Washington Can't Work

President Trump and the Republican Congress are going to do a lot and will likely act quickly and decisively to help the economy become strong, make the borders secure and the immigration laws effective, protect us from terrorists and rogue nations, and improve our education system. 

It is vitally important, however, to grasp at the outset that Washington cannot work.  Federal solutions always fail.  The best thing federal politicians can do is to get Washington out of the lives of ordinary Americans, their businesses, and their communities.

This must happen fast, because Washington is crawling with folks who will work nonstop to pander the egos of federal politicians and to tell them they, through the wise use of federal power, can solve problems.  Their whole careers, indeed their whole lives, are wrapped up in this foolish and destructive belief.

The counties around Washington are by far the richest in our nation because there is no gravy train in finance or oil or software remotely as rich as the federal gravy train, with its vast populace of nongovernmental folks who make their living by issuing reports or arguing lawsuits or writing stories about our capital.

The best and surest solution to our problems is to return as much governmental power as possible to states, and to devolve back to citizens all the rights to which they are entitled under our constitutional system. 

As I have written before, a great deal could be done by simply having all bureaucracies needed to enforce federal laws be state bureaucracies and not federal ones.  Allow federal employees in affected agencies to become employees of the states, with the federal government to pick up their salaries for a few years, or to have their jobs eliminated. 

This would require the movement of hundreds of thousands of federal bureaucrats out of Washington to South Dakota or Mississippi or New Mexico, which would help the economies of these states of "Flyover Country" and would also make those enforcing federal laws much more understanding of the problems affecting their new homes.

There is also no reason not to devolve federal jurisdiction back to state court systems and to strip all lower federal courts of their power, leaving lower federal courts with only diversity of citizenship cases.  This is how our judicial system used to work, when our judicial system used to work.  Creating a new federal court, physically situated far from Washington, to replace the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia would be part of this reform as well. 

Republicans ought to consider actually moving where Congress meets.  Every two years, for example, the meeting place of Congress could move from one part of the nation to another.  This would be done quite deliberately to give that vast part of America not on the shores of the Potomac River practical influence on Congress. 

The president, of course, can live where he chooses and ought to have half a dozen "homes" so he will remain in close touch with at least the local leaders of states and communities, rather than learning virtually everything from the mouths of Washington insiders.

These changes would become institutional fairly quickly, because states and regions would acquire vested interests in the dispersal of power.  Washington could become a pseudo-capital, more of a museum, really, while the real power is exercised much closer to the people and in dozens or hundreds of different places in our land.

There is one final and vital change that these other changes would produce.  The Beltway media would find no justifiable reason for their existence as a Washington press corps or national media.  As Donald Trump found in his election campaign, state and local media behave with much more journalistic seriousness than the national media.  These local media folks are, of course, integral parts of the cities and states where they live.  These newsmen and journalists are, by and large, sensible and serious individuals.

Washington can't work, and the first politicians who figure that out and do something about it will become new "Founding Fathers" of a genuinely revived American republic.

President Trump and the Republican Congress are going to do a lot and will likely act quickly and decisively to help the economy become strong, make the borders secure and the immigration laws effective, protect us from terrorists and rogue nations, and improve our education system. 

It is vitally important, however, to grasp at the outset that Washington cannot work.  Federal solutions always fail.  The best thing federal politicians can do is to get Washington out of the lives of ordinary Americans, their businesses, and their communities.

This must happen fast, because Washington is crawling with folks who will work nonstop to pander the egos of federal politicians and to tell them they, through the wise use of federal power, can solve problems.  Their whole careers, indeed their whole lives, are wrapped up in this foolish and destructive belief.

The counties around Washington are by far the richest in our nation because there is no gravy train in finance or oil or software remotely as rich as the federal gravy train, with its vast populace of nongovernmental folks who make their living by issuing reports or arguing lawsuits or writing stories about our capital.

The best and surest solution to our problems is to return as much governmental power as possible to states, and to devolve back to citizens all the rights to which they are entitled under our constitutional system. 

As I have written before, a great deal could be done by simply having all bureaucracies needed to enforce federal laws be state bureaucracies and not federal ones.  Allow federal employees in affected agencies to become employees of the states, with the federal government to pick up their salaries for a few years, or to have their jobs eliminated. 

This would require the movement of hundreds of thousands of federal bureaucrats out of Washington to South Dakota or Mississippi or New Mexico, which would help the economies of these states of "Flyover Country" and would also make those enforcing federal laws much more understanding of the problems affecting their new homes.

There is also no reason not to devolve federal jurisdiction back to state court systems and to strip all lower federal courts of their power, leaving lower federal courts with only diversity of citizenship cases.  This is how our judicial system used to work, when our judicial system used to work.  Creating a new federal court, physically situated far from Washington, to replace the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia would be part of this reform as well. 

Republicans ought to consider actually moving where Congress meets.  Every two years, for example, the meeting place of Congress could move from one part of the nation to another.  This would be done quite deliberately to give that vast part of America not on the shores of the Potomac River practical influence on Congress. 

The president, of course, can live where he chooses and ought to have half a dozen "homes" so he will remain in close touch with at least the local leaders of states and communities, rather than learning virtually everything from the mouths of Washington insiders.

These changes would become institutional fairly quickly, because states and regions would acquire vested interests in the dispersal of power.  Washington could become a pseudo-capital, more of a museum, really, while the real power is exercised much closer to the people and in dozens or hundreds of different places in our land.

There is one final and vital change that these other changes would produce.  The Beltway media would find no justifiable reason for their existence as a Washington press corps or national media.  As Donald Trump found in his election campaign, state and local media behave with much more journalistic seriousness than the national media.  These local media folks are, of course, integral parts of the cities and states where they live.  These newsmen and journalists are, by and large, sensible and serious individuals.

Washington can't work, and the first politicians who figure that out and do something about it will become new "Founding Fathers" of a genuinely revived American republic.

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