Earlier this week Donald Trump took steps to streamline the executive branch. As the summary of the order reads:
This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies.
While this is being sold as the first step in fulfilling Steve Bannon’s promise to “deconstruct the administrative state,” it is important to acknowledge that we’ve heard such rhetoric before. The Obama administration also made nominal gestures to “consolidate, streamline, and improve” government agencies during its first 100 days, with then-OMB chief Peter Orszag being sold to the press as a “deficit hawk” who was “nerd sexy.” The meaningfulness of this executive order will depend entirely upon Mick Mulvaney, the man who now holds Orszag’s old office.
Mulvaney also has built a reputation as a deficit hawk, and one of the few Republicans in Congress who understood that spending cuts had to include the Pentagon. If Trump, Bannon, and Mulvaney, however, are serious about changing business as usual in Washington, the administration will not be content in merely cutting a few staff positions or shutting down a few redundant programs. Instead they should look to genuinely change how government is run by utilizing blockchain technology.