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HERITF_200626_05.JPG: The Freedom Center
Wikipedia Description: The Heritage Foundation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C.
The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies drew significantly from Heritage's policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.
Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."
History and major initiatives:
The Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner and Joseph Coors. Growing out of discontent with Richard Nixon's embrace of the so-called "liberal consensus" and the nonpolemical, cautious nature of existing think tanks, Weyrich and Feulner sought to create an organization that would supply policymakers with concise, timely position papers. With $200,000 from Coors, the Analysis and Research Association was created in 1970. New supporters and board members joined, including Edward Noble and Richard Mellon Scaife. Eventually, the organization split into a public interest law center and a separate public policy foundation, the latter of which was incorporated as The Heritage Foundation on February 16, 1973. Weyrich was its first president. Under later president Frank J. Walton, Heritage introduced direct mail fundraising, then a relatively new technique, and Heritage's annual income grew to $1 million per year in 1976.
Cold War and foreign policy involvement:
In the 1980s and early 1990s, the Heritage Foundation was a key architect and advocate of the "Reagan Doctrine", under which the United States government supported anti-Communist resistance movements in such places as Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua during the Cold War. Heritage foreign policy analysts also provided policy guidance to these rebel forces and to dissidents in Eastern bloc nations and Soviet republics.
The foundation was instrumental in advancing President Ronald Reagan's belief that the former Soviet Union was an "evil empire" and that its defeat, not its mere containment, was a realistic foreign policy objective. Heritage also played a key role in building support for Reagan's plans to build an orbital ballistic missile shield, known as the "Strategic Defense Initiative", or more popularly, "Star Wars."
The foundation advocated repeal of the 1976 Clark Amendment, which barred aid to anti-government paramilitary forces in Angola. This effort was successful when the Clark Amendment was repealed in a midnight session of Congress in July 1985. Visiting The Heritage Foundation on October 5, 1989, Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi of UNITA, praised Heritage for its role in repealing the amendment.
Since the end of the Cold War, Heritage has continued to be an active voice in foreign affairs and has been broadly supportive of President George W. Bush's foreign policies including the occupation of Iraq.
Heritage has argued for revising military compensation so that service members "get more cash up front" to provide more career mobility between active, reserve, and civilian/civil service life. Additionally, Heritage calls for new enlistees be allowed a more portable health care option while also eliminating co-pays for in service preventative care (from TRICARE.)
In the early summer of 2010, Heritage Action for America, a new nonprofit affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, began gathering online signatures for a petition advocating the rejection of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty agreement reached in late March by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Domestic economic policies:
In domestic policy, Heritage is a proponent of supply-side economics, which holds that reductions in the marginal rate of taxation can spur economic growth.
In 1994, Heritage advised Newt Gingrich and other conservatives on the development of the "Contract with America", which was credited with helping to produce a Republican majority in Congress. The "Contract" was a pact of principles that directly challenged both the political status-quo in Washington and many of the ideas at the heart of the Clinton administration.
Heritage has hosted many influential foreign and domestic political leaders since its founding, including Congressmen, U.S. Senators, foreign heads of state, and U.S. Presidents. On November 1, 2007, President George W. Bush visited Heritage to defend his appointment of Michael Mukasey to succeed Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States; Mukasey's nomination faced opposition in the U.S. Senate over the nominee's refusal to label the interrogation tactic of waterboarding as illegal. Mukasey was confirmed and became Attorney General eight days later.
Several Heritage Foundation personnel have served, or gone on to serve, in senior governmental roles, including: Richard V. Allen, L. Paul Bremer, Elaine Chao, Lawrence Di Rita, Michael Johns, John Lehman, Edwin Meese, Steve Ritchie, and others.
The Heritage Foundation was ranked fifth in Foreign Policy magazine's 2009 list of the nation's most influential think tanks.
Heritage's 1981 book of policy analysis, Mandate for Leadership, was a landmark in advocacy for limited government. At 1,000-plus pages, Mandate for Leadership offered specific recommendations on policy, budget and administrative action for all Cabinet departments.
Internationally, and in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, Heritage publishes the annual Index of Economic Freedom, which measures a country's freedom in terms of property rights and freedom from government regulation. The factors used to calculate the Index score are corruption in government, barriers to international trade, income tax and corporate tax rates, government expenditures, rule of law and the ability to enforce contracts, regulatory burdens, banking restrictions, labor regulations, and black market activities. Deficiencies lower the score on Heritage's Index. The Heritage Foundation also publishes The Insider, a quarterly magazine about public policy.
Until 2001, the Heritage Foundation published Policy Review, a public policy journal, which was then acquired by the Hoover Institution. From 1995 to 2005, the Heritage Foundation ran Townhall.com, a conservative website that was subsequently acquired by Camarillo, California-based Salem Communications. In 2005, the Foundation published The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, a clause-by-clause analysis of the United States Constitution.
Policy analysts and fellows of the Heritage Foundation frequently publish books, both through Heritage and other non-fiction imprints. Among independent publications, in 2010 the Intercollegiate Studies Institute published We Still Hold These Truths by director of American Studies Matthew Spalding.
In 2009, Heritage produced 33 Minutes, a one-hour documentary film about the foreign policy challenges facing the United States, titled after the time required for a long-range nuclear ballistic missile to be fired from any distant hostile nation and deliver its payload to any American city. The film interviews numerous foreign policy experts, including former Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes, professor and journalist James Carafano, weapons scientist Ken Alibek, former White House Chief of Staff Edwin Meese, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Heritage Foundation has hosted viewings of this film, followed by panel discussions.
Heritage is primarily funded through donations from private individuals and charitable foundations. Businessman Joseph Coors contributed the first $250,000 to start The Heritage Foundation in 1973. Other significant contributors have included the conservative Olin, Scaife, DeVos and Bradley foundations.
In 2007, Heritage reported an operating revenue of $75.0 million dollars. As of February 2011, Heritage reported 710,000 supporters. Heritage Foundation is also a part of the Koch Foundation Associate Program.
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom:
In 2005, Heritage established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in honor of the former British Prime Minister, sponsoring hundreds of events involving world leaders since its inception. Lady Thatcher has maintained a long relationship with The Heritage Foundation. Shortly after leaving office, Lady Thatcher was honored by Heritage at a September 1991 dinner. Seven years later, Thatcher delivered the keynote address during Heritage's 25th anniversary celebration. Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol said at the time, "Given that Reagan obviously couldn't be here, I think it was important to have Mrs. Thatcher because she and Reagan are really the great heroes of conservatism in the last few decades and still today." In 2002, Thatcher was again honored by Heritage as the recipient of its annual Clare Boothe Luce Award, which was presented by then-Vice President Dick Cheney. Lady Thatcher has since been named Patron of the Heritage Foundation, her only official association with any U.S.-based group.[dead link]
Malaysia, changing views, and business interests:
Prior to 2001, Heritage had been sharply critical of Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, criticizing him as anti-Semitic and condemning his human rights and anti-free market policies. However, in 2001, without any change in Malaysia's government or policies, the foundation shifted to a very pro-Malaysian view. This shift sparked a controversy over a potential conflict of interest relating to the Heritage Foundation's president, Edwin Feulner, who co-founded Belle Haven Consultants, a company with business interests in Malaysia, during the same time in which the foundation had its shift of views towards the country. Bruce R. Hopkins, an attorney, remarked that Heritage's actions were on the border of legality for tax-exempt non-profit organizations, since there were concerns of the non-profit's resources being used to advance private interests. The Heritage Foundation has denied any sort of conflict of interest, claiming that its shifting views on Malaysia unfolded following the country's cooperation with the U.S. after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The foundation has continued to issue pro-Malaysia statements. In 2001, the foundation arranged a meeting between Mahathir Mohamad and U.S. president George W. Bush, a meeting that raised accusations of a $1.2 million payment to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which Mahathir denied. In 2005, the foundation stated that Malaysia was "moving in the right economic and political direction with some recent bold moves".
In popular culture:
The Heritage Foundation was mentioned periodically in the NBC fictional television series The West Wing. The character Patricia Calhoun, a former member of the Office of Management and Budget and a Republican appointee to the Federal Election Commission in the fictional Bartlet administration, is identified as the former Director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Calhoun is depicted in the series as an aggressive advocate of campaign finance reform.
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