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  • Morning Bell: We Can Change America's Course

    Entering the final stretch of the presidential contest, Americans are facing a monumental choice. The American people will decide the direction of government and its role in their lives for the coming years.

    The debate in Tampa this week raised a number of issues, including preserving the American dream of working hard to achieve success. The Heritage Foundation has extensive research and policy prescriptions on each of these issues:

    Energy: America needs to end energy subsidies and restore a free market in the energy sector. We can and should develop our domestic energy sources in an environmentally responsible way. Go to Energy & Environment

    School choice: America’s education focus should be our students. The best way to serve the needs of a diverse population is to give families the freedom to choose a school—public, private, charter, or home school—that best fits their children’s needs. See where your state stands

    Free trade: America needs jobs, and promoting free trade is an excellent way to create high-quality jobs in America. We should have a free flow of goods, services, and investments between democratic nations. Catch up on the U.S. free trade record

    The federal budget: Tackling the federal budget is a complex task, but it must be done. Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan details ideas for reforming major entitlement programs, permanently balancing the budget, and reducing the national debt. See the Heritage plan

    Tax reform: America’s families and businesses need tax relief. A tax cut here and there isn’t enough; we need fundamental tax reform. A tax system that is simple and fair would spur economic growth and protect those at the bottom of the income ladder. How it could be done

    Repealing Obamacare: Obamacare doesn’t stop with government intrusion into your relationship with your doctor. It also raises taxes, adds to the U.S. deficit, and attacks religious and personal freedoms. Top 5 Reasons to Repeal Obamacare

    Reforming Medicare: Medicare reform is not an option—it is a necessity. To keep the program working for those it is designed to help, we should give seniors more control over their health care decisions and guarantee better access to quality care. The way forward for Medicare

    Next week, the debate will continue in Charlotte, and more policy issues may enter the mix.

    There’s no way to predict how the election will turn out. But as Heritage’s Matt Spalding has written, “it will be a turning point in American history: Either our leaders will guide the country even further along the road to ‘progressivism’ or they will begin a long, slow turn back toward the principles of the American Founding.”

    “The federal government has acquired an all but unquestioned dominance over virtually every area of American life,” Spalding says. “It acts without constitutional limits and is restricted only by expediency, political will, and (less and less) budget constraints.”

    The Heritage Foundation recently published Changing America’s Course, which gives our political leaders recommendations on how to stay within the limits of the Constitution.

    To put America on a path toward preserving and growing freedom, Spalding says, “The first step is to reduce the size and scope of government and unleash the engines of economic productivity and the institutions of cultural renewal.”

    It is possible to change America’s course.

    Quick Hits:

    • Isaac has left homes underwater and power off throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. At least four people have died.
    • President Obama told TIME magazine that he might not have had enough time to explain the stimulus to people.
    • The Pentagon has told the Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the Osama bin Laden raid that he has violated an agreement not to disclose classified information.
    • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak at 10 a.m. today and is expected to address the question of further “monetary easing” policies.
    • Does China “own” the U.S. because of the U.S. debt it holds? Heritage answers, and it might surprise you.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Morning Bell: We Can Change America's Course

    1. Tom says:

      Your tweet on this article said you had "policy prescriptions on every major issue". I see nothing here on Second Amendment arms, and virtually nothing on national security or–ironically, given who you are–maintaining our HERITAGE.

      The other things you mention here are simply matters for the American people to hash out. Without securing our country and remembering who we are, they just won't matter.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        Tom – You must have read other of Amy then you would understand why so much is left out of this article. Even HF is finding people that are not up to normal standards to repersent conservatism.

    2. albertmaslar says:

      NST Recap To Save Medicare and Universal Medicare
      36. Institute a 3% National Sales Tax (NST) with NO exceptions for resale, charity, non-profits, religious, education, or government. The many cannot be continually supported by the diminishing few. A 3% NST might raise as up to $7 Trillion annually, double the budget, reduce national debt, spread tax burden to all residents, legal or not. Allocation should be the 1st 1% toward Budget, the 2nd 1% toward debt reduction, the 3rd 1% for Universal Medicare (identical to Medicare plus monthly) for all legal U.S. residents.
      37. The 1% NST collections is dedicated to Universal Medicare and automatically eliminates most State Medicaid benefits, costs, and overhead. State Medicaid mandated costs would be eliminated, reducing State budget shortfalls and tax requirements.
      38. According to a 7/6/10 analysis by attorney Lanny Davis published in The Hill, there were $755 Trillion in total transactions in the U.S. in 2008; $443 Trillion if exempting stock transactions. Accordingly NST on stock market transactions should be set at 1/2 of 1%, beating the International movement toward the inevitability of this type of tax. This 1/2% stock market transaction tax will inhibit the negative and controversial effects of High Frequency Trading (HFT) that causes artificial volatility as traders execute trades in milliseconds capitalizing on penny spreads and transaction speeds in the blink of an eye, not available to ordinary investors. HFT operates in a betting parlor atmosphere that is more gambling than investing, and may eventually be the vehicle to collapse the market as it already has on one fateful day when HFT was a contributing factor in the flash crash of May 6, 2010. Reuters reported that a computer-driven sale worth $4.1 billion by money manager Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. triggered the May flash crash that set off liquidity shocks that created havoc, instantly wiping out substantial stock market values before anyone knew what happened and why. A report exposed the relationship between E-Mini Standard & Poor's 500 futures and S&P 500 “SPDR” exchange-traded funds detailing how HFT algorithmic trading saps liquidity and rocks the marketplace.
      39. There should be no exemption for sales of any product or service whether for Resale, Church, Government, Education, Private or Public organizations; Imports, Cash, or assets transferred out of the country, including corporate transfers to foreign subsidiaries; Tax On-Line sales and sellers, EBay, Private sellers, Barter, PayPal and Credit Card Companies. Payment Clearing Banks would be depositories for NST, similar to collection of payroll taxes while Government 3% tax payments are to be used for that particular government debt reduction.
      40. According to PatriotPost.us on July 8, 2010, unionization of federal employees resulted in non-military federal employee salaries average 40% higher than private sector, but while private sector benefit packages average $9,882, government and union employee benefits average $32,115. This imbalance cannot be sustained. Federal wage and benefits must be frozen until parity is achieved.
      41. An estimated 48%+ of citizens pay no Income Tax while 24%+ do not pay Payroll Tax. This jeopardizes a Balanced Budget as too large a number of households owe nothing in federal taxes, casting an ever increasing burden on the diminishing number of actual tax payers, a situation that is not sustainable. The 3% National Sales Tax will level the playing field by spreading the burden to all and give new life to the Bible story of the “Widow’s Mite,” who gave her last two coins.

      Contact for complete 5-page 84-point plan to fix it all;
      Albert Maslar

      • Dave Henry says:

        That's just what we need, A NEW TAX! <SMH>

      • david says:

        1. Reduce Federal Spending should be top. The 1/2% tax on stocks will pound the small investor. You need to either allow so many we trades a year or charge no tax on accounts under a certain dollar amount.
        41. you need to move more of the benefits burden onto the federal employees i.e. increase the payroll deduction for healthcare. Change the health care from the rolls royce plan to the cadilac plan

      • ThomNJ says:

        attorney Lanny Davis – an economic analysis?

    3. Dave Schultheis says:

      Why is there no foreign policy section listed?. Romney seemed to avoid it.

      • Jeff says:

        Foreign Policy is not what concerns Americans at the present time, which is not to say that it's unimportant. However, there are FP professionals at the Dept. of State who know pretty much what is going on and where, what needs attention and what is okay. Like Obama and the other past presidents, Romney will be fully briefed when he takes office and as a nominee partially briefed now.

