The Agenda -> Economic freedom is at an all-time high worldwide.  –

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The Heritage Foundation
Feb. 05, 2018
This week will start off fast and furious while Congress works to agree on a budget deal before the end of the week. Here is what you need to know: Heritage released its 2018 Index of Economic Freedom and there is good news for everyone. Also, an annual report from the University of Pennsylvania has found that Heritage is the most impactful think tank in the world. Plus, there are good and bad policy proposals in the White House framework on immigration reform. Heritage experts break it down. Take notes, we have your conservative policy solutions right here. —Michelle Cordero, Managing Editor, Heritage.org
Economic freedom is at an all-time high worldwide. 
The United States recorded a higher score in the just-released 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, improving by 0.6 points, its first overall gain since 2015. “The decade-long decline in America’s economic freedom may have been halted,” the editors note. “The reason why it did so much better in this year’s ranking is because of the early deregulation from the Trump era,” said Ed Feulner, founder and former president of The Heritage Foundation, on CNBC Asia’s “Squawk Box.”Feulner also noted that the benefits of tax reform were not included in this year’s index and the United States’ score should improve next year. Hong Kong and Singapore finished first and second in the rankings for the 24th consecutive year. The world average score of 61.1 is the highest recorded in the 24-year history of the Index. Browse the index to find out where the U.S. ranks.
Heritage named most impactful think tank in the world.
According to an annual report released by the University of Pennsylvania, The Heritage Foundation is No. 1 when it comes to impact on public policy among a list of 60 other think tanks across the globe. The 2017 Global Go-To Think Tank Index includes 7,815 think tanks and ranks them in multiple categories. Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James spoke at an event at the Wilson Center that served as the Washington, D.C., launch of the report. “We have had a profound opportunity as a think tank to influence the policy in this particular administration, both on the economic side and foreign policy side, and on many of the domestic issues,” said James. Read more about Heritage’s rankings.
The good and the bad in the White House immigration reform framework.
The short-term spending bill that ended the government shutdown last month runs out this week. As lawmakers work to agree on spending legislation, the politics and debate around immigration reform will kick back into high gear. The White House recently released the framework for its immigration plan. Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, says that while there is much good in the framework, there are a number of questions it raises. “For example, the proposed deal would provide amnesty and citizenship to nearly 2 million illegal aliens (and probably more), as well as citizenship to another 4 million aliens who aren’t even in the country yet,” writes von Spakovsky. “Congress should not enact immigration legislation that rewards law-breaking, incentivizes illegal behavior, or provides benefits and preferential treatment to illegal aliens ahead of legal immigrants.” Read von Spakovsky’s breakdown of the proposal.


HAPPENING AT HERITAGE

Today at 6 p.m., Heritage President Kay Coles James shares her vision for The Heritage Foundation and thanks, founder Ed Feulner for his many contributions to the organization. The special event is called “Imagine America: A Pathway Forward for All Americans.” Watch the event.
On Heritage’s Mass Ave podcast, Norbert Michel, director of Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, explains how Bitcoin works and how conservatives think about cryptocurrencies. Listen to the podcast.
Thursday at 10 a.m., a panel of experts will discuss how to increase Taiwan’s role in international organizations while addressing the swift and strong reaction from China that invariably results from such efforts. Speakers will include Theodore R. Bromund, a senior research fellow in Anglo-American relations at Heritage;Valérie Niquet, director in the Asia program at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris; Jacques deLisle, professor of law and political science, and director at UPENN’s Center for East Asian Studies. Watch the event.


HERITAGE IN THE NEWS

Kay Coles James, president of The Heritage Foundation, joined Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss President Trump’s State of the Union address. Watch the interview.
Ed Feulner, former president and founder of The Heritage Foundation, joined CNBC Asia’s “Squawk Box” for an exclusive look at the 2018 Heritage Index of Economic Freedom. Watch the interview.
James Carafano, vice president of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and the E.W. Richardson fellow, talked about Iran’s nuclear ambitions on Fox News’ “America’s News HQ.”Watch the interview.
Peter Brookes, a senior fellow in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, discussed U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East on Fox Business’ “After the Bell.” Watch the interview.
Kelsey Harkness, a senior news producer at The Daily Signal, joined Fox Business’ “Risk & Reward” to talk about the Grammys and Hillary Clinton.Watch the interview.
Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, broke down preventative attacks, North Korea, and the status of U.S. ambassadors to South Korea on both CNN International and “CNN Newsroom.”
Ana Quintana, the policy analyst in Heritage’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, wrote in The Sacramento Bee that Venezuela has come to resemble a lower level of Dante’s Inferno. Read the op-ed.


POLICY PICTURE

In case you missed it, you can watch our live coverage and read our experts’ analysis of President Trump’s State of the Union address.
Have a question? Email us at [email protected].

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