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  • Backgrounder posted July 2, 2015 by James Sherk Salaried Overtime Requirements: Employers Will Offset Them with Lower Pay

    The Obama Administration has announced plans to require overtime pay for salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year. Economic research shows that employers will offset new overtime costs by lowering base salaries. As a result, these regulations will have little effect on total weekly earnings or hours worked. They will require employers to rigidly monitor…

  • News Releases on July 1, 2015 Statement from Heritage President Jim DeMint on Expiration of the Export Import Bank

    As of midnight today, the hotbed of corruption and cronyism known as the Export-Import Bank stopped doling out new export subsidies that primarily benefitted major corporations. Congressional authorization expired for the Depression-era program, which for decades has leveraged taxpayer dollars to provide discount financing to foreign companies and countries that buy U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 1, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Mike Gonzalez, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Puerto Rico Needs Economic Freedom, Not Bailouts

    Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis, and Governor Alejandro García Padilla (D) has announced that “the debt is not payable” given the commonwealth’s large deficits and collapsing economy.[1] Presenting a government-commissioned report, economist Anne Krueger explained that the origin of Puerto Rico’s debt is decades of stimulus spending and economic stagnation: Since 1996,…

  • Special Report posted June 30, 2015 by James M. Roberts, Huma Sattar Pakistan’s Economic Disarray and How to Fix It

    In the decades since its creation by the British in 1947, Pakistan has been ruled more often than not by authoritarian martial-law regimes, interspersed with episodic attempts to establish genuine democracy. The two most famous democratically elected prime ministers in the country’s short history are the late Benazir Bhutto of the center-left Pakistan Peoples Party, who…

  • First Principles Series Report posted June 30, 2015 by Waller R. Newell, PhD Understanding Tyranny and Terror: From the French Revolution to Modern Islamism

    A‌cross the world, we are witnessing both a heroic ‌struggle for democracy and the disturbing strength of tyrannical regimes and movements. Whether it is civil war in Syria, Russian aggression, or the threat of ISIS, democracy and tyranny are in a dead heat. While American forces are now engaged against Jihadism in the Middle East, self-identified Muslim terrorists are…

  • Issue Brief posted June 26, 2015 by John Gray, Nicolas Loris, Daren Bakst FY 2016 House Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill: Right on Regulations, Wrong on Spending

    The new Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2822) will be the seventh discretionary spending bill considered by the House of Representatives this year. The bill would provide $30.17 billion in discretionary budget authority (BA) for fiscal year (FY) 2016, roughly $246 million less than current levels. The bill largely…

  • Issue Brief posted June 25, 2015 by David Inserra Terrorist Plot No. 71: Rise in Terrorism Calls for Increased Vigilance

    On Monday, the FBI charged Justin Sullivan with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group as well as two weapons charges. Sullivan was planning to attack a public venue, such as a bar or a concert, with a rifle in support of the Islamic State (ISIS). This is the 71st Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11 according to…

  • Legal Memorandum posted June 25, 2015 by Paul Larkin Liberalizing Marijuana Use and Improving Driving Safety: Two Contemporary Public Policies on a Collision Course

    For most of the 20th century, the nation’s policies regarding marijuana and highway safety travelled along different, nonintersecting planes. There was a national consensus that the cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of marijuana should be outlawed. That policy rested on scientific research showing that marijuana is physically damaging, can be addictive, and…

  • Issue Brief posted June 22, 2015 by David Inserra Islamist Terror Plot No. 70: Congress Needs to Take Terror Threat Much More Seriously

    On June 13, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York City arrested Munther Omar Saleh and charged him with providing material support to the Islamic State (ISIS). Saleh and two co-conspirators were conducting reconnaissance on various landmarks around New York, had downloaded and studied plans for building a bomb, and told a confidential source that they…

  • Backgrounder posted June 22, 2015 by Lindsey Burke Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: No Place for Expanded Preschool and Childcare Subsidies

    President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next decade to establish a new federally funded preschool program to serve all four-year-old children. Some Members of Congress have also expressed interest in new federal preschool programs and spending, and have turned to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind…

  • Backgrounder posted June 22, 2015 by Daren Bakst A Decade After Kelo: Time for Congress to Protect American Property Owners

    On June 23, 2005, the United States Supreme Court held in Kelo v. City of New London[1] that the government can seize private property and transfer it to another private party for economic development. This type of taking was deemed to be for a “public use” and allowed under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. As a result, if a city claims that a…

  • Issue Brief posted June 19, 2015 by John Gray Senate Defense Appropriations: The Battle over Budget Priorities Continues

    This week, the Senate will begin the procedural process to begin debate on the Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill. The debate on the Senate bill comes a week after the House of Representatives passed the companion DOD appropriations bill.[1] The Senate bill provides $489 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the House bill. The funding levels provided are…

  • Legal Memorandum posted June 18, 2015 by Paul Larkin Revisiting Kelo

    Government uses its eminent domain power for a host of reasons. Classic examples are the need to construct a bridge, a port, a national park, or a government office building. More contemporary instances include the elimination of a public nuisance like an unprotected hazardous waste dumping site or a row of dilapidated crack houses overrun by vermin. The public generally…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. MERS in South Korea: Applying the Lessons of Ebola

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is the latest in what might appear to some as a constant barrage of horrible diseases. Presently, it has infected about 120 people in South Korea, the schools are in lockdown, and nearly 4,000 people are being monitored in isolation after possible contact with infected people. Will this be the next “Ebola” outbreak? This is a…

  • Backgrounder posted June 16, 2015 by Williamson M. Evers No Exit, No Voice: The Design of Common Core

    One of the most influential and most cited books in social science in the past 50 years is economist Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty.[1] Hirschman’s book discusses how individuals respond to a situation in which the services on which they rely are deteriorating. As such, Exit provides valuable conceptual tools for analyzing the design of the Common Core…