• Week of February 2, 2015

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    I Come to Bury Ethanol, Not to Praise It

    Paul Driessen, for The Heartlander
    The Renewable Fuel Standard, a mistake when enacted a decade ago, has enjoyed more lives than Freddy Krueger. Yet perhaps the end is near. A new bipartisan bill introduced this week by a liberal senator and a conservative senator is channeling William Shakespeare’s Marc Antony, saying “I come to bury the ethanol RFS, not to praise it.” READ MORE


    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Ditches Common Core Testing
    On Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed removing state funding for tests tied to Common Core State Standards, the so-called “Smarter Balanced” test. That could kill Common Core in the Badger State, but Heartland’s top education experts remain wary. They want to see the body, and for it to be cold. READ MORE


    Could this Be the Case that Ends Obamacare?
    Justin Haskins, The Heartland Institute, at Breitbart
    Every legal challenge to Obamacare has failed to bring down the law … so far. But a case brought forward by an unknown Pennsylvania tax collector, and moving to the DC Circuit, may be the one that finally puts an end to the federal government’s endless arbitrary and lawless rule-making in the name of the Affordable Care Act. READ MORE


    Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, joined Budget & Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway to talk about cigarette excise taxes and their effect on consumer behavior. Short version: They create vibrant black markets for smokes. Listen to this episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast on our blog, and subscribe on iTunes to listen on-the-go. Heartland brings you interesting free-market perspectives five days a week!



    The Heartland Institute is once again cosponsoring the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), February 25–28 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland (just across the river from Washington, DC). Come hear candidates for the Republican nomination for president, as well as the usual stellar line-up of America’s smartest conservatives and libertarians. Be sure to stop by Heartland’s booth and meet Heartland staff, too! Our awesome t-shirts are first-come, first-serve, and will go fast! READ MORE


    Weather Bulletin #6: Climate Cool-down Across America
    Another blizzard has swept across the Midwest, dumping nearly two feet of snow on Chicago and giving Bostonians a total of three feet of the white stuff to shovel in a span of two weeks. A polar vortex (of course) followed, pushing overnight lows below zero across the Rust Belt. READ MORE


    Heather Kays, for The Heartland Institute
    As he prepares for a presidential run, Jeb Bush is furiously backtracking from his previous vocal support of national education standards via Common Core. But mealy-mouthed “reconsideration” isn’t enough. Bush needs to face up to the fact that conservatives and libertarians oppose Common Core because it just doesn’t work. Common Core has to go. READ MORE


    The Insane Vaccine Debate
    Benjamin Domenech, The Heartland Institute
    The issue of mandatory vaccination is once again an item of debate in media circles given the recent outbreaks in measles and fueled this week by the continued inability of politicians to discuss vaccination policy without sounding like anti-science fools. Benjamin Domenech has the shot you need on this issue. READ MORE


    BONUS Featured Podcast: The Folly of ‘Free’ Community College
    Heather Kays and Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
    School Reform News Managing Editor Heather Kays and Research Fellow Joy Pullmann discuss Obama’s “free” community college plan – which is anything but free and would accomplish little other than decreasing the value of degrees while increasing the burden on taxpayers.


    Eric Root, for Somewhat Reasonable
    Poetic Social Justice: A beloved San Francisco bookstore will have to close because of minimum wage laws. Advocates of hiking the minimum wage argue it is more humanitarian to force wage increases, but how humanitarian is it to cost someone his business or her job? You’ll see more of these stories as minimum wage hikes take effect in many cities across the country. READ MORE


    Testing the FCC’s Net Neutrality Political Calculus
    Scott Cleland, for Somewhat Reasonable
    Will the FCC and congressional Democrats, all of whom enjoy maximum leverage right now, reject “the bird in hand” of permanent legislation to enforce all currently known net neutrality violations? Or will they risk the roughly 75 percent probability they could lose all authority to enforce net neutrality after the next presidential election? READ MORE

    Invest in the Future of Freedom!
    Are you considering 2015 gifts to your favorite charities? We hope The Heartland Institute is on your list. Preserving and expanding individual freedom is the surest way to advance many good and noble objectives, from feeding and clothing the poor to encouraging excellence and great achievement. Making charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual freedom is the most highly leveraged investment a philanthropist can make.

