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  • Testimony posted September 26, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. FDIC Insurance and the Brokered Deposit Market: Not a Recipe for Market Discipline

    Testimony before Committee on Financial Services, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee U.S. House of Representatives September 27, 2016  Chairman Neugebauer, Ranking Member Clay, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing. My name is Norbert Michel and I am a Research Fellow in Financial Regulations at…

  • Testimony posted September 23, 2016 by Romina Boccia Women and Opportunity in the Modern Workforce

    My name is Romina Boccia. I am Deputy Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Members of the…

  • Backgrounder posted September 23, 2016 by David R. Burton, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Financial Privacy in a Free Society

    Privacy, both financial and personal, is a key component of life in a free society. Unlike in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, individuals in free societies have a private sphere free of government involvement, surveillance, and control. The United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, particularly the Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments, together with structural…

  • Commentary posted September 21, 2016 by Nicolas Loris A Workable Blueprint For Energy Freedom

    “Keep it in the ground." That mantra of the Greens encapsulates the restrictive energy policies imposed by the Obama administration. But there's a better approach: one that relies on the ingenuity of free enterprise to produce abundant, reliable and affordable energy for all. That approach, rather than the restrictive, bureaucratically directed model favored by the…

  • Commentary posted September 21, 2016 by Nicolas Loris Misguided Energy Mandates Fueling Higher Prices

    Have you noticed how food prices have climbed over the last few years? A good portion of the blame for that goes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS, which recently turned 11, perfectly illustrates why government shouldn’t centrally plan energy decisions. President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law and expanded it in 2007. The RFS, which…

  • Commentary posted September 21, 2016 by Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb Getting sucker punched by energy efficiency regulations

    You have houseguests and you may not even know it. Indeed, they can be found in virtually every room of your home. We’re referring to federal regulators. They’re determined to reduce your energy use, no matter how much it costs you or takes decisions out of your hands. Take a look around your kitchen. Many appliances are regulated by the federal government, from the…

  • Executive Summary posted September 21, 2016 by Daren Bakst, Scott Lincicome, Nicolas Loris, Josh Sewell, Brian Wright Farms and Free Enterprise: A Blueprint for Agricultural Policy

    The farm bill, which comes before Congress every five years or so, continues to provide costly and harmful subsidies to agricultural producers.  Farms and Free Enterprise gives legislators a clear choice before the next farm bill is debated, likely in 2018: Support a free-enterprise alternative to the farm bill or maintain the status quo.  This major report proposes…

  • Backgrounder posted September 14, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Fixing the Regulatory Framework for Derivatives

    Many policymakers have strong opinions on the risks of derivatives, but there is no objective economic reason to regulate derivatives as a unique product. To the contrary, it is best to avoid regulating derivatives as a unique product because doing so is bound to result in a complex set of rules filled with special exemptions for select users. Prior to the 2008 financial…

  • Issue Brief posted September 9, 2016 by Paul Winfree A Better Way Forward on the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution

    The budget process, specified in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, calls for Congress and the President to reach agreement on 12 separate annual appropriations bills before the fiscal year (FY) ends on September 30. In recent years, Congress and the President have failed to enact these bills as standalone measures, leaving the federal government to operate on a series…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 9, 2016 by Paul Larkin, Nicolas Loris The Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Land: Wyoming v. Department of the Interior

    The Controversy Over Hydraulic Fracturing Over the past two decades, vast deposits of oil and gas have been unlocked in the United States by a late-20th-century extraction-process innovation known as hydraulic fracturing (also known as hydrofracking or fracking). That process has enabled industry to recover oil and natural gas resources from shale buried deep…

  • Special Report posted September 8, 2016 by Daren Bakst, Josh Sewell, Brian Wright Addressing Risk in Agriculture

    Introduction Agricultural producers, similar to other businesses, face significant risk. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service identifies five different types of farming risk: human and personal risk (such as human health), institutional risk (regarding governmental action), financial risk (such as access to capital), price or…

  • Backgrounder posted September 8, 2016 by Romina Boccia Improving Accuracy in Congressional Scorekeeping

    Congress should account for debt-service costs when considering the costs of proposed legislation. Current scorekeeping conventions fail to account for debt-service costs when Congress considers new legislation outside of major budget proposals. This leads to lawmakers having incomplete information concerning how a proposal will impact the U.S. budget. The practice…

  • Issue Brief posted September 7, 2016 by Michael Sargent WRDA: The Water Resources Development Act in the 114th Congress

    The federal government undertakes substantial activities constructing and maintaining national water resources and infrastructure through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These activities are primarily: maintaining navigable channels, reducing flood and storm damage, and restoring aquatic ecosystems. Corps activities are traditionally authorized every two years by…

  • Backgrounder posted September 6, 2016 by James Wallner, Paul Winfree The Implications of Regular Lame-Duck Sessions in Congress for Representative Government

    Barring exceptional circumstances or strict exigency, Congress should not consider any major legislation or presidential nominations during a so-called lame-duck session—that is, between each November election and January 3, when a new Congress forms. Doing so undermines representative government by weakening the accountability link between the American people and their…

  • Backgrounder posted September 1, 2016 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris Time to Unlock America’s Vast Oil and Gas Resources

    In March 2012 President Barack Obama stated, “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.”[1] He said the same thing earlier that year on the campaign trail.[2] He said it a lot.[3] Perhaps the line polled well, but it was not true. The U.S. did drill its way to lower gas prices over the past several years (for both natural gas and gasoline) and broke the back of the…