Michele Bachmann Comes to Heritage to Explain the 3 Things the Tea Party Stands For

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In remarks this week at The Heritage Foundation, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) defended the Tea Party and said its principles are shared by most Americans.

The modern Tea Party stands for three very basic things. Number one, we are taxed enough already. Number two, government should not spend more money than what it take in. Number three, government should live under the constitution.

This agenda, she said, is hardly extreme. “If these are the principles we stand for, I think whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, they are ones that you would agree with.”

In her 50 minute speech, Bachmann hit on several other conservative themes. Among other proposals, she called for a drastic simplification of the tax code, the termination of the Export-Import Bank, and increased border security.

The Tea Party is close to Bachmann’s heart. She was one of the first in 2010 to identify with the Tea Party’s protest against the growing size of the federal government. She also founded the House Tea Party Caucus.

The speech was one of the last of Bachmann’s congressional career. The four-term Representative and 2012 presidential candidate has elected to not seek re-election next month.

Watch the video above for her whole speech.

Do you belong to the Tea Party or support its mission? Tell us in the comments.

Heritage’s Wood Says Outdated Policies Meant to Help Women Are Counterproductive

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The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood takes on liberals about gender inequality in USA Today:

From education to earnings, American women today enjoy unprecedented levels of opportunity. Yet too many candidates seem oblivious to the dramatic gains women have made. They’re stuck in a time warp, channeling the problems and political causes of the ’60s.  Outdated policy prescriptions intended to help women, can actually work to hurt us.

Read more from Wood on gender inequality.

Do you think liberal policies towards women are stuck in the past?

Or Is It High U.S. Tax Rates That Are Unpatriotic?

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Over the summer, President Obama called companies who are trying to minimize their taxes “unpatriotic.” A Heritage Foundation economist had a clever retort in the Morning Consult:

David Burton, a senior fellow in economic policy at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said another way to look at the “unpatriotic” argument is to question the patriotism “of those who keep the U.S. tax rates so high” since they’re maintaining the highest corporate tax rate among industrialized countries.

Heritage’s Curtis Dubay points out that the best way to end these “inversions” is to reduce the business tax rate and move to a territorial tax system that doesn’t penalize American firms with overseas operations.

What do you think the corporate tax rate should be?

Chertoff Defends Freedom of Travel at Heritage Event

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With the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups, there have been new calls to scale back the Visa Waiver Program, which reduces barriers for travelers from friendly countries to come to the United States.

Speaking at The Heritage Foundation, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued for a more targeted solution. CQ Roll Call reports:

The way we deal with the issue of foreign fighters is to use the scalpel of identifying with precision and taking them out, and not the chainsaw of dismantling the [Visa Waiver] program that has served not only the United States well, but our foreign friends and allies overseas,” Chertoff said during a discussion hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation. “I’m confident you’d see a measurable impact on the global economy and the U.S. economy almost instantly. We would irritate our friends and allies that we go to for help.

Heritage’s David Inserra and Riley Walters point out that the Visa Waiver Program actually strengthens our national security by enabling us to gather intelligence from participating countries.

Should we make it harder for friendly foreigners to visit America for business or pleasure?

Why Liberals Who Believe in a ‘Living’ Constitution are Wrong

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Federal judges have become collaborators with a liberal agenda that undermines the Constitution and tramples the rights of Americans, a panel of experts said at The Heritage Foundation this week.

Liberals often argue for a “living Constitution” whose meaning evolves with time. But this view undermines key limitations on government power that are written into the Constitution itself, said Clark Niely III, an attorney at the Institute for Justice:

We don’t have a living constitution, we have a dying constitution. The 10th amendment – on life support. The idea of federalism and enumerated federal powers – almost meaningless because the Supreme Court won’t enforce it. The contract clause – dead. The privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment – dead. The 5th amendment’s public use provision – dead.

As Heritage scholar and former Attorney General Ed Meese has said, “the only living Constitution is one that’s followed.”

