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The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.
Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato's Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets — turn out to be even more powerful in today's world of global markets and unprecedented access to more information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future.
Highlights of Cato Institute scholars in the news.
How Cato Is Funded
In order to maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 80 percent of its funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of its support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications. If you would like to learn more about supporting Cato and its work, as well as the benefits of becoming a sponsor, please click here. And, if you would like to view Cato's latest Annual Report, which provides details about Cato's finances, initiatives, efforts, and much more, click here.
Cato's Resources and Outreach
In an era of sound bites and partisanship, Cato remains dedicated to providing clear, thoughtful, and independent analysis on vital public policy issues. Using all means possible — from blogs, Web features, op-eds and TV appearances, to conferences, research reports, speaking engagements, and books — Cato works vigorously to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis.
Cato experts regularly provide commentary and analysis for cable, network, international, and local television and radio news outlets on fast-breaking issues, larger stories, and investigative programs. In addition, each year hundreds of op-eds by Cato scholars appear in U.S. and international newspapers and magazines.
The Cato Institute conducts hundreds of events every year — policy and book forums at its Washington headquarters, briefings on Capitol Hill, annual conferences, seminars in communities across the country, and more. Most are permanently video-archived on Cato’s web site for instant access by the public.
Books and policy studies are at the center of any public policy research organization. The Cato Institute seeks to publish books and studies that meet the highest standards of scholarship, are accessible to a broad readership, and explore policy alternatives consistent with the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Cato books and studies are written by the institute's own scholars and by outside authors.
In addition, the Cato Institute's publications include the Cato Journal, Regulation, and Cato Policy Report.
From its own broadcast studio, YouTube channel, podcasts, blogs, weekly videos, and e-newsletters, to online features, event simulcasts, Facebook, and Twitter, Cato remains in the forefront of organizations innovatively using new and emerging communication tools to keep the public and decision makers engaged and informed.