Mises Wire

Here’s What Donald Trump Should Do before Inauguration Day

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States won’t have to formally certify their electoral college votes until December. But, assuming Joe Biden’s supporters do manage to push through the necessary 270 electoral votes, Donald Trump still has until January 20 to change military policy, pardon allies, unseat the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and throw a wrench in the deep state apparatus that has so long antagonized him.

But time is running out. What Trump does now could nonetheless strike a blow for the cause of restrained foreign policy, while reining in the intelligence state and placing barriers in front of Washington technocrats seeking to reassert their power in Washington.

But what exactly should Trump be doing?

Fortunately, Lew Rockwell has recently compiled a list of the essentials, noting that Trump should of course continue his legal challenges to the ballot counters in various states. But there are also concrete policy changes he can make right now, and speaking to Trump, Rockwell concludes: “In the time until [January 20], you should act decisively against the deep state and the enemies of the American people.”

Step 1: Fire the Worst and Most Antagonistic Bureaucrats.

Speaking directly to Trump, Rockwell begins by noting, “You should fire Anthony Fauci and Christopher Wray.”

Fauci, of course, has long been one of the most enthusiastic advocates of economically crippling countless American families, throwing breadwinners out of work, and keeping them locked in their homes until “we get to the part of the curve where it goes down to essentially no new cases, no deaths for a period of time.

FBI director Christopher Wray would be the next to go. Rockwell writes:

Christopher Wray has acted to undermine your administration. He pedals the fake charge that the Russians made you president in 2016, and he withheld from you the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell,” even though he had this since December. But you shouldn’t stop with him. As you well know, there is a cabal of FBI, CIA, and NSA agents who have acted to undermine you even before you took office. You should get rid of them. In fact, why do we need an FBI or a CIA at all? They are agencies of world disruption, and you would do the world a great deal of good by abolishing them.

Step 2: Pardon Generously.

One of the best and most libertarian powers a president has is the ability to grant pardons. This is an essential check on the power of the federal bureaucracy and the federal courts. Trump should employ this power broadly:

The Left will stop at nothing to harm you and your friends if Biden gets in. You should immediately pardon yourself, your family, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and all the others who have stood up against the Left. I strongly suspect that “Judge” Sullivan, a pliant tool of the Left, is planning to sentence Flynn to a long prison term as soon as you are forced out of office. He needs to be pardoned to preclude that from happening. 

Step 3: Fire the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. 

Although it is rarely acknowledged in discussions of law or policy, members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are no more protected from being fired than are members of the president’s cabinet. That is, Trump doesn’t need permission from Congress to fire the entire board.

For years, the Fed has pursued a radical policy of money supply inflation by relentlessly expanding its portfolio. The purpose of all this has been to both prop up favored industries and pursue higher inflation targets. Rockwell quotes Ron Paul, who notes:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently announced that the Fed is abandoning “inflation targeting” where the Fed aims to maintain a price inflation rate of up to two percent. Instead, the Fed will allow inflation to remain above two percent to balance out periods of lower inflation. Powell’s announcement is not a radical shift in policy. It is an acknowledgment that the Fed is unlikely to reverse course and stop increasing the money supply anytime soon.

Following the 2008 market meltdown, the Fed embarked on an unprecedented money-creation binge. The result was historically low interest rates and an explosion of debt. Today total household debt and business debt are each over 16 trillion dollars. Of course, the biggest debtor is the federal government. The explosion of debt puts pressure on the Fed to keep increasing the money supply in order to maintain low interest rates. An increase in rates to anything close to what they would be in a free market could make it impossible for consumers, businesses, and (especially) the federal government to manage their debt. This would create a major economic crisis.

The Fed has also dramatically expanded its balance sheet since 2008 via multiple rounds of “quantitative easing.” According to Bloomberg, the Fed is now the world’s largest investor and holds about one-third of all bonds backed by US home mortgages.

Congress has expanded the Fed’s portfolio by giving the central bank authority to make trillions of dollars of payments to business as well as to state and local governments in order to help the economy recover from the unnecessary and destructive lockdowns….

These policies will prove to be disastrous for American families and the economy overall. And the members of the Fed board are all poised to enjoy a free pass.

By firing the entire board, Trump would of course not prevent similar bureaucrats from taking over the same reins. But there’s also no reason to help the Fed project a false image of “public service” and stability. Firing the entire board would force its members into the spotlight, where they would have to publicly justify their cushy jobs, while perhaps letting the mask slip on the Fed’s long-standing ruse surrounding its alleged “apolitical” policymaking.

Step 4: Bring the Troops Home.

Rockwell writes:

There is another vital thing you can do. In your first term, you often complained about NATO and our involvement in foreign quarrels that don’t concern us. You would render the American people an inestimable service if you withdrew America from NATO and brought all American troops home. The American empire is vast. As Laurence Vance has pointed out,

According to the latest edition of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Base Structure Report: “The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories with outlying areas, and 45 foreign countries.” The majority of these foreign sites are located in Germany (194 sites). The DOD owns, leases, or controls 47,288 buildings occupying 481,651 acres on foreign soil. The DOD has acknowledged the existence of about 800 U.S. military bases in 80 countries, but we know from the work of Nick Turse and the late Chalmers Johnson that that number is closer to 1,000.

Why not do what you can to end this empire and return America to our traditional policy of nonintervention?

For decades, the national garrison state has coasted on the fact US troops have been stationed all across the globe. The status quo thus becomes one state of global intervention, while withdrawing the troops is portrayed as some sort of radical departure from established policy. Trump could reverse this situation by withdrawing enormous numbers of troops from global deployments right now. The Pentagon would of course drag its feet. But the Pentagon likes to claim it can deploy troops across the globe on a moment’s notice. Why is it that the process is impossible in reverse? An aggressive drive toward demobilization would create a new status quo and put the onus on the Pentagon and its allies, who would then have to justify countless new deployments across Asia, Europe, and Africa. As the Obama administration’s failed attempt at a large-scale Syria invasion showed us, the public’s appetite for new deployments may not be as large as the interventionists hope. But the debate must be forced onto the public stage by bringing the troops home now. 

Step 5: The President Must Reject Calls for “Unity”

You should also reject the false appeals for unity of Biden and his allies. America is not unified. The heartland of America stands opposed to the coastal elites, illegal immigrants, and disaffected minority groups who seek to exploit the rest of us. We need more disunity, not unity.

Coming from politicians, calls for unity are almost never anything other than a ploy designed to consolidate power for the regime. The Biden administration’s latest remonstrances for unity are no different. Moreover, as the election has shown, the United States is indeed not unified at all. Voting returns suggest perhaps half the country views the incoming administration with a mixture of fear and suspicion. Slapping a thin patina of “unity” on top of a deeply divided electorate won’t solve the nation’s problems. 

Indeed, if Trump is on the way out, his final months should be characterized by a rejection of “unity” in which the outgoing administration paves the way for the new administration to seamlessly begin implementing an entirely new round of freedom-destroying policies. If anything, now is the time to maximize disunity in Washington with radical steps that Trump has been too cautious to attempt before. 

Image Source: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
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