Joseph Bast

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Joseph Bast is president of the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based industry-funded think tank. Bast opened the International Conference on Climate Change (2009), organized by Heartland. [1] He "studied economics as an undergraduate" at the University of Chicago[2] but did not complete the degree.[3] An August 2014 Travis County Texas court ruling highlights President and CEO Joseph Bast's lack of credibility:

"Mr. Joseph Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, testified for the Intervenors regarding the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Programs (“TTSGP”), a school voucher bill that failed in the 82nd Legislative Session. As a threshold matter, this Court finds that Mr. Bast is not a credible witness and that he did not offer reliable opinions in this matter. While Mr. Bast described himself as an economist, he holds neither undergraduate nor graduate degrees in economics, and the highest level of education he completed was high school. Mr. Bast testified that he is 100% committed to the long-term goal of getting government out of the business of educating its own voting citizens. Further, his use of inflammatory and irresponsible language regarding global warming, and his admission that the long term goal of his advocacy of vouchers is to dismantle the “socialist” public education system further undermine his credibility with this Court."[4]


Bast is the "coauthor of 12 books, including Rebuilding America's Schools (1990), Why We Spend Too Much on Health Care (1992), Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism (1994), and Education & Capitalism (2003)," according to his Heartland profile.[2]

Heartland paid Bast $96,292 in 2007, according to the organization's financial report for that year. His wife, Diane Carol Bast, is the think tank's Vice President of Internal Affairs. She was paid $76,337 in 2007.[5] Joseph Bast was paid $80,797 in 2005, according to Heartland's financial report that year.[6]

Bast currently sits on the board of directors for the American Conservative Union, after being elected in 2007.[7]

Joseph Bast is a speaker at the America First Energy Conference to be held on November 9th, 2017. [1]


A biographical note lists Bast's current and former affiliations as being:[7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Speakers," Heartland Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Joseph L. Bast bio," Heartland Institute website, accessed March 2009.
  3. Joseph Bast, email to SourceWatch editor Bob Burton, September 2009.
  4. "The Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition et al. vs Williams et al. (pdf)," D-1-GN-11-003130, (District Court of Travis County Texas 2014), 335 to 336.
  5. "Heartland Institute IRS 990 from 2007 (pdf)," via, accessed March 2009.
  6. "Heartland Institute IRS 990 from 2005 (pdf)," via
  7. 7.0 7.1 ""Joseph L. Bast - 2008 Resumé"," Heartland Institute website, accessed March 2009.

External resources

External articles

Articles by Bast

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