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  • Backgrounder posted May 21, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., John Malcolm, Paul Rosenzweig Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

    The Real and Growing Threat of Terrorism Any debate about America’s counterterrorism capabilities must be conducted in the context of the actual terrorist threat the U.S. faces. Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation has tracked Islamist terrorist plots and attacks, which now, after the recent shooting in Garland, Texas, total 68.[1] This figure, however, does not consider…

  • Issue Brief posted May 21, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Seven Objectives for Effective and Productive Energy Legislation in 2015

    Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a comprehensive energy bill in 2015. If past is prologue, however, such wide-ranging energy bills do much more economic harm than good. For instance, the last two major energy bills signed into law by President George W. Bush, while including some seemingly pro-market titles, contained…

  • News Releases on May 20, 2015 Heritage Mourns Loss of Jack Templeton

    WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015—Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint and Heritage Founder Edwin J. Feulner today issued the following statement on the death of philanthropist John M. Templeton, M.D.: We learned last night of the death of Jack Templeton, a truly great man. He excelled in his chosen professional field—pediatric surgery—then capped that outstanding career by…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 20, 2015 by Alden Abbott You Don’t Need the FCC: How the FTC Can Successfully Police Broadband-Related Internet Abuses

    On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose 1930s-era “common carrier” regulations on Internet providers by enacting an “Open Internet Order.” As a Heritage Foundation analysis points out,[1] this decision threatens to generate hundreds of new rules that will raise the costs of Internet firms, deter innovation, and reduce competition among…

  • First Principles Series Report posted May 19, 2015 by Thomas G. West Poverty and Welfare in the American Founding

    Did Americans before the 20th century lack compassion for the poor? Did they treat the poor with indifference or even cruelty? That is the impression given by most high school and college textbooks. Few students ever learn that government-funded welfare, not to mention generous private charity, has existed throughout American history. James MacGregor Burns’s Government…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2015 by David Inserra 68th Terrorist Plot Calls for Major Counterterrorism Reforms

    On the evening of May 3, two men armed with rifles attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. While both shooters were killed before they could get inside the exhibit, this attack is the 68th Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. since 9/11. This incident has raised significant questions about the way terrorists are being recruited in…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2015 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. The Alternative to Physician-Assisted Suicide: Respect Human Dignity and Offer True Compassion

    Allowing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) would be a grave mistake for four reasons, as explained in a Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “Always Care, Never Kill.”[1] First, it would endanger the weak and vulnerable. Second, it would corrupt the practice of medicine and the doctor–patient relationship. Third, it would compromise the family and intergenerational…

  • Backgrounder posted May 18, 2015 by John Grimsley, John S. O'Shea, M.D. The New Disease Classification (ICD-10): Doctors and Patients Will Pay

    On October 1, 2015, a new standardized system of classifying disease will be imposed on practicing physicians and others in the health care sector. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of diagnostic codes established for defining and reporting disease, identifying global health trends and collecting global…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Issue Brief posted May 13, 2015 by Grace Melton At U.N., Radicals Regret Lack of “Progress” and Seek to Feminize Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations over the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delegates and activists from around the world met at the U.N. headquarters in New York last month for the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which this year commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women that was held in…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Federal Housing Administration: What Record of Success?

    More than 80 years ago, Congress passed a series of laws that significantly expanded the federal government’s presence in the housing finance system. These federal programs have grown and contributed to an explosion of mortgage debt over the past few decades. Homeownership rates, however, have barely changed since the late 1960s. The long-term increase in mortgage debt…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by Michael Sargent Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending

    As federal transportation spending consistently outpaces the fuel tax revenues that fund it, the federal government is yet again at an impasse. The Highway Trust Fund, which disburses federal funds to build and maintain road and transit projects, faces a shortfall that will exhaust the fund shortly after the 2014 extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st…

  • Issue Brief posted May 11, 2015 by Ryan Olson, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Recognize the Dynamic Benefits of Imports

    Advocates of free trade agreements often assert that trade is beneficial because it gives American businesses better access to the world’s consumers, 95 percent of whom live outside the United States. While this claim is a fact, the argument centers on the regrettable fixation over the benefits of exports. This mercantilist view often discounts or even completely ignores…

  • Issue Brief posted May 11, 2015 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Physician-Assisted Suicide Betrays Human Dignity and Violates Equality Before the Law

    Allowing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) would be a grave mistake for four reasons, as explained in a Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “Always Care, Never Kill.”[1] First, it would endanger the weak and vulnerable. Second, it would corrupt the practice of medicine and the doctor–patient relationship. Third, it would compromise the family and intergenerational…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama

    The number and cost of government regulations continued to climb in 2014, intensifying Washington’s control over the economy and Americans’ lives. The addition of 27 new major rules[1] last year pushed the tally for the Obama Administration’s first six years to 184, with scores of other rules in the pipeline. The cost of just these 184 rules is estimated by regulators to…