Saturday, October 31, 2009


We are on the verge of taking on the largest entitlement program in our history -- government run health care, unless we step up to the plate and voice our rejection. The major ramification is two-fold: government intrusion into our health decisions, and increasing our national debt to unsustainable depths.

This has to stop. The Heritage Foundation writes:

How Government Spending Hurts National Security
by Amanda Reinecker, October 30, 2009

America is one of the strongest, wealthiest and freest nations on earth; she is largely in control of her own fate. Therefore, any real threat against America will likely come from within. Today, one of the main internal threats is crushing government debt.

"Few things can march a great power down the road of decline faster than irresponsible economic policies," Heritage Foundation Vice President Kim Holmes writes in the Washington Times. Current estimates of our national debt exceed $7 trillion -- $22,000 per person -- a figure likely to increase by $9 trillion over the next decade.

Unlike in times past when the nation was saddled with exorbitant deficits, today's imbalance is long-term and will heavily burden future generations. And this financial shortfall will wreak havoc on our national security. That's because the more money we commit to ever-expanding big-government programs, the less we have for defense.

Holmes outlines the dangers we face if the nation continues down this track of runaway spending:

The U.S. military might be unable to protect a sea lane vital to trade and military supply lines. We might be unable to suppress an enemy regime that launches a terrorist attack against us. And absent the great American economic engine, we might lack the resources to stay on the cutting edge of technology, leaving our soldiers vulnerable to being matched or even trumped on the battlefield by better-equipped foes.

Maintaining our superpower status requires reining in our out-of-control spending on entitlement programs, the main driver of our long-term debts. As Heritage experts have long argued, this entitlement spending is among the greatest domestic policy challenge our nation faces. That's why we have included reforming programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as key goals of our 10-year Leadership for America Campaign.

» Learn more about Heritage's efforts to control the government's long-term spending.

America currently faces many external threats. But unless we address these serious spending problems from within, we will not be adequately prepared to face those from without.

Health care update

  • The House health care "reform" bill introduced this week by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sets a new all-time record: 1,990 pages. Just in time for Halloween, the House's latest version of the bill paints a scary picture for our economy and our nation's fiscal future. Heritage's Conn Carroll reports that "the bill purports to cost only $1.05 trillion over the first ten years and is paid for by over $700 billion in tax increases and cuts to Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug payments." So more taxes and more spending -- and that just lays the groundwork for a complete government takeover of the health care industry.
  • The Senate Finance Committee plans to saddle middle- and low-income taxpayers with roughly a quarter of the costs of its $829 billion health care "reform" proposal. These cost will be imposed on them through a "misguided excise tax on insurance plans" that will cost upwards of $200 billion over ten years, Heritage tax policy analyst Curtis Dubay reports. This tax is in effect no different than an increase in income taxes -- so if it becomes law it would break the President's promise to not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000.
A better idea would be to cap the amount of a health plan that's tax free -- and return the difference in lower income taxes. This reform, Dubay writes, would realign incentives and "ultimately reduce heath care costs without growing government further." Visit to learn more about Heritage's health care reform alternatives.

The Left attacks school choice

The Left is working hard to block parental choice in education. For example, the effective D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which has enabled thousands of parents to send their children to safer schools where they can receive a better education, is under attack in Congress.

Even Attorney General Eric Holder is on the offensive against this school choice program. Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke reports that earlier this week, Holder asked a former Washington, D.C. lawmaker to stop running a television advertisement supporting the program and criticizing the Department of Education's decision to rescind scholarships for 216 young District residents.

Americans deserve to know about the success of such programs and the need to protect them from the political forces that endanger them. That's why Heritage has produced a new documentary, Let Me Rise. We're taking the message of the students and families that benefit from this successful program and bringing it directly to those who have the power to preserve it.

» Watch a short version of this important film.

"Let Me Rise challenges not only people in the District, but across the nation, to better understand the critical need to improve urban education in America," Heritage's Lindsey Burke writes.

The documentary premiered at The Heritage Foundation last week. Attending the premiere were Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), former D.C. Councilmember Kevin Chavous, activist Virginia Walden-Ford and columnist Juan Williams.

The film is part of Heritage's comprehensive effort under our 10-year Leadership for America campaign to strengthen American education by empowering parents to choose a safe and effective school for their children. Every child in America -- not just those who earn the goodwill of Congress or Washington bureaucrats -- deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education.