Compassionate, fair, and conservative?

September 4, 2013

The American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks is well known for trumpeting the morality of free markets. Writing in The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin uses a recent monologue by Brooks to underscore the importance of conservatives talking about helping the poor and bringing greater fairness to society: I’ve written about Brooks’s view, namely that to win the public debateconservatives need to hook into the values of compassion and fairness shared by nearly a hundred percent of the electorate. This doesn’t mean changing conservative views; it means explaining why conservatives’ views are more compassionate and fairer than the liberal welfare state. The implications of Brooks’s argument (essentially, tell voters that you are for them, not the things that you are against) are both philosophical and pragmatic. As for the latter, it’s no secret that Mitt Romney lost the “cares about people like me” question in the 2012 campaign by a 20 to 80 margin, or that his...

Promoting the legacy of ‘Senator No’

Categories: Public Policy

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on the Jesse Helms Center: No compendium of influential conservatives from the 20th century is complete without “Senator No” — Jesse Helms. First elected in 1972 to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, Helms was a mainstay of the conservative movement over the following three decades. He aided President Ronald Reagan and others in battling communism abroad and favored free markets and traditional values at home. Never far from controversy, Helms was heralded by the political right and demonized by the political left. Yet both sides agreed on one thing: Helms always was true to his principles. 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Helms being sworn in as a U.S. senator. Even four decades later, his impact continues to be felt. Furthering that impact, and preserving his legacy, is the mission ofthe Jesse Helms Center, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Headquartered just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, the...

Prospects of tax reform: Reasons to be both optimistic and glum

August 13, 2013

Categories: Public Policy

Writing in Investors Business Daily, John Hood of the John Locke Foundation points to several successful attempts at state-level tax reform, including in North Carolina, even as attempts at the federal level remain challenging: Domestically, there is also good news about tax reform from the states. Legislators in my home state of North Carolina have just voted to junk the state's multi-rate personal income tax, which topped out at 7.75%, with a flat tax of 5.75%. They also slashed North Carolina's corporate tax from 6.9% down to as low as 3% (if revenue growth targets are met) and abolished the state's tax on estates. Indiana also abolished its death tax and cut its marginal tax rates on personal and corporate income. Wisconsin collapsed tax brackets and sunset its death tax. Kansas trimmed its top income tax rate by a quarter, while New Mexico cut its corporate rate by a fifth. Not every state has been moving in the right direction. Both Minnesota and California, for...

2013 NCGA session: Landmark gains for conservatives

August 7, 2013

The Civitas Institute has compiled a list of conservative accomplishments from the 2013 N.C. legislative session: As the dust settles on the landmark 2013 North Carolina legislative session, conservatives can look upon the accomplishments of the state legislature and find much to celebrate. A catalog of policies that conservatives have for years been advocating for finally became reality. The number of reforms and improvements implemented in just one session may be unprecedented for any state government in the modern era. Even consistently “red” states typically take years to accomplish what North Carolina did in the span of six months. With Republican majorities in both legislative chambers combined with a Republican Governor for the first time in roughly 150 years, the time was right to begin unraveling generations of big-government, liberal policies that had become the norm in the Tar Heel State. Conservative policies spanning taxation, education, health care, elections...

Tales of a ‘you-can’t-scare-me’ education reformer

August 6, 2013

Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Terry Stoops, Director of Research and Education Policy Analyst at the John Locke Foundation: The odds have always been against Terry Stoops. As an advocate for expanding parental choice in education, Terry has been a minority in a world dominated by education bureaucrats. He has faced formidable foes in North Carolina — the education establishment, including the powerful N.C. Association of Educators — that stand against parental empowerment and choice and fight to maintain the status quo. But Terry has never backed down from the fight, and recently his commitment has produced results. Since a Republican majority took control of the North Carolina legislature in 2011, Terry has played an even more important role contributing to the policy dialog on schools — and he’s been a leader in reaching common sense reforms. As Director of Research at the John Locke Foundation, a free-market think tank in Raleigh, North...

The need for conservatives to embrace community

July 16, 2013

Writing at Philanthropy Daily, Scott Walter blogs about a recent column ("All You Need is Love: How Community Can Save Conservatism") that emphasizes the need for conservatives to understand, and support, the idea of community: A conservative from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) must be shocking some Atlantic readers with his new article, “All You Need Is Love: How Community Can Save Conservatism.” Author Michael Strain quotes and endorses the claim Rep. Paul Ryan recently made in a speech at AEI: People “hunger for a community,” because “we’re happiest when we’re together.” What are these right-wingers doing talking about love, happiness, and community? Isn’t conservatism only about marginal tax rates, budget stats, and rugged individualists? Not exactly. Strain lauds Edmund Burke’s “little platoons” and stresses, above all, “the mediating institutions of civil society,” which include the family, churches, soup kitchens, scout...

Reaching the physicians of tomorrow with free-market principles

July 2, 2013

The Associated Press reports on the rising tide of free-market, limited government thought in medical schools through the Benjamin Rush Institute (known as Benjamin Rush Society at the time of this article): A new conservatism is beginning to emerge on some college campuses, spurred in part by opposition to President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Modeled after The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, which has molded several generations of legal thinkers at the nation's law schools, this new wave of conservative thinkers is looking to take root in graduate schools of business, medicine and foreign policy. One of the fastest-growing conservative alternatives is the Benjamin Rush Society, whose members support a free-market, limited government approach to medicine. The organization says its ranks have swelled since passage of the federal Affordable Care Act. "Thirty to 40 years ago, the rule of law was a joke. It wasn't taken seriously," said Dr. Beth...