Washington, D.C. was built on a swamp that had to be drained before construction could begin. But things were different then: America was a new nation, with a small government, limited spending, and little influence on the rest of the world. America also had George Washington instead of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
From those beginnings, America has become the beacon for people across the globe, who see opportunity and freedom here that they cannot find at home. America has always stood as a symbol of greatness and yes, exceptionalism.
As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp”—meaning to reduce the size of government that is slowly sinking Washington into a quagmire of inaction, over-regulation, and excessive spending, which slow our economy’s growth and sap our power and influence internationally.
As a former trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange, I benefitted from our nation’s optimism, personal freedoms, and opportunities to build capital.
When Donald Trump was elected, I hoped he could restore what was lost under the Obama administration’s blizzard of new regulations that hinder job growth, restrict capital investment, and suppress entrepreneurs and small businesses.
I also hoped he would restore decency to the Oval Office and remove the stench of corruption from those who have occupied Washington for far too long.
The president has proposed several initiatives to restore American jobs and loosen restrictions on growth and investing—but there is more to do if we are to unlock our national potential.
First, I urge President Trump: Stick to your business instincts, and treat the Oval Office as if it were a boardroom. That means attention to the basics: Weighing costs and benefits of each and every program and department, seeking competitive bids, looking for returns on investment rather than measuring effectiveness by total dollars spent, and phasing out old and inefficient programs and practices while also firing those who have abused the system for their own personal gain. From sex in the oval office with interns, to billions of dollars of missing government funds, to unsolved murders, we have almost become numb to the stench of scandals that emanate from Washington.
Second, dial back on the business regulations imposed by government. While very few federal regulations are necessary, so many of the burdensome regulations that Obama initiated have suppressed new business creation, hindered international trade, and prevented job growth from a vigorous recovery. Government regulation does not result in better business practices. Our government needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers. Let innovation prosper and let private individuals flourish.
Third, reduce foreign aid commitments and focus on two crucial investments in America: our infrastructure and paying down our national debt. Spending on infrastructure—roads, bridges, tunnels, rail, water supply and power grids--will create jobs that cannot be exported under NAFTA. Those jobs in turn will produce a massive benefit in new taxable income, contributions to our Social Security system, and money that can be saved or invested by millions of people who are now unemployed or working part-time. Every inefficient dollar that we don’t spend on foreign aid, commitments, and military entanglements will be repaid many times over if invested in American infrastructure. The same is true for paying down our debt, which is so massive that it drains our economic growth and every day more deeply indebts us to China. America needs to balance its checkbook and stop living on borrowed money.
Fourth, throw all the scoundrels out of Washington and bring in business-oriented individuals to run our government. The disgusting revolving door between working in government and becoming a lobbyist has taken a toll on ingenuity and fostered a pay-to-play environment. Let us also elect new leaders to Congress, enact term limits, cut congressional office budgets and go after those who have used their positions in government to enrich themselves.
If President Trump will focus on these four goals, he will return America to being what it long has been: the place where the rest of the world looks to for freedom, opportunity, and investment.
Oh, and one more thing: Keep tweeting, Mr. President, it is the only way the people can get your daily unfiltered thoughts without having to rely on liberal sociopathic news reports.
Eric Bolling’s new book is "The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It." The book is available now at www.ericbolling.com and across the country everywhere books are sold.
Eric Bolling currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's "The Five" (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). He also serves as the host of "Cashin' In" (Saturdays 11:30AM-12PM/ET), an analysis program on FNC's weekend business block, "The Cost of Freedom." Bolling joined the network in 2008. Click here for more information on Eric Bolling.