Fighting for What's Right on Defense
The first and perhaps the most important thing for conservatives to get right is a wise foreign policy. Only after we ensure we have a sufficiently strong national defense can we turn to the important domestic issues that merit our attention. That means, for starters, making sure that we have sufficient troop levels to defend ourselves and our allies adequately. Yet continued cuts to the defense budget imperil our ability to do that. Recent statements by military officials indicate that the Army may soon shrink to its lowest active-duty end strength size since before World War II.
Feb 23, 2014 - 12:25:24 AM
Upward Mobility: The "True System"
Their faith in this "true system" causes most Americans to think of themselves as middle class. In one Pew survey, 50 percent of Americans called themselves middle class, while a mere 8 percent considered themselves lower class. Those confident Americans are correct, since even if they're not exactly middle class this year, they have the opportunity to be -- and they may well reach their goal in a year or two.
Feb 16, 2014 - 12:23:17 AM
Why the People Don't Trust Government
Americans have learned to be wary of taking what politicians say at face value. You could mine almost any political speech for examples, but consider some of the claims from President Obama's latest State of the Union address. He brought up the wage gap between male and female workers, adding that women "make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns." This implies deliberate discrimination. But the fact is that the average woman tends to make different lifestyle choices when it comes to decisions about where and how much to work, making direct comparisons flawed, to say the least.
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:13:03 AM
Afghanistan: Don't Get Out, Get Smart
That sentence from "Duty," the new book by Robert Gates, should worry all Americans. Because if the former secretary of defense is correct about how President Obama feels about the war in Afghanistan, then we can expect that part of the world to become much more dangerous in the years ahead.
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:17:03 AM
The Danger of Incivility
Alas, what we're seeing in the marketplace of ideas today is a disturbing growth of incivility. This breakdown isn't a failing of either the political left or right exclusively. It spreads from one end of the spectrum to the other. Someone will post a civil comment on some political topic. Almost immediately, someone else swings the verbal hammer of incivility, and from there the conversation degrades into a food fight, with invective and insult as the main course.
Jan 1, 2014 - 1:40:09 AM
Capitalism's Carping Critics
Today, it is no longer beyond the pale to say that capitalism has done more good for more people than any other economic arrangement ever devised by man. Capitalist economies such as the United States are prosperous, growing and expansive, creating opportunities and wealth for ever-increasing numbers of people. The free-market capitalist system in the United States presents opportunities for every individual to improve his or her life.
Dec 19, 2013 - 4:17:15 AM
Don't Hike the Minimum Wage
Indeed, studies show that the latest congressional hike would likely eliminate some 300,000 jobs per year and lower our national economic output (GDP) by more than $40 billion annually. Why? Because raising the cost of labor naturally makes it more expensive to hire, leading cash-strapped employers with no choice but to slow down or freeze hiring.
Dec 15, 2013 - 12:25:03 AM
A Toast to Buckley
William F. Buckley, Jr.: book author, magazine publisher, televised debater... was Bill: friend, ally, trail-blazer. Bill was an entrepreneur whenever he needed to be, and more often than most of us realized, starting National Review when it was not only politically incorrect, but intellectually inconceivable. After all, we were told, conservatives didn't have enough ideas to fill one issue of a magazine, let alone one that would presume to follow a regular publishing schedule.
Dec 10, 2013 - 12:17:28 AM
A Farm Bill in Name Only
Hard as it may be to believe, 80 percent of the farm bill being hammered out by the Senate and the House of Representatives is made up not of agriculture programs, but of food stamps. And if that sounds upside down to you, you clearly don't live "inside the Beltway," where Orwellian logic is the order of the day.
Nov 20, 2013 - 5:27:20 AM
Avoiding Fiscal Catastrophe
Instead of performing many functions poorly, Congress should focus on performing a few functions well. Most highway, education, justice and economic development programs should be devolved to state and local governments, which have the flexibility to tailor local programs to local needs. Empower the private sector. Anyone who has dealt with the post office or lived in public housing knows how wasteful, inefficient and unresponsive government can be. Government ownership of business also crowds out private companies and encourages protected entities to take unnecessary risks.
Oct 20, 2013 - 12:27:14 AM
The Problem with the Arms Trade Treaty
The ATT has numerous flaws. Start with the most obvious: the fact that it won't do what it sets out to do -- regulate the flow of arms to and from rogue states. Major arms exporters such as China and Russia don't support it, and the idea that it will stop, say, Cuba from continuing to arm North Korea (to name two other notable non-signers) is a joke.
Oct 13, 2013 - 12:22:31 AM
Education at a Crossroads
The educational establishment's standard response to educational failure is to call for massive spending increases. Yet today, while inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending has more than doubled since 1970 -- it now exceeds $11,000 per student per year -- academic achievement has stagnated, and high-school graduation rates for disadvantaged children have remained flat....Today, American education stands at a crossroads. One path leads to increased government centralization, fewer parental choices, and a greater role for special interests.
Oct 6, 2013 - 12:20:12 AM
An American "Trial"
The principle of equality in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution refers to equality before the law. This is why it is said that in America, justice is blind. Because the law is objective and written down, all Americans are subject to it equally, regardless of their economic or social background. Today the adjective "Kafkaesque" is often used to describe absurd, nightmarish situations in which an isolated, helpless individual is harassed by remote and inscrutable powers for reasons he can barely fathom.
Aug 18, 2013 - 12:15:01 AM
Amnesty: Skip the Sequel
My friend and colleague Ed Meese is second to no one in his admiration for Ronald Reagan. But the man who served the late president as the nation's 75th attorney general will readily admit it was a serious mistake for Reagan to accept the compromise at the heart of the 1986 immigration "reform" bill, and sign it into law. Why? Because that piece of legislation turned out to be a big amnesty bill. No, it wasn't advertised that way. It was sold as "border security in exchange for amnesty."
Jul 19, 2013 - 4:36:44 AM
Red Tape on the Rise
In fact, it was President Obama himself who said that, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. He was right. The rules are indeed out of balance. Instead of having only those regulations that are truly necessary to protect the public, we have a plethora of rules that go far beyond that. And yes, they are making it difficult for businesses to innovate, invest or hire.
May 12, 2013 - 12:20:17 AM
Amnesty by Any Other Name ...
It's not amnesty, we're told. Oh, no. Yet the immigration bill that was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would give legal residency to the 11 million people who are here illegally. News flash: That's amnesty. The immigration reform bill of 1986 was built on a promise to crack down on the flow of unlawful immigrants in exchange for giving amnesty to the three million who were then here illegally. Judging by the fact that the unlawful population has almost quadrupled since then, we can see how well that worked out.
Apr 24, 2013 - 8:29:22 PM
School Choice on the March
These days, freedom is under fire in many ways. So it's nice to be able to report that, in one area at least, freedom is marching in the right direction: education. "Indiana's highest court ruled unanimously in Meredith v. Pence that the Choice Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to low-income and middle-income families in the Hoosier State, is constitutional," The Heritage Foundation's Lindsey Burke reported recently. "The suit, brought by the teachers unions, sought to end the country's largest and most inclusive school voucher program."
Apr 21, 2013 - 12:17:24 AM
Obamacare: An Alarming Check-Up
Hate to tell you this, but it gets worse. See this? That's the number of people who are going to lose their current health insurance because of you. Not thousands, but millions. Seven million, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And this isn't guesswork; it's already happening.Take Universal Orlando, which recently announced that it won't continue to cover its part-time workers. Why? Not because they're mean-hearted. Because they can't afford it. Your prohibition of annual benefit limits beginning next year is making Universal's health plans too expensive. Word is, this will affect about 500 Universal employees.
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:15:26 AM
The Battle of the Budgets
Fortunately, the "other employee" in the scenario laid out above has come up with a smarter approach. The House plan, spearheaded by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) would balance the budget in 10 years, and cut the annual growth in spending from 5 percent to 3.4 percent. Even better, it would repeal Obamacare. And it dares to reform Medicaid and Medicare.
Mar 24, 2013 - 10:19:52 PM
A Lesson in Education Hyperbole
"It just means a lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs," he said in an interview with Face the Nation. "There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can't come back this fall." Turns out, though, that it isn't true.
Mar 10, 2013 - 12:13:07 AM
The Energy Potential of Fracking
Fracking involves shooting a mixture of water and chemicals deep underground to release the trapped natural gas. Certain states have been using this technique for years, and very successfully. They have sensible rules in place to ensure that companies obtain the gas in an environmentally responsible manner.
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:17:12 AM
Unions and "Democracy"
Protesters tore down a tent filled with activists from the group Americans for Prosperity. A protester punched Fox News contributor Steven Crowder as he covered the protests, leaving him bloodied. State troopers in riot gear swept the area clear.
Dec 23, 2012 - 12:50:06 AM
No Time to Get LOST
"The nations that have joined LOST cannot prevent the United States or any other nation from mining the seabed any more than they can prevent the U.S. from exercising the freedom of navigation and overflight, the freedom of fishing, or any other high seas freedom."
Dec 21, 2012 - 6:29:13 AM
Paying the Price of Preparation
At the memorial to the USS Arizona, you can watch droplets of oil from the sunken ship drift to the surface. Some say the ship is weeping for the 1,177 service members killed at Pearl Harbor 71 years ago this month. It's a chilling reminder of the heavy price our country paid when it was caught unprepared.
Dec 5, 2012 - 4:23:49 AM
Battling a Bailout Culture
Some Americans believe in the founding principle that individuals are responsible for their own well-being and will voluntarily aid those in need. Others believe that people should be required to take care of their fellow citizens. This latter group aims to use the power of the state to enforce its belief. Thus, one group believes in personal responsibility and private charity. The other imposes "charity," with the threat of prison behind it, on the productive sector of the economy through taxation and the redistribution of wealth.
Dec 2, 2012 - 4:23:15 AM
Taking Down Twinkies
A union-backed strike has killed what the Great Depression couldn't. Hostess announced recently that they are suspending operations and will be laying off more than 18,000 employees. (Both sides had subsequently agreed to a mediation, but a judge ordered the bankruptcy to proceed.)
Nov 30, 2012 - 5:40:59 AM
The Way Ahead
An election is a time to choose our leaders, and Americans have done so. Now we need to hold those leaders responsible, as we try to solve the big problems our country faces.
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:17:34 AM
Thank a Veteran
Millions of Americans headed to the voting booth recently to exercise one of their most cherished rights. But let's pause and remember those who help make it possible. Simply having rights isn't enough. They must be defended, often at great personal cost. And it's the members of our armed forces, past and present, who put their lives on the line every day to do just that.
Nov 14, 2012 - 4:07:07 AM
The Spiraling State of Welfare Spending
Annual welfare spending: It's approaching the $1 trillion mark. We're talking about more than 80 means-tested programs, comprising a maze of forms, bureaucrats and regulations -- and, all total, they're close to hitting the magic number. Roughly 100 million people -- one-third of the U.S. population -- receive aid from at least one means-tested welfare program each month. Average benefits come to around $9,000 per recipient.
Oct 26, 2012 - 6:28:44 AM
A Look Back at the Cuban Missile Crisis
If the phrase "missile gap" rings a bell, you probably remember one of the most frightening periods of the Cold War era: when the United States and Soviet Russia, 50 years ago this month, came perilously close to launching World War III.
Oct 16, 2012 - 11:45:46 PM
A Costly "Proposal"
The fate of Proposal 2 likely will have repercussions elsewhere. Other states are struggling with the same economic pressures that led union leaders to push for it in Michigan. Like the fight over Gov. Scott Walker's controversial reforms in Wisconsin, and the strike staged by the Chicago Teachers' Union, the fight over Proposal 2 is something of a bellwether.
Oct 14, 2012 - 7:29:19 AM
Preserving an Endangered Institution
Again, the social science is clear here: single parenthood tends to go hand-in-hand with poverty. In fact, some 70 percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents -- usually single mothers. Yes, many are doing a heroic job, but there's no denying the fact that single-parenthood often leads to long-term problems.
Sep 28, 2012 - 12:33:53 AM
Commemorating Constitution Day
As chief executive, a president has crucial responsibilities. But presidents lack the power to enact laws, or to determine that some laws won't be enforced. Our constitutional framework of limited government requires a president who will actively use his granted powers, but also recognize the strict limits on those powers.
Sep 19, 2012 - 12:21:01 AM
A Recovery in Name Only?
There's another important number to consider when you examine this recovery, the slowest we've had in 70 years. And that's how many people have dropped out of the labor force. Today, nearly 5 million fewer Americans are working or looking for work. This drop accounts for virtually the entire reduction of the unemployment rate since 2009 -- those who aren't looking for work don't count as unemployed.
Sep 5, 2012 - 5:25:18 AM
School Choice: Passing the Test
Hearing teachers' unions complain about extending school-choice options to American families is nothing new. They've been spreading misinformation about efforts to break up their monopoly on education for years. And with millions of students going back to school, we can, unfortunately, expect them to turn up the volume.
Aug 30, 2012 - 12:18:59 AM
What Sets America Apart
Look again at the Declaration of Independence. Our inalienable rights include "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Note the phrase "the pursuit of." However much certain politicians may want insist otherwise, no one is guaranteed happiness -- only the right to strive for it.
Aug 24, 2012 - 1:40:41 AM
Do you know what Maryland gives its welfare recipients so they can access cash and food benefits? An "Independence Card." If that sounds a bit Orwellian, consider the perverse spending increases that the Obama administration has planned for food stamps and an array of other forms of welfare. Why perverse? Because the whole goal of the successful welfare reform of the 1990s was to reduce dependence. And the president's budget would do just the opposite.
Aug 15, 2012 - 12:24:31 AM
The Furor Over "Fast and Furious"
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder may show up on "Jeopardy!" one of these days. No, not as a contestant. As an answer. The clue: "He's the first attorney general in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress." The answer: "Who is Eric Holder?"
Aug 8, 2012 - 8:19:04 AM
Of Free Speech and Chick-Fil-A
At this point, we've moved well beyond debate. It's a free-speech issue now. These officials did not merely express an opposite point of view. They threatened to use their political power to punish a man, and those who work for him, for saying something they disagree with. The message this sent is crystal-clear -- and chilling: Conform to the "accepted" view, or else.
Aug 1, 2012 - 9:52:04 PM
Fighting for Free Markets
Even if you've never heard of Milton Friedman, you've likely heard some of the famed economist's pithy sayings. "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand." "Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless." And the classic: "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
Jul 25, 2012 - 12:33:20 AM