Cato Institute
Overview
The Cato Institute is a libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc.
Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc. , is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company...

, the largest privately held company by revenue in the United States.

The Institute's stated mission is "to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.
Encyclopedia
The Cato Institute is a libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc.
Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc. , is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company...

, the largest privately held company by revenue in the United States.

The Institute's stated mission is "to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world."

Cato scholars were critical of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 administration (2001–2009) on several issues, including the Iraq War, civil liberties, education, agriculture, energy policy, and excessive government spending
Government spending
Government spending includes all government consumption, investment but excludes transfer payments made by a state. Government acquisition of goods and services for current use to directly satisfy individual or collective needs of the members of the community is classed as government final...

. On other issues, most notably health care, Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

, global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, tax policy, and immigration
Guest worker program
The Guest Worker Program is a program that has been proposed many times, including by U.S. President George W. Bush's administration as a way to permit U.S. employers to sponsor non-U.S. citizens as laborers for approximately three years, to be deported afterwards if they have not yet obtained a...

, they supported Bush administration initiatives. During the 2008 U.S. presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, Cato scholars criticized both major-party candidates, John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 and Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

.

History

The Institute was founded in San Francisco in 1977 by Edward Crane and initially funded by Charles G. Koch. Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard
Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

 was a core member of Cato's founding group and coined the institute's name. Rothbard served on its board until leaving in 1981.

The Institute is named after Cato's Letters
Cato's Letters
Cato's Letters were essays by British writers John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, first published from 1720 to 1723 under the pseudonym of Cato , the implacable foe of Julius Caesar and a famously stubborn champion of republican principles....

, a series of British essays penned in the early 18th century by John Trenchard
John Trenchard (writer)
John Trenchard , English writer and Commonwealthman, belonged to the same Dorset family as the Secretary of State Sir John Trenchard.Trenchard was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and became a lawyer...

 and Thomas Gordon
Thomas Gordon (writer)
Thomas Gordon was a Scottish writer and Commonwealthman.Along with John Trenchard, he published The Independent Whig, which was a weekly periodical. From 1720 to 1723, Trenchard and Gordon, wrote a series of 144 essays entitled Cato's Letters, condemning corruption and lack of morality within the...

 expounding the political views of philosopher John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

. The essays were named after Cato the Younger
Cato the Younger
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

, the defender of republican institutions in Rome
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. Cato relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1981, settling first in a historic house on Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Capitol Hill, aside from being a metonym for the United States Congress, is the largest historic residential neighborhood in Washington D.C., stretching easterly in front of the United States Capitol along wide avenues...

. The Institute moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue
Massachusetts Avenue (Washington, D.C.)
Massachusetts Avenue is a major diagonal transverse road in Washington, D.C., and the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District is a historic district that includes part of it....

 in 1993.

Cato Institute was named the fifth-ranked think tank in the world for 2009 in a study of think tanks by James G. McGann, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

, based on a criterion of excellence in "producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs in one or more substantive areas of research".

Publications

The Cato Institute publishes numerous policy studies, briefing papers, periodicals, and books. Its periodicals include Cato's Letter, Cato Journal, Regulation, Cato Supreme Court Review, and Cato Policy Report.

The Cato Journal
Cato Journal
The Cato Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Washington, D.C.-based, libertarian think-tank, the Cato Institute, and features articles discussing politics and economy.According to the Cato Institute website, the journal is a...

and Regulation are peer-reviewed academic journals.

Some of Cato's books include Social Security: The Inherent Contradiction, In Defense of Global Capitalism
In Defense of Global Capitalism
In Defense of Global Capitalism is a book by Swedish writer Johan Norberg promoting economic globalization and free trade. The book was originally published in May 2001 by the Swedish think tank Timbro...

, Voucher Wars, You Can't Say That!: The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws, Peace and Freedom: A Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic, and Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Reconsidered. Cato scholars also write books that are published by outside publishers, such as Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz
David Boaz
David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank. He played a key role in the Institute's development and the American libertarian movement....

 (Free Press), The Age of Abundance by Brink Lindsey
Brink Lindsey
Brink Lindsey was the Cato Institute's vice president for research. He was also editor of , a monthly web magazine. From 1998 to 2004, he was director of Cato's , helping to make it a leading voice for free trade...