        Foreign policy is convenient to discuss for purposes of taking pressure off Obama for his performance where it matters most, here with domestic policy. That said, there's a full laundry list of his foreign relations faux pas as well…

    4. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Can we change course, perhaps? Unlike some species, for example, if we model cockroaches, who are famous for their adaptability, dinosaurs were unable to change. Society, in many instances, mirrors these two evolutionary marvels. If we elect to see things in a different perspective, there is hope. If we continue to view our world in an either or scenario, change will be difficult. If we continue to experience of divisiveness such as heeding Heritage dribble or Move-on .org…hate messages…we will find middle ground impossible to reach…

      • Bobbie says:

        one thing that might benefit you Dr?, is to see yourself more capable to respect that humanity is more adaptable than any specie, that "political correctness" of some in humanity is destroying by intention to divide. The true "hate" your narrow mind hasn't shown an ability to bring itself to?

        Humanities ability to adapt? America's purpose is hatred to you? We'll find middle ground when people like you stop seeing less of people by calling self respect, self reliance and independence divisive.

      • GDRN says:

        You sir, with your middle of the road philosophy, are a hugh part of the problem. Finding middle ground with the liberal socialists has always taken us deeper into the abyss, because compromise with liberals always means do it the liberal way or not at all. The liberals have to go, starting with Obama and his handlers. The socialists and communists need to go to whatever country has a political process that pleases them. Compromise with them, however, only means our demise as a nation, our loss of what freedom and liberty that we have left. Your "dribble" ,if heeded, will only serve to hasten the extinction of the beacon of freedom and hope that this nation has been to the rest of this world since it's founding.

    5. Jeff says:

      We certainly can change it. A great start would be to abolish the federal Department of Education. It has added nothing of value to education in the United States and it could be argued, has hurt education. All it does is take money from the population (about $77 Billion for 2013, I believe) and redistribute it…with strings: recipients have to use it the Washington way, and their overall activities must conform to standards set by Washington's socialist bureaucrats before they can get the funds. Moreover, every state has its own Department of Education. What do any of us with children need the one in Washington for? Our state and local governments tax us for what the schools need…why should we pay Washington to be involved…especially when they do more harm than good?

      Let's give people school choice and let's get Washington out of our schools and out of our pockets.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      At the risk of sounding like Obama, YES, WE CAN!

    7. toledofan says:

      We all, I mean the majority of Americans, know things can change and after listening and watching the Republican Convention it's very clear that the Republicans can do it. Here's the problem, the last four years have been a disaster and the President has failed to exert any real leadership, the country is worse today than it was four years ago and that should be so obvious that anyone with any logical capabilites should be able to see it, Romney's victory should be a no brainer, no ifs and or buts about it. But here we are just 67 days closer to one of the biggest elections in our modern history and there still is a good chance Obama can win. That just is sad, pitiful and shows why we are in trouble as a nation.

    8. Carol, AZ says:

      I heard, a course for change outlined, as a 5 pt problem solving priority, survival plan, for America.
      This was delivered concisely and without rancor. We all understand the bullet points go on.
      I heard, the difference between leadership for decision over incompetence and indecision.
      Mitt and team understand the free market system, they are builders not destroyers.
      They understand; "The Govt must get out-of-way for free enterprise and markets to work, and for job creation."
      The example Mitt utilized as the genesis for idea and creativity, was Steve Jobs.
      There's also an article in archives here, about this amazing American whose entrepreneurial genus changed our world. It also defines who we are as Americans and who Mitt is, as a leader.
      Free enterprise is the cornerstone of the American imagination for creativity.
      Americans has changed the course of the world with the development for products, services, innovative medical genus, and scientific discovery.
      That's what I heard; I also believe we will be doing it again, once he's elected.

    9. Jerry Porter says:

      Matt Spalding is right on. Our cherished "ship of state" is so big, bloated, over-funded, and pampered that it will take herculean efforts on so many fronts to steer it back on course and put the helm back under the control of 'we the people' of these united states of america. Authors of the Federalist Papers James Madison, John Jay and, yes, even Alexander Hamilton the Federalist would be appalled at where the country is today. I just wish I could live long enough to see the day is, as Ronald Reagan said, a bright day. Jerry Porter, Fredericksburg, TX

