By: AIF Staff
This morning, Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and distinguished visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Angela Rachidi, AEI senior fellow and Rowe Scholar, and 19 scholars published a book entitled: American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances.
Download American Renewal by clicking here.
The rationale for the book, in Ryan’s mind, was simple: America’s mediating institutions are fraying, our debt is soaring, and inflation is rising in the post-pandemic era. Now is the time for policymakers to act: They must renew the social contract and place our government programs on strong fiscal footing.
The challenges ahead require a bold conservative vision for a healthy and prosperous America—a vision grounded in a clear understanding of the country’s current circumstances, a grasp of how America’s institutions can rise to meet its challenges, and an unwavering commitment to our founding ideals.
The book presents a sweeping set of policy proposals that together offer a road map to reform America’s social safety net, the early care and K–12 education system, health and retirement security programs, the tax code, and our monetary system. The policies proposed in this book seek to magnify upward mobility, stabilize our health and retirement programs for future generations, grow the economy, and curb the looming debt crisis.
As Ryan said in the book’s foreword:
“America emerged from the 20th century as the world’s sole superpower, having achieved unprecedented strength and prosperity. Our constitutional republic created a miracle of human progress emulated throughout much of the world. Today, this great American triumph is facing enormous political and economic challenges, from without but also from within.
“The system of self-governance we founded nearly 250 years ago is being challenged worldwide—by China’s repressive regime and other authoritarian strongholds. Totalitarianism, once thought to be consigned to history in the wake of the West’s victory in the Cold War, is back, competing for dominance in our digitized world. The digitally fueled polarization characterizing the free world invites the question of whether democracies can muster the durable political consensus to tackle the major challenges confronting our societies.
“In this third decade of the 21st century, I believe America will face an inflection point. Our fiscal policy is on a collision course with our monetary policy, and the economic devastation resulting from a debt and currency crisis could inflict enormous, possibly irreparable, damage…
“The story of America is one of historic human accomplishment—but the future is not secured. The dollar’s dominance as the world’s reserve currency is in jeopardy of being displaced. Upward mobility is stalling—and in some cases reversing. The twin American ideas that the economic condition of one’s birth does not determine the outcome of one’s life and that each generation is better off than the past generation are no longer true for millions of Americans….
“America is facing a fiscal crisis entirely of its own making. All of this is well-known. All of this was predictable. All of this is avoidable. But we are where we are. And, today, our politics are fundamentally unserious. That’s the bad news.
“The good news is that these problems are solvable. And we are not helpless or powerless before them. The solutions to these monumental challenges are achievable; it’s a matter of summoning the will….
“This book is a joint effort at offering solutions to America’s generational challenge. It is a plan to confront our main socioeconomic problems with specific, concrete, achievable policy solutions—ones that restore our social contract while avoiding a debt catastrophe. This needs to be done for us, and it especially needs to be done for future generations. The American idea needs defenders.”
Click here to download American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances.