A Peek at the Behind-the-Scenes Work Heritage’s Meese Center Does on Supreme Court Cases

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The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies played a behind-the-scenes supporting role in twelve significant Supreme Court cases this term advancing limited government, religious freedom, and property rights—and the parties Heritage worked with won in all 12 cases.

Heritage assisted in several ways, including helping the litigants solicit amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs from other interested parties or hosting moot court practice sessions for the oral advocates prior to their Supreme Court arguments.

Jordan Lorence, the Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, recently explained Heritage’s crucial role: Continue Reading »

How One Small Country Uses Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom to Make the Case for Free Enterprise

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caboverde

The Heritage Foundation’s Charlotte Florance, Cabo Verde Prime Minister José Maria Neves, and Heritage’s Anthony Kim pose with the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom

A small island country off the coast of Africa is using The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom to guide its economic policies.

Heritage expert Anthony Kim reports the positive results:

Cabo Verde’s economic freedom score is 66.1, making its economy the 60th freest in the 2014 Index—The Island economy is ranked 3rd out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is higher than the global and regional averages.

Over the 20-year history of the Index, Cabo Verde has advanced its economic freedom score by 16.4 points, a top 20 improvement. The overall increase has been broad-based in seven of the 10 economic freedoms including trade freedom, financial freedom, the management of government spending, and freedom from corruption, scores for which have improved approximately 25 points or more.

Kim and Charlotte Florance visited Cabo Verde recently to meet the country’s prime minister, José Maria Neves. Kim and Florance were interviewed and featured on the country’s major news outlets, reporting the good news about the country’s upward economic status:

Achieving its highest economic freedom score ever in the 2014 Index, Cabo Verde has advanced well into the ranks of the “moderately free.” While moving toward higher levels of economic freedom, it has made considerable progress in income growth and poverty reduction. The government continues to support policies that promote free trade and open markets.

The Index, produced in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, measures how 178 countries around the globe stack up on eight key factors that influence economic freedom.

Have you traveled to any countries that rank poorly on economic freedom? Tell us what it was like in the comments.

Kudlow Credits Heritage on Ex-Im Bank Fight

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Economist and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow credited The Heritage Foundation with leading the fight to end the Export-Import Bank:

Heritage’s Diane Katz explains how the Ex-Im Bank threatens American jobs. The bank, she explains, hurts “domestic companies that are left to compete against foreign firms bankrolled by the U.S. government.”

Heritage Research Helps Guide Dave Camp’s Tax Reform Plan

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Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) called for a major overhaul of America’s tax code during an important address this week at The Heritage Foundation.

Camp, the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, proposes one of the most important tax reforms in three decades–it would lower tax rates across the board, simplify the tax code, and eliminate loopholes–and he’s relying on research and data from Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis.

Heritage chief economist Steve Moore evaluates Camp’s plan and outlines areas for improvement.

Camp’s plan is also notable, Heritage experts pointed out earlier this year, because Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation evaluated his plan based on its economic effects. Traditionally, the JCT has ignored how tax policy affects the economy, and Heritage has for years urged them to incorporate these effects into their analysis.

Watch the video of Camp’s talk at Heritage and tell us: Do you think America’s tax code needs fixing?

Heritage Expert Testifies Before Congress on Workplace Empowerment

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Rachel Greszler

Rachel Greszler

Heritage Foundation Expert Rachel Greszler testified before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee about the importance of workplace empowerment–and how a weak economy, outdated labor laws, occupational licensing rules, and government micromanagement of businesses thwart this goal.

She made six recommendations:

Policymakers should consider cost-benefit analysis of existing regulations and red tape, create greater certainty for businesses through fiscal discipline, and reform programs that discourage work among able-bodied individuals. Second, labor laws should be brought up to date, giving employees an individual voice on the job and the opportunity to be paid according to their work. Third, high marginal tax rates should be reduced and programs that impose disincentives for work should be reformed. Fourth, states should ease restrictions and requirements on licensure laws where evidence shows such laws to be unnecessary and harmful. Fifth, employers should consider allowing employees to choose between employer-provided benefits such as health insurance and cash or other benefits. Sixth, policymakers should look to the successes of less regulated businesses and entrepreneurs as ways to empower existing employers and employees, and should avoid micromanaging employers in ways that will reduce employee empowerment.