 (HarperBusiness), and Restoring the Lost Constitution by Randy Barnett
Randy Barnett
Randy E. Barnett is a lawyer, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and a legal theorist in the United States...

 (Princeton University Press).

Cato published Inquiry Magazine
Inquiry Magazine
Inquiry Magazine was a libertarian magazine published from November 1977 to 1984. It was originally published by the Cato Institute, but in February 1982 was transferred to the Libertarian Review Foundation, after the Libertarian Review was merged into Inquiry in January of that year...

from 1977 to 1982 (before transferring it to the Libertarian Review Foundation
Libertarian Review
Libertarian Review was a libertarian magazine published until 1981. It had been established by Robert Kephart in 1972 as a book-review magazine, initially titled SIL Book Review , then Books for Libertarians, and was renamed with the October, 1974 issue...

), and Literature of Liberty from 1978 to 1979 (before transferring it to the Institute for Humane Studies
Institute for Humane Studies
The Institute for Humane Studies is a classical liberal non-profit organization whose stated mission is “to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and in...

, where it was ended in 1982). They also had a monograph
Monograph
A monograph is a work of writing upon a single subject, usually by a single author.It is often a scholarly essay or learned treatise, and may be released in the manner of a book or journal article. It is by definition a single document that forms a complete text in itself...

 series called "Cato Papers" that ran 16 volumes from 1979 to 1980.

Conservatism

In the years immediately following the Republican Revolution
Republican Revolution
The Republican Revolution or Revolution of '94 is what the media dubbed Republican Party success in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate...

, the Cato Institute was often seen as a standard-bearer of the U.S. conservative political movement. Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, credited with reshaping and rejuvenating the Republican Party, and key contributors to the late-20th century conservative movement, were heavily influenced by libertarian ideals.

However, the Cato Institute officially resists being labeled as part of the conservative movement because "conservative smacks of an unwillingness to change, of a desire to preserve the status quo".

Cato scholars were critical of the expansion of executive power under President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. In 2006 and 2007, Cato published two books critical of the Republican Party's perceived abandonment of the limited-government ideals that swept them into power in 1994. For their part, only a minority of Republican congressmen supported President George W. Bush's 2005 proposal to partially privatize Social Security, an idea strongly backed by the Institute. And in the 109th Congress
109th United States Congress
The One Hundred Ninth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, from January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007, during the fifth and sixth years of George W. Bush's presidency. House members...

, President Bush's immigration plan—which was based on a proposal by Cato scholar Dan Griswold—went down to defeat largely due to the eventual opposition of conservative Republican congressmen.

Cato President Ed Crane has a particular dislike for neoconservatism. In a 2003 article with Cato Chairman Emeritus William A. Niskanen
William A. Niskanen
William Arthur Niskanen was an American economist noted as one of the architects of President Ronald Reagan's economic programme and for his contributions to public choice theory. He was also a long-time chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute.-Education:Niskanen received his B.A. from Harvard...

, he called neoconservatism a "particular threat to liberty perhaps greater than the ideologically spent ideas of left-liberalism." As far back as 1995, Crane wrote that neoconservatives "have a fundamentally benign view of the state," which Crane considers antithetical to libertarian ideals of individual freedom. Cato's foreign policy team have frequently criticized neoconservative foreign policy.

Liberalism

Cato's scholars also advocate positions that are appealing to many on the left side of the American political spectrum, including support for civil liberties, liberal immigration policies, and equal rights for gays and lesbians. An early example of this effort was the launching of Inquiry Magazine
Inquiry Magazine
Inquiry Magazine was a libertarian magazine published from November 1977 to 1984. It was originally published by the Cato Institute, but in February 1982 was transferred to the Libertarian Review Foundation, after the Libertarian Review was merged into Inquiry in January of that year...

, which was aimed at liberals who shared libertarians' skepticism about concentrated state power.

