November 4, 2002 | WebMemo on National Security and Defense

What To Do In 2003: Domestic & Foreign Policy

Domestic Policy

Next year should provide policy makers with many opportunities for strengthening the U.S. economy, improving the nation's public infrastructure, and enhancing the health and safety of Americans. A new Congress, a year without a national election, and a recovering economy all promise to improve the political environment for a wide array of policy changes that will make the country stronger.

 

The Heritage Foundation recommends the following policy initiatives be debated in 2003:

 

Taxes:

Make the 2001 tax-rate cuts permanent and push to make them effective immediately.

 

Reality-Based Scoring:

Routinely use dynamic economic models when estimating the fiscal effects of tax policy changes.

 

Budget:

Restore real fiscal discipline by eliminating corporate welfare, cutting wasteful spending, reforming massive entitlements, and shaping the budget debate.

 

Transportation:

Enact true market-oriented reforms to the federal highway system, Amtrak, and the federal aviation program.

 

Social Security:

Educate the American people to build support for true Social Security reform.

 

Regulation and Technology:

1.    Remove barriers to broadband telecommunications by lifting FCC regulations, provide more radio spectrum, reducing taxes, and limiting local restrictions.

2.    Reform the Postal Service by pursuing real, pro-competition reforms that will benefit consumers.

3.    Require government-sponsored corporations to follow the same strict accounting and transparency rules as private-sector corporations.

 

Environment and Energy:

Reject any domestic Kyoto-style regulations.

 

Health Care for the Uninsured:

Enact individual health care tax credits for uninsured Americans.

 

Medicare:

Start a multi-year process of comprehensive Medicare reform based on patient choice and control and market competition.

 

Education:

Empower parents, particularly those with children in failing schools, with information and options. Build on successes to advance school choice during the 108th Congress.

 

Welfare Reform:

Intensify and expand the success of welfare reform by promoting work, strengthening marriage, and expanding abstinence education.

 

_______________________________________

 

Foreign Policy

Next year should provide policy makers with many opportunities for creating an effective Department of Homeland Security, promoting global economic growth through trade agreements, aggressively pursuing the deployment of missile defenses, and continuing the global war against terrorism. A new Congress, a year without a national election, and a recovering economy all promise to improve the political environment for a wide array of policy changes that will make the country stronger.

 

The Heritage Foundation recommends the following policy initiatives be debated in 2003:

 

Africa:

Pursue policies that secure America's national interests while helping African nations build stronger, more stable democracies.

Asian Security:

Pursue mutually beneficial trade and economic policies, alliances, and democratic reforms; but assuring peace in that region is the most important.

Defense:

Defending America is the government's first responsibility, and Washington must take the necessary steps to ensure that the U.S. military can continue to defend the country and transform into the world's premier fighting force of the 21st century.

Europe & NATO:

Whether considered militarily, economically, or politically, America's relationship with Europe is still central to U.S. foreign policy.

Homeland Security:

America's security has become the top priority of government at every level. Politics should not halt the creation of an effective Department of Homeland Security.

International Terrorism:

International terrorism-a deadly cancer that has plagued Western democracies for decades-has metastasized into a more lethal threat to national security and international stability.

Latin America:

Resurrect America's once-strong leadership in the Western Hemisphere. Pursue long-term solutions -- both politically and economically -- instead of piece meal approaches many Latin countries are used to.

Middle East:

U.S. policy toward this region must be based on more realistic approaches not through wishful thinking.

Missile Defense:

Protecting the country is the federal government's first and most important constitutional function. The growing threat of ballistic missile attack is the key reason Congress passed the National Missile Defense Act in July 1999.

Russia and Eurasia:

Develop a friendlier relationship with Russia and encourage its integration into the global economy and international security system.

Trade:

America has benefited significantly from past trade agreements. Lowering trade barriers has brought higher-paying jobs to Americans. Trade has benefited American families, has opened new venues for industry, and has strengthened U.S. diplomatic ties.

United Nations:

Renewed cooperation after September 11 does not mean that all issues of contention between the United Nations and the United States have been resolved.

 

For more Heritage Foundation analysis on the above issues see our Research library and our Issues 2002 pages. Stay tuned for a more detailed release outlining a 2003 agenda.

About the Author