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Action Plan for President Trump

This page serves as a clearing house of The Heartland Institute’s policy recommendations for President Trump. Click here to download a PDF of the “Action Plan,” and scroll down for more research, news, commentary, podcasts, videos, and books.

Action Plan for President Trump

The Heartland Institute released a 34-point action plan for the new administration in November. The entire document can be downloaded in PDF here. Click on the titles below to view each section of the document.

  • Energy & Environment

    Adopting a Pro-Environment, Pro-Energy, Pro-Jobs agenda would produce millions of jobs and billions of dollars in income while more effectively protecting the natural environment than is currently being accomplished by a massive federal bureaucracy and intrusive regulations. Specifically,

    1. Create a President’s Council on Climate Change, modeled after the President’s Council on Bioethics created by President George W. Bush in 2001 (and sunset in 2009), charged with cutting through the politics and bias that infected climate science and policymaking during the Obama administration and advising the President on what policies to repeal and what policies to pursue. Like the Council on Bioethics, the new council should include respected experts outside the cabal of government scientists who were exposed as partisan and unethical by Climategate and many independent researchers.
    2. Withdraw from the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the more recent Paris Accord and end funding for the United Nations’ biased climate change programs, in particular the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Green Climate Fund. [Mostly done: Trump budget defunds the UN's Green Climate Fund. See Heartland's page dedicated this topic here.]
    3. Approve Keystone XL and other pipelines blocked by President Obama. [Done.]
    4. Replace EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Those agencies already have primary responsibility for implementing environmental laws passed by Congress and regulations written by EPA.
    5. Withdraw and suspend implementation of the Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases and the Clean Power Plan.
    6. Withdraw implementation of the Waters of the U.S. rule. [Done.]
    7. Roll back unnecessary regulations on hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas exploration offshore and on federal lands. [Done.]
    8. Roll back recent EPA regulations on ozone, small particles, and other air pollutants that are based on discredited epidemiology and toxicology.
    9. End the climate profiteering in America’s energy sector by ceasing billions of dollars a year in direct and indirect subsidies to wind and solar companies. Require them instead to compete with fossil fuels on a level playing field. [Done — depends eternally on Congress.]
    10. Dramatically reduce government funding of climate change research pending the findings of the new President’s Council on Climate Change. When funding for such research resumes, require that equal amounts go to studying natural and man-made climate change. [Done.]
    11. Dramatically reduce government funding of environmental advocacy groups, including funds delivered to such groups through the “sue and settle” scam.
    12. End the use of “secret science” by EPA and other regulatory agencies, conflicts of interest on scientific review boards, and reliance on epidemiological studies and climate models that are known to be flawed and unscientific. Enforce the Data Quality Act in regards to the junk science promoted and funded by EPA on air pollution and toxicology. [Done.]
    13. Roll back Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which result in the deaths of thousands of car and truck passengers every year, needlessly increase the price of new cars, and favor foreign car manufacturers.
  • Education

    Under the U.S. Constitution, K–12 education is a state and local responsibility, not a federal one. A Trump administration should sharply reduce the federal government’s involvement in K–12 and higher education – not because education isn’t important, but because it is too important to entrust to the federal bureaucracy. Specifically,

    1. Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. If this is not politically possible, then block-grant most or all of the department’s funding back to the states. Preserve and restore state and local autonomy by repealing federal regulations and red tape attached to federal funds.
    2. Withdraw the national government’s endorsement of Common Core State Standards by ending government support of the failed experiment and de-linking federal funding currently attached to it.
    3. Restore funding of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which Congress failed to fund in 2015 – or, even better, endorse education savings accounts for all students in the District.
    4. End the Obama administration’s war on for-profit higher education, which recently led to the demise of a school that provided affordable education to some 40,000 students. For-profit colleges and universities should not be held to higher standards than nonprofit schools.
    5. Reduce federal subsidies to higher education, whether direct for research and other programs, or indirect via student scholarships and loans. Such subsidies have led to higher tuition fees and featherbedding by colleges and universities.
  • Budget & Taxes

    Adopt the plan set forth in Power to the People by Peter J. Ferrara, a senior fellow with The Heartland Institute, to promote economic growth, save Social Security and other entitlement programs from bankruptcy, and provide those most in need with the world’s best health care. Specifically,