More recently, in 2006, Markos Moulitsas proposed the term libertarian Democrat
Libertarian Democrat
In American politics, a libertarian Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party with libertarian leaning political viewpoints or views that are relatively libertarian compared to the views of the national party...

 to describe his liberal particular position, suggesting that libertarians should be allies of the Democratic Party. Replying, Cato vice president for research Brink Lindsey
Brink Lindsey
Brink Lindsey was the Cato Institute's vice president for research. He was also editor of , a monthly web magazine. From 1998 to 2004, he was director of Cato's , helping to make it a leading voice for free trade...

 agreed that libertarians and liberals should view each other as natural ideological allies, but noted continuing differences between mainstream liberal views on economic policy and Cato's "Jeffersonian philosophy
Jeffersonian democracy
Jeffersonian Democracy, so named after its leading advocate Thomas Jefferson, is a term used to describe one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the 1790s to the 1820s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party which Jefferson...

." Cato has stated on its "About Cato" page:


The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has increasingly come to be called "libertarianism" or "market liberalism." It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.


However, there remain significant differences between liberalism and libertarianism on issues such as taxes, gun ownership, and school choice. As a consequence, the Cato Institute has criticized a number of decisions made by President Obama, just as it had regularly criticized decisions made by former President Bush.

Objectivism

Relations between the Cato Institute and Objectivist organizations have been strained. Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

 scorned the nascent libertarian movement and her intellectual heir, Leonard Peikoff
Leonard Peikoff
Leonard S. Peikoff is a Canadian-American philosopher. He is an author, a leading advocate of Objectivism and the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute. A former professor of philosophy, he was designated by the novelist Ayn Rand as heir to her estate...

, has followed her lead, refusing to associate with libertarian organizations, Cato included. Other Objectivist organizations, notably The Atlas Society
The Atlas Society
The Atlas Society — of which The Objectivist Center is a part — is a research and advocacy organization promoting "a culture that affirms the core Objectivist values of reason, individualism, freedom, and achievement." It is part of the Objectivist movement that split off from the Ayn Rand...

, have been friendlier. Ed Crane has emphasized that Objectivists and other libertarians are natural allies, and encouraged Objectivists to become more involved in the libertarian movement. Cato Institute leaders have worked for years to improve relations between Objectivists
Objectivism (Ayn Rand)
Objectivism is a philosophy created by the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand . Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception...

 and libertarians.

Cato positions on current political issues

Following its mission statement, Cato scholars advocate policies that advance "individual liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, limited government
Limited government
Limited government is a government which anything more than minimal governmental intervention in personal liberties and the economy is generally disallowed by law, usually in a written constitution. It is written in the United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8...

, free markets, and peace
Peace
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

". They are libertarian in their policy positions, typically advocating diminished government intervention in domestic, social, and economic policies and decreased military and political intervention worldwide. Specific policy proposals advanced by Cato scholars include such measures as abolishing the minimum wage, reforming policies on illegal drugs, eliminating corporate welfare
Corporate welfare
Corporate welfare is a pejorative term describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations. The term compares corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less...

 and trade barrier
Trade barrier
Trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade. The barriers can take many forms, including the following:* Tariffs* Non-tariff barriers to trade** Import licenses** Export licenses** Import quotas** Subsidies...

s, diminishing federal government involvement in the marketplace, and in local and state issues, enhanced school choice, abolishing affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

, and abolishing restrictions on discrimination by private parties.

On Social Security

The Cato Institute established its Project on Social Security Privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 in 1995, renaming it the Project on Social Security Choice in 2002. The change sought to emphasize that its proposals would allow Americans to opt in or out of the program. Like other organizations supporting the "personal healthcare savings accounts" concept, Cato scholars now avoid using the word privatization in describing such policies, due to the presently unpopular sentiments that the public associates with it.

In 2003, the Cato Institute asserted that Bush's social security privatization plan could be funded if funding for corporate welfare were reduced.

On foreign policy and civil liberties

Cato's non-interventionist foreign policy views, and strong support for civil liberties, have frequently led Cato scholars to criticize those in power, both Republican and Democratic. Cato scholars opposed President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

's 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 operations (a position which caused the organization to lose nearly $1 million in funding), President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's interventions in Haiti
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Uphold Democracy was an intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide...

 and Kosovo
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

, and President George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. As a response to the September 11 attacks, Cato scholars supported the removal of al Qaeda and the Taliban regime from power
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, but are against an indefinite and open-ended military occupation of Afghanistan.

Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato's Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, criticized many of the arguments offered to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of the war's earliest critics, Carpenter wrote in January 2002: "Ousting Saddam
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 would make Washington responsible for Iraq's political future and entangle the United States in an endless nation-building mission beset by intractable problems." Carpenter also predicted: "Most notably there is the issue posed by two persistent regional secession movements: the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south." Cato's Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Christopher Preble, argues in The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free, that America's position as an unrivaled superpower tempts policymakers to constantly overreach and to redefine ever more broadly the "national interest".

On other domestic issues

Cato has published strong criticisms of the 1998 settlement that many U.S. states signed with the tobacco industry
Tobacco industry
The tobacco industry comprises those persons and companies engaged in the growth, preparation for sale, shipment, advertisement, and distribution of tobacco and tobacco-related products. It is a global industry; tobacco can grow in any warm, moist environment, which means it can be farmed on all...

. Among other laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

policies, Cato scholars have argued for allowing immigrants to work in the U.S.

The Cato Institute published a study proposing a Balanced Budget Veto Amendment to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

.

In 2003, Cato filed an amicus brief
Amicus curiae
An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it...

 in support of the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas
Lawrence v. Texas
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by proxy, invalidated sodomy laws in the thirteen other states where they remained in existence, thereby making same-sex sexual activity legal in...

, which struck down the few remaining state laws that made private, non-commercial homosexual relations between consenting adults illegal. Cato cited the 14th Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

, among other things, as the source of their support for the ruling. The amicus brief was cited in Justice Kennedy's majority opinion for the Court.

In 2006, Cato published a Policy Analysis criticising the Federal Marriage Amendment
Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman...

 as unnecessary, anti-federalist, and anti-democratic. The amendment would have changed the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

; the amendment failed in both houses of Congress.

Cato scholars have been sharp critics of current U.S. drug policy and the perceived growing militarization of U.S. law enforcement. Additionally, the Cato Institute opposes smoking bans and mandatory use of safety belts.

On environmental policy

Cato scholars have written extensively about the issues of the environment, including global warming, environmental regulation, and energy policy. The Cato Institute lists "Energy and the Environment" as one of its 13 major "research issues", and global warming is one of six sub-topics under this heading. The Institute has issued over two dozen studies on energy and environmental topics in recent years, which is on par with Cato's other research areas.

Some groups have criticized Cato's work on global warming. Cato has held a number of briefings on global warming with global warming skeptic
Climate change denial
Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons...

s as panelists. In December 2003, panelists included Patrick Michaels
Patrick Michaels
Patrick J. Michaels is an American climatologist. Michaels is a senior research fellow for Research and Economic Development at George Mason University, and a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute...

, Robert Balling
Robert Balling
Robert C. Balling, Jr. is a professor of geography at Arizona State University, and the former director of its Office of Climatology. His research interests include climatology, global climate change, and geographic information systems...

 and John Christy
John Christy
John R. Christy is a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville whose chief interests are satellite remote sensing of global climate and global climate change. He is best known, jointly with Roy Spencer, for the first successful development of a satellite temperature...

. Michaels, Balling and Christy agree that global warming is, in fact, related at least some degree to anthropogenic activity but that some scientists and the media have overstated the danger. The Cato Institute has also criticized political attempts to stop global warming as expensive and ineffective:
In response to the Worldwatch Institute
Worldwatch Institute
The Worldwatch Institute is a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.-Mission:...

 Report
in May 2003 that linked climate change and severe weather events, Cato scholar Jerry Taylor
Jerry Taylor
Jerry Taylor is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute where he researches environmental policy. He attended the University of Iowa as a political science major....

 said:
Three out of five "Doubters of Global Warming" interviewed by PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

's Frontline were funded by, or had some other institutional connection with, the Institute. Cato has often criticized Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

's stances on the issue of global warming and agreed with the Bush administration's skeptical attitude toward the Kyoto protocols.

Cato scholars have also been critical of the Bush administration's views on energy policy. In 2003, Cato scholars Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren blasted the Republican Energy Bill as "hundreds of pages of corporate welfare, symbolic gestures, empty promises, and pork-barrel projects". They also spoke out against the former president's calls for larger ethanol subsidies.

