Heritage experts expose abuse of financial privacy

Heritage experts Norbert Michel and David Burton have been busy working to ensure your financial privacy is secured from foreign countries through their work exposing the current abuse of financial privacy in the United States.

Their work was recently highlighted in a piece by the Washington Times which stated:

In an excellent report, “Financial Privacy in a Free Society,” Heritage Foundation scholars Norbert Michel and David Burton detail the ongoing abuses of the basic right of financial privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

Mr. Michel and Mr. Burton provide extensive data demonstrating that the attack on financial privacy by governments is largely a waste of money — many billions spent to obtain few and very costly convictions.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been pushing for an information exchange agreement, whereby the U.S. would, as Mr. Michel and Mr. Burton note: “automatically, and in bulk, ship private financial and tax information — including Social Security and tax identification numbers — to nearly 70 countries,” many of which are hostile to the U.S.

According to their report Financial Privacy in a Free Society, Michel and Burton explain that private citizens are at risk of harm due to the collection and dissemination of their private financial information by the U.S. government–including seizure of personal assets without conviction.

This systematized trespassing upon basic privacy rights is largely due to stringent money laundering laws that are meant to stop criminals. These laws are largely ineffective and exorbitantly expensive. Enacting these laws cost around $7 million per conviction for a total of $4.8 – $8 billion annually, according to Michel and Burton’s work. More often than not these laws harm innocent citizens rather than hurt the criminals at whom they are directed.

Michel and Burton’s report details not only the importance of financial privacy rights and the magnitude of threats to these rights, but also suggested policy reform to deal with the identified issues.

Read their full report>>

Do you believe the United States should be sharing the private financial information of their citizens with foreign countries? Why or why not?

You are leading the conversation on tax reform

Implementing conservative solutions on tax reform is key to creating a stronger economy in America.

Last Friday, at Heritage’s Washington DC headquarters, four members of the House Freedom Caucus participated in a panel discussion to work towards tax reform.

The panel highlighted the conservative perspective on the border adjustment tax, welfare reform, and other tax policies. Conversations like this serve to spark ideas and spread the discussion of sound, conservative policies while also serving as a catalyst to unify the conservative movement.

Watch the full discussion below:

We were honored to host our conservative allies from the House and are thankful for their work on tax reform.

What do you think about the conservative solution to tax reform?

Former Heritage employee’s faith attacked in confirmation hearing

We live in a time where our basic constitutional rights are being redefined. This is a time where free speech can be seen as a crime and where sincerely held religious conviction could be enough of a reason to disqualify an individual from public office. A perfect example of this happened just last week during a Senate confirmation hearing.

Last week, former Heritage Action Vice President of Grassroots and Policy, Russ Vought, had his Senate confirmation hearing for the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in President Trump’s administration. 

In his hearing, Russ – who has a reputation as a principled conservative, well-equipped and favored for the position for which he was nominated – came under fire from Senator Bernie Sanders–not for his qualifications, but for his Christian convictions.

According to Article IV of the Constitution, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”.

As this report by the Daily Signal points out:

Religious tests for holding public office are banned in the Constitution and go against the very core of the American tradition.

But you wouldn’t have learned that on Wednesday listening to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as he questioned Russ Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

His questioning of Vought was nothing less than theological interrogation, and in the end, excoriation.

Watch the exchange between Sanders and Vought below:

Russ has been with our sister organization, Heritage Action, since it’s inception in 2010. Russ’ wife, Mary, currently works for The Heritage Foundation and his family has been a significant part of the Heritage family for years. 

In his role at Heritage Action, he oversaw the building and management of America’s leading conservative grassroots activist army that keeps Congress accountable to the American people. We are extremely thankful for Russ’ leadership at Heritage Action and for his courageous conservative stance.

Why do you think Article IV’s requirement that no religious test be required as a qualification for public office is important? Did Senator Sanders violate Article IV in his questioning?