According to the Office of Management Budget (OMB), some 10,000 American citizens have submitted their ideas about how the Trump administration can start shrinking the federal government.
Anyone else wishing to contribute on whitehouse.gov has until June 12 to do it.
But beware the multiple warnings in fine print at the bottom of the page, because those submissions are certain to be used for political purposes.
The first of those warnings reads:
“The United States Government reserves full rights to use, copy, or distribute submissions for its purposes without compensation or approval on the part of the submitter. Because your comment may be made available to the public, you are responsible for ensuring that your submissions are free of confidential information.”
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney boasted in April that he intends to set in motion the most ambitious reorganization of the federal government in generations, but he warned that it’s unlikely to include the elimination of any agencies. And yet, the second question on the public form is:
What agency would you like to eliminate?
Alphabetically, the CIA pops up first, but there’s a somewhat haphazard list of departments and agencies in the dropdown and the subset that follows.
There’s a comments section for each of the four key questions, meaning the Trump administration could collect all kinds of missives about the intelligence community from regular Americans that the White House might later disseminate.
The second of the warnings in fine print reads:
“By submitting, you agree to receive White House emails about this and other issues.”
In other words, the White House is collecting email addresses to use for what amounts to its marketing materials.
But it will be a long time before any government reform suggestion a regular American citizen makes works its way into the federal system — if ever.