The Corner

Economy & Business

Donald Trump Won — but What’s Next?

I’ll spare you my feelings about the election results — except to say that it’s funny hearing people say that they can’t live under this or that candidate. That’s what we libertarians are always doing — living under the presidency of people that are less than likely to make us happy.

That being said, as our heads are still spinning from this election outcome, here are some things President Trump can spin off from the federal government’s control:

‐ Medicaid (block-grant it)



Here are the things he must do to fulfill the promises he made during the campaign:

‐ Dismantle Obamacare. I like Michael Cannon’s list of four things Trump can announce in the next few days to make sure the Republican Congress does indeed repeal the law: 1) Aannounce that the subsidies that have been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge will indeed end, 2) announce that the subsidies that the Government Accountability Office has found to be illegal will end, too, 3) refuse to bailout insurance companies, and 4) announce that Congress’s exemption from Obamacare will end in January. Cannon explains that if Trump does these four things, Congress will have to reopen Obamacare in January and repeal it. What you replace it with is a big question, especially since Republicans have not yet coalesced around a single plan. I hope that they will resist the temptation to replace it with “Obamacare Light” and instead consider health-care-savings accounts.

‐ Bring unabridged innovation to health care by freeing the supply-side of health care. That involves finally ending the Soviet-style price controls so prevalent in Medicare’s pricing methodology, radically deregulating the FDA (an agency that has become a major impediment to innovation), ending hospital monopolies, and reforming medical education, which still operates on a 1910 curriculum model. Hopefully, the states will then engage in their own deregulation (telemedicine, certificate of need, corporate practice of medicine, occupational licensing, insurance regulations, etc.).

‐ Implement tax reform — especially the corporate-tax side of his plan.

‐ Deregulation: The regulatory state is out of control; this needs to end if Trump wants to bring economic growth back to America.

Here are some of the things Trump should do — even if he doesn’t want to:

‐ Reform the drivers of our future debt: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. There is just no way around this problem.

‐ Begin the process of downsizing the United States’ global military empire. Wealthy allies can start paying for their own defense needs. Our welfare state is bad enough . . . it’s time to stop effectively subsidizing everyone else via the Pentagon.

‐ Make sure that Attorney General Rudy Giuliani doesn’t screw up marijuana legalization. 🙂

One can always dream.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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