    Click here to make a contribution online, or mail your gift to The Heartland Institute, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago, IL 60606. To request a FREE wills guide or to get more information to plan your future please visit My Gift Legacy http://legacy.heartland.org/ or contact Gwen Carver at 312/377-4000 or by email at gcarver@heartland.org.


    The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. We can’t accomplish these important goals without your help. Support free-market solutions by making a tax-deductible donation to The Heartland Institute today.

     

  • Week of January 26, 2015

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    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    The Environmental Protection Agency is deliberately misleading the public about the basis for its efforts to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, according to a secret internal memo exposed by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). According to the memo, written in 2009, senior EPA staff call for a “shift” from talking about climate science to pretending global warming is “about our neighbor with respiratory illness.” In fact, actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can increase emissions of real pollutants! READ MORE


    On January 21, the chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), used a global warming poster distributed by The Heartland Institute to demonstrate the science is not “settled.” over global warming. Inhofe used his time on the floor to poke holes in the arguments of climate alarmists who still believe “97 to 98 percent of scientists agree” about the causes of global warming. “How arrogant is it for people to say man can do something about changing climate; climate has always changed,” Inhofe said. READ MORE


    Justin Haskins, The Heartland Institute
    Millennials are suffering the effects of Obamacare. Faced with the choice of going on Medicaid or signing up for over-priced Obamacare, Heartland Institute Editor Justin Haskins chose neither, opting instead for a short-term health insurance policy. But that choice subjects him to Obamacare’s tax (or is it a fine?), because short-term plans generally don’t count as “adequate insurance” under Obamacare. Why would the administration make it so difficult for young people to get coverage that fits their needs? READ MORE


    Dotty Young, for The Heartlander
    In late January, the New Orleans City Council approved a sweeping ban on smoking in the city, outlawing all cigarette and e-cigarette use in public as well as private places. The ban even prohibits smoking while waiting in one’s vehicle at drive-through restaurants! Bridgewater State University professor Aeon Skolbe says governments should consider the issue from a new angle: “Thinking about … property rights … would go a long way toward solving the problem. If it’s my property, I have the right to set the use rules, I can allow or ban smoking as I prefer, and neither the smoker nor the non-smoker really has a legitimate complaint,” he said. READ MORE



    The Heartland Institute is once again cosponsoring the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), taking place this year on February 25-28 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD (just across the river from Washington DC). Come hear candidates for the Republican nomination for President plus a stellar line-up of the leading lights of the conservative and libertarian movement. Stop by Heartland’s booth and meet Heartland staff, too! READ MORE


    Taylor Smith, for Somewhat Reasonable
    U.S. Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) have proposed hiking the federal gas tax by 12 cents over two years and indexing it to inflation. In a coalition letter dated January 28, The Heartland Institute and more than 50 other free-market think tanks and advocacy organizations call on Congress to reject the proposal and others like it, noting, “Not only is increasing the gas tax an ineffective way to address the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs, it would further increase the burden of government on families and business and would disproportionately hurt lower income Americans already hurt by trying times in our economy.” READ MORE


    Heather Kays, for The Heartland Institute
    During his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said he’d like to “see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it.” Heartland Research Fellows Heather Kays and Joy Pullmann discuss the plan, agreeing it would be anything but free and would accomplish little other than decreasing the value of college degrees while increasing the burden on taxpayers. LISTEN


    Climate Change Weekly
    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Accepting responsibility for the fate of future generations does not mean we have to do something now about climate change – it means we have to weigh our policy choices even more carefully, because harms caused today, and people left in poverty now as a result, leave future generations with fewer options, less wealth, and less able to adapt to future climate change. So writes Heartland Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett. Also in this issue: The U.S. Senate approved a resolution proclaiming climate change real … but they didn’t say it’s man-made; a prominent climate realist will lead Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; and PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual survey of CEOs finds global warming does not even make the list of things they’re concerned about. READ MORE


