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Ex-official: Heritage has betrayed Reagan

During the Reagan Revolution, the Heritage Foundation was seen as the soul of the free market conservative revival. As senior vice president for research at the think tank from 1981 through 1992, Burton Pines was in charge of its intellectual output -- "If Heritage were General Motors, I ran the factory," he says -- but as Heritage comes under fire this week for a controversial immigration report, Pines says the storied organization has lost its way.

"It's a new Heritage and it's one that's not standing by the principles of Ronald Reagan," he told Salon Thursday. "I'm puzzled why they came out with this study and I'm more puzzled why they seem to be against immigration."

The foundation's new report, which estimates that immigration reform will cost taxpayers $6 trillion, has touched off a civil war on the right.

"If Jack Kemp were alive today there's no question where he would stand, and he probably wouldn't even be afraid to use the word 'amnesty,'" Pines said of the late congressman who helped developed supply-side economics and mentored Paul Ryan.

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