Funding

The Cato Institute is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Institute performs no contract research and does not accept government funding. For revenue, the Institute is largely dependent on private contributions.

According to its annual report, the Cato Institute had fiscal year 2008 income of $24 million. The report notes that 77% of Cato's income that year came from individual contributions, 13% from foundations, 2% from corporations, and 8% from "program and other income" (e.g., publication sales, program fees).

Foundation support

In 2010, the Cato Institute has been supported by some 60 plus foundations including:
  • Atlantic Philanthropies
    Atlantic Philanthropies
    The Atlantic Philanthropies is a private foundation created in 1982 by US businessman Charles F. "Chuck" Feeney. The Atlantic Philanthropies grant-making supports health and social projects in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam...

  • Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
    Koch Family Foundations
    Koch Family Foundations is the informal name for a group of charities in the United States of America associated with the family of Fred C. Koch. The most prominent of these are the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, created by two of Fred C...

  • Earhart Foundation
    Earhart Foundation
    The Earhart Foundation is a private charitable foundation that funds research and scholarship. It was founded in 1929 by oil executive Harry Boyd Earhart.- History :...

  • JM Foundation, founded by businessman Jeremiah Milbank
    Jeremiah Milbank
    Jeremiah Milbank American businessman, was a successful dry goods commission merchant, speculator in Texas territorial bonds, manufacturer, and railroad investor. His most successful business efforts were the New York Condensed Milk Company which he co-founded with inventor Gail Borden and the...

  • John M. Olin Foundation
    John M. Olin Foundation
    John M. Olin Foundation was a grant-making foundation established in 1953 by John M. Olin, president of the Olin Industries chemical and munitions manufacturing businesses. Unlike most non-profit foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation was charged to spend all of its assets within a generation of...

    , Inc.
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
    Koch Family Foundations
    Koch Family Foundations is the informal name for a group of charities in the United States of America associated with the family of Fred C. Koch. The most prominent of these are the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, created by two of Fred C...

  • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
    Bradley Foundation
    The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a conservative foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it gives away more than $30 million per year...

  • Castle Rock Foundation
    Castle Rock Foundation
    The Castle Rock Foundation is a conservative foundation started in 1993 with an endowment of $36.6M from the Adolph Coors Foundation. It ranked as Colorado's 15th largest foundation by assets at the end of 2001...

     (formerly known as The Coors
    Adolph Coors II
    Adolph Herman Joseph Coors, Jr. was the son of Adolph Coors and the second President of Coors Brewing Company....

     Foundation)
  • Scaife Foundations
    Scaife Foundations
    The Scaife Foundations refer collectively to four foundations: the Allegheny Foundation, the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Scaife Family Foundation. The organizations are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.-External links:*...

     (Sarah Mellon Scaife
    Sarah Scaife Foundation
    The Sarah Scaife Foundation is one of the American Scaife Foundations. It is controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife. The foundation does not award grants to individuals. It concentrates its efforts towards causes focused on public policy at a national and international level...

    , Carthage
    Carthage Foundation
    The Carthage Foundation is one of the American Scaife Foundations. It is controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife. The foundation does not award grants to individuals. It concentrates its efforts towards causes focused on public policy at a national and international level. From 1985 to 2003 the...

    )
  • Ford Foundation
    Ford Foundation
    The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

  • Ploughshares Fund
    Ploughshares Fund
    The Ploughshares Fund is a public grantmaking foundation that supports initiatives to prevent the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and other weapons of war, and to prevent conflicts that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction. Ploughshares is a 501...

  • Marijuana Policy Project
    Marijuana Policy Project
    The Marijuana Policy Project, or MPP, is the largest organization working solely on marijuana policy reform in the United States in terms of its budget, number of members, and staff...


Corporate support

Like many think tanks, Cato receives support from a variety of corporations. In fiscal year 2008, corporate donations accounted for two percent of its budget.

In 2004, the Institute published a paper arguing in favor of "drug re-importation." A 2006 study attacked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization . It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to...