Do you agree with Niely and Meese? Should the text of the Constitution be followed as written, or is its meaning open to reinterpretation? Watch the whole video above and tell us what you think in the comments.

Should You Be ‘Re-Educated’ for Standing Up for Your Beliefs?

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Freedom of religion is increasingly under attack in America, and The Heritage Foundation is working hard to expose this dangerous trend.

In one recent case, Heritage’s Daily Signal reports, a New York couple declined to make their family farm available for a same-sex wedding, citing their belief in traditional marriage. The state fined the Gifford family $13,000, arguing that this amounts to unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation. The family is currently appealing the ruling.

In another case, Colorado required a wedding-cake maker to attend a re-education class after he refused to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony.

Heritage scholar Ryan Anderson explains why this trend is problematic:

While Americans are free to live as they choose, no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship. All Americans should remain free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty.

Do you think citizens should be ordered to take Orwellian”re-education” classes when standing up for their religious freedom?

Heritage Pushes Back Against New EPA Wage Garnishment Rule

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EPA headquarters in Washington D.C.

EPA headquarters in Washington D.C.

Heritage Foundation legal experts are urging Congress to block the EPA from unilaterally expanding its own power.

In a new legal analysis, Heritage’s Robert Gordon and Andrew Kloster call on our elected leaders to strip agencies of wage garnishment powers:

Congress has a responsibility to protect the constitutional due process rights of all Americans by eliminating or sharply curtailing the authority of agencies to enact wrongheaded wage garnishment regulations.

This summer, the EPA decreed that it would garnish the wages of any “debtors” (according to its own definition) who owe the agency money – all without any court orders.

Heavy-handed EPA fines are not unheard of. In one famous example, the EPA charged a Wyoming family $75,000 per day for building a pond on their own property. Where did the EPA get the authority to regulate streams on private property? Not surprisingly, from itself. The EPA had recently redefined what waters fell under its jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and applied that definition to the Wyoming pond.

The Heritage Foundation pushed back hard against this unconstitutional seizure of power, filing public comments and writing extensively on the issue. Due in part to Heritage’s influence, the EPA eventually reversed its decision, though it still argues that it has the legal authority to garnish wages if it chooses.

What do you think? Should the EPA be able to set the scope of its own powers? Or should Congress act to stop them?

Heritage Expert Explains How Scotland’s Vote Affects the U.S.

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Scotland’s vote Thursday to remain part of the United Kingdom is a boon to the United States, including our fight against terrorist groups like ISIS.

“If Great Britain breaks apart, that’s a terrible thing for the British people, and a very bad thing for America as well,” Heritage Foundation expert Nile Gardiner said in a pre-vote analysis yesterday on Fox News.

Britain is a critical ally for the United States, and a “yes” vote could have had serious implications for our Special Relationship. Read more in The Daily Signal.

What do you think of the Scots’ decision to remain part of Britain?

Bobby Jindal Calls for a New Energy Policy to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

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Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at Heritage about his new energy policy. Photo: Steven Purcell

Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at Heritage about his new energy policy. Photo: Steven Purcell

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal unveiled a new energy platform for America in a speech today at The Heritage Foundation.

Noting that the United States has the largest natural energy resources in the world, even larger than those in Russia and Saudi Arabia, Jindal argued for expanded energy production to create jobs and strengthen the economy.

The oil and gas industry employs millions of Americans, and “millions of more jobs could be created if the federal government simply stays out of the way,” Jindal said. Continue Reading »

Heritage’s Daily Signal Drives Fox News Story on the Benghazi Coverup

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Fox News’ Doug McKelway credits both The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal and investigative reporter Sharyl Atkisson for breaking the news about a Benghazi coverup.

A former State Department official told lawmakers that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff ordered politically damaging documents to be scrubbed before turning over files to the investigation of the Benghazi terror attack, Atkisson reported this morning.

This is just one way that Heritage’s Daily Signal is driving the debate. It’s where the news goes to gets its news.

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