President Trump plans to open the White House Office of American Innovation, which will serve as a “think tank” on how to apply private sector solutions to government problems.
“All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump told The Washington Post. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”
This new office, which is to be manned by former business executives, will be run by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
Topics the White House Office of American Innovation will tackle range from changes in veteran care to providing internet access to undeserved communities. The new office will also look at privatizing some government functions.
The idea of running government like a business isn’t new. It also doesn’t work. Former President’s Obama and Bush suggested similar ideas. Can you recall how successful those attempts were? I thought so.
The problem is America isn’t a company. Government doesn’t run on profit margins. Also, there is no CEO or “owner” that can fire unruly employees. Government is meant to represent the needs of all citizens. By putting billionaires an business people in charge, you end with a government that represents their interests.
And that isn’t because business people are bad. Like most people, they measure success as what works for them. Why would someone change an institution that has made him or her successful?
And just because it works for them, doesn’t mean it is good for the rest of us.