. Cato has published numerous studies criticizing what it calls "corporate welfare", the practice of public officials funneling taxpayer money, usually via targeted budgetary spending, to politically connected corporate interests.

For example, in 2002, Cato president Ed Crane and Sierra Club
Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...

 executive director Carl Pope co-wrote an op-ed
Op-ed
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page , is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board...

 piece in the Washington Post calling for the abandonment of the Republican energy bill, arguing that it had become little more than a gravy train for Washington, D.C. lobbyists. Again in 2005, Cato scholar Jerry Taylor teamed up with Daniel Becker of the Sierra Club to attack the Republican Energy Bill
Energy Policy Act of 2005
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is a bill passed by the United States Congress on July 29, 2005, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005, at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

 as a give-away to corporate interests.

Still, some critics have accused Cato of being too tied to corporate funders, especially during the 1990s. Such critics report that Cato received funding from Philip Morris
Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc. is based in Henrico County, Virginia, and is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, Inc., Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. It is one of the world's largest tobacco corporations...

 and other tobacco companies during this period and that at one point Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 served on the boards of directors of both Cato and Philip Morris.

Cato received support from multiple corporations in 2010
including:
  • Altria Group
    Altria Group
    Altria Group, Inc. is based in Henrico County, Virginia, and is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, Inc., Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. It is one of the world's largest tobacco corporations...

    , Inc.
  • Amerisure Companies
  • CME Group
    CME Group
    The CME Group bases prices for US gasoline on Brent Crude rather than West Texas Intermediate Crude , which many believe is responsible for artificially high gas prices for US consumers...

  • Consumer Electronics Association
    Consumer Electronics Association
    The Consumer Electronics Association is a standards and trade organization for the consumer electronics industry in the United States. The Consumer Electronics Association is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $173 billion U.S...

  • FedEx
    FedEx
    FedEx Corporation , originally known as FDX Corporation, is a logistics services company, based in the United States with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee...

     Corporation
  • Google
    Google
    Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

     Inc.
  • PMI Global Services, Inc.
  • Reynolds American
    Reynolds American
    Reynolds American, Inc. is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States. Its holdings include R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, American Snuff Company , Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company and Niconovum AB...

  • Verisign
    VeriSign
    Verisign, Inc. is an American company based in Dulles, Virginia that operates a diverse array of network infrastructure, including two of the Internet's thirteen root nameservers, the authoritative registry for the .com, .net, and .name generic top-level domains and the .cc and .tv country-code...

     Inc.
  • Volkswagen of America
  • Whole Foods Market
    Whole Foods Market
    Whole Foods Market is a foods supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas which emphasizes "natural and organic products." The company has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S...


Associates in the news

  • Several Cato Institute-affiliated scholars have achieved academic distinction, including Nobel laureates F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman
    Milton Friedman
    Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

    , James M. Buchanan
    James M. Buchanan
    James McGill Buchanan, Jr. is an American economist known for his work on public choice theory, for which he received the 1986 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Buchanan's work initiated research on how politicians' self-interest and non-economic forces affect government economic policy...

    , and Vernon L. Smith
    Vernon L. Smith
    Vernon Lomax Smith is professor of economics at Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington,...

    .
  • Cato senior fellow Randy Barnett argued the Gonzales v. Raich
    Gonzales v. Raich
    Gonzales v. Raich , 545 U.S. 1 , was a decision by the United States Supreme Court ruling that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal...

    case before the Supreme Court in 2004.
  • Mencken Fellow P. J. O'Rourke
    P. J. O'Rourke
    Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on...

     is the bestselling author of Parliament of Whores
    Parliament of Whores
    Parliament of Whores is an international best-selling political humor book by P. J. O'Rourke published by Atlantic Monthly Press in 1991. Subtitled "A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire US Government", Parliament is a scathing critique of the American system of governance from a right...

