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  • Issue Brief posted May 21, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Seven Objectives for Effective and Productive Energy Legislation in 2015

    Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a comprehensive energy bill in 2015. If past is prologue, however, such wide-ranging energy bills do much more economic harm than good. For instance, the last two major energy bills signed into law by President George W. Bush, while including some seemingly pro-market titles, contained…

  • Testimony posted May 15, 2015 by David R. Burton Legislative Proposals to Enhance Capital Formation and Reduce Regulatory Burdens: Venture Exchanges

    Testimony before the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of the Committee on Financial Services United States House of Representatives May 13, 2015 David R. Burton Senior Fellow in Economic Policy The Heritage Foundation My name is David R. Burton. I am Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation. I would…

  • Commentary posted May 15, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulating escalators and escalating regulation

    What do restaurant menus, refrigerators, community banks and escalators have in common? All were subjected to yet more federal regulation last year. No fewer than 184 "major" new rules have been imposed since the start of the Obama administration, costing Americans about $80 billion per year in additional regulatory costs. And many more regulations are on the way.…

  • Commentary posted May 13, 2015 by Daren Bakst Water, water everywhere … not a drop unregulated

    The feds have launched a new power grab, and it’s coming at the expense of property rights. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a new rule to define “waters of the United States.” This definition is supposed to clarify what “waters” are covered under the Clean Water Act and therefore what these two agencies can…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2015 by Romina Boccia Repealing Obamacare: Just a Start towards a Balanced Budget

    For the first time in more than five years, Congress has passed a budget plan. The plan would balance the budget by 2024—but only if Congress were to enact additional enabling legislation that would actually accomplish the savings included in their budget. That’s a huge “if.” This is one of Washington’s dirty secrets. Members of Congress get to claim credit for passing a…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by Michael Sargent Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending

    As federal transportation spending consistently outpaces the fuel tax revenues that fund it, the federal government is yet again at an impasse. The Highway Trust Fund, which disburses federal funds to build and maintain road and transit projects, faces a shortfall that will exhaust the fund shortly after the 2014 extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama

    The number and cost of government regulations continued to climb in 2014, intensifying Washington’s control over the economy and Americans’ lives. The addition of 27 new major rules[1] last year pushed the tally for the Obama Administration’s first six years to 184, with scores of other rules in the pipeline. The cost of just these 184 rules is estimated by regulators to…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Federal Housing Administration: What Record of Success?

    More than 80 years ago, Congress passed a series of laws that significantly expanded the federal government’s presence in the housing finance system. These federal programs have grown and contributed to an explosion of mortgage debt over the past few decades. Homeownership rates, however, have barely changed since the late 1960s. The long-term increase in mortgage debt…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. End -- Don't Mend -- The Fed's Emergency Lending

    There’s still a widespread belief that the federal government will bail out large financial firms if there’s another crisis. Curbing the Federal Reserve’s ability to spread money around would be a great way to lower the chances of future bailouts. So it’s encouraging to learn that Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and David Vitter (R-La.) have joined forces in an…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2015 by John Gray, Nicolas Loris, Daren Bakst The House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Misses the Mark

    This week, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is likely to receive floor consideration. One of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, this bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps); the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation; the Department…

  • Backgrounder posted April 29, 2015 by Daren Bakst What You Need to Know About the EPA/Corps Water Rule: It’s a Power Grab and an Attack on Property Rights

    On April 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule—“Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act” (CWA)—to define which waters are covered under the Clean Water Act (that is, jurisdictional waters).[1] The proposed rule could cover almost any type of water, giving the two agencies…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Status Quo On Housing Finance Keeps Failed System In Place

    The status quo. It’s a powerful force in Washington, D.C. No matter how destructive or inefficient an existing program, institution or system may be, it’s always safer for politicians to maintain the status quo rather than meaningfully change direction. Exhibit A: federal housing finance policy. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, the federal government spent decades…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2015 by James L. Gattuso What’s next under the net neutrality big top?

    Telecommunications policymaking has long been compared to a three-ring circus consisting of the Federal Communications Commission, the courts and Congress. Nowhere has that been truer than in the long-running debate over net neutrality regulation. For the past year or so, all attention has been on the FCC, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, as it drafted its plan to impose…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Romina Boccia How Do We Get Those Able to Work Off of Disability?

    With the Social Security disability-insurance (SSDI) program heading toward insolvency before the end of next year, lawmakers are looking for reforms to help individuals with disabilities but the capacity to work to return to work. Why it is so hard to get them to do so? Olga Khazan explores the question in a new piece in The Atlantic. Even those awarded benefits for a…