Brookings’s Big Ideas are bold, creative policy proposals for the new administration and 117th Congress.
Visit our Transition 2021 page for more research and analysis on the presidential transition period.
Production of Brookings’s Big Ideas for 2020 was possible thanks to editorial guidance from Darrell West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, and Jessica Harris, Director of Communications for Governance Studies.
It is time for scalable, evidence-based education reform that puts student engagement, educator expertise, and equity at the center.
Rebecca Winthrop argues why, in an age of growing polarization and rising civic deserts, civic learning must be considered an essential component of a 21st-century education.
Matt Kasman presents four recommendations for evaluating and comparing the possible benefits of different college subsidy programs.
Rashawn Ray and Andre Perry outline the history of reparations in the United States, missed opportunities to redress the racial wealth gap, and specific details for a viable reparations package for Black Americans.
Makada Henry-Nickie and John Hudak propose a Cannabis Opportunity Agenda that supports inclusive economic opportunities and addresses longstanding harms of the War on Drugs
Samantha Gross argues that polices that focus on reducing emissions and that provide support to communities most affected by a transition away from fossil fuels are politically viable for addressing climate change.
Robert Einhorn explains that Iran is unlikely to be in a hurry to expand its nuclear capacity, but suggests temporary steps that the United States and other interested countries to the 2015 nuclear deal could take to freeze or even roll back the rebuilding of Iran’s nuclear program.”
George Ingram recommends focusing the narrative around foreign assistance to create a new vision of American leadership that addresses three major challenges: climate change, advancing development, and educating the world’s children.
Tom Wheeler argues it is time for the public interest to reassert itself over the digital economy with a "visible hand" in guiding and regulating our digital future.
Jenny Schuetz proposes better alignment of three policy tools to address housing affordability: Zoning reform, land value taxes, and subsidies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vanessa Williamson explains why making voter registration available during income tax filing would raise voter registration levels and turnout.
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.
Darrell West discusses the history of the Electoral College and argues why the time has come to abolish it.