Trump's Team Can Deliver the Swift Action We Need
The voters who elected Donald Trump voted for change, and the president-elect’s cabinet selections indicate that they may get what they want. Instead of being dominated by lawyers, Washington hands, or academics, Trump’s cabinet is made up of business leaders, state executives, and seasoned military officers.
This is a welcome development, because too often presidents and other Washington politicians fill top government positions with people who possess a high level of technical experience, but don’t necessarily have the know-how to execute a broad effective strategy for success. Those advising the 45th president, by contrast, will bring the experience needed to make major changes to Obamacare and the tax code and to implement a more balanced approach to labor and environmental regulations.
For the past eight years, regulatory burdens and overreach exemplified what the current president does not understand about the private business sector or effectively managing the federal government.
According to an analysis conducted by the American Action Forum, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs concluded review of 60 regulations in December — more than any other December in a presidential election year.
While House Republicans have directed legislative efforts to prevent these so-called “midnight regulations” from moving forward, this has been going on for the past eight years, not just the last month.
According to the American Action Forum’s Regulation Rodeo, a tool that tracks regulations and their costs over time, since 2009 there have been over 3,000 regulations finalized totaling $873 billion, amassing a burden of 583 million paperwork hours.
President Obama has only made the problem worse by sidestepping Congress to govern by executive fiat. Unilateral action should not be confused with strong leadership. And, besides, it has consequences: President Obama’s champions who cheered when he declared he could circumvent Congress with his “pen and phone” are less enthused about Mr. Trump’s Oval Office coming fully equipped with those executive powers.
The president-elect must act bold and act fast. To do so, he should take advantage of his well-assembled team. By leveraging this source of seasoned and varied points of view, Mr. Trump will have at his disposable the ideas and strategies to move policies and bring about the change he promised.
Repealing the sweeping regulations imposed by the Clean Power Plan, Dodd-Frank, and the Affordable Care Act are at the top of the transition team’s list. But to fix much of the damage wrought by these and other measures over the past eight years, the new administration will need Congress to cooperate. Here again, appointing experienced executives to head up federal agencies will serve the president-elect well.
More than 65 percent of American voters asked for change in November, and they selected Donald Trump as the person to deliver it. No president is able to run the massive federal government on his own, which is why bringing on a team of well-experienced business, state, and military leaders is so important. Republicans should get to work and seize this opportunity to show the American people what real leadership looks like.
Fred Malek is the former President of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines, the founder of Thayer Lodging, and an advisor to four U.S. Presidents.