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  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield The Preschool Mirage

    The Obama administration has just announced a new $1 billion initiative ($750 million in federal grants and the remainder from private funding) to enroll more children in government preschool programs. The new measure is being announced formally at the White House Summit on Early Education this morning. The push comes on the heels of President Obama’s speech on women and…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., Sarah Torre The Right to Life and a Culture of Marriage

    The abortion rate keeps dropping. The latest numbers from the CDC, released last week, show that the abortion rate is the lowest it’s been since 1973, the year the Supreme Court manufactured a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. This raises two important questions: What is the cause of the decline in abortion? And how can we build on this success to protect…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2014 by Romina Boccia, Robert Rector Weakening an Asset Test Could Expand the Welfare State

    Before Congress recessed for the midterm elections, lawmakers announced plans to use the current lame-duck session to work on passing a bill called “The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.” Supporters describe the bill as a way to eliminate “barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s…

  • Issue Brief posted November 17, 2014 by Robert Rector How Welfare Undermines Marriage and What to Do About It

    Historically, marriage has played a critical role in the raising of children. In most cases, the economic benefits of marriage are substantial. Marriage among families with children is an extremely powerful factor in promoting economic self-sufficiency: the ability of families to support themselves above poverty without reliance on government means-tested welfare aid. The…

  • Backgrounder posted November 10, 2014 by Robert Rector, Romina Boccia How the ABLE Act Would Expand the Welfare State

    This summer, a 14-page bill with 379 co-sponsors (193 Republicans, 186 Democrats), which is little known outside the halls of Congress, was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee.[1] The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647) would establish tax-favored savings accounts, similar to “529” education savings accounts, for individuals with…

  • Commentary posted October 28, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Ignore Your Conscience -- or Go to Jail

    It's hard to imagine a more bedrock American right than being free to live according to your religious convictions. The very idea of being forced to violate your beliefs seems unthinkable. Unless you happen to believe that marriage refers exclusively to the union of a man and a woman. Because more and more often, the government is penalizing and coercing those who…

  • Commentary posted September 30, 2014 by Edwin Meese III, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Let States, Not Courts, Decide Marriage Policy

    On June 26 of last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, and since then lower courts have issued a string of decisions redefining marriage in the states. This month, in a widely celebrated opinion written by Judge Richard Posner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit declared that it had…

  • Commentary posted September 23, 2014 by Robert Rector The War on Poverty: 50 years of failure

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's launch of the War on Poverty. In January 1964, Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty in America." Since then, the taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson's war. Adjusted for inflation, that's three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution. Last year, government…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Sarah Torre Watering Down Religious Freedom to ‘Freedom to Worship’

    The right to live, work and worship according to one’s faith is a freedom foundational to the United States. Many of the first settlers, having faced religious persecution in England, sought a place where they could freely worship and live according to their conscience without interference from the government. The Founders were clear, and the Bill of Rights makes it…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Robert Rector Miscounting Poverty Again: The War On Poverty After Fifty Years

    Today the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual poverty report. The report is noteworthy because this year is the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty. But this morning, the Census Bureau reported that 14.5 percent of Americans were poor in 2013. This is essentially the same rate as in 1966, two years after the War on Poverty was…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted August 21, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Marriage policy should be worked out in states

    News about court cases that involve same-sex marriages usually travels fast. But when a judge in Tennessee recently upheld that state's constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, it went almost unnoticed. The case involved a same-sex couple married in Iowa that sought a divorce in Tennessee. Because Tennessee does not recognize…

  • Commentary posted August 6, 2014 by Robert Rector Welfare State Grows as Self-Sufficiency Declines

    For the past 50 years, the government's annual poverty rate has hardly changed at all. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans still live in poverty, roughly the same rate as the mid-1960s when the War on Poverty was just starting. After adjusting for inflation, federal and state welfare spending today is 16 times greater than it was when President…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Four Problems and a Response to Obama’s LGBT Executive Order

    Earlier Monday, President Obama issued an executive order barring federal contractors from what it describes as “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Employers should respect the intrinsic dignity of all of their employees, but as I explain in greater detail at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, today’s executive order undermines…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. The Right to Be Wrong

    One of the hallmarks of religious liberty protections is that they protect people of all faiths, even if their beliefs seem unfounded, flawed, implausible, or downright silly. Recognition of a right to religious freedom does not, however, depend on religious skepticism, relativism, or indifferentism. Rather, it rests on the intelligible value of the religious quest—the…