    , All the Trouble in the World, and other books.
  • Former Cato policy analyst Radley Balko
    Radley Balko
    Radley Balko is an American libertarian journalist, blogger, and speaker.- Education :Balko earned a B.A. in journalism and political science in 1997 from Indiana University.- Employment and publications :...

     was cited by Justice Breyer's dissent to the Supreme Court's 2006 Hudson v. Michigan
    Hudson v. Michigan
    Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U. S. 586 , is a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that a violation of the Fourth Amendment requirement that police officers knock, announce their presence, and wait a reasonable amount of time before entering a private residence does not require...

    decision, concerning "no knock" raids.
  • Cato senior fellow Robert A. Levy
    Robert A. Levy
    Robert A. Levy is the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute and the organizer and financier behind District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court Case that established the Second Amendment as affirming an individual right to gun ownership. He is a Cato senior fellow and an author and pundit...

     personally funded the plaintiffs' successful Supreme Court challenge to the District of Columbia's gun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller
    District of Columbia v. Heller
    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as...

    ), on the basis of the Second Amendment.
  • In December 2005, Doug Bandow
    Doug Bandow
    Douglas Bandow is a former columnist with Copley News Service and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He resigned from Cato in 2005 due a scandal involving payments for columns from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and wrote about it in the Los Angeles Times. As of March 2009, Bandow is again working at...

    , a Cato fellow, admitted taking money from lobbyist
    Lobbying
    Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

     Jack Abramoff
    Jack Abramoff
    Jack Abramoff is an American former lobbyist and businessman. Convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy, he was at the heart of an extensive corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine...

     in exchange for writing columns for the Copley Press
    Copley Press
    Copley Press was a privately held newspaper business, founded in Illinois, but later based in La Jolla, California. Its flagship paper was The San Diego Union-Tribune.-Pulitzer Prizes:...

     favorable to Abramoff clients. The columns did not, however, deviate from Bandow's own views. Copley suspended his column. Bandow subsequently resigned from Cato on December 15, 2005. He returned to Cato in early 2009.
  • In 1999, David Rall
    David Rall
    David Platt Rall was a cancer specialist and a leader in environmental health studies, whose work in environmental health helped turn it into a scientific discipline. Rall also advanced public health and prevention. He directed the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences from 1971 -...

    , a prominent environmental scientist
    Environmental science
    Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

    , died in a car accident. Steven Milloy
    Steven Milloy
    Steven J. Milloy is a commentator for Fox News and runs the Web site junkscience.com, which is dedicated to "debunking" what Milloy labels "faulty scientific data and analysis." On Fox News Channel he is billed as a "Junk Science commentator." He describes himself as a libertarian.Among the topics...

    , at the time a Cato adjunct scholar, celebrated Rall's death on his site junkscience.com, writing: "Scratch one junk scientist who promoted the bankrupt idea that poisoning rats with a chemical predicts cancer in humans exposed to much lower levels of the chemical a notion that, at the very least, has wasted billions and billions of public and private dollars." Cato Institute President Edward Crane called Milloy's attack an "inexcusable lapse in judgment and civility," but Milloy refused to apologize. He retained his position with Cato until the end of 2005. Following renewed controversy over the financial support Milloy received from tobacco and oil companies while writing editorial pieces favorable to them, Milloy's name was removed from the list of Cato adjunct scholars.
  • In January 2008, adjunct scholar Dominick Armentano separated from the Institute after writing an op-ed piece about UFO's in the Vero Beach Press-Journal. Cato Executive Vice President David Boaz wrote that "I won't deny that this latest op-ed played a role in our decision."

Nobel Laureates at Cato

The following Nobel Prize Winners in Economics have worked with Cato:
  • F. A. Hayek
  • Milton Friedman
  • James M. Buchanan
  • Robert Mundell
    Robert Mundell
    Robert Mundell, CC is a Nobel Prize-winning Canadian economist. Currently, Mundell is a professor of economics at Columbia University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong....

  • Edward C. Prescott
    Edward C. Prescott
    Edward Christian Prescott is an American economist. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2004, sharing the award with Finn E. Kydland, "for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles"...

  • Douglass C. North
  • Vernon L. Smith
  • Gary S. Becker
  • Ronald Coase
    Ronald Coase
    Ronald Harry Coase is a British-born, American-based economist and the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School. After studying with the University of London External Programme in 1927–29, Coase entered the London School of Economics, where he took...

