The Heritage Foundation has stood as a pillar of American conservative thought for nearly half a century, shedding light on the principles and values that make our country exceptional among nations. Since its founding, Heritage has worked to formulate public policy solutions around the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
These principles and the policies derived from them work to benefit all Americans. Regardless of income level or background, every American has the freedom and the opportunity to chart his or her own path in life, to think freely, to live in peace, to worship as he or she believes, and to grow and prosper.
Heritage researchers develop model policies for government with the individual in mind. They are policies that allow every American to experience even more freedom and opportunity to flourish and pursue his or her dreams.
This Solutions book provides policy solutions for America’s biggest issues in the areas of health care, taxes and spending, foreign policy, immigration, social programs, defense, and much more. The book also provides the rationale and data to firmly back up each solution. Additionally, this guide is written in everyday language that makes it easy to compellingly share these ideas with every American.
The Heritage Foundation has taken the overarching principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense and has broken them down more specifically into this collection of 14 True North principles, which serve as the guide for all the solutions contained within this book:
The True North principles that guide this 2020 edition of Solutions are unwavering and have withstood the test of time. They are what we as conservatives dedicated to finding solutions stand by because they will continue to guide America toward an ever brighter future. They are why our solutions work better and can assure a more free and prosperous future for all Americans.
The American spirit is forged by boldly facing new challenges while continuing to uphold the ideals that have made us great.
The United States of America has been tested time and time again, and its success is predicated on the fact that our nation is not just a nation of people, but one of ideals: ideals such as the freedom of the individual to exercise his or her God-given rights responsibly and that government exists solely to secure those rights in practical application of the rule of law rather than rule by law.
As we move into the next decade of the millennium, attacks on our American spirit are ever-present and unrelenting. The rejection of strong moral values in favor of the doctrine of socialism and the ideology of collectivism is intensifying from within. And the state of global affairs is no walk in the park, either.
The conservative of today fights vigorously to keep the American spirit alive and thwart these attacks. The conservative of today understands that while we hold a healthy reverence for our traditions, we must look forward to resolve our challenges and remain vigilant to face that which confronts us, both now and in the future. The vision cast by the conservative of today is one of an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.
That is why The Heritage Foundation continues its tradition of putting forth Solutions: a policy briefing book that pairs timely policy prescriptions with the timeless principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
In order to confront the barrage of junk science, baseless agendas, and even ad hominem attacks, conservatives must arm themselves with the facts and prescriptions that are laid out in this policy briefing book.
Solutions 2020 is an arsenal of today’s best conservative policy recommendations, backed by the analysis of hard data, for those fighting on the front lines of American political life, whether by running for office or simply being an active citizen in their community. Conservative policymakers, candidates, and the informed citizen can draw information from more than 30 domestic, economic, constitutional, and foreign policy topics from over 100 of our policy experts.
Heritage scholars come from a diverse background of expertise in various industries within the private sector and all levels of government. The policy recommendations in each chapter of Solutions have been rigorously debated and widely agreed upon. Past editions of Solutions have been in the hands of some of the most effective lawmakers in a great field of conservative policy victories.
Where do the principles that guide our policy recommendations come from? The Heritage Foundation and its scholars are true students of history’s greatest political thinkers. The ideas and solutions in this policy briefing book hold tightly to the wisdom of Edmund Burke, who said, “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors,” and the insights of Alexis de Tocqueville, who warned that “[t]he American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
As patriotic citizens of the United States, we have a duty to preserve the American spirit. Future generations depend on our ability to not succumb to the whims of those who wish to dismantle our institutions. And with what would they be replaced? A society that is governed by despotic mob rule hiding behind a mask of misplaced equality?
Solutions 2020 provides its readers with a summary of the policy landscape, policy proposals for Congress to act upon, and authoritative facts and figures to support them. Each chapter of this policy briefing book will prepare the dedicated American to lean into the challenges that our nation faces, fighting for the noble cause to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
On March 11, 2020, the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic, and two days later the United States entered a state of emergency. The disease has wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans who have dramatically changed their behavior and businesses in response. States have reinforced these changes with stay-at-home orders and mandatory closures of “non-essential” businesses. Millions of American workers are now jobless.