The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.
In 1982, we started the National Center to provide the conservative movement with a versatile and energetic organization capable of responding quickly and decisively to fast-breaking issues. Today, we continue to fill this critical niche through a top-flight research and communications operation driven by results and the bottom line.
In the 1980s, the National Center helped change public opinion through vocal national campaigns aimed at supporting Reagan administration initiatives concerning the USSR, arms control, Central America and human rights. With the Cold War won, The National Center now trains its sights on other issues, including:
Firm in the belief that private owners are the best stewards of the environment, the National Center’s Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs advocates private, free market solutions to today’s environmental challenges. The Task Force highlights the perverse nature of many government-first environmental policies through the collection and promotion of regulatory horror stories, which attach human faces to very real problems caused by regulation.
In 2005, for example, the National Center was one of the few groups addressing the loss of property rights stemming from the application of the 1973 Endangered Species Act and perverse incentives within the original ESA that harm the species the ESA is supposed to protect. But when the U.S. House of Representatives began to overhaul the ESA in 2005, the proposed new ESA would have lacked sufficient property rights protections and would, through new “invasive species” regulations, have massively expanded the power of the government to regulate private land use and human activity.
Incredibly, the proposed legislation would have permitted the federal government to take up to 49.9% of a person’s property in the name of wildlife protection without paying anything for it. In response, the National Center:
- Developed and led a grassroots coalition of dozens of groups to educate the public and Members of Congress on these issues;
- Wrote two coalition letters, the first signed by seventy policy organizations and the second by ninety (including the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, Eagle Forum and other well-known conservative groups), to House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo expressing these concerns, and publicizing these letters to the grassroots, to other Members of Congress and to the news media;
- Published a detailed, 3,500-word analysis of the bill, which identified seven specific problems with it;
- Personally briefed House Resources Committee staff, Members of Congress, the House Majority Whip (twice), environmental staff for the then-House Majority Leader and the Chairman of the corresponding Senate committee on the problem areas; and
- Participated in scores of news media interviews about the issues involved.
Result: when the reform bill was finally introduced it was a very different proposal. Five of the seven specific problems we had identified – the five most significant – were addressed. Other dangerous new regulations simply vanished from the bill. The provision to compensate landowners was altered in favor of full compensation. The revised measure was approved by the full House of Representatives.
The National Center promotes regulatory reform. We educate Americans about sound science, Congress’s constitutional authority to legislate, and in the importance of considering the financial impact on families, individuals and disadvantaged Americans when drafting regulations. In 2007, the National Center published the fourth edition of our book, Shattered Dreams: 100 Stories of Government Abuse, available here.
FISCAL POLICY, HEALTH CARE & RETIREMENT SECURITY
Exposing the truth in federal tax policy, highlighting conservative proposals for tax and entitlement reform and educating the public and media on the importance of restoring fiscal integrity to the federal government are top priorities. Of particular interest is developing public, media and policymaker support for reforms that will make possible the long-term health of Social Security and Medicare, projects we conduct through policy papers, columns, press releases, petition drives, strategy meetings with allied organizations, meetings with policymakers, talk radio and other media interviews through our National Retirement Security and Health Care Reform Task Forces.
Ongoing projects in the arena have been magnified with the appointment of Deroy Murdock, a Scripps Howard syndicated columnist, as a National Center Distinguished Fellow. Since his appointment, Mr. Murdock, a recognized expert in entitlement reform policies, has written over a dozen new editions of the National Center’s “Talking Points on Social Security” publication, which is distributed by mail to several thousand journalists and talk show hosts and to Members of Congress and other policymakers, and also is available in electronic format.
In 2006 and 2007, these programs continued their expansion with a commitment to a through examination of the true record of patient service in nations with government-run health care systems. The National Center also is scrutinizing, with a critical eye, various plans for expanding the public role in health care delivery here in the United States.
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY & LEGAL REFORM
Through the activities of its American Criminal Justice Center, which include publications, press releases, media interviews, radio and television commercials, petition drives and more, the National Center exposes examples of wrongdoing and misguided activities by government agencies and officials. It also works against injustices, inequalities and other failings within the legal system, such as “legislation through litigation,” in which unelected individuals undemocratically attempt to set public policies outside of the legislative process, sometimes enriching themselves handsomely in the process. It works to explain issues surrounding judicial confirmation debates to the public, and addresses such topics as campaign reform, judicial activism, affirmative action, frivolous lawsuits, the social costs of unchecked asbestos litigation, and other topics. In 2005 alone, National Center staff and Project 21 members were interviewed or cited by the media over 700 times on judicial and legal issues.
Believing that peace is best achieved when democratic nations are well-defended, the National Center supports a strong U.S. military and policies that support U.S. service personnel. We also advocate foreign and defense policies that serve America’s national interests. One example of such work includes three critical analyses of the proposed Law of the Sea Treaty, one each by Vice President David Ridenour, Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen and Policy Analyst Ryan Balis.
Believing that Americans should be governed by Americans, not by persons overseas, the National Center opposes policies that expand the authority of the United Nations at the expense of the U.S. Congress and executive branch. In 2005, the National Center initiated a series of research reports under the direction of policy analyst Ryan Balis, a graduate of the London School of Economics, to examine recent U.N. scandals, the funding structure of the U.N. and institutional obstacles to U.N. reform.
NEW LEADERSHIP FOR BLACK AMERICA
Elevating the profiles of conservative and moderate voices in the African-American community through an aggressive earned media campaign is the task of the National Center’s Project 21. Participants are regularly featured in national and regional media, advancing the causes of economic and social conservatism while supporting new leaders within the black community.
In 2007, Project 21 members were interviewed, cited or published by the news media over 1,227 times.
Responding quickly to issues that suddenly appear on the policy stage is a hallmark of our work.