The fourth edition of The Patriot’s Toolbox presents 10 key issues for America’s future, and 10 principles for each of those issues every liberty-loving American needs to understand. In short, the book offers “an agenda for incumbent office holders, a platform for candidates for public office, and a report card for civic and business leaders and journalists following the policy moves of the Trump administration, Congress, and state lawmakers.”
Coauthored and edited by Herbert Walberg, Ph.D. and Joseph L. Bast, with contributions from 18 other distinguished policy experts, the book covers ten of the most important topics being debated today:
Energy and Environment
Elementary and Secondary Education
State Fiscal Policy
Federal Tax Policy
Nearly 13,000 complimentary copies of the book were sent in early November to influential audiences across the country, including every state elected official and member of Congress, thousands of civic and business leaders, and the media. More than 100,000 copies of the first three editions of The Patriot’s Toolbox were distributed since 2010, making it one of the most widely circulated and influential books on public policy in the United States. The new edition is completely rewritten and thoroughly updated to reflect the events of 2016 and so far in 2017.
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Herbert J. Walberg is distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and chief scientific advisor to the Center on Innovation and Improvement.
Joseph L. Bast cofounded The Heartland Institute in 1984, served as president and CEO until July 2017, and currently is CEO.
Vicki E. Alger is a research fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and author of the book Failure: The Federal Misedukation of America’s Children.
Timothy Benson is a policy analyst at The Heartland Institute.
Roman Buhler is national director of the Madison Coalition.
Joshua Distel is an executive assistant and office manager at the Buckeye Institute.
Peter J. Ferrara is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute and a senior fellow at the Social Security Institute.
George Gilder is chairman of Gilder Group, Inc. and a senior fellow at Seattle’s Discovery Institute.
Leonard Gilroy is director of government reform at Reason Foundation.
Matthew Glans is senior policy analyst for The Heartland Institute.
Hance Haney is director and senior fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute.
Adrian Moore is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation.
Isaac Orr is a research fellow for energy and environment policy at The Heartland Institute.
Daniel J. Pilla is a tax litigation consultant and executive director of the Tax Freedom Institute, a national association of tax professionals.
Publius is a professor at a United States university.
Justin Strehle is completing a master’s degree in financial economics from Ohio University.
Austill Stuart is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation.
James M. Taylor is president of the Spark of Freedom Foundation and a senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.
Steven Titch is a journalist-turned-policy analyst focusing on tele-communications, internet, and information technology.
Richard Vedder is distinguished professor of economics emeritus at Ohio University and founding director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
Chapter 1: Health Care
1. Repeal and replace Obamacare.
2. Reform Medicaid and Medicare.
3. Repeal existing regulations.
4. Expand health savings accounts.
5. Expand high-risk pools.
6. Encourage price transparency.
7. Expand the use of direct primary care programs.
8. Expand access to prescription drugs.
9. Remove regulatory barriers to medical innovation.
10. Reduce malpractice litigation expenses.
Chapter 2: Energy and Environment
1. Global warming is not a crisis.
2. End the war on fossil fuels.
3. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is safe and beneficial.
4. National security requires affordable energy.
5. Energy self-sufficiency is achievable.
6. Air pollution is a fading challenge.
7. End subsides to alternative energy producers.
8. Biofuels cannot replace oil.
9. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards sacrifice lives for oil.
10. Replace the Environmental Protection Agency.
Chapter 3: Elementary and Secondary Education
1. The rising tide of mediocrity.
2. Common Core was not the answer.
3. Allow parents to choose.
4. School choice programs work.
5. Avoid new regulations.
6. School choice benefits teachers.
7. Design guidelines for voucher programs.
8. Design guidelines for education savings accounts.
9. Design guidelines for charter schools.
10. Digital learning: The future of education?
Chapter 4: Higher Education
1. Higher education in the United States isn’t working.
2. Make students foot a larger share of the bill.
3. Promote free expression of ideas.
4. Increase transparency of costs and results.
5. Promote alternatives to college.
6. Emphasize instruction and raise academic standards.
7. Restructure university ownership and governance.
8. Revamp or eliminate federal student financial aid.
9. End destructive government regulation.
10. Reform or eliminate accreditation.
Chapter 5: Privatization
1. Identify privatization opportunities.
2. Prepare a business case evaluation.
3. Create a privatization center of excellence.
4. Choose contractors on best value, not lowest price.
5. Use performance-based contracting.
6. Provide effective monitoring and oversight.
7. Bundle services for better value.
8. Prepare a real property inventory.
9. Divest non-core assets.
10. Make the case to the public.
Chapter 6: Firearms
1. Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms.
2. Bans on “assault weapons” are incoherent and self-defeating.
3. An increase in the number of guns does not lead directly to more gun crime.
4. Firearms possession among law-abiding citizens deters crime.
5. Defensive gun use saves lives.
6. Right to carry laws do not increase crime and may generate social benefits.
7. “Stand Your Ground” laws have been the historical norm in the United States.
8. The risk of firearms accidents is low and falling.
9. Large-scale illegal gun-running is a myth.
10. International experience does not support gun control in the United States.
Chapter 7: Telecommunications
1. Don’t mandate net neutrality.
2. Eliminate rules left over from the monopoly era.
3. Avoid municipal broadband projects.
4. Reform carrier of last resort and build-out obligations.
5. Reform regulation of inter-carrier access charges and interconnection fees.
6. Repeal discriminatory taxes and fees on telecom services.
7. Prohibit the collection of sales taxes on online purchases that cross state lines.
8. Strengthen privacy and Fourth Amendment protections.
9. Prohibit government regulation of content.
10. Don’t thwart expansion of Internet applications and e-commerce.
Chapter 8: State Fiscal Policy
1. Keep taxes low.
2. Avoid progressive income taxes.
3. Reduce reliance on excise taxes.
4. Create transparent and accountable budget processes.
5. Stop corporate welfare.
6. Remove regulatory barriers to prosperity.
7. Reform public pension and health care programs.
8. Fund school children, not schools.
9. Fix, don’t expand, Medicaid.
10. Cap taxes and expenditures.
Chapter 9: Federal Tax Policy
1. Tax codes should be simple and understandable.
2. Collect taxes in the least invasive manner.
3. Make tax collection efficient.
4. Make the tax code stable and predictable.
5. Taxes should not be hidden from taxpayers.
6. The tax code should be neutral.
7. Taxes profoundly affect economic growth.
8. The broader the tax base, the better.
9. Everyone should pay the same income tax rate.
10. Perhaps it is time to repeal the income tax.
Chapter 10: Constitutional Reform
1. The national government is out of control.
2. Constitutional reform is the solution.
3. Fear of a runaway convention is unfounded.
4. Choose amendments carefully.
5. Agree on convention procedures ahead of time.
6. Require Congress to balance its budget.
7. Consider the Compact approach.
8. Require congressional approval of major regulations.
9. Require due process for all administrative law proceedings.
10. States can refuse to enforce federal laws.