Copyright 2019

Big Ideas

Brookings’s Big Ideas for 2020 are bold, creative policy proposals for America’s next elected president and the 117th Congress.

These ideas, some of which are new and some of which outline specific roadmaps for policy proposals already in the public domain, have potential to make American institutions more equitable, effective, and transparent while enhancing the U.S. role on the world stage.

Production of Brookings’s Big Ideas for 2020 is possible thanks to editorial guidance from Darrell West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, and Jessica Harris, Director of Communications for Governance Studies.

Graduating seniors react during Commencement ceremonies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S., May 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RC1F1F41DBB0 Using teacher loan forgiveness to attract a stronger, more diverse workforce

Michael Hansen and Li Feng propose a federal loan forgiveness program for teachers and other educators to help address the challenges of student loan debt and declining interest in teaching among young people.

Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard and 10th Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019.     1st Lt. Verniccia Ford/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC110D3B25B0 5,000 Troops for 5 years: A no drama approach to Afghanistan for the next US president

Michael O’Hanlon argues that stabilizing its military mission in Afghanistan at 5,000 troops for 5 years would allow the U.S. to achieve its core counterterrorism goals and help foster peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

A general view of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington February 28, 2013. Positions hardened on Wednesday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders over the budget crisis even as they arranged to hold last-ditch talks to prevent harsh automatic spending cuts beginning this week. Looking resigned to the $85 billion in "sequestration" cuts starting on Friday, government agencies began reducing costs and spelling out to employees how furloughs will work.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - GM1E92S1U0N01 Improving congressional capacity to address problems and oversee the executive branch

Molly Reynolds explains why Congress’s oversight authority relative to the executive has diminished and offers reforms that would improve its capacity to address problems, enact legislation, and bolster legislative influence.

U.S. Marines Corps haul their gear out of a MV-22B Osprey that evacuated them to the USS Kearsarge aircraft carrier as U.S. military continues to leave the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria, in the Caribbean Sea near the islands September 17, 2017. Picture taken on September 17, 2017.    REUTERS/Jonathan Drake - RC1B0BC5AEB0 Focusing on quality over quantity in the US military budget

Michael O’Hanlon and James Miller argue that, instead of focusing on the size of the U.S. defense budget, more focus should be given to the quality of the armed forces.

Microphones stand at the podium after U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta addressed supporters at the election night rally in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif  - HT1ECB90KK9V0 The urgent need for peer review in the presidential nominating process

Elaine Kamarck recommends re-introducing an element of peer review to the presidential nominating process by empowering party leaders and elected officials to properly vet candidates for their policy knowledge, record of public service, and temperament before primary voters start casting ballots.

Seniors sign-up to vote during National Voter Registration day at a high school in Escondido, California September 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake - GF10000216439 How to boost voter registration at tax time

Vanessa Williamson explains why making voter registration available during income tax filing would raise voter registration levels and turnout.

An elderly couple looks out at the ocean as they sit on a park bench in La Jolla, California November 13, 2013.   REUTERS/Mike Blake  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT) - GM1E9BE0E8L01 How can policymakers improve retirement security?

Martin Neil Baily argues that the old retirement model in the United States is no longer functioning and offers four policy ideas to help middle-class Americans secure their retirement.

North Carolina Electoral College representatives sign the Certificates of Vote after they all cast their ballots for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 19, 2016.     REUTERS/Jonathan Drake - RC12F8CC65F0 It’s time to abolish the Electoral College

Darrell West discusses the history of the Electoral College and argues why the time has come to abolish it.