Heritage Scholars Sound off on Biden’s Address to Congress

Heritage Scholars Sound off on Biden’s Address to Congress

President Joe Biden is addressing a joint session of Congress this evening, and experts from The Heritage Foundation are weighing in. Here’s what they have to say.

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Health Care

How to encourage Americans to get vaccinated? Educate, not indoctrinate, as Doug Badger and Ed Haislmaier’s outline in their op-ed, “What it Took For A Group of Republicans to Overcome Their Vaccine Hesitancy.”

-Marguerite Bowling, senior communications manager, Institute for Family, Community and Opportunity


The American Families Plan undermines welfare reform with new cash payments (referred to as refundable tax credits by Biden) and will discourage work and marriage, thwart upward mobility, and trap families in long-term dependence on government welfare. Disconnecting government benefits from work reverses decades of successful welfare reform. If enacted permanently, this would be the second largest expansion of the welfare state in U.S. history.

Under the plan, a family that chooses not to work at all would receive almost three times as much in new benefits as a median-income working family. The Biden plan adds new cash grants on top of extensive unconditional benefits already provided to non-working single parents. A single mother with two school-aged children would typically receive a combined $59,000 in free welfare, medical and education benefits even if she doesn’t work or prepare for work.

The Biden plan rewards households lacking work and marriage compared with those married and working. For the first time in a quarter century, it increases unconditional cash aid to young teen mothers. This is not an effective or compassionate strategy for reducing long-term poverty or improving the well-being of the poor.

Policymakers who care about helping American families who need financial help should  reform—not expand—the existing 89 welfare programs costing $1.1 trillion a year, starting by removing the substantial penalties against marriage within the welfare system. 

-Leslie Ford, visiting fellow in Domestic Policy Studies, and Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.