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United States Government

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  • Backgrounder posted July 29, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security: $39 Billion Deficit in 2014, Insolvent by 2035

    Social Security’s main program, also known as Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), ran a $39 billion deficit in 2014, closing out five years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s unfunded obligations continue to grow.[1] According to the 2015 annual Trustees’ Report, the 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security OASI Trust Fund is $9.43 trillion,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by James Phillips, Luke Coffey, Michaela Dodge The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Yes, There Is a Better Alternative

    The Obama Administration has argued that there is no better alternative to its controversial nuclear agreement with Iran. But rather than cutting off all paths to a nuclear weapon, as the Administration initially promised, the so-called Vienna Agreement only temporarily slows down Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapons capability and, in fact, protects the regime’s…

  • Backgrounder posted July 24, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Social Security Trustees: Disability Insurance Program Will Be Insolvent in 2016

    A‌ccording to the 2015 Social Security Trustees Report, the Social ‌Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is on course to run dry in 2016, six decades after the program began in 1956.[1] Absent reform, disability benefits will be cut across the board by almost 20 percent, and the average disabled worker’s benefit will fall below the federal poverty level. For…

  • Backgrounder posted July 22, 2015 by Olivia Enos The U.S. Role in Ensuring that Burma’s Fall 2015 Elections Are “Free and Fair”

    Burma is set to hold parliamentary elections on November 8, 2015. The elections will be a test of Burma’s political reform—a test the U.S. government considers one of the most important for the reform process. Jonathan Stivers, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), stated that the U.S. government “has made a long-standing…

  • Commentary posted July 21, 2015 by Stephen Moore A tale of two U.S. economies

    I’m asked seemingly every day if America is the next Greece or Detroit or Puerto Rico – and the answer is an unequivocal no. The U.S. economy – especially the private sector – is structurally very healthy. That wasn’t the case on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, when American companies and households were leveraged up to their eyebrows. What’s different…

  • Issue Brief posted July 20, 2015 by John Gray The Appropriations Process: Spending Caps Explained

    How the Common Construction Wage Affects the Cost and Quality of Construction Projects Testimony before Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Indiana State Senate March 31, 2015 James Sherk Research Fellow in Labor Economics The Heritage Foundation Chairman Hershman and Members of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify. My name is James Sherk.…

  • Backgrounder posted July 20, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Private Disability Insurance Option Could Help Save SSDI and Improve Individual Well-being

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program will run out of money in a little over a year. Absent reforms, SSDI benefits will be cut about 20 percent, bringing the average benefit to below the poverty level. Before jumping to the quickest, allegedly easy, fix—a reallocation of payroll taxes from the Social Security retirement program to SSDI—policymakers need…

  • Backgrounder posted July 15, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security Disability Insurance: Benefit Offsets Encourage Work—But Achieve Little to No Savings

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is headed toward insolvency before the end of 2016. Without congressional action, beneficiaries will see their benefits delayed or cut by nearly 20 percent. To avoid delays or drastic and indiscriminate changes in benefits for some of America’s most vulnerable program beneficiaries, Congress is considering several…

  • Issue Brief posted July 13, 2015 by Diane Katz Export–Import Bank: Propaganda versus the Facts

    A June 29 posting on The Hill’s Congress Blog carried the headline: “The Arguments for Ex–Im No One Can Rebut.”[1] The author, John Murphy, the senior vice president of international policy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, claimed that, in a recent hearing, “no one was able to rebut my arguments about the indispensable role the bank plays in specific circumstances.”…

  • Testimony posted June 11, 2015 by Romina Boccia Corporate Welfare Wastes Taxpayer and Economic Resources

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management United States Senate June 10, 2015 Romina Boccia Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs and Research Manager The Heritage Foundation My name is Romina Boccia. I am the Grover Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs and Research Manager at The…

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  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Nine Fallacies Used to Defend Public-Sector Pensions

    The generosity of retirement benefits for government employees has become a major political issue, as policymakers at all levels of government struggle with budget deficits in the midst of a weak economy. Government employees do enjoy retirement benefits that are often several times greater than the retirement benefits of comparable private-sector workers.[1] This…

  • Lecture posted November 6, 2014 by Bob Goodlatte The President’s Duty to Faithfully Execute the Law

    The Honorable Bob Goodlatte A‌braham Lincoln is often paraphrased as saying, “The best way ‌to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” While that paraphrase summarizes the gist of what Lincoln was saying, the full text of his remark is worth repeating. In 1838, early in his career, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield,…

  • Backgrounder posted September 11, 2012 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees

    Abstract: The stereotype of the underworked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee? To provide an objective answer, this paper uses the American Time Use Survey, which produces a detailed listing of personal activities on a given day for…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2015 by Ryan Olson To Avoid Trade Diversion, Congress Should Liberalize Rules of Origin

    Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have played an important role in global trade liberalization. However, a major weakness of such liberalization is trade diversion. Trade diversion occurs when regions liberalize at an uneven pace and this liberalization redirects trade flows to trade agreement beneficiaries. For example, when the U.S. signs a trade agreement with one…

  • Backgrounder posted March 31, 2015 by Daren Bakst Achievable Economic Policy Reforms for Congress

    Congress can pass legislation this year that would make a significant difference in the lives of Americans. Despite the perception of partisan gridlock, broad support exists for many important domestic economic policy reforms. These policies are ambitious but achievable, and, if adopted, would promote economic growth, empower individuals, and reduce government waste.…

  • Issue Brief posted December 27, 2012 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012