    Sean Parnell, The Heartland Institute
    California’s budget has taken a billion-dollar hit as a result of state officials’ decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion will cost the state billions more in future years. Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget, released January 9, anticipates the expansion will cost California taxpayers $943 million in the next fiscal year, largely in administrative costs. California “should not have accepted funding to expand under Obamacare,” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. “Out-of-control health care spending is now crowding out nearly every other state priority, including roads, prisons, and public education.” READ MORE


    Kenneth Orski, for The Heartlander
    Funding for transportation infrastructure improvements is getting tight. Rather than wait for Congress to come to the rescue, governors, state legislatures, and local governments are taking on the challenge themselves. Eight states have increased local fuel taxes. Other states have floated the idea of toll revenue bonds or raised highway tolls. Arkansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have enacted, or are considering, dedicated sales taxes for transportation. READ MORE


    Are you considering 2015 gifts to your favorite charities? We hope The Heartland Institute is on your list. Preserving and expanding individual freedom is the surest way to advance many good and noble objectives, from feeding and clothing the poor to encouraging excellence and great achievement. Making charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual freedom is the most highly leveraged investment a philanthropist can make.
    Click here to make a contribution online, or mail your gift to The Heartland Institute, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago, IL 60606. To request a FREE wills guide or to get more information to plan your future please visit My Gift Legacy http://legacy.heartland.org/ or contact Gwen Carver at 312/377-4000 or by email at gcarver@heartland.org.

    The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. We can’t accomplish these important goals without your help. Support free-market solutions by making a tax-deductible donation to The Heartland Institute today.

     

  • Week of January 19, 2015

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    Christopher Monckton, for The Heartlander
    Major media outlets all around the world hyped reports from NASA and environmental groups that “2014 was the hottest year on record.” In fact, it was not. Christopher Monckton dissects the claim in an essay written especially for The Heartlander. “The truth – not that any of this will ever be explained in Nature – is that we do not have a sufficiently resolved record to know whether the ocean is warming at all.” READ MORE


    Christopher Monckton, for The Heartlander
    Climate realists scored a major victory this week when the Science Bulletin, published by the Chinese Academy of Science, published a major article by Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates, and Matt Briggs refuting the global warming models relied on by the United Nations’ IPCC and other alarmist organs in the climate debate. The authors demonstrate how a model simple enough to program into a pocket calculator reveals major flaws in conventional climate models. READ MORE


    On January 22, the West Virginia House passed by a vote of 95–4 a bill that would repeal the state’s Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio. Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor said West Virginia policymakers recognized renewable power mandates drive up electricity costs, kill jobs, punish the economy, and inflict substantial unintentional harm on the environment. Heartland Policy Analyst Taylor Smith noted, “Since West Virginia already produces more cheap energy than it consumes, it never made sense why alternative energy had to be force-fed into the market.” READ MORE


    Sunday, January 25, marks the start of National School Choice Week, a week-long celebration of private schools and school choice programs that help ensure that every child has a great education opportunity and a better future. School choice means empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children. This year, The Heartland Institute is cohosting a family-friendly event in Wheaton, Illinois with West Suburban Patriots. Guests will see the new documentary “The Ticket” and meet and hear state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), a champion of school choice in Springfield. READ MORE



    Hilary Till, The Heartland Institute
    Federal government regulation of financial markets can work against innovation and economic prosperity by obstructing economic development in complex markets and creating additional risk and uncertainty.This is one of the findings of a new Policy Brief from The Heartland Institute titled “Why Do Some Futures Contracts Succeed and Others Fail?” Finance expert Hilary Till explains how futures contracts produce impressive social benefits but sometimes are excessively regulated because elected officials and regulators fail to appreciate how they work. READ MORE


    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Severe winter weather continues to pound the United States and, amazingly, the Middle East. On January 7, Lebanon was hit by one of the worst winter storms in more than a decade, killing two Syrian refugees. Temperatures dropped to -11 degrees in the Scottish highlands, causing a commuter jet to slide off the tarmac. On January 18, a fairly routine rain storm in New Jersey turned into a dangerous ice storm, resulting in a quarter of an inch of freezing rain. Is this evidence of global warming? READ MORE


    School Choice Weekly
    Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
    A group of parents from Orange County, California became victims of an intimidation campaign after they submitted petitions that, once verified, will require the state to convert their children’s school into a charter school. Heartland Research Fellow Joy Pullmann writes, “Placing power over education in parents – the consumers’- hands unequivocally yields better results than government-run quasi- monopolies.” Also in this issue: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made another pitch for school vouchers in his State of the State address; Common Core tests in Wisconsin will cost $7 million more than expected; Arizona becomes first in the nation to require students to pass the citizenship test to graduate from high school; and more. READ MORE


    Climate Change Weekly
    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Liberals have been confusing the debate over climate and energy policy by saying the world should be put on a “carbon diet” to save the planet, in the same way individuals should be put on diets to lose weight. But Heartland Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett writes, “People in developed countries should not be thrown into poverty and chaos by massive fossil fuel restrictions. … Those who already suffer from poverty, malnutrition, lack of education, and dearth of political representation ultimately suffer the most from climate alarmism. A carbon diet would make the sick even sicker.” Also in this issue: Global warming models used by IPCC and other alarmist organizations overstate feedback; wheat production in North China may benefit from warming; India wants nothing to do with Greenpeace activists. READ MORE


    Consumer Power Report
    Benjamin Domenech, The Heartland Institute
    President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday barely made mention of the failure of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to build a functional insurance exchange for Obamacare, his signature domestic policy achievement. Heartland Senior Fellow Benjamin Domenech writes, “These mistakes have had consequences, and continue to impact the federal exchange to this day.” Also in this issue: War over Obamacare heats up in states; Obamacare makes tax season worse; taking a closer look at the economics of Medicaid expansion; and more. READ MORE


    Nancy Thorner, for Somewhat Reasonable
    Earlier this week, former Illinois state Senator Rev. James Meeks announced he had been chosen by Gov. Bruce Rauner as the new chairman of the State Board of Education. Rev. Meeks supported school vouchers in the past, so he should know better than to support Common Core State Standards. And yet, he said, “We have to have a Common Core Curriculum in the state of Illinois.” News flash: Illinois started to adopt the Common Core standards in 2010 and fully implemented them last school year. It seems both Gov. Rauner and Rev. Meeks need a refresher course on Common Core and what it’s really all about. READ MORE


    Chris Casey, for The Heartland Institute
    With the increasing popularity of Bitcoin, people are curious about the currency and its potential benefits. Chris Casey, managing director at WindRock Wealth Management, talks about Bitcoin with the founder of Cryptohippie, Paul Rosenberg. LISTEN


    Bartlett Cleland, for Somewhat Reasonable
    Once again the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Let’s hope this bipartisan legislation puts an end to Internet discrimination once and for all. The legislation bans taxes on Internat access permanently and disallows multiple or discriminatory taxes on Internet activities. READ MORE


    Grace-Marie Turner, for The Heartlander
    Thirty-six states that rely on private managed-care programs to provide medical services to Medicaid recipients are facing added costs caused by the Affordable Care Act, according to a report by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman. This could end up hurting Medicaid recipients, says Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability. “The tax increases the cost of running Medicaid, and many states will further cut reimbursement rates to providers to compensate,” Archambault said. READ MORE


    Are you considering 2015 gifts to your favorite charities? We hope The Heartland Institute is on your list. Preserving and expanding individual freedom is the surest way to advance many good and noble objectives, from feeding and clothing the poor to encouraging excellence and great achievement. Making charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual freedom is the most highly leveraged investment a philanthropist can make.
    Click here to make a contribution online, or mail your gift to The Heartland Institute, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago, IL 60606. To request a FREE wills guide or to get more information to plan your future please visit My Gift Legacy http://legacy.heartland.org/ or contact Gwen Carver at 312/377-4000 or by email at gcarver@heartland.org.

    If Amazon.com is one of your go-to sources for holiday gift-giving, why not start your buying spree at Smile.Amazon.com instead? You’ll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com … and if you choose The Heartland Institute as your preferred charity, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us. It’s a great way to stretch your holiday gift-buying dollars. READ MORE

    The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. We can’t accomplish these important goals without your help. Support free-market solutions by making a tax-deductible donation to The Heartland Institute today.

     

  • Week of January 12, 2015

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    Jim Lakely, The Heartland Institute
    Heartland stands in solidarity with supporters of free speech around the world in the wake of the murders of the staff of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Heartland Communications Director Jim Lakely writes at our blog, “But if freedom of thought, of speech, and of the press are surrendered – even quietly, passively – there is little left at all of our liberty. We let the tyrants become our masters. That is why it was so heartening to hear millions shouting to the world this week “Je suis Charlie!” (I am Charlie!). The title of this post adds “Nous Sommes Tous Charlie!” (We are all Charlie!) It will take courage to mean it, to live it, and we must. We cannot be afraid. READ MORE


    Tim Ball, Video
    Dr. Tim Ball, a climatologist and retired professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, is one of the world’s leading debunkers of global warming alarmism. He’s also an entertaining speaker who knows how to keep an audience in its seats. Dr. Ball just posted on YouTube a two hour presentation that is absolutely delightful to watch. If you never thought you could sit through such a long presentation on climate change, think again, and visit this site! WATCH


    National School Choice Week is held each year to support education options, so every child has a great education opportunity and a better future. School choice means empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children – from traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online learning, and home schooling. This year, The Heartland Institute is cohosting a family-friendly event in Wheaton, Illinois with West Suburban Patriots. Watch a screening of the new documentary “The Ticket” and meet and hear state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), a champion of school choice in Springfield. READ MORE


    Climate Change Weekly
    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Environmentalists claim lower prices make this an especially good time for higher taxes at the pump or even a carbon tax. Nonsense! Heartland Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett writes, “Fuel prices are down largely because of the fracking revolution. Low gasoline prices are the goose that laid the golden egg for the economy, so naturally climate alarmists and their fellow travelers want to kill it.” Also in this issue: Alaska’s heat wave is not evidence of global warming; new evidence finds the North and South Poles are “much more stable” and thicker than climate scientists previously thought; and more. READ MORE



    School Choice Weekly
    Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
    President Barack Obama’s latest bright idea – taxpayer-paid community college for all – appears to be nothing more than another entitlement. Instead of enshrining another entitlement, we should be encouraging alternatives to college such as competency-based programs and micro-certifications that validate what a student actually knows and can do. Also in this issue: Donors in Georgia claim state’s entire $58 million in tax-credit scholarship allowances within hours; Illinois’ new governor expresses support for vouchers, while Wisconsin’s governor seems indifferent to anti-voucher efforts in his state. READ MORE


    Bonner R. Cohen, for The Heartlander
    A coalition of free-market and conservative organizations, including The Heartland Institute, is calling on state governments to resist the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. In a December letter to state legislators, attorneys general, and governors, the coalition’s 37 organizations blasted EPA’s attempt to “coerce states into adopting expensive, destructive, and unlawful regulations, possibly including cap and trade, on greenhouse gas emissions-under the threat of even more draconian federal regulations.” READ MORE


    Consumer Power Report
    Benjamin Domenech, The Heartland Institute
    During the past week, the House voted to direct the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to use “dynamic scoring” of legislation. It’s a long-needed change in policy that takes into effect the impact on economic growth of new taxes and regulations. Heartland Senior Fellow Benjamin Domench says Congress shouldn’t stop there: Obamacare revealed a serious lack of transparency on the part of CBO that calls for farther-reaching reforms. Also in this issue: Patients would rather pay a penalty than pay higher premiums through the Affordable Care Act; FDA review process limits ill patients’ ability to access what might be miracle treatments; and more. READ MORE