How do you empower workers in your business?

Why Conservatives Should Favor Free Enterprise, Not Crony Capitalism

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All too many politicians are willing to use the power of big government to strengthen the position of corporate interests, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham explain in The Weekly Standard.

There’s a big difference between being pro-business in this sense and being pro-free enterprise. Free enterprise gets government out of the way and doesn’t reward the politically well-connected.

Conservatives, DeMint and Needham argue, should take a stand against cronyism and come down solidly on the side of free enterprise.

“Whether it’s ending Ex-Im, killing subsidies, or preventing further bailouts, conservatives have a sterling opportunity at this moment of uncertainty to reintroduce themselves to their countrymen as their legitimate advocates in Washington,” DeMint and Needham write. “They can hold the feet of faux-populist progressives to the fire, exposing them as the real shills for corporate interests.”

Read the whole piece here.

Do you think conservatives should favor big business or free enterprise?

Five Former Heritage Interns Selected for Prestigious Publius Fellowship

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The Claremont Institute announced its 2014 Publius Fellows this week. Of the 14 rising conservative leaders selected, five are former Heritage Foundation interns: Gregory Collins, Travis LaCouter, Emil Maine, Avi Snyder, and Edward Walton.

The Publius Fellows, all young conservatives “pursuing careers in politics, scholarship, journalism, and related fields,” will gather in July to study the “moral and political principles of the American constitutional order.”

Through 40 seminars and discussions with distinguished scholars, the fellows will discuss a variety of topics including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the the Federalist Papers. Publius is the pen name used by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton to promote and defend the Constitution during the ratification debates.

Having participated in Heritage’s internship program, Collins, LaCouter, Maine, Snyder, and Walton are no strangers to conservative ideas. Heritage’s Young Leaders Program educates interns on American government and our founding principles through policy briefings and First Principles lectures. These will provide a solid foundation for these new fellows as they enter what has been called “boot camp for the political brain.”

Visit the Young Leaders Program page for more information about Heritage’s internship program.

Heritage Expert’s Book on the DOJ Featured on the Drudge Report

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The Drudge Report last week featured the new book by Heritage Foundation expert Hans von Spakovsky that exposes the truth about the Obama administration’s Justice Department.

Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department focuses on Attorney General Eric Holder and the abuses of power that have surrounded his tenure.

Screen shot of the Drudge Report.

“Obama’s Enforcer catalogues the abuses of power at the Department of Justice under Attorney General Holder,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says. “Rather than honoring its long history of bipartisan fidelity to the law, the DOJ has become an unapologetically partisan institution that aides and abets this Administration’s lawlessness and contempt for the Constitution.”

Read more about the book on National Review. 

A Bailout Won’t Fix College Costs. Here Are 3 Ways Congress Can Do Better

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Lindsey Burke

The Obama administration’s taxpayer bailout of student loan borrowers does nothing to change the cost of education, Heritage Foundation expert Lindsey Burke points out.

“After all,” she asks, “why should colleges reduce tuition rates if the government keeps increasing student-loan subsidies?”

In testimony last week before a Senate committee, Burke condemned the current higher-education borrowing system and called on Congress to take action:

  1. Stop the higher education spending spree;
  2. Employ fair-value accounting to understand the cost of federal student loans; and
  3. Decouple federal financing from accreditation

Read her whole testimony here.

Do you think the solution to soaring college costs is more subsidies for education?

Heritage Expert Lindsey Burke Explains the Problem with Common Core on Fox News

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Heritage Foundation expert Lindsey Burke told Fox Business’ John Stossel the problem with national standards in education last night:

The type of uniformity that Common Core or national standards creates assumes there is one best way for children to learn and it assumes we know what that one best way is. But every child is different. Every child has unique learning needs.

Burke quotes parents speaking out against Common Core: “What we’re seeing our kids bring home is total nonsense”.

Three states have now dropped out of Common Core as Americans realize its flaws: South Carolina and Oklahoma this week joined Indiana in withdrawing.

Read more Heritage research on Education here.

Watch the whole video above then tell us in the comments: Do you think Common Core is total nonsense?

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