Today Donald Trump and Michael Pence are inaugurated.
How does a President accomplish stuff? Here’s a modest proposal based on past experience. All the Presidents from the first one to the middle of the 20th. century used cabinet meetings as a primary instrument of government. This practice was important because cabinet members who headed functioning departments were always more than just advisors because they had the responsibility of implementing policies.
Cabinet meetings used to be weekly. They were considered so important, members would meet even if the President was out of town. As the cabinet grew and grew, meetings became fewer and fewer. Because the members became so numerous and because some of these members were members with subordinate line responsibility or else did not have line responsibility at all, actual discussions deteriorated. Sheer numbers of participants prevented freewheeling interactions among the participants.
Bring back cabinet meetings.
To make cabinet meetings functional again the President needs to limit participants to the inner cabinet. Depending on the issues to discuss, some of the rest of the cabinet may be included on a per meeting basis.
Permanent members should be Secretaries of:
- State – Foreign policy
- Treasury – Fiscal policy
- Attorney General – Law and Order policies
- Defense – Military affairs
- Commerce – Economic affairs
Other cabinet departments deal with important issues, too. Then there are agency heads such as the EPA Administrator and even ambassadors, such as the Ambassador to the UN. As important as other issues are, there has to be a core. If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. At least this way, the President will be getting responsible advise with help on implementation.