As part of Heritage’s commitment to educate candidates about conservative solutions, national security expert James Carafano visited Donald Trump’s headquarters last week to brief the candidate and his team on national security and foreign policy issues.

Heritage makes these briefings and our published policy research available to all candidates who request them.

Heritage’s Rachel Sheffield explains in the Boston Herald why work requirements for welfare are so critical for the success of the program:

It’s been 20 years now since the 1996 welfare reform, a rare bipartisan triumph, was signed into law. Critics predicted gloom and doom, but it soon proved to be a success. Why?

Simply put, it was because of the law’s work requirements. But how those work requirements, well, worked is less well understood — and that leaves us poorly prepared to maintain and build on that reform to help more Americans achieve self-sufficiency.

The biggest problem, however, is that the original 50 percent work participation rate is simply too low: 50 percent of TANF recipients can be doing no work at all, and a state can fulfill its work requirement. The main reason why the work rate was set at 50 percent was pressure from governors at the time the law was passed; for the most part, they sought to keep required work participation as low as possible.

The goal of welfare should be to promote self-sufficiency for able-bodied adults, and work requirements play a critical role in achieving that aim. A work requirement establishes reciprocity between the individual who receives assistance and the taxpayers who provide it. Most important, a work requirement makes assistance available to those who need it while ensuring that individuals are encouraged toward self-sufficiency.

Do you that expanding work requirements for welfare recipients would help promote self-sufficiency?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Heritage’s Mike Gonzalez explains the latest push by liberals to micromanage how private companies organize their boards of directors:

Forcing firms to disclose the race and gender of their directors is a step towards de facto quotas.

Activists such as Aaron Dhir, a professor at York University’s Osgood Hall Law School in Toronto, have urged that companies be compelled to consider “the socio-demographic composition of their boards”—that is, directors’ sex and ethnicities, not their diversity of experience. At the very least, firms could be forced to explain why they refuse to enforce quotas in the boardroom. These aren’t only the ideas of an obscure professor. Rep.Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) has been pressuring the SEC to force companies to identify “each board nominee’s gender, race, and ethnicity.”

But this push isn’t about performance. Rather, its proponents want to open a new front in the campaign to have government allocate participation in society for groups it designates as protected classes. Mr. Dhir, Rep. Maloney and the others want these disclosures so activists can use them to intimidate companies.

Do you believe this is the proper role of government?

To believe the left, the welfare reform signed into law 20 years ago by Bill Clinton drove millions of American children into third-world levels of poverty.

Writing in National Review, Heritage’s Robert Rector debunks this myth:

In reality, welfare reform cut welfare caseloads by over 50 percent. Employment of the least skilled single mothers surged, and the poverty rates of black children and single-parent families rapidly dropped to historic lows. Doomsday prophets were discredited, and welfare reform has remained enduringly popular.

Among the families living in alleged “extreme poverty,” some 86.5 percent have air conditioning in their homes or apartments, 89 percent have cell phones, 88 percent have a DVD player, digital video recorder, VCR, or similar device, and 67 percent have a computer.

Only 1 percent of these families reported that they “often” did not have “enough food to eat”; another 8 percent said they “sometimes” did not. The remaining 91 percent reported that they “always” had enough food to eat. Despite having alleged incomes of less than $2 per day, only 1 percent had been evicted during the prior 12 months.

Rector helped craft the 1996 law after spending years advocating for welfare reforms.

Heritage hosted a discussion on this topic last week.  You can watch their discussion here.

Do you think the 1996 welfare reform law has helped Americans? Should even more welfare-reform be attempted?

Writing for The Daily Signal, Beverly Hallberg suggests three ways you can move people’s beliefs on the Second Amendment in a common-sense direction–even when they don’t agree with you:

1.) Common Ground

Even though the other side often demonizes those who support gun rights, it’s important that you not return the favor.

Instead, work hard to find common ground on such a hostile topic. You will develop instant goodwill and buy some credibility as you support a viewpoint the media often finds “crazy.”

2.) Examples

Personal anecdotes and stories can go a long way to diffuse a hostile topic like gun ownership. Humanizing your position will only strengthen your argument and paint a clearer picture of what you believe.

For example, when I discuss the importance of gun rights, I like to highlight that I am a woman who values safety in an often unsafe city like the District of Columbia.  Since the police can’t be everywhere at all times, it’s important for someone like me to be able to protect myself.

3.) Words

Sadly, in the age of the Kardashians, “Bachelor in Paradise,” and Snapchat, most Americans don’t know what the Second Amendment is, or even understand the phrase “right to bear arms.” Instead, use words that are easy to comprehend and evoke more emotion like “the right to protect yourself.”

What arguments have you found effective in changing minds?

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