John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Our Next President

Posted on February 12, 2010
Our next President needs to be cheap.

That is the line that I like to use when people ask me whom I am going to support in the Republican Primary.

David Brooks (I think it was David Brooks) wrote a column that I vaguely remember about the characteristics of a good corporate CEO in this day and age.

It wasn’t the entrepreneurial, the creative or the strong and exciting leaders that tended to be the best, most successful Chief Executive Officers in major corporations.  It wasn’t the most charismatic, the best communicators, the big personalities who tended to meet the bottom lines and get the most out of their companies.

Nope, the best CEO’s tended to be the one who were relentless in getting the most productivity from their employees at the lowest cost with the highest quality.  They were the ones who found efficiencies, who cut out waste and who stuck to the bottom line.

If there were ever a need for a President who was relentless in cutting out waste and getting more from less, a leader who cared deeply about the bottom line, who cared deeply about the value of a dollar, and who worked very hard at increasing productivity out of government, that time would be now.

According to a recent poll, the American people believe that 53 cents out of each dollar sent to the government is wasted.  And there is ample reason to believe that stunning figure.

President Obama believes that he can create a huge new health care entitlement, an entitlement that will cost well-north of a trillion dollars, and that the reason the American people don’t support it right now is because of a lack of communication.

It is not because of a lack of communication.  It is because a complete lack of faith in the ability to government to do anything efficiently.

Think of how efficient the local DMV is.  Think how happy people are when they need to get a passport.  Think about how angry it makes taxpayers when they see politicians drive around in taxpayer-paid Escalades.

And then think about how the government-worker unions make it even harder to fire unproductive workers, and create work rules that guarantee that the government will never be efficient.

If we want America to avoid bankruptcy over the next couple of decades, we are going to need a President who promises a little less inspiration and a lot more perspiration in actually making the government more efficient and a better steward of the tax-payer money.

The problem with government is not with all its noble ideas or its wonderful constitution.  The problem with the government is that it wastes too much money and has too many workers who aren’t productive, responsive, accountable or transparent.

CEOs aren’t particularly popular with the American people right now.  They are all too often cast as the greedy villains, who lay off hard-workers as they rip off their companies with huge bonuses.   And in some cases, that is true.

But the truly successful CEO is not very exciting, not very high-profile, not very charismatic, but very cheap with the shareholder’s money and exacting in making their companies more productive.

We need one of those to be our next President.

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