Cleaning Up the White House

by Mark Angelides

There seems to be a staffing crisis taking place in the White House at present. Every week or so we hear of another appointment or firing, and the media begins its spin machine going again, keeping the 24 hour news cycle fed. What is even more amazing than the staff turnover is the fact that things still seem to be getting done.
This begs the question…How much of the “movement and activity” we see in government is really necessary? And, this leads to the question of whether or not we could just do away with large swathes of bureaucratic layers. When Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland stepped down after 30 years at the EPA, she cited opposition to the direction the agency was taking. She made a special point of decrying the “one in, two out” policy on introducing new regulations. She explained that by this method, the best thing government could actually do was to “stop”. And she might be right but for different reasons.
The amount of wastage and pointless activity that takes place whenever a new “pet project” gets started is detrimental not only to the finances of the nation, but to procedures that are already (if imperfectly) working.
How many billions of dollars are lost on projects that begin, turn out to be useless,, and are then scrapped? What would the national debt (and deficit) be if the US just stopped doing things for a couple of years? Perhaps this should be the election slogan for an up-and-coming 2020 candidate: “Vote for me, because I won’t do ANYTHING! And the Rest of Government will JOIN ME!”
If government had no mandate for anything other than administration, and a two-thirds majority had to be reached before any policy was even discussed, we could all spend some time just getting our lives in order. The economy would settle itself based on real market forces (as opposed to State intervention) and we might end up with a currency that is valued where it should be.
We call the Executive Branch the “Administration”, and that’s exactly what they should be…Administrators. Because there would be no “policy initiatives”, laws would have to be enforced as they are; there would not be any “nudge, wink” to say that “this law we don’t enforce”.
The White House press briefings would be phenomenal! CNN shouts down the WH press secretary demanding to know why an action was taken. And the mumbled reply from the podium: “We didn’t intend to do anything, it was an accident. This government is committed to inaction and will do precisely nothing to achieve it…We promise.”
Do you think it has legs as a political movement?

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