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  • Issue Brief posted September 19, 2014 by Robert Gordon, Andrew Kloster Wage Garnishment Without a Court Order: Not a Good Idea

    Right before the July 4th holiday this year, the ‌Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule entitled “Administrative Wage Garnishment.”[1] This rule sought to amend EPA standards for claims collections, implementing the wage garnishment provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) of 1996.[2] It did so by incorporating by reference a…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 6, 2014. The 2013 term featured a number of hot-button issues: campaign finance restrictions, racial preferences, pro-life speech outside abortion clinics, unions, legislative prayer, and a challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Nearly two-thirds of the decisions were…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Luke Coffey The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): The Geopolitical Reality

    In his February 2013 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an effort…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Bryan Riley The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Economic Benefits and Potential Risks

    In February 2013, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union during his State of the Union address. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an…

  • Special Report posted September 17, 2014 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Ivan Benovic, James Roberts Russia’s Avoidable Economic Decline

    About the Authors Ariel Cohen, PhD, is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Ivan Benovic, an MA graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA…

  • Issue Brief posted September 17, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Seek Release of Detainees in North Korea—Without Policy Concessions

    North Korea has sentenced Matthew Miller, a 20-year-old American tourist, to six years of hard labor for attempted espionage. Miller reportedly ripped up his tourist visa and declared he wanted asylum but Pyongyang accused him of intending to “experience prison life so that he could investigate the human rights situation” in North Korea. The regime is also holding Jeffrey…

  • Issue Brief posted September 16, 2014 by David Inserra, Riley Walters The Visa Waiver Program: Enhancing Security, Promoting Prosperity

    The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a valuable tool supporting U.S. tourism and trade, public diplomacy, and national security. The VWP allows residents of member countries to visit the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days in exchange for security-cooperation and information-sharing arrangements and reciprocal travel privileges for U.S. residents. The VWP is extended only…

  • Backgrounder posted September 15, 2014 by Robert Rector, Rachel Sheffield The War on Poverty After 50 Years

    This week, the U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release its annual poverty report. The report will be notable because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2014 by Bryan Riley Foreign Export Credit Subsidies: Kill Them, Don’t Copy Them

    Many supporters of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im Bank) assert that the bank serves a legitimate purpose as a response to export subsidies provided by foreign governments. For example, according to National Association of Manufacturers President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Timmons, The size and scope of the Ex–Im Bank pales in comparison to the official export…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2014 by Curtis S. Dubay, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Understanding Thomas Piketty and His Critics

    Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century[1] is a treatise on how wealth inequality evolves in capitalistic economies. It is the most talked-about and most critiqued economics book of 2014 because Piketty’s timing was perfect: He released the English edition when income inequality was being actively debated in the United States. President Barack Obama brought…

  • Backgrounder posted September 10, 2014 by Ryan Olson The Generalized System of Preferences: Time to Renew and Reform the U.S. Trade Program

    On July 31, 2013, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)—the U.S. trade program designed to promote trade in developing countries—expired without renewal for the eighth time in its 30-year history. Over the past year, imports entering the U.S. under the program have incurred higher tariff rates, increasing costs for producers and consumers. Originally designed as a…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 10, 2014 by Alden Abbott The Federal Trade Commission’s Role in Online Security: Data Protector or Dictator?

    Background: The Online Data Security Problem While the phrase “identity theft” typically brings to mind stolen credit cards and false identity badges, another key area where privacy violations can occur is less visible but equally insidious: corporate data breaches. Companies’ online data protection practices have a major impact on consumer privacy. Target’s 2013…

  • Backgrounder posted September 4, 2014 by James Sherk Not Looking for Work: Why Labor Force Participation Has Fallen During the Recovery

    Originally published August 30, 2012—Revised and updated September 4, 2014 The American economy is experiencing the slowest recovery in 70 years. In addition to persistently high unemployment, labor force participation has fallen sharply since the recession began in December 2007. Today, 6.9 million fewer Americans are working or looking for work. This drop accounts for…

  • Backgrounder posted September 4, 2014 by Nicolas Loris What Contributes to Gas Prices and Solutions to Help

    Drivers recently received a bit of welcome news when the Energy Information Administration projected that gasoline prices would likely decline throughout the rest of 2014 to around $3.30 per gallon after reaching a high of $4 per gallon in March.[1] For several years, paying more than $3.50 for a gallon of gasoline had been the new normal, and for many drivers that price…

  • Backgrounder posted September 4, 2014 by Curtis S. Dubay Business Inversions: Tax Reform Is the Only Way to Curb Them

    A recent surge of interest in U.S. business inversions—a process whereby an ‌American company merges with a foreign business and moves the combined business’s headquarters to the foreign country—has precipitated calls for Congress to put an end to the practice. The American public and lawmakers are rightfully concerned about businesses moving their headquarters abroad.…