The Trump Administration has unveiled plans for an illustrious sounding “Office for American Innovation” headed by the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, but the office is already running into setbacks.
See, the idea behind the office is to streamline the executive branch’s efforts to rein in the supposedly bloated federal government. Such was key to Donald Trump’s campaign promises, and it’s a promise that he’s at least made a show of trying to make good on now that he’s in office.
Shortly after he took office, for instance, he signed an across-the-board federal hiring freeze into law, which stopped all federal hiring outside of the military for the time being. That hiring freeze was widely criticized as being nothing more than a version of shooting into the dark, seeing as essential services were temporarily all but shut down by the hiring freeze. Sure, it sounded nice to small government purists, but in practice it was actually anything but nice.
The same can be said of the Trump Administration’s budget proposal, which cuts tens of billions of dollars from almost every federal agency. Some of the hardest hit agencies include the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, each of which is obviously an essential component to an effectively functioning federal government.
Sure, Trump has proposed large funding increases to the budget of the U.S. Armed Forces, but as the head of the European Command told Congress recently, the military doesn’t work alone. Massive cuts to the State Department will make the military’s job harder.
The latest incarnation of Trump’s push to privatize and shrink the federal government is this “Office for American Innovation” which, as mentioned, will be a hub for the White House’s efforts to shrink the federal government according to its liking.
The office will be staffed by a number of members of the business community and advised by Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, Elon Musk from Tesla and SpaceX, Marc Benioff from Salesforce, Bill Gates, the former chief executive of Microsoft, and Ginni Rometty, the chief executive of IBM, as reported by TechCrunch.
Besides the problem of Kushner’s new role creating issues of nepotism in the federal government, TechCrunch notes another problem, writing, “The issues of taking advice of corporate executives on how to streamline government with an eye toward awarding new contracts and potentially privatizing existing services should be obvious.”
Indeed, what kind of credibility does an office on innovation have when its advised and led chiefly by people who stand to financially benefit from potential steps towards “innovation”?
This phenomena isn’t unique to the this incident, with the Trump Organization having already financially benefited from a number of Trump Administration activities.
Ironically, the Obama administration had the idea for an “Office on Innovation” first, as POLITICO‘S Dan Diamond noted on Twitter.
The new office that Kushner will run sounds intriguing…
… but Obama had a very similar idea first. pic.twitter.com/xI4Ad7KuZv
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 27, 2017
This incident isn’t the first time that the Trump Administration has been busted for taking its supposedly great ideas straight from the Obama Administration.
Trump, for instance, has routinely claimed credit for economic growth that started during the Obama era.
Featured Image via Andrew Harrer/ Pool/ Getty Images.