Donald Trump is planning to completely overhaul how the government works if he wins the 2024 presidential election, which would clear the way for him to do pretty much whatever he wants.
“What we’re trying to do is identify the pockets of independence and seize them,” Russell Vought, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under Trump, told The New York Times.
One of the central parts of Trump’s fascist plan to consolidate power is to bring independent agencies under presidential control, including the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces antitrust law and consumer protection rules.
But that’s not all: Trump also wants to be able to impound funds, meaning refuse to spend money appropriated for programs he doesn’t like. The tactic was banned under Richard Nixon, but Trump insists on his campaign website that presidents have a constitutional right to impound funds. He says he will reinstate the practice, even though it could spark a lengthy legal battle.
He also plans to eliminate employment protections for tens of thousands of civil servants, making them easier to replace. He would then purge intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the defense agencies of officials whom he has deemed members of “the sick political class that hates our country.”
Trump has already said he would launch a criminal investigation into President Joe Biden if he takes back the White House. But his new plans would go a step further and centralize power under the executive branch.
It’s unclear just how much of this Trump would get away with. Congress could pass laws to block him, and many of his plans would certainly get locked up in the court system. But the point is less whether he can succeed and more that Trump is willing to do absolutely anything to get and stay in power.
He has already shown a willingness to act with impunity. Trump repeatedly claimed that presidents can declassify materials whenever they want, “even by thinking about it.” And now, even after he’s been federally indicted for allegedly mishandling classified documents, he still insists he’s done nothing wrong.