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Eli Lehrer
Eli Lehrer is President of R Street, a free-market think tank with offices in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, Tallahassee, Florida, and Austin, Texas. Prior to heading R Street, Lehrer was a Vice President of the Heartland Institute who, along with his staff, left Heartland to create R Street in May of 2012. He has also worked as a reporter at the Washington Times, a senior editor of the American Enterprise Institute’s magazine, a project manager for the Unisys Corporation, a fellow for the Heritage Foundation, and speechwriter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers including National Review, USA Today, Miami Herald, and Washington Post. He writes regular articles on arts and public policy for the Weekly Standard and was a regular blogger on He has lived in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for over a decade and currently resides in Herndon, Virginia with his wife, Kari and son, Andrew. In addition to his work, he enjoys running, visiting museums, and riding the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.

Entries by Eli Lehrer

Why Gay Marriage Isn't Going to Top the Culture War Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 8:44 AM

Conservative "founding mother" Phyllis Schlafly is dead wrong to predict a conservative backlash against LGBT rights. It's just not going to happen. While some people will remain opposed to same-sex couples getting married -- just as a dwindling handful still oppose interracial marriage -- every sign exists that...

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What D.C.'s Food Scene Can Teach Us About Copyright Law

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 9:51 AM

As Congress prepares for another battle over copyright law, D.C. policy wonks seeking guidance need look no further than the way the local restaurant scene has developed. Though there are clear differences, the district's eating places offer some valuable insights into the intersection of intellectual property and creativity.


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Rand Paul: Yes, He's Really the Frontrunner

(59) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Sen. Rand Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky, surprised more than a few pundits when he topped one of the first major polls surveying voters' feelings on the 2016 Republican presidential primary. This poll-leading position is something his father, Ron, a frequent candidate for president, never held. And,...

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Handouts Aren't Enough

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 1:55 PM

Conservatives, for the first time in quite a while, are beginning to take the issue of poverty seriously. Tea Party figures like Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have given thoughtful speeches on income mobility. Liberals, surprisingly, don't like a lot of what they see. Writing in the Washington Post, Washington...

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'Ban the Box' Goes Too Far... and Not Far Enough

(44) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 7:22 PM

All over the country, towns, cities and even states have begun a move towards policies that "ban the box" and forbid employers from asking individuals about previous criminal convictions. It's a decent idea on the surface, but on analysis, it goes both too far and not far enough. If America...

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The GOP's Insurance Hypocrisy

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 5:31 PM

For most of last month, a group of committed tea party Republicans helped shut down the government to hold back a wave of subsidies and regulations set to take effect under Obamacare. But now, in a clear irony, many of those same members are standing up to expand the subsidies...

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Gay Marriage: Good; Polyamory: Bad.

(33) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 9:13 AM

Walter Olson has a top-notch blog post over at Independent Gay Forum that describes why increased acceptance of same-sex marriage isn't going to lead to acceptance of polyamory.

I agree with all of his arguments and I'd add one. Gay marriage is, at the very worst,...

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Why Ken Cuccinelli Will Lose in Virginia and What It Means for the GOP

(372) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 2:36 PM

Ken Cuccinelli, currently behind in the polls by more than 7 points, will not win the November election to become Virginia's next governor. This spells very serious problems for the Republican Party that I'm (mostly) proud to support. But the problems aren't those that many party insiders are...

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What the Shutdown Says about D.C.'s Cultural Scene

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 4:22 PM

Since America's founders picked a site near their own landholdings to serve as the nation's seat of government, Washington, D.C., has remained a government town. In the city's early years, malaria and muddy streets meant that diplomats stationed here received hardship pay. Today, D.C. is a lot more livable. But...

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How Republicans Can Win the Shutdown Showdown

(297) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 8:38 AM

When it comes to most issues coming before Congress, my personal sympathies lie very much with the Republican Party. I'd be delighted to see Obamacare repealed (or at least modified in very significant ways), an end to talk of tax increases, and have the president and congressional Democrats agree to...

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What the Australian Elections Mean (and Don't Mean) for Climate Policy and the Left

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 9:24 AM

As a right-wing Republican, I consider newly elected Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a man after my own heart. He wants to deregulate his country's economy, protect the unborn, and cut taxes. As someone concerned about climate change, however, I'm disturbed by the way that those who seek to do...

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The Case for Boycotting the Sochi Olympics..and the Rio ones too

(22) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 8:58 AM

The United States should boycott the Olympics. Not just the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and not even the planned 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It should boycott the Olympics themselves. Whatever noble purposes the "Olympic movement" might have served in the past, they have passed. The...

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I Benefit From Obamacare... and That's a Problem

(610) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 5:18 PM

I'm a conservative and would have voted against Obamacare if I were a member of Congress. I think that many of its provisions are silly and have criticized some of them rather loudly. That said, I'm likely to count myself among the winners as the revised health care...

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Immigration Opponents: Ignore Them (Even If They Scream a Lot)

(22) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 7:01 PM

In any democracy, public officials and the law itself must take special care to protect the rights of minority groups. In many cases, this makes sense. But in the case of the recent debate over immigration, it doesn't. Unlike the other issues where it makes sense to sustain a "minority...

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Sen. Landrieu's Plan: Handouts for Vacation Homes

(11) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 9:54 AM

No matter their stated ideologies, overwhelming majorities of Americans would agree in principle that the government should try to help the vulnerable and poor before it lifts a finger to help the well off. In forwarding a new proposal that she has tucked into a spending bill, Senate Homeland Security...

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Getting Rid of the Dollar Bill Is a Bad Idea

(39) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 3:03 PM

Members of Congress, government waste watchdogs and a lot of others who I admire have called on the United States to replace its dollar bill with a dollar coin. Advocates claim the new coin will $13.8 billion over 30 years particularly if paper banknotes are phased out at...

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Even Liberals Should Hate This Part of Obamacare

(43) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 10:34 PM

Like a lot of conservatives, I have plenty of doubts about the president's massive health care overhaul that's going to change the way Americans get health coverage come Jan. 1, 2014. I think the plan is too big, too expensive, too cumbersome, too reliant on subsidies and imposes too may...

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Of Bunny Rabbits and Stupid Regulations

(3) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 5:05 PM

The Department of Agriculture's efforts to require birthday party entertainer Marty the Magician to develop a written "disaster plan" for taking care of his rabbit is a clear example of the way America's regulatory state has grown out of control. But using it as a way of making...

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George W. Bush and the Verdict of History

(42) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 12:55 PM

For the first time since 2005, most Americans think well of George W. Bush. As the Associated Press reports, the once widely-mocked commander in chief seems to be emerging as a respected elder statesman. And, if he doesn't merit the universal respect accorded to men like Dwight Eisenhower...

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The Coming Gay Republican Wave

(149) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 6:25 PM

As counterintuitive as it may sound, it seems safe to predict that this week's Supreme Court rulings that overturn key sections of the terribly misnamed Defense of Marriage Act and uphold marriage equality in California will result in more gay Americans deciding to vote Republican. No matter how controversial they...

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