The Heritage Foundation

Executive Summary

November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016 | Executive Summary on

Blueprint for a New Administration: Priorities for the President

Since the publication of Mandate for Leadership in 1981, The Heritage Foundation has sought to inform presidential Administrations with principled, conservative policy recommendations to address the issues facing the country. This year, given the magnitude of the challenges confronting our nation, Heritage is publishing three volumes in the Mandate for Leadership Series.

All three volumes in the Mandate for Leadership Series deliver a clear, unified policy vision for Congress and the President. Undergirding each volume is a commitment to upholding the Constitution and to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

Part I, Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017, released in March 2016, provides detailed recommendations for the annual congressional budget.

Part II, Blueprint for Reform: A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration, released in July 2016, establishes a long-term vision, and policies to achieve that vision, that requires presidential leadership and congressional action.

This volume, Blueprint for a New Administration: Priorities for the President, details specific steps that the new Administration can take immediately upon assuming office to demonstrate its commitment to the long-term vision presented in the second volume.

In formulating policy recommendations in the domestic realm, Heritage analysts were guided by the belief that government policy should serve to strengthen—and not displace—free markets and civil society. In the defense and foreign policy realms, they prescribed policies aimed at protecting the sovereignty of the American people, enabling the military to protect the country’s vital national interests, and promoting economic freedom abroad.

Blueprint for a New Administration offers specific steps that the new President and the top officers of all 15 cabinet-level departments and six key executive agencies can take to implement the long-term policy visions reflected in Blueprint for Reform. The most important priorities are addressed to the President; the remainder to the Secretary or agency head.

A number of the recommendations in Blueprint for a New Administration can be implemented unilaterally by the President on day one via executive order, but some of the most important recommendations—like repealing Obamacare and reforming Social Security—will require congressional approval. As a consequence, the recommendations in this volume are meant to identify the specific steps the new Administration can take to influence congressional action where necessary.

Our country faces many serious challenges at home and a growing number of threats across the globe. The full implementation of this blueprint will not address every problem in the country. Each year, Heritage assesses the strength of America’s economy, society, and defense and our most recent findings reveal a great need for improvement, as explained in:

2016 Index of Economic Freedom: Promoting Economic Opportunity and Prosperity, ed. Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim;

2016 Index of Culture and Opportunity: The Social and Economic Trends that Shape America, ed. Jennifer A. Marshall and Rachel Sheffield; and

2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength: Assessing America’s Ability to Provide for the Common Defense, ed. Dakota L. Wood.

Blueprint for a New Administration will, however, go a long way toward strengthening America’s standing in the world, meeting critical national security needs, rebuilding constitutional government, and reducing the federal government’s heavy footprint on the economy and civil society.

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