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.

My Articles

March 3, 2009, 4:45 AM EST
You may have forgotten what you did on vacation last summer -- but you probably remember how much it cost to fill your gas tank for the trip.   Last July, soaring gasoline prices had everybody talking. Presidential candidates called for energy independence. Congressional leaders hauled oil company executives in for hearings. Gas prices seemed to jump by a dime a day. They topped $4 per gallon and looked as if they’d never stop climbing.  
February 24, 2009, 5:02 AM EST
“Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles,” President Barack Obama announced as he signed the so-called stimulus bill. “But it does mark the beginning of the end.”   It’s not clear whether he was intentionally paraphrasing Winston Churchill’s famous 1942 speech that included the phrase “the end of the beginning.” But the passage of this law certainly marked the end of at least one thing: Obama’s promise to bring transparency to the legislative process.  
January 22, 2009, 5:20 AM EST
Shortly before Inauguration Day, President-elect Barack Obama refused to comment on Israel’s battle with Hamas. The United States has only one president at a time, he said.   Well, now it’s his turn. As the country’s first black commander-in-chief, Obama has already made history. He’s our president—our only president until 2013 -- and all Americans should wish him well.   Of course, those of us on the political right are likely to disagree with his policies from time to time. That’s what democracy is all about.
January 13, 2009, 11:07 AM EST
A nation’s economic situation can turn on a dime.   For example, in November 2007 the Federal Reserve expected the American economy to grow as much as 2.5 percent in 2008. In January the Fed revised that forecast downward, a step it would take repeatedly throughout the year as gasoline prices soared and the housing market plunged. By fall, it was clear our economy was in trouble.  
January 12, 2009, 4:48 AM EST
It’s official: President-elect Barack Obama’s two daughters are attending Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.   The decision comes as no surprise. That elite private school launched former first daughter Chelsea Clinton on the path to success years ago. And the Obama girls are certainly used to attending a private school.  
December 23, 2008, 5:03 AM EST
So much for checks and balances.   It looks as if the Bush administration intends to spend billions of dollars bailing out the American automotive industry. That announcement came immediately after Congress -- the branch of government that’s constitutionally required to deal with spending measures -- declined to intervene.   Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wants to tap the Troubled Assets Relief Program, which Congress passed in October, and rescue car makers. But TARP was never intended to be a slush fund for the executive branch.  
December 16, 2008, 4:30 AM EST
Back in the 1990s President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair crafted what they called a “third way” of governing. Supposedly this approach would be neither liberal nor conservative, but would split the difference.   Sounds fine in theory. It didn’t work that well in practice, though—at least not to the satisfaction of liberals. Clinton and Blair found that, whether the issue was foreign or domestic policy, any attempt to find middle ground needed to be mostly conservative, or it would fail.  
December 2, 2008, 7:23 AM EST
As I write this column in Chicago, President-elect Obama is in the same hotel announcing his national security team. Let’s take a closer look at an early challenge they’ll have to face in what he calls “this uncertain world.”   The day after Obama’s election, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that, if the U.S. proceeds with plans to base missile-defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, his country might decide to place short-range nuclear-capable missiles near the Polish border.  
November 18, 2008, 4:40 AM EST
According to an old joke, anyone who’s driven in Manhattan knows how long a nanosecond is: It’s the time between when the traffic light in front of you changes from red to green and the person behind you starts honking the horn.   Barack Obama didn’t shift gears quite that swiftly. But while he campaigned like a conservative (insisting he was in favor of tax cuts, etc.), his first proposal as president-elect came from the old liberal playbook.  
November 13, 2008, 10:39 AM EST
How fitting that, having campaigned on conservative themes throughout the fall, President-elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech concluded with words that should warm the heart of conservatives everywhere.    “This is our time,” he said, to “reaffirm that fundamental truth that, out of many, we are one. That while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”  
November 4, 2008, 7:39 AM EST
Voters frequently complain that government functions poorly -- and with good reason. However, they are good at one thing: making citizens dependent upon them.   “We have seen [the federal] government socialize our education system and make our schools among the worst in the world,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., warned in the wake of the recent financial collapse. “We have seen this government take over most of our health care system, making private insurance less and less affordable.”  
October 21, 2008, 5:04 AM EDT
Can you imagine the government forcing you to take benefits you didn’t want? How about a situation where you’d have to sue the government to get out of taking those benefits?   Welcome to Washington -- and the upside-down logic behind federal entitlements.  
October 16, 2008, 5:26 AM EDT
Two things should be clear to anyone trying to figure out the financial crisis. One is that we need to get to the bottom of what caused it and why. The second is that we can’t rely on Congress to conduct such an investigation.  
October 7, 2008, 7:01 AM EDT
When Union General William T. Sherman wanted to send a message to the Confederate states in 1864, he burned the city of Atlanta and marched to the sea.   These days, Atlanta is the one sending a message, only this time the warning involves the lack of something to burn. Across Georgia and other parts of the southeast, drivers are coping with a gasoline shortage.  
September 30, 2008, 7:25 AM EDT
When it comes to energy, we’re supposed to pick between a clean environment and affordable fuel. But what if we could have both?   Fortunately, it’s possible to produce more domestic oil while also keeping our planet livable. The key to doing so begins off the California coast, near Santa Barbara.  
September 25, 2008, 6:54 AM EDT
Nobody has ever lost money by betting on the federal government to overreact to a crisis. And as Congress weighs a bailout of the financial markets, it looks as if that’s where the smart money should go yet again.   Any day now, lawmakers are expected to agree to invest some $700 billion -- more than the country spent on the first five years of the Iraq war -- to restore the financial markets. But lawmakers should also be careful to protect taxpayers.  
September 9, 2008, 6:31 AM EDT
Mumbai, India - When I told friends I would be visiting India, the immediate response was, “Why? China’s the country of the future!” Well, I’ve visited China many times. It was time to meet some of the business, academic and governmental leaders of the world’s “biggest democracy,” as India bills itself.  
September 5, 2008, 6:23 AM EDT
Everything seems so civil and cooperative -- on the surface. Every September President Bush gives a friendly welcoming speech to launch the United Nations General Assembly. Every year he’s greeted by polite applause. And every year, when the real work begins, many general Assembly members will do all they can to undermine American initiatives at the U.N.   It happens every year -- despite the fact that the United States has always been generous toward the U.N.  
August 26, 2008, 10:16 AM EDT
"We must hang together, gentlemen," Benjamin Franklin warned his fellow colonists during the American Revolution, "else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." In many ways, the same thing is true in business today. The global competition for customers is fierce. Companies that don’t forge good relationships between employees and management are likely to be run out of business by those that do.    Unfortunately, our labor laws make it tougher than it should be for management and workers to work together. 
August 12, 2008, 4:37 AM EDT
Some years back, a newspaper comic strip showed lemmings running toward a cliff. One said to another, “Don’t worry, this was a bipartisan decision.”   That, in a nutshell, is how Washington sometimes works. As long as both parties agree to an idea, everyone assumes the idea must be correct. Even if it’s not. Consider spending.   For more than a decade the Republican Party controlled the purse strings in Congress. Spending soared during those years, jumping by one third between 2000 and 2006 under a Republican president.