Romney Needs to Flex His Bain Muscles To Lift Conservatives
In January of this year, Senator Rand Paul returned $500,000 from his operating budget back to the U.S. Treasury. According to Paul, he was trying to set the example that governmental duties can be carried out “in a fiscally responsible way.” This refund is exactly the type of action that conservatives and the Tea Party are looking for in elected officials.
Now that Governor Romney has solidified his status as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, he needs to find a way to excite the conservatives and get them engaged for his run. Many on the right are speculating on who Romney will choose as a running mate, but that announcement will not likely be made until just before the August convention.
A solid first step to excite conservatives may be to announce a plan for making the Executive Branch more efficient. By announcing a planned reorganization of the Presidential Cabinet into a more trim and efficient body, Romney may demonstrate to conservatives that he is serious about operating in a “fiscally responsible way.”
Currently, the Cabinet has fifteen departments, with an additional eight cabinet-level officers. Each of these departments and offices is staffed with thousands of federal employees doing overlapping administrative functions that can be made more efficient.
A logical plan for the Cabinet might encompass the following:
– Reduce the number of Cabinet departments from fifteen to eight – State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security.
– Merge the Departments of Energy and Transportation a new re-purposed Department of the Interior
– Merge the Departments of Agriculture and Labor logically into the Department of Commerce
– Absorb the Department of Education, Veteran’s Affairs and HUD into the Department of Health and Human Services
Next, the number of “Cabinet-level offices” can be reduced from eight to three:
– Merge the Office of Management and Budget with the Council of Economic Advisers
– Move the Mission to the UN into the Department of State Cabinet office
– Include the EPA in with the new Department of the Interior (with Energy and DOT)
– Move the offices of the Trade Representative and Small Business Administration into the Department of Commerce
– The other two offices — Vice President and Executive — would remain untouched
Finally, President Obama has 37 unofficial czars on the payroll. These mostly-unconfirmed positions can easily be eliminated or assimilated into the remaining departments.
– Into the Justice Department: Ethics and Transparency, Drug, and Regulatory Czars
– Into Health and Human Services: Faith-based, Domestic Violence, AIDS, Health, Urban Affairs, and Health IT
– Into the Office of Management and Budget: Economic and Performance
– Into Homeland Security: Cyber Security, Border, Intelligence, Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
– Into the Treasury: Bank Bailout/TARP and Stimulus Accountability
– Into Commerce: Auto Recovery, Auto, Copyright, Compensation/Gulf Claims, Consumer, Manufacturing, Green Jobs, and possibly Information/InfoTech and Technology
– Into the Department of State: AsianCarp, AfPak, Middle East, and Iran
– Into the Interior: Climate/Energy/Global Warming, Great Lakes, and Science
– Into Defense: Guantanamo Base Closure, War, and Weapons
These actions will reduce the number of top executive, high paying positions from sixty to eleven. Moreover, the executive branch will save taxpayers by eliminating duplicate functions among these offices.
By announcing a plan to streamline the Executive Branch, Governor Romney may just grab the attention of conservatives and reasonable independents that are unsure if he is as “severely” conservative as he maintains. This would be a great first step at utilizing his business acumen to reorganize and reduce, showing the American public that he “means business,” not “business as usual.”