• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Special Report posted September 26, 2016 by Gregory S. Walden An Administration Worthy of Respect: Integrity, Competence, and Experience

    Every incoming presidential Administration promises that it will pursue excellence in the administration of foreign and domestic policy by appointing well-qualified candidates to key executive positions. Likewise, nearly every incoming Administration has pledged that its appointees will be subject to and will comply with the highest standards of ethical conduct. The Obama…

  • Backgrounder posted August 16, 2016 by Tori K. Whiting Trade and Prosperity in the States: The Case of Michigan

    Every Michigander remembers what the state’s economy looked like in 2010—715,000 people were out of work, and gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 7.6 percent by the time the recession ended. Many people were skeptical that free trade could help revive the economy, while others even blamed free trade for the state’s problems. Despite these doubts, support for…

  • Backgrounder posted June 13, 2016 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Jack Spencer, Bridget Mudd, Katie Tubb Science Policy: Priorities and Reforms for the 45th President

    Federal involvement in science and technology is far-reaching, spanning all three branches of government. It has developed over decades from wartime objectives, layers of legislation, diverse presidential Administrations, and growing regulation. Federal participation in science and technology has aided the nation in meeting national security needs and exploring the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 25, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb 2017 Senate Energy and Water Appropriations: Bill Falls Short on Key Policies

    This week, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is expected to be debated on the Senate floor. The first of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department…

  • Commentary posted March 22, 2016 by David Inserra EU Threatens Retaliation Against U.S. Travelers

    For those Americans hoping to visit Europe this year, the U.S. government may have made your life more difficult. Last year’s omnibus appropriations bill included a provision that restricted a program that allows some foreigners to visit the U.S. without a visa. The problem is that the program is a reciprocal arrangement. So when we restricted our program, it gave…

  • Backgrounder posted December 21, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller 2016 Index of Economic Freedom: Yet More Evidence of Free Trade’s Benefits

    The latest rankings of trade freedom around the world,[1] included by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in the forthcoming 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, confirm that citizens of countries that embrace free trade are better off than those in countries that do not. The data continue to show a strong correlation between trade freedom and a variety of…

  • Commentary posted December 3, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. If You Want Good Leaders, Make Sure They're Good Thinkers

    Here’s a thought. Perhaps part of the reason the world seems to have gone haywire for America is that our nation’s leaders don’t think as well as they used to—that all our great thinking is behind us. The best prescription for fixing that may lie in how we prepare generals, diplomats and policymakers to lead. Even during the Cold War, America’s best and brightest…

  • Issue Brief posted November 24, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Time to Cut Out the SSA as Middleman in SSDI Representation

    Unlike traditional attorney-client relationships in which the client pays the attorney at the conclusion of a case, attorneys who represent Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants receive payment directly from the Social Security Administration (SSA), even though it is not the SSA’s money. SSDI claimants enter into private contracts with representatives to…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2015 by Paul Winfree Abusing our national finances

    In October 2008, Congress raised the debt limit to $11.3 trillion. Then presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced the action as “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” But those were the good ol' days, when Congress actually put a statutory limit on the debt. Seven years later, Congress has become only more fiscally irresponsible. Today the national debt has…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Why the Senate Should Not Defer to the President’s Judicial Nominees

    What, exactly, is the Senate’s role of “Advice and Consent” when it comes to the nominations made by a president? It’s a topic of perpetual debate in Washington. One wrong-headed argument holds the role to be quite modest: Senators should defer to a president’s choices except in extreme circumstances. That position is advanced far too often by Republicans, and almost…

  • Commentary posted October 27, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Congress eyes a new pot of money

    History proves that the U.S. Congress consistently excels in at least one thing: spending other people's money. Lawmakers regularly budget to spend more than they collect, and it rarely occurs to them that they should spend less. The latest example is the U.S. Senate's plan to "save" the highway trust fund. Congress has mishandled the fund — which, technically, isn't…

  • Backgrounder posted October 23, 2015 by Rachel Greszler Improving Social Security Disability Insurance with a Flat Benefit

    Social Security’s Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has existed for nearly 60 years. Over that time, it has morphed from a relatively small-scale, anti-poverty program into a massive system that provides benefits to one out of every 20 working-age individuals. Despite its size and expense, the program fails to keep millions out of poverty. Rather than maintaining the…

  • Backgrounder posted October 20, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Anthony B. Kim Freedom to Trade: A Guide for Policymakers

    Freedom to trade—the freedom to exchange goods and services openly with others—is as fundamental to human well-being as any right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the freedom to trade is the foundation of America’s modern economic system that provides historically unprecedented opportunities for individuals to achieve greater economic freedom and…

  • Issue Brief posted October 20, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., David Inserra The Rising Tide of Migrants and Refugees: Due Diligence and Adherence to Law Required

    Europe has been dealing with an overwhelming influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and other areas. What is often called the Syrian refugee crisis involves the largest numbers of migrating people that Europe has seen since World War II. The vast number of refugees—Germany alone is expecting up to 1.5 million people by the end of the year[1]—will eventually…

  • Backgrounder posted July 29, 2015 by Romina Boccia Social Security: $39 Billion Deficit in 2014, Insolvent by 2035

    Social Security’s main program, also known as Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), ran a $39 billion deficit in 2014, closing out five years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s unfunded obligations continue to grow.[1] According to the 2015 annual Trustees’ Report, the 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security OASI Trust Fund is $9.43 trillion,…