    During 2012, virtually every aspect of American life, from caloric intake to dishwasher efficiency, was subjected to government meddling. Most of these rules increase the cost of living, others hinder job creation, and many erode freedom. Not all regulations are unwarranted, of course, but increasingly, the rules imposed by the government have less to do with health and…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 12, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Andrew Kloster An Executive Unbound: The Obama Administration’s Unilateral Actions

    “We can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.” —President Barack Obama[1] The rule of law is a bedrock principle of Anglo–American jurisprudence. It stands for the belief that all—including government officials—are subject to the law and not above it. America’s Founding Fathers understood this principle, and the…

  • Issue Brief posted October 31, 2014 by David Inserra Five Questions the Secret Service Review Panel Must Answer

    A ‌series of alarming security breaches have caused ‌many to question the Secret Service’s ability to protect the President.[1] In the wake of these events, an independent four-member review panel—two senior officials each from the Bush and Obama Administrations—will investigate the Secret Service’s recent security breaches and advise the Department of Homeland Security…

  • Issue Brief posted January 28, 2013 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. A Better Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

    According to The Heritage Foundation’s China Global Investment Tracker, Chinese non-bond investment in the U.S. set a record in 2012.[1] China has $3.3 trillion in foreign reserves and, like other fast-growing economies, wants to invest more here. Foreign investment and other commerce benefits America, but there are understandable concerns about the loss of advanced…

  • Commentary posted October 23, 2013 by James L. Gattuso Congressional checks and balances aren’t in the mail

    Spare change is hard to find at the U.S. Postal Service nowadays. The nation's mail service started October by defaulting on a payment due to the U.S. Treasury and is down to less than 10 days of cash on hand. The USPS is expected to muddle through the crunch, but its financial problems won’t go away. The mail delivery business is in long-term decline. Without…

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  • Backgrounder posted July 29, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security: $39 Billion Deficit in 2014, Insolvent by 2035

    Social Security’s main program, also known as Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), ran a $39 billion deficit in 2014, closing out five years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s unfunded obligations continue to grow.[1] According to the 2015 annual Trustees’ Report, the 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security OASI Trust Fund is $9.43 trillion,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 24, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Social Security Trustees: Disability Insurance Program Will Be Insolvent in 2016

    A‌ccording to the 2015 Social Security Trustees Report, the Social ‌Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is on course to run dry in 2016, six decades after the program began in 1956.[1] Absent reform, disability benefits will be cut across the board by almost 20 percent, and the average disabled worker’s benefit will fall below the federal poverty level. For…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by James Phillips, Luke Coffey, Michaela Dodge The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Yes, There Is a Better Alternative

    The Obama Administration has argued that there is no better alternative to its controversial nuclear agreement with Iran. But rather than cutting off all paths to a nuclear weapon, as the Administration initially promised, the so-called Vienna Agreement only temporarily slows down Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapons capability and, in fact, protects the regime’s…

  • Backgrounder posted July 22, 2015 by Olivia Enos The U.S. Role in Ensuring that Burma’s Fall 2015 Elections Are “Free and Fair”

    Burma is set to hold parliamentary elections on November 8, 2015. The elections will be a test of Burma’s political reform—a test the U.S. government considers one of the most important for the reform process. Jonathan Stivers, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), stated that the U.S. government “has made a long-standing…

  • Backgrounder posted July 20, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Private Disability Insurance Option Could Help Save SSDI and Improve Individual Well-being

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program will run out of money in a little over a year. Absent reforms, SSDI benefits will be cut about 20 percent, bringing the average benefit to below the poverty level. Before jumping to the quickest, allegedly easy, fix—a reallocation of payroll taxes from the Social Security retirement program to SSDI—policymakers need…

  • Backgrounder posted July 15, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security Disability Insurance: Benefit Offsets Encourage Work—But Achieve Little to No Savings

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is headed toward insolvency before the end of 2016. Without congressional action, beneficiaries will see their benefits delayed or cut by nearly 20 percent. To avoid delays or drastic and indiscriminate changes in benefits for some of America’s most vulnerable program beneficiaries, Congress is considering several…

  • Issue Brief posted July 13, 2015 by Diane Katz Export–Import Bank: Propaganda versus the Facts

    A June 29 posting on The Hill’s Congress Blog carried the headline: “The Arguments for Ex–Im No One Can Rebut.”[1] The author, John Murphy, the senior vice president of international policy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, claimed that, in a recent hearing, “no one was able to rebut my arguments about the indispensable role the bank plays in specific circumstances.”…

  • Issue Brief posted June 8, 2015 by David Inserra 69th Islamist Terrorist Plot: Ongoing Spike in Terrorism Should Force Congress to Finally Confront the Terrorist Threat

    On June 2 in Boston, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim drew a knife and attacked police officers and FBI agents, who then shot and killed him. Rahim was being watched by Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force as he had been plotting to behead police officers as part of violent jihad. A conspirator, David Wright or Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, was arrested shortly thereafter for helping…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2015 by Ryan Olson To Avoid Trade Diversion, Congress Should Liberalize Rules of Origin

    Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have played an important role in global trade liberalization. However, a major weakness of such liberalization is trade diversion. Trade diversion occurs when regions liberalize at an uneven pace and this liberalization redirects trade flows to trade agreement beneficiaries. For example, when the U.S. signs a trade agreement with one…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 7, 2015 by Elizabeth Slattery Who Will Regulate the Regulators? Administrative Agencies, the Separation of Powers, and Chevron Deference

    The Schoolhouse Rock classic “Three Ring Government” teaches children about the separation of powers embodied in the Constitution by comparing the three branches of government to a three-ring circus. The song explains that “no one part [of government] can be more powerful than any other.” The President is the “ringmaster of the government,” Congress is tasked with…

Find more work on United States Government
Find more work on United States Government