    Matt Hurley, for The Heartlander
    E-cigarettes are saving lives by helping smokers quit, but some Hoosiers just don’t get it. Indiana state Reps. Edward Clere (R-New Albany) and Charlie Brown (D-Gary) are sponsoring a bill proposing a tax increase on e-cigarettes, a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in all areas where smoking is not allowed, and punitive regulations on e-cig cartridges. Attorney General Greg Zoeller told reporters he hoped the bill would “stop the trend in its tracks.” Sorry, General, but that’s just downright stupid. READ MORE


    Heather Kays, The Heartland Institute
    Joy Pullmann, managing editor at The Federalist and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, discusses teacher tenure, the midterm elections, Common Core, the impact of teachers unions, and school choice. Pullmann outlines causes for concern as well as reasons to be hopeful in regards to education policy. LISTEN


    Kenneth Artz, for The Heartlander
    Liberals often hold out Canada’s government-run, single-payer health care system as a model for the United States. But a new report by the Fraser Institute finds Canadians have to wait 18.2 weeks on average between referral from a general practitioner and the time the patient receives treatment from a specialist. Barua and Fathers surveyed specialist physicians across 10 provinces and 12 specialties and found the average wait time is 96 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks. READ MORE


    Have you used rewards at home or in the classroom to bring out the best in a child? We’d love to hear your story! The Heartland Institute – publisher of Rewards: How to Use Rewards to Help Children Learnand Why Teachers Don’t Use Them Well – is offering a small incentive for you to do that. We’d love to hear your story! Enter your story at the Rewards website and you may be REWARDED with a $25 Amazon Giftcard! READ MORE


    Are you considering 2015 gifts to your favorite charities? We hope The Heartland Institute is on your list. Preserving and expanding individual freedom is the surest way to advance many good and noble objectives, from feeding and clothing the poor to encouraging excellence and great achievement. Making charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual freedom is the most highly leveraged investment a philanthropist can make.
    Click here to make a contribution online, or mail your gift to The Heartland Institute, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago, IL 60606. To request a FREE wills guide or to get more information to plan your future please visit My Gift Legacy http://legacy.heartland.org/ or contact Gwen Carver at 312/377-4000 or by email at gcarver@heartland.org.


    If Amazon.com is one of your go-to sources for holiday gift-giving, why not start your buying spree at Smile.Amazon.com instead? You’ll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com … and if you choose The Heartland Institute as your preferred charity, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us. It’s a great way to stretch your holiday gift-buying dollars.READ MORE


    The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. We can’t accomplish these important goals without your help. Support free-market solutions by making a tax-deductible donation to The Heartland Institute today.

     

  • Week of January 5, 2015

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    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Heartland research fellow H. Sterling Burnett wrote a stinging rebuke of global warming alarmists for the editorial page of Investor’s Business Daily, an article you simply have to read and forward to your friends. “‘How many people do you want to kill or let die?’ That’s how I’m going to respond from now on to anyone who argues we should end or sharply restrict fossil fuel use to prevent global warming,” Burnett writes. READ MORE


    Sean Parnell, The Heartland Institute
    The New York Times reports the number of uninsured people in the U.S. has dropped to levels not seen in six years. But is it really success, asks Parnell, to return to “what the number of uninsured was back during the period in which President Bill Clinton was trying to enact national health care reform because the number of uninsured was supposedly at catastrophic levels?” Not too difficult to be successful if you’re allowed to move the goalposts. READ MORE


    School Choice Weekly
    Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
    President Barack Obama wants to give $300 million in bribes (can anyone say “Race to the Top”?) to encourage states to redistribute high-quality teachers. Heartland Research Fellow Joy Pullmann wonders how that can work: How exactly does a state force good teachers to move to high-needs schools? Salaries and working conditions are set locally, not at the state level … or will that change, too? Also in this issue: A Florida judge has dismissed one of two lawsuits against the state’s recent tax-credit scholarship expansion; conservatives are seeking to refine Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s education agenda; Common Core testing battles continue; and more. READ MORE


    Have you used rewards at home or in the classroom to bring out the best in a child? We’d love to hear your story! The Heartland Institute – publisher of Rewards: How to Use Rewards to Help Children Learnand Why Teachers Don’t Use Them Well – is offering a small incentive for you to do that. We’d love to hear your story! Enter your story at the Rewards website and you may be REWARDED with a $25 Amazon Giftcard! READ MORE



    Climate Change Weekly
    H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
    Pope Francis evidently has decided to make fighting global warming an important papal cause in 2015. Heartland Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett offers this advice: “The pope would do well to question the sources of his information and to recognize his efforts should be focused on alleviating the poverty and suffering of billions of people in the world today. The best policy to accomplish that goal would be alleviating energy poverty worldwide.” Also in this issue: Tropical forests are growing faster due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide; a new paper demonstrates people are adapting to higher temperatures; and more. READ MORE


    Brad Rodu, The Heartland Institute
    Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Brad Rodu recently defended e-cigarettes in a forum sponsored by a political organization. Rodu’s opponent, from the prohibitionist American Legacy Foundation, claimed there is no evidence e-cigarettes help smokers quit. Rodu countered by citing several clinical studies demonstrating the effectiveness of e-cigs. The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association maintains a webpage linking to more than 2,000 testimonials from smokers who successfully switched to e-cigarettes. READ MORE


    Jesse Hathaway, The Heartland Institute
    In late December 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the official end of the automobile industry bailout. Treasury’s accounting shows taxpayers recovered only $70.42 billion of the $79.69 billion loaned to them, a loss of $9.6 billion, or about $65.75 per taxpayer. George Mason University senior research fellow Hester Peirce said, “Taxpayer money was put at great risk, and the return on investment that Treasury now trumpets is not adequate to compensate taxpayers for the risk they took.” READ MORE


    Taylor Smith, for TownHall
    The Endangered Species Act has born of faulty science and deception, has failed to bring any species back from the brink of extinction, and is causing landowners to clear-cut their forests to avoid litigation and confiscation. Landowners and even some environmentalists are expressing interest in fundamental reforms of the law. It’s time to repeal and replace ESA with a program that rewards landowners for saving endangered species, instead of punishing them for developing land on which such species are found. READ MORE


    On December 31, someone posted a false and inflammatory statement about Heartland on the Great NonProfits website. Many Heartland supporters logged on at http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/heartland-institute to set the record straight, writing so many positive reviews for us that this troll’s comments have been buried! Thank you! We pledge in 2015 to live up to all the great things you’ve said about us. If you haven’t posted a comment yet, please consider doing so.


    Scott Cleland, for Somewhat Reasonable
    President Obama wants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet the way Chicago regulates sewers, as a “public utility.” Can that be a good idea? Congress is working on legislation that would into law the net neutrality protections that President Obama and others say they want without subjecting the Internet to ruinous over-regulation. Will the FCC work with the new Congress? READ MORE


    Are you considering 2015 gifts to your favorite charities? We hope The Heartland Institute is on your list. Preserving and expanding individual freedom is the surest way to advance many good and noble objectives, from feeding and clothing the poor to encouraging excellence and great achievement. Making charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual freedom is the most highly leveraged investment a philanthropist can make.
    Click here to make a contribution online, or mail your gift to The Heartland Institute, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740, Chicago, IL 60606. To request a FREE wills guide or to get more information to plan your future please visit My Gift Legacy http://legacy.heartland.org/ or contact Gwen Carver at 312/377-4000 or by email at gcarver@heartland.org.


    Isaac Orr and Nathan Makla, The Heartland Institute
    Heartland Research Fellow Isaac Orr and State Government Relations Manager Nathan Makla have been traveling to various states to talk with elected officials and others about sensible energy policy. They discuss here some of the stops they have made and tackle a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding global warming. LISTEN


    If Amazon.com is one of your go-to sources for holiday gift-giving, why not start your buying spree at Smile.Amazon.com instead? You’ll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com … and if you choose The Heartland Institute as your preferred charity, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us. It’s a great way to stretch your holiday gift-buying dollars.READ MORE


    The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. We can’t accomplish these important goals without your help. Support free-market solutions by making a tax-deductible donation to The Heartland Institute today.