Quick: Who’s the secretary of commerce? How about the head of the Small Business Administration?
The correct answer to both of those questions should be:
A) I don’t know
B) I don’t care
C) Both A and B
The president’s Cabinet is an anachronism in today’s Washington, where important decisions are made almost entirely by White House officials. Worse, the Cabinet has become a symbol of the federal government’s excess and bureaucracy.
Rick Perry famously proposed eliminating four — oops! — three Cabinet agencies. A better idea is not to eliminate the government functions but to get rid of the figureheads whose power doesn’t come close to their ceremonial status, including places in the presidential line of succession and prime seats at the State of the Union address.
Of the 22 Cabinet-level positions, only four are necessary — the same four George Washington had in his Cabinet: secretary of state, secretary of defense (or war, in Washington’s case), secretary of the Treasury and attorney general.