What Trump should do

Steve Bannon calls you up. He says he’s been reading some Moldbug, and he’s NRx now (always has been?). He says after the latest debacle, he wants your advice as to a strategic plan.

Strat Aim 1: secure power. Without power this is all irrelevant and any policy advice is dumb. That means A- avoiding impeachment, and B- winning reelection eventually. Both mean fighting the media. “B” also requires some  strategic electoral thinking/policies.  Then (or rather simultaneously as these are not necessarily sequential), secure a deep state (security/army/justice). And with power secure:

Strat Aim 2:  attack the Cathedral in all forms, but especially Academia, the brain.   All our policy prescriptions need to be guided by this understanding.

Per Sean Gabb“We face a ruling class, confident in its ideology, entrenched in all the governing institutions, unwavering in the advancement of its agenda. (…) The chief purpose is to destroy the present ruling class.  Moving as fast as we can, we must abolish as much as we can of its institutional means of action and support.”  Sean has his own prescription for the UK. I side with Foseti in thinking he ‘gets’ some of it, but is perhaps a touch naive and optimistic in other regards (immigration) and possibility of change via democratic election. But then again, Trump/Brexit happened, so who knows.

Regardless, Bannon’s waiting. Here’s my advice:

1- Abolish White House Press Corps.

One of the advantages of (and this will be a reoccurring theme here) of an enemy that’s gone full retard is that you might as well go all out against them. They going to Hitler you anyways, earn some of it at least.  Most Americans have a sentimental attachment to the ideal of a ‘free press’ at the same time they do not trust the media. So we use this to our advantage.

Announce that henceforth, media will be yes of course allowed to report on the presidency, but no longer as ‘cosy’ insiders. While an official press corps made sense during the age of newspapers and to some extent television, the advent of the internet has created the ability for the President to communicate directly with the people. Presidents have done this before, to great effect.  And while Trump’s team has been far more inimical of the press (leading to arguably the only genuinely humorous prog take on the Administration thus far) it’s simply not going far enough.

I propose on a weekly basis (or when necessary) the President address the nation via livestream on the White House website. The country can upvote in a reddit-like system the questions during the week that he’ll have to answer (with some moderation to  avoid trolling), and he can of course discuss topics he views as important. Make it a Sunday night ritual, or Tuesday. Doesn’t matter, but it will become a regular part of the people’s schedule to see the President (or VP, or spokesman) directly address the people without news media in the middle.

Now, the press is of course free to broadcast that signal on TV, etc., and to comment on it. But without the advantage of ‘status’ derived from being in the White House, having the badge, traveling on Air Force One, etc. a reporter is no different than a blogger in his pajamas.  Sure they’ll still have status as members of their respective organizations, but a big blow to status will have been struck.

You’ll find that Putin does something similar, explicitly populist, and IT WORKS.  It positions him as allied with the people against ‘the establishment’, even while he de facto runs the place.  And maintains the illusion  (and don’t kid yourself, it’s alway an illusion) that ‘the people’ have a voice.

There is NO benefit to be derived from placing oneself in this sort of situation.  Why would the ‘most powerful man in the world’ subject himself to his opponent’s framing and attack with the world watching? What did Bush get from that other than humiliation? Colbert, a high-ranking member of priestly cast, destroys the supposedly powerful man in the room, and the Cathedral rejoices. Why?

No. It must stop. The howls of outrage from media will of course sound hollow to the average American people, most of whom are approaching exhaustion with the media. “wait, they’re mad cuz they can’t go to WH? I can’t go to WH. why are they special?” Rex The Tex has already laid the groundwork, and frankly middle America doesn’t care.   And progs already think Trump is Hitler, so what difference does it make? Perhaps a few ‘moderates’ are lost but the removal of some Cathedral power, even if small, is easily worth the cost.  And it can be trivially done as it involves no legislation; it is simply an arrangement that will be undone by a few words from the President.

2-Leave Entitlements alone (for now) but attack SJW programs

This is right out of Gabb’s book. The easiest route for Left to attack you is to portray you as the usual “cutting welfare to the poor to fund tax cuts for rich people.” What gave Trump power and broke the ‘blue wall’ in Midwest was a combination of Left going full retard SJW alienating working-class whites, and Trump seizing the low-hanging fruit on immigration and protectionism. Whether these policies are ‘economically rational’ is irrelevant, that entitlements can’t go on forever and will eventually be tackled is irrelevant.

The goal is to secure power, and you don’t do that attacking Medicare/Social Security UNTIL YOU HAVE SECURED POWER. Of course once power is secured, we can argue till the cows come home bout our ‘tots fave social security reform’ but without power there’s no point to doing so.

HOWEVER, you CAN attack (and Trump likely via Bannon has suggested steps in this direction) government programs that quite literally fund the enemy. Even National Cuckview gets it.

Once again, to repeat Gabb: “The chief purpose of what I suggest is not to save money for the taxpayers, or to free them from a bureaucratic tyranny. Though libertarians will think these desirable ends, and though they will undoubtedly prove beneficial after a few initial difficulties, they do not commend themselves equally to all sections of our movement, some of which will think more about the difficulties than the benefits. The chief purpose is to destroy the present ruling class.  Moving as fast as we can, we must abolish as much as we can of its institutional means of action and support.”

Most voters are innumerative, they quite simply do not understand the difference between one million, one billion, one trillion. Saving a few hundred million abolishing NPR is to them no different a headline than cutting trillions NPV from Medicare future deficits. They don’t know the difference other than that Medicare affects them (or Dad/Mom/Grandpa…), but NPR are a bunch of liberal pussies who live in DC/NY and f them. The administration doesn’t get brownie points for ‘doing the right thing.’ Bush tried privatizing Social Security and got destroyed in 2006 (along with Iraq war blowback), destroying and political capital he had from 2004 reelection. Then he doubled down with an idiotic virtue-signalling Dreamer amensty that we were (temporarily) saved from by the thinnest of margins.

The goal with abolishing NPR, Foreign Aid, UN funding, NEA, AmeriCorps, the Freedomcorps, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, the Legal Services Corporation, the Title X Family Planning Program, NEH, etc. is to destroy what are basically boot camps for the Left.  The beautiful thing is that once accomplished, and I mean destroyed not just defunded, those  employees will get new jobs elsewhere, the social networks broken up, and it’s much harder to restart said programs. Bureaucratic inertia works both ways: once vanquished root and branch it’s much harder to build-up again.

Teach for America can stay 😀

Politically, the most beautiful part of this attack is it will push the Left into further hysteria. Expect NYT headlines about how some transexual Brooklyn reporter losing his opportunity to gallivant on government dime in Southeast-Asia helping teach amused locals environmentally sustainable agriculture. Expect white-male union workers in Michigan to be told how important it is they fund said reporter. Expect a lot more votes in 2 and 4 years.

On Obamacare, it’s even easier. Pass a radical full repeal and replace bill. Let Dems filibuster it. Pass it again next year. Let them filibuster it again. Push for a ‘real filibuster’, involving sleeping bags, no bathroom breaks, a full media circus. Let Dems campaign on preserving a system that is unpopular with higher premiums every year. The political goal is attained. Reforming healthcare along obvious lines can wait until we have full power.

3-Pass a few obvious ‘populist’ but generally good policies

(Trigger Warning: this is the part where I delve a bit more into actual policy and strategy.)

A- First, pass tax reform that is de facto protectionist. Cutting payroll/corporate taxes by raising VAT (or equivalent) taxes is economically similar to raising tariffs and (take that globalists) WTO friendly. The House Border Adjustment Tax is actually not too dissimilar, though likely due to complicated reasons (payroll exemption) will cause WTO challenge. But then again, a WTO challenge may be welcome if it allows us to position as anti-globalist and pro-manufacturing, pushing Dems to oppose the policy and be de facto free-trade, and basically handing us the Great Lake states and thus the Presidency for another four years.

My preferred way to do this would be to first pass the Corporate Income tax reform with BAT.  Wait for WTO backlash, ideally timed into Mid-terms.  Then push for payroll tax repeal and replace with VAT plus small universal benefit.  This would be the equivalent of a tariff, it’s more economically efficient, it actually is progressive, it removes the clear tax-entitlement link that has doomed Social Security reform for decades (though once again this is just an ancillary benefit), and you create a new flat benefit for all that you can push as thin end of wedge to maybe one day replace entire welfare state (but more importantly the social worker class) with.  Average american worker receiving larger chunk of paycheck, AND a lump sum (small at first) payment to compensate for yearly VAT, will absolutely support you. And it further splits the business lobby. Populist and efficient.

The Personal Income Tax? Leave alone. Do NOT pass massive tax cut for wealthy. Some mild ‘remove deductions and cut/simplify marginal tax’ reform is fine, but really no big giveaway to the rich.  (Perhaps remove deductibility of muni/state bonds, to further punish Blue States) This removes one large plank from opposition’s toolkit. Focus has to be (until we secure total power) on politics, not long-term economics.

B- Pass obvious Infrastructure Bills. The main reason Obama’s infrastructure bill failed was because it was not really an infrastructure bill, most of the stimulus went to his base, i.e. white-collar government workers in teacher’s unions, civil service, social workers, etc. What we’re going for are stuff you can point to and say “We built that”.  I’m talking full 3rd world dictator unveiling ceremonies.

Luckily, we already have a list of some projects that mostly make economic sense, are tangible, and ready to go.  The Treasury has compiled one, and a leaked private consultant another.  Lots of overlap. My take: throw out any environmental ones, any high-speed rail liberal nonsense, and anything too exclusively in Blue States. This is politics. FDR knew that and used the WPA as a political weapon, explicitly rewarding supporters in key districts.  Regardless, here’s my proposed very preliminary list, with a focus on ‘hard tangible’ projects with an eye on politics:
Soo Locks Modernization MI
I-10 FL, AL, MI, LA, TX, NM, AZ, CA
I-70 Missouri
I-70 East CO, corridor
I-25 CO improvements
I-93 Rebuild, NH
I-95 Repairs NC
I-95 15 Bridges (PA)
I395/I95 Reconstuction FL
NextGen Air Traffic (National)
Positive Train Control (National)
Chicago Create (not due to state, but due to bottleneck for freight) IL
New Orleans Gateway LA
Mississippi River Crossing TE, AR
Mississippi River Shipping dredging, LA
IHNC Lock Replacement, LA
Upper Mississippi Locks 20-25, MO
Brent Spence Bridge OH, KY
Savannah Harbor Expansion GA
Houston-Galveston Grade Crossing TX
I-11 Corridor AZ, NE
Fargo-Moorhead Flood Control MN, ND
Jacksonville Harbor Dredging FL
Corpus Christi Ship Channel
Locks and Dams on 52 and 53 on Ohio River
Project Clean Lake, OH
South Carolina Dams repair, SC
Hydroelectric Plants operated by US ACoE, new turbines, reforms
Atlantic Coast Pipeline VA, NC
Gordie Howe International Bridge, MI
Kansas City Airport Terminal, MO
ST. Louis Airport, MO
Port Newark Container Terminal Improvements, NJ
Howard Street Tunnel, MD
Illinois River Locks, IL/MO/IA
Chickamauga Lock, TN
Upper Ohio Navigation Improvements, PA
Monongahela Locks and Dam, PA

By far the biggest focus should be on expanding the St. Lawrence Seaway and locks, in a push to shore up manufacturing in Great Lake States. This had a been looked into by Army Corps of Engineering, and while supported in the past a more recent cucktastic review found the ‘environmental’ impact prohibitive, which is a sad indictment on our political governance problems.

The beautiful part is if the Dems try and block any of this you have something to radically campaign against them on.  Publish the list of projects, shore up local support, turn this into a freagin circus, use the bully pulpit of the Presidency, Tweet. Go for the jugular.

Once total power is attained down the line we can move onto larger projects that are at the moment not politically possible.

C- Raise capital requirements on Banks in exchange for cutting regulations. This one is really a de facto reform of Dodd-Frank, and of course the prog media will come after you as ‘cutting regulations on Goldman Sachs’, so framing and message is VERY important. The go-to here is Financial Choice Act (FCA) pushed by Rep. Hensarling, and main adviser should be John Cochrane: http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.sg/ He is a former Chicago professor, and a Hoover Fellow, and Cato adjunct scholar.  He discusses the FCA here: http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.sg/2016/06/financial-choice.html and here: http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.sg/2016/11/a-better-choice.html .

“The core of the choice act is simple. Large banks must fund
themselves with more capital and less debt. It strives for a very
simple measure of capital adequacy in place of complex Basel rules, by
using a simple leverage ratio. And it has a clever carrot in place of
the stick: Banks with enough capital are exempt from a swath of
Dodd-Frank regulation.”

Due to the outsized importance of Wall Street in the economy (and politics), this reform would do far more than most tax cuts. And the plain fact is most regulations on Wall Street do NOT cut odds of a crisis, and in fact bizarrely favors larger banks better capable of handling higher fixed-cost. However, the media will attack any attempt to rationalize regulation. So the delivery of the message must be explicitly anti-Wall Street and populist, all while the reform will benefit the sector in the long-run.  It’s a tricky play, but the negative effects of Dodd-Frank are so high that the benefit via S&P rally are worth it.  One could argue a large part of ‘Trump rally’ has been driven by expectations of this in combination of tax cuts.