    1. Support a plan similar to the Ryan Roadmap or Path to Prosperity plans to balance the budget in 10 years. A balanced budget is absolutely essential if we are to stop digging even deeper the hole created by recent massive deficits.
    2. Cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent – the highest in the industrialized world – to 15 percent, to help bring jobs back to the United States.
    3. Support the A Better Way personal income tax reform plan (simplification and flattening) to dramatically simplify the tax code and reduce rates for most Americans, fueling more work and wealth creation.
    4. Support repatriation of profits held abroad by multinational corporations. Allow companies to bring trillions of dollars in profits held overseas back to the United States to invest and create jobs here. Tax those dollars at a rate possibly as low as 5.25 percent instead of the current 35 percent.
  • Health Care

    Obamacare has been a disaster. It has resulted in huge increases in insurance premiums and loss of competition and choice in health care markets. Unless repealed and replaced, it will destroy the world’s best health care system. Specifically,

    1. Stop the current administration’s plan to use a special U.S. Department of Justice fund to funnel billions of dollars to insurers without congressional approval.
    2. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Republicans have detailed plans to repeal and replace Obamacare with policies that genuinely reduce health care costs and expand access to care, such as a universal health insurance tax credit, block-granting Medicaid to the states, risk pools for the uninsurable, and expanded health savings accounts (HSAs).
    3. Block grant Medicaid back to the states. In the short term, approve any waivers from states wishing to reform their Medicaid programs.
    4. Make prescription drugs more affordable by giving patients, with the approval of their doctors, access to new drugs as soon as clinical trials show they are safe but before they pass remaining tests for efficacy.  Adopt the plan described in Free to Choose Medicine by Bart Madden.
    5. Privatize the Veterans Administration. Veterans are being denied quality health care by an unaccountable and bureaucratic jungle. Give veterans vouchers they can use to buy health care at the same hospitals and clinics chosen by other citizens.
  • Constitutional Reform

    The federal government is out of control. The national debt currently stands at nearly $19 trillion and will surpass $20 trillion in 2017. The regulatory state is similarly out of control. The President and Congress won’t take action that limits their own power and status. It is up to the people to demand constitutional reforms, initiated either by Congress or by the states under Article V of the Constitution, that restore the checks and balances and basic freedoms the Founders thought were protected by the Constitution they wrote. Specifically,

    1. Nominate Supreme Court Justices who are committed to preserving the Constitution as intended by the Founding Fathers, not interpreting it to fit the wants and interests of today’s interest groups and political correctness.
    2. Repeal many of Obama’s executive orders and all of them that stretch or exceed the constitutional authority of the Office of the President. Executive orders ripe for repeal include those affecting environmental protection, trade, health care, immigration, and foreign policy.
    3. Clearly establish that deference to agencies on the interpretation of statutory language is not a license to violate Administrative Procedure Act prohibitions on agency actions that are arbitrary and capricious. Adopt a policy and custom that Congress shall no longer allow executive agencies to exercise legislative authority and power.
    4. Encourage Congress or the states to approve a constitutional amendment repealing the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax).
    5. Encourage Congress or the states to approve a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress.
    6. Encourage Congress or the states to approve a constitutional amendment allowing a majority of states to nullify any federal regulation.
    7. Encourage Congress to pass and then sign into law the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require congressional approval of all major rules.

# # #

Roadmap for the 21st Century

The Roadmap for the 21st Century Project is a collaboration of free-market experts nationwide reflecting their views on the major public policy choices facing the nation, particularly those affecting economic growth and prosperity. Formal co-sponsors of the project are the National Tax Limitation Foundation and The Heartland Institute, with supporting roles played by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Click here to read the evolving multi-part series that serves as a detailed handbook for the Trump administration's reform of health care, education, monetary policy, energy, welfare, and more.

Freedom Rising under President Trump

The election of Donald J. Trump as president offers the best opportunity in decades to shrink the size and power of government and increase individual liberty. The Heartland Institute will be tracking and recording the ways in which executive actions by President Trump – and bills he signs from Congress – show that freedom is rising.

Heartland Commentary on Trump Policy

Trump Defends Western Values in Speech to the Polish People, S.T. Karnick, American Exceptionalism (Jul 7, 2017)

China to Take Climate Leadership Post-Trump Paris Pull-Out, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Jun 23, 2017)

D.C. Appeals Court Pauses Clean Air Litigation, Per Trump Request, Bonner H. Cohen, Heartland Institute (Jun 20, ,2017)

Trump’s Paris Climate Choice Puts America First, H. Sterling Burnett, Detroit News (Jun 20, 2017)

Trump's Budget Proposal Shows The Way To Greatness, Jesse Hathaway, Investors' Business Daily (Jun 15, 2017)

Trump’s Exit From Climate Accord Puts America First, For a Change, Isaac Orr, San Francisco Chronicle (Jun 12, 2017)

