites

Mitt Romney

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Late last week GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released the names of his foreign policy and national security advisors just in time for his Friday address on America’s foreign policy. He effused over his selection:

I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st Century is another American Century.

His campaign continues to be plagued with an increasing chorus of doubters about his conservative posture. His claim to have balanced the budget of Massachusetts without raising taxes was

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Yglesias, Brown: Free Money Will Solve Everything!

Day 3 Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone 8

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

Writing for the left-wing blog ThinkProgressMatthew Yglesias noted his difficulty in coming up with a suitable slogan representing what the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators really wanted. He explained:

My view is that the best demand of all…is “free money for the rest of us.” There are a lot of different specific ways this can be implemented, but the…Powers That Be…have been willing to provide all manner of free money to players in the banking system. Debt cancellation is a form of free money for the indebted. But why give free money only to banks? And why give free money only to the indebted? Why not free money for everyone? “Everyone,” of course, includes the indebted. But it also includes ordinary people who didn’t happen to avail themselves of the credit binge. It’s an idea so good that it sounds almost silly.

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The US Post Office: Price it to Sell!

Image taken by User:Minesweeper on December 14...

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Now that Congress has extended the due date for the Postal Service’s $5.5 billion pension plan payment to November 18th, various proposals to modernize and “rightsize” the service have appeared. The most comprehensive is the Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act, which endeavors to allow the service the freedom to do what needs to be done to keep it operating as a quasi-government agency.

If approved by Congress, the Act would:

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Krueger is Obama’s Economic Council Chairman Pick

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 29:  U.S. President Ba...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

This week President Obama will roll out his strategic jobs growth plan in a major speech, and has announced that his new chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, is just the man to help him with it. Krueger comes from the same mold as the man he is replacing, Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee graduated from Yale, Krueger from Cornell. Goolsbee got his PhD from MIT, Krueger got his from Harvard. Goolsbee worked for the National Bureau of Economic Research, and so did Krueger. Goolsbee is returning to the University of Chicago, while Krueger is leaving Princeton to join Obama.

But the president insists that Krueger will bring him “unvarnished economic guidance…[which is] more important than ever right now. We need folks in Washington to 

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Canada’s Remarkable Economic Recovery

Happy Canada Day!

Image by Ian Muttoo via Flickr

In its annual Index of Economic Freedom, the joint effort by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Canada ranks 6th among the 179 countries of the world, ahead of the United States (9th), the United Kingdom (16th), Japan (20th) and Germany (23rd). Considering ten components of economic freedom (among them: Business Freedom, Fiscal Freedom and Government Spending), the report ranks countries on the degree to which “individuals are free to work, produce, consume and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state.”

The latest report from the Canadian Labour Force Survey illustrates the degree to which Canadians have benefited from

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Debt-Limit Deal’s Trojan Horse: The “Special” Committee of 12

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The debt ceiling is to rise initially by $900 billion under the Revised Budget Control Act of 2011. And then, the debt limit is to rise again by either $1.2 trillion or $1.5 trillion depending upon how successful the 12-member Joint Committee of Congress is in finding sufficient cuts in government spending to avoid a “trigger” that would do the cutting automatically. The committee will be made up of

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Economists Are at a Loss; So Are Jobs

Pink Slip

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Once the awful job numbers announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday were digested, it was clear that the clairvoyant economists looking into their crystal balls were dead wrong—again.

Most economists were expecting a pickup from May, with job growth estimates ranging from 100,000 to 175,000, and an upward revision on the May numbers as well. Neither happened. A mere 18,000 jobs were created in June, and the May numbers were revised downward from

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How the Heritage Foundation Plans to Save the American Dream

Stars and Stripes, NYSE

Image by Robert Scarth via Flickr

When Peter G. Peterson sold his interest in his investment company the Blackstone Group in 2007, he took $1 billion of his gains to fund his foundation, which has concentrated on creating awareness of the dangers of deficits and the national debt in the United States. One of his recent grantees is The Heritage Foundation, which was tasked with the challenge of developing a plan and a strategy to put the country back on a sustainable and responsible fiscal path. Similar grants were given to The American Enterprise Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for American Progress, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.

“Saving the American Dream” is Heritage’s entry, which will be presented at

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Obama Needs Your 401(k) to Balance His Budget

Jim McDermott

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The Obama administration is “taking the first steps to confiscate retirement dollars,” according to Dr. Jerome Corsi who predicts that the end result will be retirees with 401(k) plans holding near-worthless government debt “that will be paid off in a devalued currency worth…pennies on the dollar.”

The move to confiscate those retirement dollars for government purposes was best illustrated by Christina Kirchner, President of Argentina, in 2008 when she announced plans to seize her citizens’ private pension funds.

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Will America Get a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker sent up a trial balloon at the New York Historical Society April 6 when he said that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) needed to be considered in light of the huge deficits facing the country. According to Volcker, the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as many have considered it to be in the past, and “if at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

He wasn’t the first one to float this recently. Charles Krauthammer wrote late last month that “as the night follows the day, the VAT cometh” and that “a national sales tax near-universal in Europe is inevitable.” Because of the huge deficits facing the nation, exacerbated by the newly passed ObamaCare bill, there is no way out except to raise taxes, according to Krauthammer.

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Recess Appointments and the Constitution

2009 Five Presidents, President George W. Bush...

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“Side-stepping Senate confirmation,” declared the New York Times. “This is going to make problems worse,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “What this is going to do is cause the election of a lot more Republicans…in November who are determined to come in and provide some checks and balances in Washington to stop the overreaching of the government,” hollered Lamar Alexander, (R-TN).

On Saturday, March 27, President Obama used “recess appointments” to fill 15 administration positions because he couldn’t get them past the Senate’s constitutional requirement to give the appointments its Advice and Consent. Obama said, “The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees.” On that point, the President is exactly correct. Here is the language from the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann