Heritage releases 2018 Index of U.S. Military Strength

Assessing U.S. national interests and America’s ability to defend those interests one of the foremost responsibility of the federal government.

The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength has become a key resource for policymakers. It contains the latest assessments of global threats, operating environments, and the status of the U.S. military.

This Thursday, Heritage released the 2018 Index of U.S. Military Strength. We hosted a special discussion from notable national security experts on the components critical to the defense of our nation.

Watch a video recording of the event here >>

James Jay Carafano, leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges and Vice President of Heritage’s Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, worked closely in the compilation and completion of this year’s Index. He says:

“The publication of the 2018 index could not be more important or timely. President Trump is committed to a peace through strength strategy but Congress has yet to act to provide the resources needed. The index will be a wake-up call on how vital it is to get started with efficiently and smartly rebuilding American military prowess.”

The keynote address was given by The Honorable Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Index and discussion explore a comprehensive list of topics- including the characteristics and nature of major war-fighting domains: land, sea, air, space, cyber and joint, providing insights of value to professionals and amateurs alike in understanding the modern nature of conflict in these domains.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our military strength faces today?

Pain Capable Act passes House

To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, our country needs a culture of life.

On Tuesday evening, Congress passed H.R. 36, a bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It includes exceptions for incest, rape, and life of the mother.

It passed by a vote of 237-189, mostly along party lines.

The White House released a statement saying:

“H.R. 36 would generally make it unlawful for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion of an unborn child after 20 weeks post-fertilization, with limited exceptions. The bill, if enacted into law, would help to facilitate the culture of life to which our nation aspires.”

Currently, The United States is one of only seven nations in the world to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The President’s advisors have stated that if H.R. 36 were presented to him in its current form, they would recommend he sign it into law.

This past September, five-year-old Micah Pickering came to Capitol Hill to put a face to the proposed act. Micah was born prematurely at 20 weeks, and received intensive care. He is now happy and healthy, proving children as young as 20 weeks can live and thrive despite their early birth.

Monica Burke, a Research Assistant at the Center for Religion and Civil Society, said of the bill:

“Anyone who claims to be pro-science ought to pay heed to the Pain Capable Act. The bill highlights what science tells us about life in utero and affirms the unborn as unique and distinct human beings, capable of suffering.”

The next step is for the bill to pass in the Senate. This may be challenging, since the Republican margin as the majority is only 52-48.

How would you like to see a culture of life promoted in today’s society?

Tax reform that is set to grow the economy, create jobs, and increase wages for American workers

At Heritage, we believe fundamental tax reform is necessary to strengthen the economy.

Last week, the Senate Budget Committee released its long-awaited fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, which paved the way for comprehensive tax reform. Read through six takeaways on the budget resolution on The Daily Signal here >>

Republican Study Committee (RSC) members believe Congress must deliver on tax reform by eliminating distortions and creating fairness in the tax code. The budget resolution paves the way for tax reform. Now the question is, how will that tax reform be done?

On Tuesday, RSC members tackled this question here at Heritage. Heritage experts facilitated the conversation as the RSC members discussed a path to comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Hosting the discussion was President Edwin J. Feulner, and moderating was tax expert Adam Michel.

Watch a video recording of the event here >>

Rep. Mark Walker, Chairman of the RSC, began the discussion with a strong statement on tax reform:

“The concept of hard-working Americans keeping more of not government money, but their own money, should not be a position that is foreign or offensive.”

The long awaited tax reform outline released by the Trump administration and Republican congressional leaders aims to fix our broken tax code.

If passed, the proposal would grow the economy, create jobs, and increase wages for American workers.

Wesley Coopersmith, Policy Manager at Heritage Action for America, detailed the myths and facts of this pro-growth tax reform.

Here are the ways he believes this reform would benefit American taxpayers:

1) Lowering and simplifying individual tax rates for all Americans,

2) Cutting taxes for large and small businesses alike,

3) Permitting tax-free entrepreneurship,

4) Ridding the tax code of special interest hangouts, and

5) Ending the practice of double-taxing overseas profits made by U.S.-based companies who want to invest in America.

Read through the misconceptions and realities of tax reform here >>

The last time tax reform happened was during the Reagan administration. We should not let this once-in-a-generation opportunity be missed.

What would you most like to see reformed in our tax system?