Trump Removes Offshore Drilling Restrictions, Bonner H. Cohen, Heartland Institute (Jun 9, 2017)

Trump Rejects Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, Nancy Thorner, Illinois Review (Jun 7, 2017)

The Paris Climate Agreement, Not “Climate Change,” Is the Threat; Trump’s Pull-out Is Good for the Poor and for Our Health, Dr. Jane Orient, M.D. (Jun 6, 2017)

Anti-Trumpism in the Classroom at Butler, Jane S. Shaw, Indianapolis Star (Jun 5, 2017)

Trump Challenges Monument Designations, Kathy Hoekstra, Heartland Institute (Jun 5, 2017)

Will Special Counsel Mueller Become a Thorn in the Side for Trump?, Nancy Thorner, Illinois Review (Jun 4, 2017)

Trump Advances the U.S. Economy by Canceling Paris Climate Agreement, James H. Rust, Heartland Institute (Jun 3, 2017)

Alphabet-Google Big Takeaways from Trump Antitrust Chief’s Senate Answers, Scott Cleland, Heartland Institute (Jun 2, 2017)

Trump Bids Paris Adieu!, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Jun 2, 2017)

States’ Role in the Trump-era Energy Revolution, Bette Grande, The Washington Times (May 19. 2017)

Could Trump Become Education’s Great Liberator?, Robert Holland, Townhall (May 16. 2017)

Open Letter to Ivanka Trump: Serve Your Father by Relying on Scientists, Not Celebrities Who Push Climate Calamity, Joseph Bast, Breitbart (May 15, 2017)

Google Takeaways from Trump Antitrust Chief’s Senate Confirmation Hearing, Scott Cleland, Heartland Institute (May 12. 2017)

Butler University Offers Outrageous Anti-Trump Course, Provides ‘Strategies for Resistance’, Justin Haskins and Katie Clancy, Heartland Institute (May 3, 2017)

Four Reasons Trump Should Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement, H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute (Apr 27, 2017)

To Put America First, Trump Must Exit the Paris Climate Agreement, Isaac Orr, Townhall (Apr 27, 2017)

Trump’s Tax Promises Could Make Tax Day Less Painful, Jesse Hathaway, Townhall (Apr 18, 2017)

Watch the Video and Sign the Petition to President Trump: Get the U.S. Out of the Paris Climate Treaty, Paul Driessen, Heartland Institute (Apr 18, 2017)

Trump Is About To Shed An Obama Holdover – May It Be The Lead Of A Long Train, Seton Motley, RedState (Apr 6, 2017)

Trump Administration Reverses Obama Transgender Bathroom Edict, Teresa Mull, Heartland Institute (Mar 23. 2017)

Trump’s Budgetary Blueprint Retains America’s Welfare State, Richard Ebeling, Heartland Institute (Mar 20, 2017)

Trump Slashes Climate Budget, Programs, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Mar 17, 2017)

Trump Charts His Road To Restoration Of Booming American Prosperity, Peter Ferrara, Daily Caller (Mar 8, 2017)

Obama’s Assaults On Trump – Are Assaults On Our Governmental System And Nation, Seton Motley, Freedom Pub (Mar 8, 2017)

Trump’s Kids, Climate Scientists Disagree on Climate Policy, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Mar 3, 2017)

Trump Cites Wyoming Rancher While Signing Waters of the U.S. OrderKathy Hoekstra, Environment & Climate News (Mar 3, 3017)

Heartland Institute Experts React to President Trump’s Address to Congress, Heartland Institute (Mar 1, 2017)

Advice to Trump: Make Ethanol Grain Again, Isaac Orr, Investor's Business Daily (Mar 1, 2017)

Trump Qualifies to Scold Congress about Obamacare, Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report (Feb 28, 2017)

Trump’s First 30 Days: Implementing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, Thomas A. Hemphill, Heartland Institute (Feb 28, 2017)

Trump’s IRS Gives Relief to Obamacare Walking Wounded, Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report (Feb 22, 2017)

Trump Executive Order Eases Obamacare Burdens, Emma Vinton, Heartland Institute (Feb 20, 2017)

Trump Delivers on Climate, Energy, H. Sterling Burnett, Boston Herald (Feb 17, 2017)

Trump’s Too Smart to Fall for Harmful Republican Establishment Tax Plan, H. Sterling Burnett, Inside Sources (Feb. 17, 2017)

NC Lawmakers Urge Trump to Scuttle or Restrict Wind Project, Bonner Cohen, Environment & Climate News (Feb 16, 2017)

