Influencing tax reform

Fair, functional tax reform could forever change the direction of this country.

At this historic moment, your support has enabled Heritage to play a major role in this opportunity to reform the tax code for the first time since 1986.

We’ve been working to lead all lawmakers in our direction to bring about conservative tax reform.

As an example of that influence, Thursday, the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, came to Heritage to speak on tax reform.

Watch his remarks below:

Tax reform is a critical issue that is needed to give new life to our economy and put more money back in the pockets of the taxpayer.

Heritage has long advocated for a robust tax reform overhaul and will continue to show the need for major change on this issue.

Sound tax reform should achieve:

  • Lower individual and business tax rates
  • Establish the right tax base
  • Eliminate the bias against savings and investment
  • Eliminate tax preferences
  • Simplify the tax system and make it more transparent so taxpayers fully understand how much they pay to fund the federal government

If a fair and functional tax reform is decided on, America could shed its current system, which leaves families struggling to get ahead.

Do you believe Congress will pass a conservative tax reform plan?

Heritage influences White House to waive the Jones Act

Faced with providing hurricane battered Florida and Puerto Rico with extra fuel, the Trump Administration made a move that Heritage has advocated by temporarily suspending the Jones Act.

The Jones Act, passed in the 1920’s, is a regulation which prevented vessels from shipping between American ports unless they were using American made ships crewed by Americans.

Prior to the suspension, Salim Furth, a research fellow in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, wrote in The Daily Signal that “Acting immediately to waive the Jones Act will allow fuel, food, water, medicine, and rebuilding supplies to reach Puerto Rico with maximum speed and at the lowest cost.” Furth noted that not only did the Jones Act impede normal business dealings, but that it was detrimental during national disasters.

At a White House press briefing, homeland security advisor Tom Bossart admitted the concern for extra fuel was the motivation behind suspending the Jones Act saying.

“We are worried about the fuel shortages,” said Bossart. “We are bringing in as much supply of refined fuel as possible, and we’ve waived a particular statute that allows for foreign-flagged vessels to help in that effort.”

“It is encouraging to see Heritage research implemented by the Trump Administration, that will have a positive impact for those struggling in Florida and Puerto Rico,” said Jack Spencer, Vice President for Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity.

At the end of the Trump administrations one-week waiver Furth wrote again in The Daily Signal that Puerto Rico needs a much more extensive waiver to rebuild from Hurricane Maria’s direct hit.

“Given the scale of the damage to Puerto Rico and the multiyear rebuilding effort to come, Trump should issue a blanket waiver from the Jones Act for Puerto Rico for as long as the territory continues to use federal aid dollars in its rebuilding,” said Furth.

On September 28 the Department of Homeland Security issued another temporary waiver.

“This waiver will ensure that over the next ten days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico. It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” said Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke.

Furth says this is great news but that Puerto Rico isn’t going to get back to normal in 10 days.

“President Trump should instruct the Department of Homeland Security to waive the Jones Act for as long as Puerto Rico is spending federal emergency funds. It does not make sense to give Puerto Rico aid money and then prevent them from effectively spending that money buying materials from mainland American businesses.”

Read more about why in natural disasters, the Jones Act is especially onerous and why Congress should grant a permanent exemption from the Jones Act for all fuel tankers.

This post originally appeared on www.heritage.org.

How should natural disaster relief be handled in the United States? 

Heritage expert is viewed as threat to climate change proponents

The President isn’t the only one reading research from Heritage. The left-leaning magazine, The Scientific American, is also paying attention.

Last Thursday, The Scientific American named Dayaratna as a candidate to be feared by proponents of climate change concerns.

The article stated that:

A number of people who reject the findings of mainstream climate science are being considered by the Trump administration for spots on EPA’s Science Advisory Board, a voluntary but influential panel that reviews science used in environmental regulations.

Regarding Dayaratna’s role:

Kevin Dayaratna, a statistician at the conservative Heritage Foundation: His report was cited by Trump as a reason to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. It claimed that the agreement could shrink U.S. gross domestic product by $2.5 trillion within two decades.

On June 2, President Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. His decision was greatly influenced by a report written by Kevin Dayaratna, a Senior Statistician and Research Programmer in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, titled “Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits”.

Now, the Trump administration is considering new members for the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, which reviews scientific findings used in environmental regulations.

Kevin Dayaratna is one of those candidates.

With people like Dayaratna on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, global warming alarmists will be forced to contend with reason and facts.

How great of a role should government play in environmental regulation?