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  • Backgrounder posted July 7, 2016 by Paul Winfree Causes of the Federal Government’s Unsustainable Spending

    In all but five of the past 50 years, the budget of the United States has been in cash deficit.[1] For example, in 2015, the federal government ran a cash deficit of $438 billion—after collecting $3,250 billion in revenues and spending $3,688 billion.[2] The continuous level of deficit spending has increased public debt, which, during the same period, rose from 33.7…

  • Commentary posted June 15, 2016 by Paul Winfree Idea, Politics of Basic Income Aren't New

    A minimum income for everyone above a certain age, often called a basic income, is back in vogue. Several major magazines and prominent thinkers from different philosophical backgrounds say a basic income is necessary in an age where robots will replace all jobs. Others call for a basic income to replace the current welfare system. The idea of a minimum income isn’t new.…

  • News Releases posted March 15, 2016 by Paul Winfree Heritage Statement on House Budget Resolution FY 2017

    “This budget is not a serious effort to tackle our mounting debt caused by wasteful spending. Once again Congress promises future spending cuts in return for higher spending today. That’s no longer acceptable. The future cuts never come. “The House Budget Committee now proposes to hike spending by $30 billion above the level established by the Budget Control Act and $57…

  • News Releases posted February 9, 2016 by Paul Winfree Heritage Statement on President Obama's Proposed Budget

    “Our debt now stands at $19 trillion—more than $125,000 for every tax-filing household in America. Americans who balance their own budgets understand that our nation is on an unsustainable spending path. Today, the President submitted another unserious budget that does nothing to stop Washington’s reckless spending and debt. Congress must act now by cutting wasteful…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2016 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia Congress Should Spend More Time Budgeting, Not Less

    Government-by-crisis may be the new normal, but it’s highly frustrating—both on Capitol Hill and off.   Some propose easing brinksmanship budgeting by giving Congress fewer budget deadlines to meet. One popular proposal, called biennial budgeting, would extend the budget cycle from one year to two. Proponents argue that this would free up valuable congressional time for…

  • Commentary posted January 5, 2016 by Paul Winfree Congress Needs to Start 2016 on a Diet

    It’s that time when we reflect on the past year while making resolutions for big accomplishments in the year ahead. Come next week, the gyms will be packed, and you’ll hardly be able to find any kale at the grocery. However, fewer than one in 10 actually sticks to their New Year’s resolutions. As it turns out, Congress has a roughly similar success rate when it comes to…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield, James Phillips, Diane Katz, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Roger Severino, Sarah Torre, Lindsey Burke, James Sherk, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer, David Inserra Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills

    The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government.[1] James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2015 by Paul Winfree Note to Congress: Spending limits represent a maximum, not a goal

    On November 2, President Barack Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), which passed Congress with 233 Democrats and 97 Republicans voting in its favor. Enactment of the BBA was historic event. For the first time in modern history, Congress granted a president unlimited borrowing authority for nearly an entire term in office. The last statutory limit that…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2015 by Paul Winfree Abusing our national finances

    In October 2008, Congress raised the debt limit to $11.3 trillion. Then presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced the action as “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” But those were the good ol' days, when Congress actually put a statutory limit on the debt. Seven years later, Congress has become only more fiscally irresponsible. Today the national debt has…

  • Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Justin T. Johnson, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, James L. Gattuso, Jason Snead, Rachel Greszler, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David R. Burton, Curtis S. Dubay Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

    The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt. Heritage…

  • Commentary posted October 20, 2015 by Paul Winfree King v. Burwell helps repeal ObamaCare

    Public opposition to ObamaCare has lasted far longer than its authors imagined. Unsubsidized consumers avoid ObamaCare coverage. Twenty states have rejected its Medicaid expansion. Congress wants to repeal it. President Obama and the Supreme Court have repeatedly amended and expanded it, transforming the statute Congress enacted into an illegitimate law that no Congress…

  • Commentary posted October 19, 2015 by Paul Winfree How Congress Stopped the Next Big Obamacare Disaster

    Earlier this month, the administration announced that insurers who lost money selling Obamacare would not get a $2.5 billion bailout. It was great news for taxpayers, but it didn’t happen by chance. Both chambers of Congress worked very hard to make those savings possible. And lawmakers will have to continue working hard to keep bailouts like this from happening in…

  • Backgrounder posted September 2, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Curtis S. Dubay, Michael Sargent Blueprint for Congressional Fiscal Action in the Remainder of 2015

    Congress has set the federal government budget on a dangerous trajectory and must take corrective action now. Taxpayers pay enormous amounts of money to the government, and the government borrows additional huge amounts of money. The government uses the taxes that it collects and the money that it borrows to pay for excessive spending, including spending for…

  • Commentary posted August 10, 2015 by Paul Winfree The tangling threads of America's safety net

    The fastest growing category in many state budgets? It's not education. It's not infrastructure. It's welfare spending. Costing more than $1 trillion per year, the nation's current welfare system is enormous, but much of this spending is counterproductive. Today's welfare programs undermine work and marriage, leading to a broadening pattern of intergenerational…

  • Commentary posted April 21, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Paul Winfree Oops, Congress Failed Again: A Missed Opportunity to Fix Medicare

    The new Congress isn’t getting Washington’s crazy spending under control. In fact, it’s just made it worse. By enacting the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), lawmakers yesterday increased the nation’s deficits by $141 billion over the next ten years and guaranteed even larger debt beyond that. So much for their formal commitments and resolutions to…