(There are other Cochrane ideas I’m partial to, such as issuing perpetuals or ultra-long treasury debt rather than our current longest maturity 30y bonds, worth reading. The floating rate debt thing is insane, but the perpetual is reasonable)

4-Merit-based immigration reform plus wall plus E-Verify

There’s no need to send the Gestapo to kick out millions of illegal aliens, as much fun as that’d be. First, build a wall or fence, they work pretty much everywhere. Then implement a solid National ID system (E-Verify is fine if mandated nationally), which also would benefit overall governance. Lastly, pass obvious points-based immigration reform along Canadian or Australian merit-lines. No need to ban non-whites explicitly when many Americans still cling to ‘egalitarian’ ideals. Do so implicitly via harsh points system that you can keep nebulous to accomplish your goals, similar to how otherwise PC whites will just so happen to pick lily white neighborhoods to live in.   You know, cuz of the ‘schools’.

Once again, if we ever get total power we can implement a more honest and forthright race-based system if appropriate, with some room at top for high talent foreigners. Think Singapore, only way bigger. But for now that is not attainable explicitly, so go for the easy win.  And it goes without saying, we abolish ‘Diversity Lottery’, which is an easy win in Middle America.

 

Conclusion:

The above are all relatively politically possible at the moment, no pie-in-the-sky schemes. I’ve kept some out (like having to support Israel to keep at least some ((())) on your side for time being) because they’re already being done and fairly obvious. But it’s my firm belief that a Trump Administration that:
– Abolished WH Press Corps
– Abolished SJW Cathedral programs
– Left Entitlements/Income tax alone (for now)
– Passed Corporate Tax Reform with focus on Border Adjustment Tax
– Abolished Payroll Tax funded by VAT + Rebate/UBI
– Passed blue-collar swing-state focused Infrastructure Bill
– Raised Capital Requirements for Investment Banks in exchange for Dodd-Frank reform
– Passed Immigration reform on points system, with National ID and Wall

Would march to victory. Every item is a faction or general vote winner, particularly among key ‘populist’ midwest voters crucial to winning the WH in last year and keeping it in four. Every item is likely to push Progs into uncomfortably unpopular positions. Let the Dems run on pro-DCMedia, pro-payroll tax, lower bank capital standards, anti-infrastructure, pro-muslim immgration in four years.  Good luck with that. 

And once you’ve taken an even larger Senate majority in two years as the cycle favors Republicans, and you’ve won reelection in 2020, then you go after the big fish:
– Abolish non-STEM funding for colleges
– Declare foundations (including endowments) with over 100mio to lose non-profit status, much as Henry VIII attacked monasteries for wealth and more importantly for being rival centers of independent political power
– Nationalize or regulate as utilities Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…
– End cable bundling via regulation to end subsidization of prog channels by (usually conservative) sports viewers
– Pull out of UN, ideally on some Israeli bill pretext to split the Chosen vote
– Throughout 8 years, purge Military Officer class and Justice department of progs, building up increasing cadre of pro-regime supporters in those two key departments.
– Have Ivanka, Eric, Don Jr. all win safe Rep or Senate seats and set them up to run in 8 years to continue legacy. Crush the enemy, and never let up.
Unite the clans: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, US (aka Five Eyes ) customs/immigration union, as precursor to long-term political union.

That would be my advice. Mostly wishful thinking and indulgence.  That’s how we avoid debacles like Healthcare bill. That’s how the Administration can push for increasing power, governance, and attacking enemy prog tribe. And that’s our best hope of victory along current short-term political lines.

Needless to say, it won’t happen. So keep hitting the gym, become worthy, and wait. Win small victories when possible. Stay out of limelight.

….but one can dream.

PS:  As the great John Boyd said: People, Ideas, Things, in that order!  In that vein, some silly suggestions:
Office of Management and BudgetDominic Cummings
National Science FoundationStephen Hsu
President’s Science AdviserGreg Cochran
I will state that I’m quite pleasantly shocked at the quality of some appointees thus far, from Bannon to Anton to McMaster. There may be some sliver of hope.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “What Trump should do

  1. Pingback: What Trump should do | Reaction Times

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