Here’s the Truth About President Obama’s Bad Amnesty Plan

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In Heritage Impact

President Obama announced a unilateral amnesty plan for illegal immigrants at a speech last night.

This plan is not just lawless and unconstitutional but bad policy, Heritage’s David Inserra writes in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Addressing the National Council of La Raza in 2011, President Barack Obama said it was “tempting” to bypass Congress on immigration. “But,” he quickly added, “that’s not how our system works; that’s not how our democracy functions; that’s not how our Constitution is written.”

Today the president is singing a different tune, vowing to ignore Congress and unilaterally grant administrative amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants via “executive action.” Last week, the White House’s 10-point plan was leaked to Fox News and The New York Times. Mr. Obama, it seems, is determined to disregard the limits of presidential power and plunge our nation into a constitutional crisis.

The president argues, in essence, that because Congress hasn’t passed legislation granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, he has no choice but to ram it through on his own. In addition to flouting the democratic process and undermining the rule of law, this autocratic course of action will actually encourage yet another wave of illegal immigration — worsening rather than relieving the problem.

What do you think Congress should do to stop President Obama’s overreach?

Obamacare ‘Is Mainly a Simple Expansion of Medicaid’

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In Heritage Work

The increase in health care coverage under Obamacare results largely from the expansion of Medicaid rolls, a new Heritage Foundation report concludes.

Since many of those who signed up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges were already covered, Heritage’s Ed Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski write, “the inescapable conclusion is that, at least when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is mainly a simple expansion of Medicaid.”

Here’s how the numbers break down:

The data show that in the first half of 2014, private health insurance enrollment increased by a net of 2,465,586 individuals. That net figure reflects the fact that 61 percent of the gain in individual coverage was offset by a drop in employer group coverage. During the same period, Medicaid enrollment grew by 6,072,651 individuals. Thus, while a total of 8.5 million individuals gained coverage, 71 percent of that net coverage gain was attributable to the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults.

A report last year explained why the Medicaid expansion is bad for taxpayers and bad for patients.

Do you think there’s a better way to expand health coverage to the uninsured? Tell us in the comments.

Is the Federal Reserve Stabilizing the Economy? Or Destabilizing It?

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In Heritage Work

While the conventional wisdom holds that the Federal Reserve has stabilized the economy, this isn’t necessarily true, Heritage Foundation economist Norbert Michael writes in a new report.

“There is evidence that the Fed has not been as effective as once thought in accomplishing its stabilization goals, and even some evidence that the Fed era has had more economic instability than the pre-Fed era,” he explains.

This infographic lays out the case: Continue Reading »

Six Steps to Eliminate Government Waste and Control Government Spending

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In Heritage Work

“Eliminating waste and controlling government spending is best accomplished by reducing the size and scope of government,” Heritage Foundation economist Romina Boccia argues in a new report.

She explains:

The federal government does too many things that would be done better by individuals and organizations in the private sector, or by state and local governments, or that should not be done at all. A smaller, more limited federal government would focus on providing essential public services, legal services, and a basic social safety net, and would otherwise leave individuals free to determine their own affairs to the maximum extent possible in the defense of liberty.

Congress should take the following six steps to reduce the size and scope of the federal government, Boccia writes: Continue Reading »

These 5 Photos from Heritage Members Will Be Featured in Heritage’s 2015 Calendar

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In Other Work of Note

In early November, The Heritage Foundation will mail our 2015 calendar to all 600,000 Heritage members. And for the first time, this year’s calendar will feature photos taken by Heritage members and supporters.

The 2015 calendar will feature images that tell the story of what we love about America, the things we do outside of government in the cities and towns and countryside where we live, that make us the people we are. So we decided to ask our members for photos they’ve taken that match this theme.

More than 130 Heritage supporters submitted 282 photos in response to our call for submissions earlier this year. Our creative team, who produces the calendar, carefully reviewed all submissions and picked the five photos below.

Watch your mailbox for your Heritage calendar in mid-November!

Here are the photos selected:

January: Sandy Seaman–Austin, TX

Denali National Park, Alaska. Photo: Sandy Seaman

Denali National Park, Alaska Continue Reading »

What the Motor Voter Act Has to Do with Election Fraud

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Newscom

Millions of ineligible and invalid registrations pollute American voter rolls, J. Christian Adams writes in a new Heritage Foundation report.

This is in part because the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, popularly known as the Motor Voter Act, has been used largely by liberal interests.

“For most of the history of the law, enforcement actions have been directed against election officials who sought to clean voter rolls and against states for insufficiently pushing voter registration among entitlement recipients,” Adams writes.

The law also empowered liberal activist groups, he continues: Continue Reading »

How Higher Fast-Food Wages Could Hurt Fast-Food Jobs–and Hike the Cost of Your Food

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In Heritage Work

The union-led push for a $15 wage at fast-food restaurants would reduce sales and profits at fast food restaurants, cost jobs, and drive up the cost of fast food meals, Heritage Foundation economist James Sherk reports.

Some workers would come out ahead from a $15 fast-food wage: those with the most experience and the highest efficiency. Sadly, marginal workers–including those with the worst alternatives and the fewest marketable skills–would be left behind,” Heritage’s Salim furth points out.

Minimum Wage Hike Would Hurt Fast-Food Restaurants

Without major operational changes, fast-food restaurants would have to raise prices by 38 percent while seeing their profits fall by 77 percent,” Sherk explains. “This would cause many restaurants to close and many others to make extensive use of labor-saving technology—eliminating many of the entry-level jobs that inexperienced workers need to get ahead. “

Do you think fast-food restaurants should be made to pay their workers more?

The Truth About Thomas Piketty That Liberals Don’t Want to Hear

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In Heritage Work

Economist Thomas Piketty made headlines earlier this year–and gave comfort to liberals–with a provocative new book predicting permanently-rising inequality and recommending massive wealth transfers.

The problem is, Heritage Foundation economists Curtis Dubay and Salim Furth write in a new report, Piketty’s claims rest on dubious premises. In fact, “almost nothing in Capital in the Twenty-First Century can be usefully applied to policymaking.”

You can use this chart to rebut liberals who use Piketty to defend their claims:

What do you think are the best arguments you use when debating liberals?

Ferguson, MO and Our Overmilitarized Police Force

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In Heritage Work

Preserving law and order is an essential role of government. The ongoing demonstrations and subsequent police crackdowns in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked a debate about whether military-style police tactics are the right approach.

Although introduced into police departments to deal with exceptional circumstances,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Evan Bernick reports, “the use of military hardware and tactics soon expanded.”

He continues: “While enforcing laws and stopping violent criminals are essential, routine use of military hardware and tactics in nonviolent situations has inflicted substantial unnecessary damage on persons and property.”

We need to take steps to scale back the use of military hardware and tactics in contexts where they are plainly inappropriate while ensuring that law enforcement can still respond with overwhelming force when necessary.”

Do you think police should routinely use military hardware and tactics?

President Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Is ‘Unjust and Costly’ and Won’t Solve the Problem

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Derrick Morgan and David Inserra report on President Obama’s latest unilateral amnesty gambit:

President Barack Obama is considering using prosecutorial discretion to effectively legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Doing so would be unjust and costly and would encourage more illegal immigration. Congress should discourage the Administration from considering this divisive and unproductive step, which would only make it more difficult to implement suitable, feasible, and just immigration reforms and more robust and effective border security.

Read their whole analysis of why this is the wrong approach to immigration and border security.

Last year, Heritage experts compiled their recommendations for a step-by-step reform that fixes our broken immigration system without granting amnesty.

What do you think Congress should do if President Obama goes through with this legalization?

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