President Trump will speak to Congress Tuesday, and will unveil advisor Stephen Bannon’s plan to “deconstruct the administrative state.” The New York Times is reporting that Trump will outline a budget heavy on cuts to ensconced Deep State agencies like the State Department and the EPA–with Defense getting the boon.
I say “good.” And I think the majority of Americans will agree.
Those fat and happy bureaucrats in Washington and scattered field offices need to taste the axe for once. I’ve lived through three difficult Air Force BRACs. One closed Pease AFB in New Hampshire. Then I moved to Warner Robins, Georgia, where we’ve survived two more, not without injury. The former Warner Robins Air Logistics Center is now a mere “Air Logistics Complex” under Tinker AFB’s (Oklahoma City) budget.
Granted, the defense budget is loaded with its share of fat to be trimmed–up to $120 billion according to a recent study that the DoD tried to bury. But the EPA and State have, for the last 24 years, sat fat and happy.
When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, the EPA’s budget was $6.8 billion with 17,280 employees. In FY 2016, it was $8.1 billion, with only 15,376 employees, after peaking in FY 2010 with a whopping $10.2 billion. Since 2002, the State Department’s foreign affairs budget has ballooned from $8.2 billion to $11.2 billion in FY 2016. That doesn’t include foreign aid and military assistance.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of what benefits America more. I realize that this analysis is dependent on one’s worldview–some think rising oceans is an imminent threat and others think China’s soon-to-be missile-ready manmade islands are a bigger threat. But which gives America more options, globally-speaking: a well-functioning, efficient and ready military, or foreign service functionaries and SWAT teams for the EPA?
I’ve made my case that the EPA itself is a duplicative, liberal-issue-advocacy hive of socialist bureaucrats who have made its mission to discredit capitalism and shake down companies for the benefit of Greenpeace. The EPA should be shuttered, in my opinion, and no harm would be done. In fact, up to $353 billion in extortion money could be reinvested into the economy if the EPA no longer exercised gunpoint hegemony over every drop we drink, and every breath we take.
Give that cash to Elon Musk and he’d have us driving electric cars, storing solar energy in high efficiency batteries, and using hyperloops for intercity travel before half the EPA navel-gazers could retire on their federal pensions. I’m all for energy efficiency. I’m also for government efficiency.
As for the State Department, we’ve spent half the last 16 years fighting a war to liberate Iraqis from a cruel despot, and the other half throwing them under the boot of ISIS. We spent half eliminating the Taliban and its heroin-fueled terror operation from Afghanistan, and the other half apologizing to the Taliban while they continue to kill our soldiers.
The State Department has yielded few boons to America, because former President Obama let the liberal dogs run without a leash. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry chased the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov around the world like chided puppies, while Vladimir Putin amassed an enormous fortune robbed from his country (Trump respects Putin’s business savvy). Putin had his way in Crimea, Syria, and the Baltics. What did State do for America? Squeal about the oceans rising.
Trump has yet to fill 2,000 or so political appointments. Why should he bother? The country hasn’t collapsed. These “Schedule C” appointments make up the hydra head of the administrative state’s policy and regulatory machinery. If Trump is about to cut the agencies anyway, why fill the positions? He shouldn’t.
Last, the DoD needs a shave and a haircut, but not a budget cut. Defense procurement has become a game, and it needs to be a business. We need to build the best weapons systems in the world, the best logistics in the world, and create the best warfighters in the world. Old systems need to catch up on deferred maintenance.
The president’s plan, if it’s what the liberal-leaning New York Times thinks it is, will do much more for America–and get more citizens excited about our future–than all the doom-and-gloom predictions of the main stream media.
Remember, Trump won because he presented a better message–one that resonated with Americans. Though his approval rating might be terrible, people’s optimism about the nation has increased since he took office.
Trump’s budget plan speaks to the average American that the president cares more about their every day life than he cares about the government. This is the first time in a very long time that any president has delivered on his rhetoric.