The Swamp Strikes Back: Some Of Trump’s White House Guests Are Not His Friends, Seton Motley, RedState (Feb 16, 2017)

Early Actions Show Trump is Serious About Climate, Energy Policy Reform, H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute (Feb 16, 2017)

Trump Signaled Rule of Law is Still King with ObamaCare Order, Michael Hamilton, The Hill (Feb 8, 2017)

Trump Cabinet Picks Offer Hope for Environmental Progress, H. Sterling Burnett, The Hill (Feb 4, 2017)

Trump Calls for Speedier Approval of New Drugs, Heartland Institute Press Release (Feb 1, 2017)

Higher Ed Groups Lobby Trump for More Campus Rights, Teresa Mull, School Choice Weekly (Feb 1, 2017)

FDA Hiring Freeze No Problem for Trump’s Nominees, Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report (Feb 1, 2017)

Trump Is Deregulating – Fast. Congress Needs to Get Up to Speed, Seton Motley, RedState (Jan 31, 2017)

The Ignored Lesson and Teachable Moment from the 2016 ElectionLennie Jarratt, Townhall (Jan 30, 2017)

Even With Trump's Support, U.S. Labor Is Singing the Blues, Thomas Hemphill, RealClearMarkets (Jan 30, 2017)

Trump Should Stop The Government’s Price-Fixing Micro-Management Of Music Royalties, Seton Motley, RedState (Jan 28, 2017)

Trump Starts Rolling Back Obama Climate Programs, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Jan 27, 2017)

Trump Scrutinizes Candidates to Head FDA, Hayley Sledge, Health Care News (Jan 26, 2017)

Federal Lawmaker Starts Work on Trump Childcare Tax Incentive PlanMichael McGrady, Budget & Tax News (Jan 24, 2017)

Article V Convention of States Remains Important Under Trump, Michael Hamilton, Heartland Institute (Jan 23, 2017)

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast on Trump’s Inaugural Address, Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute (Jan 20, 2017)

Trumping the Media, Scot Faulkner, Heartland Institute (Jan 20, 2017)

Rand Paul’s ‘Obamacare Replacement Act’ Deserves Trump’s Attention, Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report (Jan 19, 2017)

Trump Picks Climate Realists for New Administration, H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute (Jan 17, 2017)

Trump Promised To Get Tough On China’s ‘Massive’ Intellectual Property Theft, Seton Motley, Heartland Institute (Jan 12, 2017)

Trump Cabinet Picks Indicate New Climate Sheriff in Town, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Jan 6, 2017)

Trump’s Reality Revolution Won – Now It Must Be Implemented, Seton Motley, Heartland Institute (Jan 3, 2017)

A Second Chance for Freedom, Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute (Dec. 27, 2016)

Dear President-elect Trump: Don’t Listen to Ben Santer, Jim Lakely, The Heartland Institute (Dec 27, 2016)

Trump Is Looking To Go – ‘Big League.’ Congress Says They’re Ready. Let’s Do It, Seton Motley, RedState (Dec 22, 2016)

Trump Should Adopt These Climate-Related Reforms to Make America Great Again, H. Sterling Burnett, Orange County Register (Dec 22, 2016)

Trump’s Shopping Strategy Demonstrates Free-Trade Benefits, C. Edmund Wright, The Heartland Institute (Dec 19, 2016)

Trump Vows Changes in Nation’s Energy, Climate Policies, H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute (Dec 16, 2016)

Trump Should Shut Down the FCC, Seton Motley, The Hill (Dec 15, 2016)

Trump Chooses DeVos to Head Education Department, Teresa Mull, The Heartland Institute (Dec 13, 2016)

Trump Appoints Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt to Head EPA, Heartland Reacts, Jim Lakely, The Heartland Institute (Dec 12, 2017)

How Trump and Promise of FCC Reform are Already Spurring Economic Growth, Scott Cleland, The Hill (Dec 11, 2016)

Conservatives Must Strongly Support Trump on Climate Change, Tom Harris, The Heartland Institute (Dec 9, 2016)

Media Misleads on Trump Climate Switch, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Dec 8, 2016)

Trump and Climate Policy, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly (Dec 2, 2016)

Trump’s Energy, Climate Plans Will Put America First Again, H. Sterling Burnett, American Spectator (Dec 2, 2016)

State Lawmakers Prepare for Medicaid Expansion ‘Uncertainty’ After Trump’s Election, Michael Hamilton, The Heartland Institute (Dec 1, 2016)

The Trump Transition: Away From Enormous, Terrible Top-Down Government, Seton Motley, RedState (Nov 30, 2016)

