The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative “think tank” based in Washington, D.C. Founded in February 16, 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Heritage Foundation’s 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.” It researches, publishes, lectures on, and markets right-wing public policy. Heritage supports faith-based initiatives, school vouchers, ban on abortion, overturning affirmative action programs.

Climate Change: While maintaining that “Science should be used as one tool to guide climate policy,” the Heritage Foundation often uses rhetoric such as “far from settled” to sow doubt about climate science. One Heritage report even claimed that “The only consensus over the threat of climate change that seems to exist these days is that there is no consensus.” Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman has said that “global warming is clearly not a crisis and should not be addressed as one.

Immigration: Jason Richwine, the co-author of a Heritage Foundation report on immigration argued that Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. have substantially lower IQs than whites. The report put the cost of immigration reform at a whopping $6.3 trillion. Though Heritage’s 2007 report was one of the reasons an earlier immigration bill failed, the 2013 report was widely mocked.

Education: The Heritage Foundation is behind the push for Charter Schools (and school vouchers). These programs take money from public education and funnel it to corporations, and pay for private school education for the rich. Critics of charter schools say these companies skimp on education costs, such as hiring inexperienced teachers, so they can turn a profit. They have also pushed for a prayers in schools amendment, and are responsible for implementing the propaganda style text books in Texas. Texas students may soon be reading in their history textbooks that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses.

Voting Rights: The Heritage Foundation created the “Voter Fraud” scam, which led to the voter I.D. movement that has eliminated millions of minorities and the poor from voter pools.

Obamacare: The foundation’s CEO former Senator Jim DeMint, spent a month touring the country, drawing cheering crowds as he demanded that Republican politicians insist that Obamacare be defunded—and denouncing those who wouldn’t go along.

The main funding for The Heritage Foundation has come from the Koch Brothers (of course) and Exxon/Mobil who have given 10’s of millions, in exchange for pushing their destructive agendas. Both Exxon and the Koch’s are known for their heavy financial support to organizations that promote doubt over climate science, peddle fossil fuel use and attack clean energy on precedent. The Heritage Foundation has played a consistent role in promoting the oil ideology. And the Koch brothers have given CEO DeMint $86,000 directly. Who said democracy is not for sale?

In conclusion, The Heritage Foundation is just another propaganda mill, pretending to be a non partisan “think tank”.

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What is the Cato Institute?

The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by the Koch Brothers. According to it’s website it is a “public policy research organization — a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues”. It sounds reasonable, but most of that statement is not true.

Most notably the CATO Institute is the leading “authority” of the anti climate change movement. When President Obama, in a 2008 speech, described the science on global warming as “beyond dispute,” the Cato Institute took out a full-page ad in the Times to contradict him. Cato’s resident scholars have relentlessly criticized political attempts to stop global warming. Patrick Michaels is Cato’s sole climate change expert. A review of claims made Patrick Michaels over the last quarter century shows that he has repeatedly been proven wrong. Michaels estimated that “40 percent” of his funding comes from the oil industry.

The Cato Institute is not nonpartisan. One of CATO’s main funders is the Koch Brothers, who push the Libertarian agenda. While there has been some conflict between the Libertarian agenda and the Conservative agenda it is decidedly a right wing organization. Doug Bandow, a senior scholar at the Cato Institute, resigned after revelations that he took payments from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing columns favorable to his (right wing) clients.

The Cato Institute frequently publishes articles against some of our country’s most beneficial programs. Often these articles are based on facts that the Cato Institute makes up to support their agenda. One example is a report that said that Welfare families received $25,000 a year plus housing assistance. The typical welfare family makes $9,000, which is $3,000 below the poverty line.

When CATO says it wants a limited government, what it really means is that they want corporations to run (make money off of) governmental programs. The Center for Media and Democracy has called this push “a hostile takeover of our schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, and even government itself”. We have seen the damage privatization has done to our prison system. And what the Voucher System (privatization) has done to our Public school system. Taking money from Public schools to pay for exclusive private schools for the rich. They even want to privatize Social Security.

Another reason behind their “limited” government agenda is the reduction of legislation that reduces corporate profits. A top priority is slashing the authority of the EPA, so corporations can pollute more. They stand against Wall Street reform, so it can steal more from us. And of course they are against Campaign Finance reform. They like the idea of the rich being able to buy elections.

And as for “Individual Liberty”, as you can see from their policies, that only seem to apply to the rich and corporations.

I think that the only conclusion that can be made is that the Cato Institute is just a front organization that tries legitimize the right wing agenda by pretending to be a non biased, non partisan, independent “think tank”.

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