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  • Commentary posted January 14, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Enough Is Enough: Obama's Keystone Obstructionism Must End

    Last week, President Obama vowed he would not let the Keystone XL pipeline project go forward until the process played out. Days later, it did again (and not just in the Congress). The White House had seized on a court challenge to the project, working its way through the Nebraska court system, as its latest excuse for obstructionism. On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme…

  • Commentary posted January 13, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. New Congress, New Opportunities

    Today I’ll be taking part in Heritage Action for America’s 2015 Policy Summit. This event, titled “Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None,” highlights key opportunities for the new Congress to roll-back the reach of government into our lives. The summit covers issues that range from financial market and energy regulations to healthcare and education reform. The best…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2015 by Nicolas Loris More than Six Years Later, Keystone XL Is Still a Good Idea

    It was 2008 when TransCanada initially filed an application with the U.S. government to construct the multibillion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline to carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. Illinois Senator Barack Obama had just secured the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party. Hurricane Ike made landfall, Usain Bolt set…

  • Commentary posted January 6, 2015 by Nicolas Loris States should just say no to climate initiatives

    Climate change regulations imposed by federal bureaucrats now give state governments a new opportunity to extract money from their citizens. In the interest of protecting American families and businesses from higher energy prices devoid of any meaningful climate benefit, states should just say no. A large component of the Obama administration’s climate-change agenda is…

  • Commentary posted January 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Ten worst regulations of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, it is enveloped in red tape. From the breakfast table to the night light, government regulators invaded nearly every moment of our lives. Here's our take on the 10 worst examples of the past year: 10. Federal Censorship Commission. The FCC began considering a petition to revoke the broadcast license of a Washington, D.C., radio station for using…

  • Commentary posted December 23, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. CRomnibus Swaps Rhetoric For Reality

    Thanks to one tiny provision stuffed into the CRomnibus spending bill, millions are now familiar with the financial term swap. This provision essentially undoes a Dodd-Frank rule known as the swaps push out rule. That Dodd-Frank regulation – one of several which still had not been fully implemented – forced banks to choose between getting rid of their swaps business or…

  • Backgrounder posted December 17, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Michael Sargent Eight Myths About FCC Regulation of the Internet

    Few policy debates in Washington have generated as many myths and mischaracterizations as the ongoing battle over proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for broadband Internet service. Popularly known as “net neutrality” rules, these Internet regulations would limit the ability of Internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to…

  • Backgrounder posted December 15, 2014 by David R. Burton Four Conservative Tax Plans with Equivalent Economic Results

    Over the past three decades, conservatives have proposed four different types of consumption taxes: A national sales tax, A business transfer tax, The Hall–Rabushka–Armey–Forbes flat tax, and The “new flat tax,” also known as an expenditure tax, consumed income tax, inflow-outflow tax, or cash flow tax. Few understand that, despite their…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Ease up on Easing?

    Two reasons the Federal Reserve should stop trying to stimulate the economy: The policies it has enacted so far have contributed very little to the economic recovery. It has likely already reached the limits of what monetary policy can do to boost the economy. The Fed's quantitative easing programs have filled the banking system with excess reserves. The federal funds…

  • Commentary posted December 9, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Jim Grant, Recession and Recovery in 1921

    James Grant’s excellent new book, The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself, tells the story of “America’s last governmentally untreated depression.” Just prior to the Roaring Twenties, the U.S. went into a deep economic slump but soon recovered—despite no active government stimulus policies. That sort of government inaction, of course, is very…

  • Special Report posted December 8, 2014 by Romina Boccia Federal Spending by the Numbers, 2014: Government Spending Trends in Graphics, Tables, and Key Points (Including 51 Examples of Government Waste)

    Contributors Romina Boccia is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation. John W. Fleming is Senior Data Graphics Editor at The Heritage Foundation. Spencer Woody is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage…

  • Backgrounder posted December 8, 2014 by Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb Six Easy Energy Reforms for Congress to Take Up

    With a new Congress set to take office in January, policymakers will be eager to prove that they can move good policy forward. In energy policy, plenty of bipartisan opportunities exist for Congress to implement free-market reforms to remove government interference and create opportunities. Six Reforms While certainly not all-encompassing, the following six energy…

  • Testimony posted December 3, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Improving Financial Institution Supervision Ending the Federal Reserves Regulatory Role

    Testimony before Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee United States Senate November 21, 2014 Norbert J. Michel, PhD Research Fellow in Financial Regulations The Heritage Foundation A critical lesson from the Fed’s first 100 years is that an overly broad interpretation of the Fed’s role in…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2014 by James L. Gattuso Obama and the FCC: Bully Pulpit, Bad Policy

    Like Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama knows that the presidency makes an effective bully pulpit — even when you have historically low approval ratings. He showed that earlier this month when — in an unusually deep wade into the decision-making process at the supposedly independent Federal Communications Commission — the president came out four-square in favor of imposing…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Should 'Legal But Shady' Be A New Regulatory Standard?

    Last Friday I had the pleasure of testifying at a Senate hearing. The topic was “Improving Financial Institution Supervision: Examining and Addressing Regulatory Capture.” “Regulatory capture” refers to a common phenomenon: individuals serving as regulators come to identify with the firms they regulate at least as much as with the agencies that employ them.  Thus, the…