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  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield The “Heat and Eat” Food Stamp Loophole and the Outdated Cost Projections for Farm Programs

    In February, Congress passed a new farm bill that lacked meaningful and necessary reform. Making matters worse, Congress made critical mistakes that will have a major impact on both food stamps and farm programs. The most significant attempt at food stamp reform was to close the “heat and eat” loophole, which allows states to artificially boost the amount of food stamps…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield New Preschool Spending an Unnecessary Burden on American Taxpayers

    President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to create a new federally funded preschool initiative. His fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposes spending billions to expand access to “high quality preschool” for every four-year-old child in the country. Legislative proposals in the House and Senate mirror the President’s plan. Proposals to…

  • Issue Brief posted December 4, 2013 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield Eight Things to Watch for in the Farm Bill

    The House and Senate are working out differences between their farm bills.[1] Since both bills are seriously flawed, any bill that the negotiators produce is also likely to have major problems. The following is a list of major questions to consider if the negotiators do come up with a farm bill. 1. Will Congress Continue to Play Politics with the Farm Bill by Combining…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2013 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield The 'farm bill' is costing Americans billions

    The "farm bill"? Hardly. What the House and Senate are working on now, as they iron out the differences between their respective versions of this legislation, has little to do with agriculture. And it's proving very costly for every American. Based on projected costs, these massive bills are about $150 billion more expensive than the Obama stimulus bill. And about 80…

  • Commentary posted October 9, 2013 by Rachel Sheffield Making food stamps more than a handout

    A few months ago, Washington buzzed with talk of “doing something” about the food stamp program. The congressional spotlight has now turned to the debt ceiling, but the food stamps program still merits a serious examination. It is ripe for reform. Food aid is one of the largest and fastest growing of the federal government’s welfare programs. Over the last four years,…

  • Issue Brief posted October 8, 2013 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield A Comparison of the House and Senate Farm Bills

    Congress continues to treat agriculture as if it were 1933 instead of 2013. Agriculture is a cutting-edge sector of the economy that continues to innovate and produce more food with fewer resources. Yet, every five years when the farm bill is up for renewal, many legislators, including those who claim to be pro–free market and limited government, push a farm bill that is…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona, Jennifer A. Marshall, Rachel Sheffield, Sandra Stotsky Common Core National Standards and Tests: Empty Promises and Increased Federal Overreach Into Education

    Americans who cherish limited government must be constantly vigilant of pushes to centralize various aspects of our lives. Government intervention is a zero-sum game; every act of centralization comes at the expense of liberty and the civil society institutions upon which this country was founded. Education is no exception. Growing federal intervention in education over…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2013 by Rachel Sheffield Making Work Standard for Food Stamps

    Earlier this summer the House took the smart step of separating food stamps and agricultural programs, which combined had formed the bloated farm bill. This set the stage for significant reform. Although the stand-alone food-stamp bill introduced this week moves in the right direction, conservatives should expect much more if we are to expand on the success of welfare…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2013 by Rachel Sheffield Making Work Standard for Food Stamps

    Earlier this summer the House took the smart step of separating food stamps and agricultural programs, which combined had formed the bloated farm bill. This set the stage for significant reform. Although the stand-alone food-stamp bill introduced this week moves in the right direction, conservatives should expect much more if we are to expand on the success of welfare…

  • Issue Brief posted September 12, 2013 by Rachel Sheffield How to Reform Food Stamps

    For decades, farm bills have combined agriculture policy with the food stamps program. These farm bills would have been better deemed “food stamp bills,” as food stamps account for about 80 percent of farm bill costs. In July, the House passed an agriculture-only farm bill. By separating agriculture programs from food stamps, the House took a good first step, but it…

  • Issue Brief posted June 27, 2013 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield Six Reforms for the House Farm Bill

    On June 20, the House voted down its farm bill by a bipartisan vote of 234–195. This action was a major victory for fiscal responsibility and the American people. Now, instead of locking the country into five years of bad public policy, the House can develop a bill that provides significant reforms for both farm policy and the food stamp program. The following six…

  • Backgrounder posted May 15, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield 13 Ways the 113th Congress Can Improve Education in America

    There is no shortage of opportunities for Congress to reform federal education policy. Dozens of federal education programs are managed by well-intentioned yet disconnected bureaucrats in Washington, who are far removed from the needs of teachers and children in the classroom. Taxpayers, meanwhile, must send billions of dollars every year to Washington to fund federal…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2013 by Rachel Sheffield It's About Welfare Reform, Not the Sequester

    The sequester is forcing devastating cuts on the nation’s welfare system at a time of record poverty levels — or so shouts a recent Associated Press dispatch, magnified with glee by overseas media. But let’s put this in perspective. First, the much-maligned sequester cuts less than 3 percent of non-defense spending. Spending on the nation’s means-tested welfare system —…

  • Backgrounder posted March 12, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield Universal Preschool’s Empty Promises

    The Obama Administration wants to establish a continuum of preschool services for children from birth through age five. As part of President Barack Obama’s drive for a “cradle-to-career” government-controlled education system, in February the Administration proposed significantly increasing government spending on early childhood education and care. The President’s…