It is possible to clean out DC's deeply corrupt Augean stables

Beginning in January 2025, if all goes well, we will have a new president on a mission from the people to clean up the mess in Washington.  Congress will have prepared the way.  The corruption purge in Washington will have arrived.  The final phase of the seven-year plan will begin.

Reform in Washington isn't new, but this time, the preparation is different. The people have been battling locally and pushing Congress to expose federal corruption. When the new president takes office, the corrupt will be vulnerable as they never have been before.

Taking a bulldozer to the place is satisfying, but a precision brutal purge of the corruption will leave something in place to rebuild.  There are three layers of attack.  The old leadership must be removed.  New leadership must be installed in departments that have become government protectors rather than public servants.  Government regulation and government spending must be reformed.

The new administration will need to act decisively on Day One.  A stack of executive orders should be signed that rescind every executive order signed in the previous administration.  Keep nothing.  End them all.  Anything that really needs to be done can get new E.O.s.

Also on Day One, every presidential appointee should be fired.  Career employees who can be removed should be furloughed and leave their positions immediately awaiting final action.  They will have their security clearance revoked or put on hold.  Everyone removed will have to turn in access passes and keys.  Each one will be individually evaluated for the possibility of being retained, but for now, they are out.  These terminations should be done without remorse, and no reason need be given.  This is the top-layer attack.  The new administration should ignore the screams from the media and Congress.

Four important positions should be filled immediately, with expedited Senate confirmations.  These are the attorney general, the secretary of state, the director of National Intelligence, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  These are the most visibly corrupt departments and agencies in Washington.  Their actions protect all the others from accusations of corruption.

These four will have two primary jobs: overturn corrupt policies, and remove corrupt employees.  The policies that violate individual rights by protecting the bureaucracy must be eliminated.  They will also begin to drill down through the ranks to root out those who are political operatives and working against the people.  This will be hard work, but Congress will have already been exposing the corruption.


Image: Thomas Rowlandson's Cleaning out the Augean stables (1805).

The corruption in these three areas has elevated protecting the bureaucracy over protecting the people.  The legal system has been politicized.  Constitutional limits have been bypassed to punish political enemies.  Surveillance and spying against citizens for political reasons must end.  Those found to have broken the law should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Once strong leadership starts to remove the support structure, the web of internal protection will begin to collapse.  It will not happen instantly.  It may take a couple of years to see significant results.

The bottom layer comes next and involves two broad actions.  This will take the most time.  Some of this can be done by executive order, and some may require congressional actions.

First is a reform of the regulatory bureaucracy.  After a time for public review, Congress should have a separate vote for every title within the federal regulations.  This should be required periodically and focus on each title individually.  Approval would sunset (i.e., end) after a set number of years, after which the regulation would need to be approved again.

The second is a complete audit of government contracts.  Many of these would be quite simple, but the goal will be to discover abuses to the system.  These contracts renew periodically, and an independent audit would be part of the approval process for renewal.  If the civil and criminal penalties for abuse are significant, the contracting companies will voluntarily do what is needed to survive an audit.

As a business consultant, I have seen many buyouts and takeovers.  It nearly always involves three actions.  Old leadership is removed and replaced.  Whole departments are restructured, but they almost never gut production or logistics, as stuff needs to be made and shipped.  Finally, the new owners will completely replace or rewrite the policy manuals and renegotiate contracts with suppliers.

Rescinding E.O.s and firing eligible staff cuts off the top.  Drilling down in the most corrupt of the agencies that protect the rest weakens the ability of the entrenched bureaucracy to practice self-preservation.  Cleaning up the regulatory process and government contracting reduces the size of government efficiently and cuts off the bottom of the entrenched administrative state.

With the people providing the power, Congress providing exposure and legislative authority, and a capable executive providing the leadership, our government can be fixed.  It won't be easy, but it is possible.  In seven years, the progress should be obvious.

Here are Joe Strader's previous articles regarding a seven-year plan, beginning in January 2023, to reclaim America:

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