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

April 20, 2010, 6:43 AM EDT
During the 1980s, the struggling Ford Motor Company tried to turn things around by introducing an ad campaign that promised customers, “Quality is Job One.”  
April 14, 2010, 4:05 AM EDT
Decades ago, I joined the Sherlock Holmes Society and retraced the great fictional detective’s footsteps through Victorian London. The stories were clever, but also understandable. Whether it was assault, robbery or fraud, it was easy to identify the culprit’s criminal acts.   In the 21st century American legal system, things are no longer so clear. Consider Lindsay Brown, a high-school senior jailed for having a butter knife in her car.  
April 6, 2010, 4:08 AM EDT
I’ve traveled to Jerusalem and Moscow many times. It was never hard to tell when I was visiting an American ally and when I was visiting an American adversary. Why does the Administration have so much trouble telling the difference?  
March 30, 2010, 4:52 AM EDT
The history of the United States begins with a rebellion against unfair taxation.   In 1767, a distant and unresponsive government in London, led by an out-of-touch leader in King George III, implemented the Townshend Act. That measure slapped taxes on many popular items, including tea. The law didn’t, however, provide representation in Parliament for the taxed colonists.  
March 23, 2010, 4:50 AM EDT
Sailors in trouble are advised to seek out “any port in a storm.” Well, most state treasurers need to find a port.   A report from the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities predicts 37 states and the District of Columbia will face revenue “shortfalls” this year. Big ones, too. They’re currently short by $31.2 billion—more than 7.2 percent of their total budgets.  
March 16, 2010, 5:02 AM EDT
Wall Street had been rocked by a series of scandals. Investors had lost tens of billions. The national economy seemed at risk. Congress decided to act. No, this isn’t the United States in 2010. It’s the United States in 2002.   Lawmakers were reacting to the collapse of companies such as Enron and WorldCom. They passed, with virtually no opposition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.   That law proved that Congress does two things well. 1) Nothing. 2) Over-react.  
March 9, 2010, 4:39 AM EST
Sometimes a snapshot tells an entire story. Take one of the signs at last year’s tea party rally in Washington, “Grandma’s not shovel-ready.” That summed up the anti-ObamaCare, pro-smaller government movement in a single image.   Something similar happened recently when Sen. Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky who isn’t seeking re-election, temporarily held up a $10 billion spending bill that was to extend temporary unemployment benefits, make Medicare payments to doctors and provide satellite TV for rural Americans.  
March 2, 2010, 5:14 AM EST
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama spoke repeatedly about the importance of closing our military’s prisoner detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One of his first acts after becoming president was to announce it would be shuttered within a year.   It’s still operating. But should it be? That question was on my mind more than three years ago, when I was invited to tour Gitmo with a group of public figures, journalists and others.  
February 23, 2010, 4:12 AM EST
For more than two centuries, Americans displayed a love of politics—and debate. Often the debates boiled down to a fundamental question: What’s the proper role of government in a free society?   Conservatives believe the answer is a limited government that encourages free enterprise, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Polls show most Americans agree. But turning these ideals into a functioning government is tougher. We need to explain our core beliefs in clear language.  
February 2, 2010, 4:29 AM EST
Americans often wonder where all our tax money goes. Well, a good chunk finances a steadily-growing government workforce. State and local governments spent $1.1 trillion on employee wages and benefits in 2008. That’s half of what those governments spent overall.  
January 26, 2010, 4:39 AM EST
When future historians characterize this era, chances are they won’t label it as America’s “golden age.” Indeed, they may well mark 2010 as the year the United States became the home of the “mostly free.”   That’s the finding of the latest “Index of Economic Freedom,” an annual compendium published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.  
January 12, 2010, 4:15 AM EST
Name the speaker: “The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can.”   No, not Descartes. Not Benjamin Franklin. Not even Mark Twain. It was a wise young man named Ronald, who attends school on an Opportunity Scholarship in Washington, D.C.  
January 5, 2010, 10:34 AM EST
In 2010, Americans should demand that our leaders be followers. They ought to do what the rest of us are already doing.   Let’s begin with spending. According to a poll conducted by Consumer Reports magazine, two-thirds of Americans planned to reduce their spending on holiday gifts. That made sense in this economy. Unemployment was up, employee pay wasn’t, and people wanted to hang on to their hard-earned money. If only our federal government would do the same thing.  
December 15, 2009, 4:51 AM EST
December 8, 2009, 4:31 AM EST
When considering war strategy, it’s best to start where you want to finish. For example: in Afghanistan the United States needs to destroy the Taliban. The question is, how?   In his recent speech at West Point, President Barack Obama authorized sending some 30,000 more American warriors to Afghanistan—significantly fewer than commanding Gen. Stanley McCrystal had asked for, but a solid step nevertheless.  
December 1, 2009, 4:36 AM EST
Mention politicians in the same sentence with global warming, and the “hot air” jokes almost write themselves. Unfortunately, what world leaders have planned for us when it comes to climate change is no laughing matter.   Indeed, Americans have good reason to worry as international elites gather in Copenhagen this month to discuss their climate-change agenda. The greatest danger is that U.S. officials will sign on to a treaty that would put us at a huge economic disadvantage, yet do virtually nothing to affect the earth’s atmosphere.  
November 24, 2009, 4:38 AM EST
“You can fool some of the people all of the time,” Abraham Lincoln said, “and all of the people some of the time.” Apparently Congress agrees.   Indeed, lawmakers are counting on it: In an effort to fool just enough people for just long enough, they’re engaging in budget tricks to ram through health “reform.” In essence, they’re making promises that won’t be kept. Here’s how.  
November 17, 2009, 4:28 AM EST
Kevin Hancock wants to harvest trees—sustainably—and create jobs in the process. The federal government may put a stop to all that.   His business, Hancock Lumber, has been in the family for six generations. It owns 30,000 acres of Maine timberland and employs 550 people. But Kevin already knows that when his elderly mother dies, he’ll have to sell off huge swaths of his land to pay the ensuing tax bill.  
November 10, 2009, 5:57 AM EST
Elections have consequences. But sometimes we have to wait a bit to learn what they are.   Recall Barack Obama’s historic election. He glided into office last year, bringing along an increased Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and a seemingly filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.   How did he win? In part by promising to restore fiscal sanity.  
November 10, 2009, 5:48 AM EST