  • Thomas C. Schelling

Milton Friedman Prize

Since 2002, the Cato Institute has awarded the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty every two years to "an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom." The prize comes with a cash award of US$500,000.
Past Prize Winners
Year Recipient Nationality
2002 Peter Thomas Bauer
Peter Thomas Bauer
Peter Thomas Bauer, Baron Bauer was a developmental economist. Bauer is best remembered for his opposition to the widely-held notion that the most effective manner to help developing countries advance is through state-controlled foreign aid.- Life :Bauer was born as Péter Tamás Bauer in Budapest,...

 
2004 Hernando de Soto Polar  vian
2006 Mart Laar
Mart Laar
Mart Laar is an Estonian statesman, historian and a founding member of the Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes. He was the Prime Minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2002, and is the leader of the conservative party Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica...

 
n
2008 Yon Goicoechea
Yon Goicoechea
Yon Goicoechea is a Venezuelan lawyer, graduated from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and active in the opposition to the government of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez...

 
n
2010 Akbar Ganji
Akbar Ganji
Akbar Ganji is an Iranian journalist and writer. He has been described as "Iran’s preeminent political dissident", and a "wildly popular pro-democracy journalist" who has crossed press censorship "red lines" regularly...

 


Board of directors

As of the 2007 Annual Report:
  • K. Tucker Andersen, Senior consultant, Cumberland Associates LLC
  • Frank Bond, Chairman, The Foundation Group
  • Ed Crane, President, Cato Institute
  • Richard Dennis
    Richard Dennis
    Richard J. Dennis, a commodities speculator once known as the "Prince of the Pit," was born in Chicago, in January, 1949. In the early 1970s, he borrowed $1,600 and reportedly made $200 million in about ten years. When a futures trading fund under his management incurred significant losses in the...

    , President, Dennis Trading Group
  • Ethelmae C. Humphreys, Chair, Tamko Roofing Products, Inc.
  • David H. Koch
    David H. Koch
    David Hamilton Koch is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He is a co-owner and an executive vice president of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the U.S...

    , Executive vice-president, Koch Industries, Inc.
  • Robert A. Levy, Chair; Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • John C. Malone
    John C. Malone
    John C. Malone is an American businessman and philanthropist. He served as chief executive officer of cable and media giant, Tele-Communications Inc. , for twenty-four years from 1973–1996. Malone is now chairman of Liberty Media  and CEO of Discovery Holding Company. He was the interim CEO...

    , Chairman, Liberty Media
    Liberty Media
    Liberty Media Corporation is an American media conglomerate and the control is exercised by company Chairman John C. Malone, who owns a majority of the voting shares....

  • William A. Niskanen, Chairman Emeritus, Cato Institute
  • David H. Padden, President, Padden and Company
  • Lewis E. Randall, Board member, E-Trade Financial Corporation
  • Howard Rich
    Howard Rich
    Howard S. Rich, also Howie Rich is a Manhattan-based real estate developer who is notable for funding libertarian oriented political initiatives such as term limits, school choice, parental rights regarding education, limited government and property rights. He has published essays advocating these...

    , President, U.S. Term Limits
    U.S. Term Limits
    U.S. Term Limits is a non-profit organization that lobbies for term limits for elected officials at every level of government in the United States. Among other activities, USTL supports ballot initiatives in numerous states. The organization was established in 1992, and is one of several led by...

  • Frederick W. Smith
    Frederick W. Smith
    Fred Sidney Smith III , or Fred Smith, is the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx, originally known as Federal Express, the first overnight express delivery company in the world, and the largest in the United States...

    , Chairman and CEO, FedEx
  • Donald G. Smith, President, Donald Smith & Co.
  • Jeffrey S. Yass
    Jeff Yass
    Jeffrey S. Yass is an options trader, managing director and one of the five founders of the Philadelphia-based Susquehanna International Group. In 2001 he was named one of 76 Revolutionary Minds by Philadelphia magazine and joined the Board of Directors of the Cato Institute.- Philanthropy :Yass...

    , Managing Director, Susquehana International Group, LLP
    Susquehanna International Group
    The Susquehanna International Group of Companies is a privately held global investment, trading and technology firm servicing securities markets worldwide...

  • Fred Young, former owner, Young Radiator Company

External links


Critiques

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK