Big changes are coming to Washington in 2009 with a new administration in the White House and a new Congress. As we prepare for these adjustments, here are the things we hope to see happen in the New Year.
1. TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT: The Heritage Foundation is working to convince Congress that there should be open and honest debate on President-elect Obama’s proposed nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus plan, so that American taxpayers can be assured they are not funding superfluous projects
2. END OF TARP: Heritage is working to convince President-elect Obama and the incoming Congress to end the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), deny any requests to use the second $350 billion of taxpayer funds, and instead work to reform the nation’s financial regulatory system that appears to have exacerbated today’s problems.
3. IRAN WITHOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Heritage encourages President-elect Obama to work ceaselessly to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons and will lead an international coalition to do so.
4. NO NEW TAXES: Heritage encourages President-elect Obama to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent, because we understand that tax increases harm economic growth and that tax cuts lead to greater economic activity.
5. CHEAP ENERGY: Heritage encourages the U.S. to authorize oil production in ANWR and other promising areas, remove restrictions on offshore oil drilling, reform the arduous permitting process for new nuclear power plants, and avoid enacting energy legislation that harms the American economy and increases energy costs.
6. STATE-DRIVEN EDUCATION: Heritage encourages the incoming U.S. Secretary of Education to look to the local level to improve the public education system, and enact proposals that grant states greater autonomy and flexibility in how federal funds are used.
7. NO SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE: Heritage is working to open public debate on, and to ultimate reject, both a Federal Health Board and a new government run plan. We also urge Congress and President-elect Obama to embrace real bipartisan health care reform that uses a consumer-choice system that provides incentives rather than government mandates.
8. FREEDOM TO WORSHIP: Heritage encourages President-elect Obama to protect the ability of faith based social service providers to honor their religious ideals, ensure federal conscience protections that allow individuals to work without violating their religious beliefs, and provide an honest environment for public policy debate – including debates about marriage – without fear of intimidation or reprisal.
9. NON-ACTIVIST JUDGES: The Heritage Foundation encourages President-elect Obama to nominate judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, rather than those who would prefer to legislate from the bench.
10. MISSILE DEFENSE: Heritage recommends President-elect Obama commit to a strong missile defense, knowing that in 33 minutes or less a missile launched at the U.S. can hit any target it is programmed to destroy.
11. SUPPORT THE TROOPS: The Heritage Foundation reminds us that the U.S. must continue to fight for freedom around the globe in 2009, and give all of the support and resources necessary for our troops to bravely protect us and return home safely. God bless them, and to all of you, a Happy New Year!