If I Was President

Sometimes, the position papers I write for this blog are specific prescriptions for the United States to do or not do certain things, but most of the time, they’re written from the standpoint of a brand new country, and how to start things off fresh.

I do this on purpose since I think that the United States, along with Europe and most of the Western world, has an unfixable system. The U.S. government has become too big, entrenched, and corrupt to change in any meaningful way, until something unusual like a collapse or states/provinces seceding from their original nations happen.

Regardless, today I’ll chuck all of that and get very specific about what I would do if there was a twist in the space-time continuum and I suddenly find myself as the President of the United States. I will list here exactly what I would do, within real-world constraints.

The specific items are not hypothetical, in that I would really do them. However, the odds of them actually getting done or being completed are very hypothetical, since I would likely be removed from office or assassinated if I really did the things I’m about to describe. (This is, yet again, why none of these things will happen no matter who Americans elect as the president.) I will only describe actions an actual President could take, within the boundary of his own presidential powers.

They are listed in no particular order.

1. On day one, I would announce that I was not going to seek re-election for any reason whatsoever. I would even sign a legal document affirming this, so I couldn’t change my mind later. This way, I can focus on being president and avoid spending any time raising money or campaigning. If any senator or congressmen ever asked me to campaign on their behalf, I would politely decline.

2. As Commander In Chief, I would immediately remove almost all American troops from foreign soil. About 80% of all these troops would be recalled. With the remaining 20%, such as those in South Korea, I would notify the heads of those nations that they had exactly three years to develop their own defenses, and then we’re pulling out. The American taxpayer would no longer be funding vast armies to defend super-rich countries like South Korea and Germany, and Americans would not lose any more of their children fighting someone else’s war.

The troops that are brought home would be placed within our borders to protect our borders, which is what the Army and Air Force is for. The Navy is a different story; I would still have the Navy (and Marines) deployed all over the world to respond to threats abroad, but they would stay in international waters.

3. I would sell off 95% of the 1000 military bases all over the world on foreign soil. These funds would go to pay down the debt.

4. As president, I couldn’t end the drug war, but I could, and would, order the Department of Justice to stop prosecuting all drug crimes and forbid any time or money spent pursuing or prosecuting anything having to do with drug usage. Let the states worry about waging the drug war if they still want to, but the DoJ would be done. I would also pardon everyone serving time in a federal prison on non-violent drug offenses or any other victimless crime.

5. I would order the Department of Justice, and any other executive branch agency, to stop harassing gun owners, gun companies, software companies, tobacco companies, alternative medicine companies, religious groups, healthcare organizations, or any other company, individual, or organization that are peaceably conducting their affairs in the free market.

6. I would permanently shut down the following unconstitutional executive branch agencies or at least do my best to do so:

Department of Education (unconstitutional; let the states handle this)

Department of Energy (that’s a free market function; the government needs to stop making oil companies rich)

Department of Health and Human Services (unconstitutional; let the states handle this)

Department of Homeland Security (redundant; we already have a military, FBI, CIA, and NSA for fuck’s sake)

Department of Housing and Urban Development (unconstitutional; let the states handle this)

Department of Labor (that’s a free market function)

State Department (I’d roll that into the Pentagon)

Many Republican presidential candidates often talk about shutting some of these departments down, but never do it when they are elected. I’m not a Republican, so I would actually do it.

7. I would slash spending by 50-90% in all other executive branch departments (Agriculture, Commerce, etc), with the exception of the Department of Veterans Affairs, where I would actually increase funding and help reform it.

8. I would remove the thousands of regulations and executive orders in the Federal Register imposed by prior presidents, as many as I could during my four-year term.

9. I would put a copy of the Constitution on my desk in the Oval Office, encase it in glass, and permanently attach it to the desk. Any time a bill from Congress would pass my desk, I would refer to the Constitution to see if the bill was permitted by it. Since 95% of bills would not be, I would veto 95% of the bills that Congress would send me. I would be the president most hated by Congress in the last 100 years. And I’d be proud of it.

I would also veto every budget that Congress would send me if it involved more than one penny of borrowing.

It’s possible that Congress would override many of my vetoes. That’s fine. At least I’d be doing my job as president, which is to stand up to Congress, something no president has done in about the last 100 years.

10. I would like to permanently shut down the IRS, but that would probably not be possible even though it’s an executive branch department. So instead, I would cut its funding by 80% or more, and tell those folks to stop harassing taxpayers unless it was very, very obvious that someone was really evading millions of dollars.

I would also audit the IRS as best as I could, and when done with all of my cuts, I would do my best to get taxpayers huge refunds and rebates.

11. I would turn the Department of Justice towards the Federal Reserve, and start investigating the crap out of them. I would constantly be harassing them, and fill their offices with subpoenas. I would, of course, eliminate, veto, and/ or override 100% of all corporate welfare or bank bailouts of any kind.

12. Once done with all of my cuts, and the military was back home, and the wars ended, and the executive branch gutted, I would lobby Congress for massive, across-the-board tax cuts for all Americans, starting with the middle class. My goal would be to get federal income tax rates to the middle class to as close to zero as I possibly could. I’d worry about the lower class and upper class later, if ever. The states would still have plenty of welfare and food stamps for the lower class, and the upper class would still be making billions; it’s the middle class that needs help.

13. I would regularly get on TV and YouTube and champion causes such as entrepreneurship, mentoring, and donating to charity. I would do my very best, using the bully pulpit of the president, to get people to start thinking about taking care of themselves and each other without relying on government to do everything.

14. I would go all “Donald Trump” with countries, such as China and Korea, which use unfair trade practices against America. I would get very, very tough with these countries, and would even enact tariffs if I need to (though I wouldn’t go crazy; I’m still for free trade as much as possible).

15. Through the Department of the Interior, I would start selling off federal land. About 28% of all the land in the US and something like 60% of the land located west of Nebraska is owned by the federal government. This is stupid. I’d put this land up for auction, sell it off, and use the proceeds to pay down the debt.

16. To combat terrorism and other foreign threats, I would do what I discussed in this article here.

I’m sure I would do other things, but those 16 items are the biggies.

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  • Matt T.
    Posted at 06:41 am, 12th May 2015

    Cool post! I’d like to add one request while you are president. As an engineer, this irks me almost daily:

    17. Abolish the imperial system of units, and adopt the metric system. This would streamline international trade and regulation. It would also reduce a lot of the cost of product design, development, marketing, and advertising. People would do mental math in their heads much easier. 14.7 fluid ounces = ??? gallons?

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 10:10 am, 12th May 2015

    Excellent idea and I 100% agree. I don’t think the president has that power though. Maybe Emperor.

  • Tech Romancer
    Posted at 09:05 pm, 27th September 2015

    What about all the blatantly anti-male laws enacted by feminists/women such as VAWA, Tender years doctrine and stuff like child support and alimony? Its arguable that many of the ills befalling society are due to these changes made to empower women over men (not to mention unconstitutional). At this point, a woman can pretty much rape, kill, steal from a man (or child) and get a negligible sentence or no jail time at all. I’d say its a pretty big issue. Also, things like the removal of welfare, WIC, etc (which probably ties into the former and might be covered by your strengthening of the middle class).

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 09:44 am, 28th September 2015

    I agree, but those are all states issues. The president should have nothing to do with those in a free country. Let the states do whatever they want, and people will move away from the states that suck.

  • Steven C.
    Posted at 09:23 pm, 9th August 2020

    Sorry, you’re merging the Department of State with the Department of Defense?  So do ambassadors report to generals and admirals or vice-versa?

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