This year, millions of Americans accepted a salary freeze or even a pay cut so they could keep their jobs. They ought to be asking why the federal government isn’t willing to make a similar sacrifice. Even though faced with declining tax receipts and increased borrowing, lawmakers and President Barack Obama have ramped up federal spending—and not just temporary spending. They intend to make this year’s big increases permanent.
Edwin J. Feulner’s 36 years of leadership as president of The Heritage Foundation transformed the think tank from a small policy shop into America’s powerhouse of conservative ideas.
August 4, 2009, 4:37 AM EDT
July 28, 2009, 7:25 AM EDT
Last month, House lawmakers set a new land-speed record by voting for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade (or cap-and-tax) bill before they’d even seen the final copy. Now it seems President Barack Obama is trying to top that dubious feat.
July 21, 2009, 4:27 AM EDT
In chess, a player will sometimes sacrifice some pawns as part of a grand strategy to compromise an opponent’s defenses. Pawns are relatively unimportant pieces, so it’s a good way to get something for virtually nothing. Russia’s leaders are, apparently, skilled chess players.
July 14, 2009, 5:51 AM EDT
When a Supreme Court justice decides a case, should he or she look exclusively to the Constitution and U.S. laws? Or should foreign policies or laws come into play? Those are easy questions for most Americans. They know U.S. citizens are subject only to laws made by American legislators -- not foreigners at the United Nations, in Europe or in Zimbabwe.
July 7, 2009, 6:26 AM EDT
You may want to think twice before taking your next deep breath. Every time you exhale, you’re supposedly endangering the planet—by contributing to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency says global warming poses a “serious threat to public health and safety.” That sets the stage for the EPA to regulate, through the Clean Air Act, almost anything that emits carbon dioxide.
June 30, 2009, 8:56 AM EDT
This year, the economy promises to make Independence Day less explosive than usual. “In yet the latest reminder of the economic crisis,” The Washington Post reported recently, “more than 40 communities across the country have already cancelled their Fourth of July fireworks.” Families are cutting back too, of course. The savings rate has risen to its highest level in 15 years and consumer spending is down as people focus on making ends meet. At least one industry, though, is bucking the cost-saving trend: higher education.
June 18, 2009, 8:34 AM EDT
As a rock-ribbed conservative, I seldom agree with the socialist president of Venezuela. But it happened last week. “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!” Hugo Chavez declared during one of his customary rants on state TV. He added that if he and Cuba’s Fidel Castro weren’t “careful,” they might “end up to [Obama’s] right.”
June 9, 2009, 12:10 PM EDT
Popularity polls can be interesting. But they don’t really provide much substance. For example, in the final RealClearPolitics.com average before the 2008 election, John McCain enjoyed a 52 percent approval rating. That, plus $4, will get the senator a mocha at Starbucks. It didn’t get him into the White House.
June 2, 2009, 9:34 AM EDT
Politics, they used to say, “stops at the water’s edge.” Not anymore. That changed in 2003 -- just two years after the Sept. 11 attacks—when former Vice President Al Gore hammered the Bush administration. He claimed its response to international terrorism had “recklessly put our country in grave and unnecessary danger” and “exploited public fears for partisan political gain and postured themselves as bold defenders of our country while actually weakening—not strengthening—America.”
May 19, 2009, 4:45 AM EDT
Following the news from Washington has never been easy. But there’s an added challenge today: the problem of large numbers. It’s almost impossible for anyone to really grasp the idea of a billion, let alone a trillion. Even the experts get confused. “I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but I think it’s -- it went from $1.75 billion to $1.84 billion,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said recently when asked about the national deficit. He quickly corrected himself: “a trillion -- I’m sorry.”
May 12, 2009, 4:34 AM EDT
While mourning a close friend, it’s interesting to hear what others have to say about him. As expected, the recent passing of Jack Kemp generated glowing tributes from commentators both right and left. Yet some seem set on rewriting history.
May 4, 2009, 6:13 PM EDT
Emily Morley got some very bad news in March 2006. Her cancer had spread, the doctor informed the 67-year-old Canadian. She would need to see an oncologist. Then Morley got some really bad news: She’d have to wait several months before she could get an appointment. Only after her family raised a ruckus, calling the local paper and starting a petition to demand she get care, did the government get her a specialist. Then, it was more bad news: Morley had only three months to live.
April 28, 2009, 8:01 AM EDT
Even for those of us who live and breathe politics, the workings of the U.S. Senate are often difficult to understand. It takes only 51 votes to pass a bill, for example -- but first, 60 senators must agree to grant “cloture” to end the debate. And because of odd Senate policies, when John Kerry said a few years ago, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,” that bizarre statement was accurate.
April 21, 2009, 5:22 AM EDT
Some things are quintessentially American. Consider the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips by Navy SEALs. Bobbing on the open ocean, our servicemen required just three shots to kill three pirates almost simultaneously. It was an audacious display of marksmanship and skill. Few other nations could even dream of mounting such a rescue, let alone pull it off seamlessly. So why are many of our leaders intent on compromising our military’s ability to act decisively and effectively at sea?
April 14, 2009, 7:40 AM EDT
Almost two years ago I visited southern California to watch the U.S. Border Patrol at work. The federal government was building a fence and, with help from the National Guard, federal agents were stepping up patrols and slowing the flow of illegal aliens across our southern border. But in homeland defense, as in politics, there are no permanent victories. Most illegal migration is now happening further east. With portions of the California border fenced off, smugglers are moving people and drugs through Arizona.
April 7, 2009, 5:19 AM EDT
As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for—you just might get it. Just ask American car makers. In December, the CEOs of General Motors and Chrysler flew, hat in hand, to Washington. They needed billions of taxpayer dollars to stay out of bankruptcy court, company executives said. Unfortunately for all of us, they got their wish. And more than they thought they’d bargained for.
March 31, 2009, 7:51 AM EDT
The drive to “claw back” executive bonuses is waning in Washington. Lawmakers are softening a House-passed bill to tax away big-money bonuses paid at bailed-out companies. Some felt the rhetoric had gone over the top. “I don’t want people to think that businesses and people who have worked hard, performed well and received bonuses are going to be painted with the AIG brush,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
March 24, 2009, 9:16 AM EDT
Work in Washington long enough, and you’re bound to agree with almost everyone at least once. Even socialists occasionally have good ideas. Take Sen. Bernard Sanders, the independent from Vermont. He’s a self-proclaimed socialist, and most of the policies he supports (government-run health care, trade protectionism) are proven failures. However, when it comes to the continuing federal bailouts of failing businesses, Sanders is on to something. We need much more openness.
March 17, 2009, 4:19 AM EDT
It’s not always enjoyable to look in a mirror. But we can learn a lot when we do. Perhaps it’s time for the United States to give it a try. As the nation’s economy struggles, with new reports of job losses, bank failures and shaky consumer confidence, our mirror should be Japan, a country that’s also battling a fading economy.
March 10, 2009, 4:37 AM EDT
Across the country, folks have been cutting back. Not here in Washington, though. Last month, Congress agreed to spend nearly a trillion dollars (a number so large it would take several human lifetimes just to count to it) on “stimulus” and another $1.4 trillion on a pork-laden budget. So one might assume, with all that money sloshing around, there would be enough to fund everything.