This Memorial Day weekend, the Blaze TV will feature Veteran Nation, a documentary that honors the courage and heroism of our veterans from Bunker Hill to Baghdad.
Co-written and co-produced by Heritage Foundation vice president James Carafano, Veteran Nation reviews how those who served have been treated throughout history, the challenges they face returning home, and what we can do to serve them.
Heritage Foundation experts accounted for three of the nine articles in the Journal of International Security Affairs‘ recent symposium (not yet online) on the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative:
Baker Spring reviews the history of missile defense and explains that lawmakers opposed to such defenses have come to see its benefits
Rebecca Heinrichs discusses the varying sorts of threats for which missile defenses are appropriate
Michaela Dodge explains the logic of space-based missile defenses
Do you think missile defense can help keep America safe?
Heritage President Jim DeMint’s expansion of The Heritage Foundation’s “‘can do’ approach offers conservatives the hope that empirical evidence and good ideas can actually win the day, so right reason can find its way into law,” columnist Quin Hillyer writes in the American Spectator.
Hilyer chatted briefly with DeMint about Heritage’s future:
“We’re not going to change the scholarly approach to research and development of policies,” he said. “That’s not going to change. But Heritage can become more of an emissary, so to speak, of those policies. We will be doing more to energize the grass roots.” Specifically, he said, Heritage would be partnering with the conservative state policy think tanks which “are really a key to our approach to turning Washington around.” He wants to help “give them the muscle… to push their initiatives.” It’s all part of what he called, during his formal speech, an emphasis on “competitive federalism,” to take policy decisions out of Washington and let states “compete for the best business environment, the best tax code, the best education system.”
In other words, yes and no. Yes, Heritage — and its sister, the more overtly political Heritage Action 501(c)(4) organization — will be more activist in terms of trying to mobilize or catalyze political action. But no, it “won’t change our core mission” of policy research.
Do you think Heritage’s approach can beat the liberals and help enact conservative solutions?
Congress is holding hearings today about the September terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans. Heritage Foundation experts have identified several questions that remain unanswered and how to anticipate and mitigate similar threats in the future.
This is the kind of policy fight for which Jim DeMint was hired.
The former South Carolina GOP senator and tea party hero took over last month as president of the 40-year-old conservative think tank, and got straight to work. He has blasted the Gang of Eight’s proposal as “amnesty,” criticized negotiators for drafting the bill in secret and is trying to highlight the bill’s potential costs if millions of undocumented immigrants are made eligible for federal benefits.
If DeMint and Heritage — with its policy analyses and feisty advocacy arm — can help keep the right unified on immigration, it could force Democrats and the White House to accept amendments they don’t like in order to get something through — or simply kill the bill.
Heritage has been here before. The group helped sink previous immigration efforts by focusing on costs. Senior research fellow Robert Rector released a study in 2007 saying that immigration legislation could cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion.
Monday, Heritage said immigration reform could cost $6.3 trillion on new spending on entitlements and social programs.
DeMint appeared on Fox News this morning to explain the costs of granting amnesty:
Do you think lawmakers will balk at the costs of this plan?
The proposed Gang of Eight immigration bill is unfair and costly, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said Sunday on ABC News’ This Week.
The study you’ll see from Heritage this week presents a staggering cost of another amnesty in our country and the detrimental effects long-term that will have. There’s no reason we can’t begin to fix our immigration system so that we won’t make the problem worse.
But the bill that’s being presented is unfair to those who came here legally, it will cost Americans trillions of dollars, it will our unlawful immigration system worse. …
Heritage is the only organization that has done an analysis of the cost. Unlawful immigrants make up about 2 percent of our GDP, and they consume most of that. If you consider all the factors of amnesty and unlawful immigration, the cost will be in the trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these unlawful immigrants.
And he warned that the contents of the bill aren’t as advertised: “I think if people read the bill, that it will be blocked. Because once you get into it, just like Obamacare, it is not the way it’s been advertised.”
What do you think? Is the immigration plan similar to Obamacare?
“Catesby Jones has declared war on the Internet sales tax,” Heritage’s Rob Bluey explains. ”As president of the 28-year-old clothing company Peace Frogs, his business relies on Internet purchases to stay profitable. Compliance with the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act could put him out of business — or at least create a regulatory compliance nightmare.”