The Washington Post has turned into a rabid Anti-Trump paper. It, like most media outlets, has long had a left leaning bias but since Nov. 8 has jumped the rails into the extreme.
For quite some time the Post has been unable to refer to Republicans or conservative individuals or groups without adding a pejorative preface. Right wing, extreme right, radical right, and alt-right (whatever that is) are milder adjectives.
From their standpoint the progressive philosophy of Carl Marx is the center of the political spectrum. The Heritage Foundation, therefore, is not conservative but right wing just so you know that their philosophy is out there, far out there. It’s not just conservative but ultra-conservative, and of course, presumed not to be valid.
Jon Smith, 04/01/2017
Trump’s budget owes a huge debt to this right-wing Washington think tank
Up against the clock and with many senior staff positions still vacant, President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget turned to one of the nation’s most conservative think tanks — the Heritage Foundation — for inspiration.
The result: The Trump budget proposal released last week bears a striking resemblance to the Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017,” complete with a list of deep spending cuts designed to scale back the size and scope of the federal government.
The Trump administration’s budget document and the Heritage blueprint single out very similar lists of dozens of programs for elimination, including those on international climate, legal aid for the poor, energy research, aid to Appalachia, and insurance for U.S. exporters. And they cite the same reasons, noting for example that rural air service subsidies were meant to be temporary 40 years ago and now keep largely empty planes in the air.
Both documents lean on the same philosophical arguments for a greater role for states and private business, and for a federal government that seeks to get its money’s worth from spending — arguments that have appealed to ultra-conservative multimillion-dollar donors such as the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Richard and Helen De Vos Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and, more recently, the Mercer Family Foundation. Rebekah A. Mercer, who is close to Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, is a Heritage trustee.
“I don’t think there’s any question. Heritage was the Number 1 source,” Stephen Moore, a senior economic policy expert at Heritage who advised the Trump campaign. “That was partly because there wasn’t a lot of time. They decided ‘we will get rid of this, and get rid of that.’ ”
In May, when the administration maps out tax and spending in more detail, the group could again display its influence.
Several Heritage analysts already have joined the administration, notes Romina Boccia, the lead author of this year’s Heritage budget blueprint. At the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, Paul Winfree, who oversaw last year’s budget blueprint at Heritage, is now deputy director and former Heritage researcher James Sherk is in charge of labor and employment policy. Justin Bogie, another Heritage analyst, was on the OMB landing team. Justin T. Johnson, a defense budgeting expert, was on the Pentagon landing team and may stay there, Boccia added.
“They’re probably the senior outside group that’s been the most helpful on domestic issues and the budget of any group in Washington,” said Rick Hohlt, a longtime Republican consultant.
The close relationship between Trump and Heritage was forged in the early days of the campaign – when the candidate was widely considered a long shot and spurned by many traditional Republicans.
“When we were on the campaign, for Trump’s speeches we would pull stuff from Heritage budget documents and make the arguments that Heritage was making,” Moore said. “I think it’s very accurate to say that a lot of these ideas … even some of the arguments they make, some of the rhetoric is almost verbatim from Heritage.”
Once the campaign was over, the connections helped. Heritage’s president, former senator Jim DeMint (R), stumped for Mick Mulvaney when his fellow South Carolinian first ran for Congress in 2010 and last December praised Mulvaney, now director of the Office of Management and Budget, as someone who would “restore sanity” to fiscal choices.
Heritage isn’t alone in advancing a conservative anti-federal-government agenda.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he worked “very closely” with the administration to get support for privatizing the nation’s air-traffic controllers — an idea that has a long history among conservatives.
The morning the budget came out, “it felt like Christmas morning” with “lots of presents,” he said at a recent forum on infrastructure organized by the news outlet Axios.
Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation and Chris Edwards, an economist at the Cato Institute and author of DownsizingGovernment.org, have also been advocating for the privatization of air-traffic controllers for years.
Like Heritage, Cato has called for the total elimination of many programs, arguing that they should be the responsibility of individuals, corporations or local government, Edwards noted.
But Heritage, founded in 1973, has played a special role. It has an annual budget of more than $80 million, equal to Cato and American Enterprise Institute combined.