The American people need to know that the President isn’t setting policy for their own financial benefit. The Office conveys unbelievable power to influence actions of governments and individuals around the world, and it would be very easy for an unprincipled person to get rich from the office.
We need to ensure that there is enough financial transparency in the federal government for Americans to trust that the decisions being made by the President and senior members of the Administration are solely to advance the best interests of Americans, and not themselves and their family.
Outside of directly benefiting from their position in government, the federal government has also become a revolving door. Individuals move back and forth between high-paying industry jobs and positions at government agencies that regulate those industries. People can see the influence of corporate America in the legislation being passed, and it causes them to feel like the government is built around defending the interests of the rich, not normal Americans.
The Office of the President is admired throughout American society. However, that respect has been capitalized on by recent presidents for personal gain. Six-digit speaking fees and lucrative board positions fuel the perception that the President may go soft on people that he or she could receive fees from after leaving office.
To combat this, we should raise the salaries of the President, cabinet members, and heads of regulatory agencies while barring anyone serving in these offices from accepting speaking fees or lucrative board positions for personal gain after leaving office, for at least a decade, if not longer.
Problems to be Solved
- checkA lack of transparency invokes distrust in the motives of the President.
- checkThe respect people have for the Office of President is damaged by the view that presidential policies are, sometimes subconsciously, motivated by a desire to have lucrative offers and good relationships after leaving office.
- checkRegulators have an economic incentive to “take it easy” on the industries they’re regulating.
- checkWhen the public does not trust the motives of its government officials, it delegitimizes the very policies and regulations the government creates.
- Government jobs don’t pay as well as high-level private sector jobs, which leads to a revolving door between government and industry. Often, industry will pay a government employee 5 to 10 times their salary after they leave office. This makes it very natural for regulators to go easy on the companies they regulate. We need to immunize those in charge of government from market forces by compensating them at higher levels and then making it so they can’t go back to their old jobs. Corruption in this case would be diminished by paying government officials more. The government should use its printing press to empower regulators to act on behalf of the people.
- checkRestore trust in the Office of the President through financial transparency
- checkAllow the president to promote policies free of undue economic influence
- checkEmpower regulators and policymakers to make decisions free of market influences
- checkRestore the public’s trust in the motives of all government officials
As President I will...
- Pledge to personally:
- Divest from all personal investments and business interests, and place all assets in a blind trust.
- Disclose the previous 10 years of my income tax returns.
- Accept no speaking fees or board positions for personal gain after leaving office.
- Hold my cabinet officials to a higher standard by:
- Increasing salaries for government officials who operate in a regulatory capacity to much higher levels, but ban them from receiving anything of value in exchange for advocating for a position (lobbying) to members of the federal government.
- Providing an Anti-Corruption Stipend for all members of the Executive Branch after the termination of their employment, to be paid as long as they don’t accept anything of value in exchange for advocating for a position to members of the federal government.
- Firing anyone in my Administration who accepts money from lobbyists for a personal legal defense fund they’ve established to defend from any wrong-doing, whether while in office or before.
- Work with Congress to pass legislation that:
- Raises the next President’s salary to $4 million and simultaneously bars them from receiving any speaking fees or board positions for personal gain after leaving office.
- Prevents individuals serving in government from accepting money from lobbyists for a personal legal defense fund.