“President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.” According to the Washington Post.
Trump will name his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to run a new Office of American Innovation, described as a "SWAT team of strategic consultants staffed by former business executives," designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington and make government work more like a business.
Kushner said "Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
It's good to have fresh thinking about how government can function more efficiently. But government is not a business, and citizens aren't customers.
The purpose of government is not to show a profit; it is to achieve the common good.
Precisely because there are many different views about the common good, the Framers of the Constitution created a system that checks and balances power among three branches of government, and shares power with the states. Their goal was to avoid tyranny.
They wanted leaders who enriched and strengthen democracy -- building trust in democratic institutions, telling the truth, avoiding conflicts of interest, not favoring relatives, and promoting tolerance and social cohesion.
So far, Donald Trump has done the opposite.
He doesn’t need advice about how to turn government into a business. He needs advice about how to lead a democracy.
By Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker