Introducing the Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation (HF), founded in 1973, is a conservative think tank that according to one ranking organization is the third most influential of the nearly 2,000 think tanks in the U.S.
The HF was established largely due to the work of Paul Weyrich (1942-2008) who, incidentally, was also co-founder (with Jerry Falwell) of Moral Majority in 1979—and the one who coined that name.
From the beginning a major funder of the HF was Joseph Coors, Sr., (1917-2003) of the Coors Brewing Company. Coors also was a generous donor to Moral Majority and other Christian Right organizations and movements.
According to their website,
The mission of The Heritage Foundation 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.
Become a Member: Donate to Heritage – Join Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and more than 710,000 conservatives in fighting liberals and advancing conservative principles as a Heritage Foundation member.Influence of the Heritage Foundation
In a May 2017 article in Marketplace, Atlantic staff writer Molly Ball related that soon after Reagan was elected President in 1980, the HF presented him with 2,000 ideas in a 20 volume package. Reagan handed out those ideas to every member of his Cabinet in their first meeting.
By the end of Reagan’s first year in office, the HF estimated that 60 percent of those ideas had in some way been put into practice by the President.
Through the years the HF has been characterized as a right-wing think tank seeking to abolish civil rights laws, minimum wage laws, environmental laws, affirmative action, rights for the handicapped, and arms control.
The strongly fiscal conservative stance of the HF was seen in its selection of sitting S.C. Senator Jim DeMint, a leading figure in the Tea Party Movement, as its new president in 2013. He served in that position from 2013 until May of this year.
Influence of the Heritage Foundation on DJT
Without question the HF has sought to influence DJT as it did Reagan. A statement they released on March 24 announced, “Trump Administration Budget Looks a Lot Like Heritage’s Plan.”
The HF also seems to have had considerable influence on the tax cut plan long promised by DJT. On Oct. 17 he spoke to the HF and called for them to support his tax reform efforts. That seems to have been a redundant appeal, for many of the reform proposals were the HF’s suggestions to begin with.
The House version of the tax plan released last week—and crafted only by the GOP—will likely be altered in multiple ways before the final vote is taken. And it still may not pass. But as it stands now, it definitely seems to provide “an enormous bonanza for the wealthiest” people in the country. (See “Shameful GOP Tax Plan Taxes Reality,” posted on 11/2.)
Moreover, this tax overhaul plan would also allow churches to endorse political candidates, a position favored by the HF’s DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society.
We citizens of the U.S. who don’t like the way the country is going under DJT need to be aware, and beware, of the Heritage Foundation.