Heartland Offers Advice to Trump, Joseph Bast, The Heartland Institute (Nov 29, 2016)

Trump to Obama’s Energy Legacy: ‘You’re Fired’, Isaac Orr, Breitbart (Nov 29, 2016)

Speaker Ryan Leads Republicans To A Better Way, Peter Ferrara, Daily Caller (Nov 22, 2016)

Who Will Be the Next U.S. Education Secretary?, Teresa Mull, School Choice Weekly (Nov 22, 2016)

PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Releases ‘Action Plan for President Trump’ (Nov 21, 2016)

Will Trump close Department of Education?, Robert Holland, School Reform News (Nov 20, 2016)

What to Expect from a Trump FCC, Scott Cleland, Heartland Institute (Nov 16, 2016)

What the Trump Victory Means for Energy, Charles N. Steele, Heartland Institute (Nov 11, 2016)

Trump Victory Is Crushing Defeat for Environmental Movement, H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly, (Nov 11, 2016)

Time for Trump to Execute Promised Obamacare Repeal, Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report (Nov 10, 2016)

Trump’s Tax Reform Promises A Boom. Hillary’s Trillion-Dollar Hike Guarantees Recession, Peter Ferrara, Heartland Institute (Nov 8, 2016)

Trump and Clinton Both Wrong on Ethanol, Jeff Stier, Heartland Institute (Oct 14, 2016)

Trump’s Tax Reform Is The First Step To Booming Economic Recovery, Peter Ferrara, Heartland Institute (Oct 12, 2016)

Trump’s Education Plan of Choice: Worth the Wait?, Robert Holland, Heartland Institute (Sept 30, 2016)

Trump: Making America’s Energy Policy Cheaper, Faster, and Better, Marita Noon, Townhall (Jul 18, 2016)

Heartland Podcasts on Trump Policy

Jay Lehr: The Possibilities for EPA and Climate Reform Under President Trump (Jun 6, 2017)

Fred Palmer: America and Coal's Brighter Future under President Trump (Jun 5, 2017)

Lindsey Burke: How Will the Trump Administration Influence Education? (Jun 5, 2017)

In The Tank (ep87) – Trump Supporter Polls, Anti-Fracking Fail, California Single Payer Health Care (May 5 ,2017)

Dan Pilla: President Trump’s Tax Plan (Apr 27, 2017)

Peter Pitts: Trump Should Negotiate Fair Trade, not Import Prescription Drugs (Mar 6, 2017)

Robert Bradley, Jr.: Energy and Climate Policy Under the Trump Administration (Feb 15, 2017)

Josh Blackman: Unpacking Trump's Executive Order on Obamacare (Feb 7, 2017)

Veronique de Rugy: President Trump’s Proposed $1 Trillion Government Infrastructure Stimulus Plan (Feb 1, 2017)

Isaac Orr: Changes in Energy Leadership and Policy Under the Trump Administration (Jan 24, 2017)

In The Tank (ep72) – Trump's Inauguration, Cigarette Black Market, and the Obamacare Replacement Act (Jan 20, 2017)

Clyde Wayne Crews: First Steps for the Trump Administration: Rein in the Regulatory State (Jan 18, 2017)

William Yeatman: First Steps for the Trump Administration: Champion Affordable Energy (Jan 4, 2017)

In The Tank (ep66) – The Federal Reserve, Inflation, and Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary Pick (Dec 2, 2016)

Matt Frendewey: Trump and Education Policy (Nov 28. 2016)

In The Tank (ep64) – How Will a Trump Presidency Affect Budget and Tax Policy? (Nov 18, 2016)

Hamilton, Haskins: Trump Must Stop Obama's Single-Payer, 'Judgment Fund' Insurer Bailout Scheme (Nov 17, 2016)

In The Tank (ep63) – How Will a Trump Presidency Affect Energy, Health Care, and Education Policy? (Nov 11, 2016)

Dr. Bernard Weinstein: Trump administration and Energy Policy (Nov 10, 2016)

Heartland Video





Heartland Books

Patriot's ToolboxPower to the People

The Patriot's Toolbox
The Heartland Institute
270 pages
October 2010

Power to the People
Peter Ferrara
129 pages

RewardsWhy Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
Herbert Walberg and Joseph Bast
200 pages
Why Scientists Disagree
About Global Warming

Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter,
and S. Fred Singer
120 pages

Freedom Rising Under President Trump

The Heartland Institute is tracking the executive orders and bills signed by President Trump that  help freedom rise.

Click here for more information