Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Cabinet Wish List

I pilfered this idea from Ron Simpson over at Cluttered Eclectic Mind. Here's mine, which has a lot of similarities to Ron's-

President-Ron Paul
Secretary of Defense-General Petreaus
Secretary of State - Condoleeza Rice
Attorney General- Judge Andrew Napolitano (until one of the SCOTUS spots opens up, then he gets that nomination)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs- Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States Army. (if there were one department that I wouldn't ever have a problem with growing, it would be this one)
Secretary of the Treasury - Alan Greenspan (he's an expert on hard money and would be needed in the transition to eliminating the Federal Reserve system)
Secretary of the Interior - position eliminated and department gutted
Secretary of Education -position eliminated and department gutted
Homeland Security - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Energy - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Housing and Urban Development - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Health and Human Services - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Labor -position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Transportation - position eliminated and department gutted
Department of Agriculture - position eliminated and department gutted

Well, now that I look at it, I guess it's really not at all like Ron's list.

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Rightwingsnarkle said...

I'm intrigued by this part of an earlier post of yours:

"But the real danger to us is not Islamic Fascism, it is economic collapse. All empires collapse not from conquering opposing armies, but from insolvency. The USSR was a prime example. They overextended themselves with entitlements at home and maintaining an empire abroad and the Soviet Union ended when the bills came due."

Though I disagree with one part of your assessment, namely the cost and impact of domestic spending.

(I'm also going to assume that you intended to say something more like 'All empires collapse not from being conquered by opposing armies, but from insolvency.')

I see domestic spending as being a form of investment - paying out to get something back. It generates economic benefit, just as in the private sector. I think it also generates substantial non-economic benefits that still contribute to improving the quality of life.

Military spending doesn't have that same effect (though some could argue that R&D can have spinoff benefits in non-military sectors).

I do agree very strongly with the main point of what the real risk is. While there are, and will be, groups that pose a threat because they use terror tactics, treating these as military, rather than criminal, threats is a big mistake, IMO. That mistake is compounded by the kind of unilateral military actions that neocons lust for, rather than cooperative law enforcement actions that are much more productive.

But back to the domestic spending and investment issue - I think your wholesale elimination of these departments is short-sighted and, in the end, counter productive for the goal of preventing economic collapse.

Randolphus Maximus said...


On most domestic spending, I would rather have the states make the decisions than the feds. Which is why I would get rid of most of the cabinet positions.

There are a couple of advantages to this. One, it shrinks the federal government(an obvious one)and gets rid of a huge layer of bureacracy. Two, it increases competition between the states, a good thing.

Rightwingsnarkle said...

One of the first thoughts I have upon reading your comment is to reflect upon how local school systems are funded.

They're funded by the local communities, with varying support from each state, and less support from the feds.

In the case of N.H., the state provides very little support (no sales tax, no income tax, no statewide property tax - state revenues come from user fees, lottery and alcohol sales; and also very high room/meals tax).

Thus, local property taxes throughout N.H. are especially high; and the quality of school systems varies greatly by community.

Is this the model of competition that you've identified? Namely, some schools are better than others, because of funding and for whatever other reasons - so maybe people who want good schools should move to those communities that have them, while communities with poor schools suffer the fate of any other entity that can't compete?

I won't put words in your mouth, and will wait for your response.

In anticipation that this is consistent with the competition model you support, I'll say upfront that I find such a view very problematic.

But I'm interested in hearing you out.


Randolphus Maximus said...


The way I see it, true competition would mean that government schools would have to compete with private schools and parents who want to home school their kids in their area (and maybe some other delivery method that hasn't been thought of yet, online maybe? Who knows). So moving to a different area, while an option, doesn't have to be the only one. Making it easier for someone to build their own school and compete against the government school would be ideal.

The main reason why private schools are for the most part still the province of the elite is because the rules are structured to create a monopoly for the government. The only ones who can buy their way out of that monopoly are the rich. But if the barriers to entry in the education market were eliminated, you would see a lot more private schools educating kids at a lower cost with better results.

Conservative Belle said...

Well, now that I look at it, I guess it's really not at all like Ron's list.

That cracked me up.