Family Research Council
According to their mission statement, The Family Research Council
Founded in 1919 by 31st President-to-be Herbert Hoover, the Hoover Institution has been home to ultraconservatives like Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, enjoying an operating budget well over $38 million in 2007. As long-time advocates of tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, Hoover has updated and revised its 1985 pitch for regressive taxation, "The Flat Tax."
Their plan calls for a flat tax on personal and corporate incomes that would effectively place a greater burden on America's struggling middle and lower income earners, while significantly lowering the amount paid by individuals and corporations who benefit the most from our economy. Their flat tax at a "low, uniform 19%" would actually raise taxes on the lower and middle classes, while dramatically cutting them for the highest earners. Sadly, it seems that if the Hoover Institution wins its 25 year struggle to raise the taxes of those least able to pay them, the promise of "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" will yet remain an even more dismal reminder of Hoover's failed public policy.
Rick Berman is quite a guy. Back in 1991, he founded the Employment Policy Institute which to this day doggedly repeats a single point in publications from The New York Times to The San Diego Union-Tribune: raising the minimum wage, instituting a living wage, and requiring employers to put a penny toward employee health care are all guaranteed to destroy jobs and help almost no one. But why content yourself with a single one-note right wing think tank when you can run three of them?
Through his Center for Consumer Freedom, Berman argues against schools banning junk food and laws requiring restaurant menus to list calorie content. Through the highly abrasive Center for Union Facts, he runs newspaper ads attacking the labor movement and asserting that union leaders -- in general -- embezzle their members' dues money. His editorials, meanwhile, deride labor as a "perpetual money machine" and sound the warning that facilitating the process for employees to choose union representation could strengthen unions. And then? "Stronger unions use their greater financial strength to push the activist, liberal agenda that will elect more union-friendly legislators." They might even try to raise the minimum wage.
The libertarian Cato Institute has always toed a consistent line: America would be better off without most of the laws, regulations, and public goods we have today. The privatization of everything from schools to Social Security is part of the plan. Accordingly, Michael F. Cannon, Cato's director of Health Policy, wants you to trust free markets with your life. Cannon advocates cutting the public safety net out of health care altogether. He makes the case against
Observers from across the political spectrum have noted that a college education is out of reach for the majority of Americans. Most people have the soaring cost of tuition in mind when they say this. But Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve and now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (2006 net assets: $69 million), is talking about IQ. While experts on human intelligence are still debating the worth of IQ tests, with some arguing that the tests only measure the ability to take the test itself, Murray is eager to stake the educational future of America on it. To his mind, IQ tests prove that most Americans are too stupid for college.