    10. JohnL2 says:

      To even ask the question,"Can we change America's course?" depicts an defeatist attutude unworthy of ANY true legal American citizen! We The People have faced tough times in the past and, to date, have ALWAYS come together as Americans and met the challenge! Had Japan not waivered after 07 December, 1941, an unprepared United States could quite possibly have been defeated. The country rose to the occasion finally and defeated Germany, Italy, and Japan with out allies.
      Regardless of the attempts to divide this geat Republic by the current administration which, unfortunately, have been somewhat successful, the majority of all legal American citizens have awakened with a resounding,"We're as mad as heck and aren't going to take it anymore!"
      The threat of "progressivism" (socialism) has awakened the sleeping giant of the patriotic American! Of course WE CAN, AND WILL, CHANGE AMERICA'S COURSE and any who doubt it may want to look for another country in which to live!

    11. Blair Franconia, NH says:


    12. Stirling says:

      If Romney takes the cue from current Republican (conservative) govenors who have been able to implement their policies (and are now seeing positive results), there is no reason why (with a majority in congress) that we can undo the damage of the past 4 years, or even past 8 years for that matter. The liberal media thinks you need a genius to run this country, but in fact anyone with good sound business policies could do better.

    13. Ron W. Smith says:

      I will not argue with anything Amy said. While some of it can be debated on particulars, there' s no arguing the outlined areas as areas in need of attention as we move forward. What can be argued, though, is something BIG left out.

      Following our spectacular successes in WWII, prosperity grew in the United States. We were such a military machine that we undertook to be SuperPower on Call–policeman for the world. Now, in far leaner times, maintaining the status of SuperPower on Call–with more than 700 military installations around the world, intervention after intervention, war after war–has become an extravagance deserving of national discussion and debate. We are $16,000,000,000,000 in debt and running an annual deficit over $1,000,000,000,00. Domestic needs are threatened with cuts instead of made top priority. There's a backlog of infrastructure needs, for instance, now estimated at between $2 and $3 trillion–airports some call Third World, roads and bridges falling into disrepair, sewer and water lines in need of replacement since scores of years old, school. buildings long in need of modernization, and so on.

      The fact that we spend more than the rest of the world combined on National Defense, Homeland Security, Foreign Aid Designed to Gain the Cooperation off Other Countries, Nation Building, and Veterans Affairs–more than $1 trillion a year–is now policy ripe for open discussion and debate. A strong National DEFENSE .is essential, but being SuperPower on Call is a luxury we can no longer afford. Most countries don't even have some of the five areas just mentioned in their national budgets, and so many spend comparatively little on even National Defense, China for example.

      Mitt Romney recently said we have to stop spending $1 trillion more a year than we take in. Mitt's right, and a good place to look toward achieving fiscal restraint is the more than $1 trillion a year being SuperPower on Call costs us. That status, the result of foreign policy decisions that easily can be seen as the principal, if not sole, driver of our national debt, is a relic of flush times. It's time for better shepherding of our resources.

      When does the national discussion and debate begin? As a taxpayer who watches more than $1 trillion a year of our tax money being put to debatable use, I'm ready, ready with facts and figures.

    14. waldemar says:

      this is treating the symptoms, rather than the disease. It's like replacing Herr Kommendantant of Auschwitz by someone more efficient. Our disease is the Big Gov cancer. To remove that, we have to refound the country by eliminating from the Constitution the offending clauses that allow our fascists to grow the tumor – the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause and others. However, do not expect any Congress to vote for that – they are not going to get rid of their trough. Instead, we need a Constitutional Convention demanded and inititiated by States.

    15. Bobbie says:

      the only way to change America's course is to relieve her of the democratic influence that can't respect human dignity that isn't white. Racist democrats of all skin colors, change the rules to appease the lesser they see people who aren't white, instead of expecting everyone to follow the same rules applied that sustains the economy. I heard a democrat specifically say sarcastically "we won't help people that don't look like us?" speaking for people that didn't ask for it. Sinking any self esteem regardless of efforts, democrats only want the cut to create programs controlled by government, that promote people who aren't white as incapable of living independently forced to participate under the condescending outreach of democrats. It's an ugly painting of America!

    16. vicki says:

      Heritage – have you presented your plan to our "leaders" – if so, why don't they listen to you. Please respond.

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