Commentary: 2020: Cash for President

Algenon Cash

Commentary: 2020: Cash for President
February 20
00:15 2020

By Algenon Cash

The 2020 election cycle is in full swing as early voting kicked off the primary season a week ago. Recently, I was approached by a lady after leading a conversation about the economy; she was clearly frustrated with my never-ending critiques of the past and current administrations. She challenged me to offer my own domestic policy ideas, so of course, I had to follow through.

The year is 2020 and Mr. Algenon Cash has just been elected the 46th president of the United States …


Improving the education system is the single most decisive action we can take to continue expanding our economy with balanced private sector job growth. Our country has shifted from an economy that was powered by agriculture and basic manufacturing, which means workers are now required to have the necessary experience to compete for skilled and highly-educated jobs in technology, healthcare, and engineering.  

The K-12 education system in America is inefficient and largely ineffective, so policymakers have to make tough reform decisions. We built a system with far too much bureaucracy, where the federal government places mandates upon the state and then states place further controls on local school boards. The federal government should be more focused on maintaining a national standard, so that boys and girls in North Carolina are just as educated as boys and girls in California.  

Moreover, we need to shrink the role of state government and give local school boards more autonomy in how they operate their schools, as long as national standards are not being circumvented. The teachers’ unions must realize that the success of our children is the most important outcome when it comes to education, which requires compensation that is based on merit and performance, not tenure.

Parents and counselors ought to carefully assist graduating high school seniors with making important decisions about the next phase in their life. Several decades ago, we wrongfully promoted the message that everyone must attend a four-year college and that disinformation has given us a deficit of skilled labor. Some college graduates don’t utilize their degree because originally they were never committed to the field of study. We have a network of community colleges that provide an education pathway for workers to gain skills in computer technology, high-skilled manufacturing, and biotechnology – these are the industries of the future.

Economic Development

We must repeal the Bush-era Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules, which will provide immediate relief to our small and medium-sized businesses. Not to mention repeal of the Obama-era Dodd-Frank financial regulation, which will lessen burdensome regulations placed on the financial sector and allow them to better serve consumer and business customers. Restructure the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, which has done little to bend the exploding cost curve in healthcare. Structural reform should not only focus on access to health insurance, but also bring down healthcare expenditures through prevention measures, policy options, and tort reform.

The current tax system is too complicated and rife with loopholes that unevenly benefit taxpayers. We can flatten tax rates by removing all loopholes, credits, and subsidies – for example, tax carve-outs for mortgage interest, municipal bonds, child credits, and energy subsidies should all be gone. In addition, let’s end the double tax on capital gains and dividends by expunging them from the tax code, along with the Alternative Minimum Tax. American companies should be taxed on a territorial system that doesn’t incentivize firms to leave capital parked in foreign countries.

Our country requires a credible immigration strategy that encourages foreign graduates of American colleges to remain in our country as entrepreneurs and create jobs. The best colleges in the world are located in the United States and international students travel here to receive a world class education, but we lose those graduates because we lack sound immigration policy.

We must rein in overzealous bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Justice Department, and the National Labor Relations Board. These agencies serve as “job killers” with overly burdensome regulations and they often block companies from expanding, which further drives American companies to offshore jobs. Let’s work with the Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive energy plan that recognizes coal supplies our baseload demand, but consider innovative ways to integrate natural gas, wind, and solar, while continuing to expand domestic drilling to offshore locations.

Fiscal Policy

There are large disagreements about the severity of America’s fiscal situation, but if we are to meet our future commitments, then America must clean up its house. Between 1960-2008, the federal budget hovered in the range of 17.7% – 21.8% of GDP; it was 18.5% during the Bush Administration (despite tax cuts and two ongoing wars).  The size of the federal budget reached 25% of GDP during the Obama era and currently is 21% under Trump.  

The federal deficit under President Trump will top $1 trillion this year and the national debt topped $22 trillion under Trump’s tenure. If left unchecked, the federal deficit will expand to $1.3 trillion and overall public debt is projected to hit $31.4 trillion at the end of 2030. Reducing public spending, combined with policies that stimulate economic growth and increase tax receipts, will ease federal budget deficits.

However, there is absolutely no way to rein in federal spending and the long-term public debt without reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. LBJ projected that Medicare’s budget would reach $12 billion in 1990, but instead the budget hit $110 billion – a gross miscalculation to say the least. Today, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up 60% of the federal budget and is growing.  

Interest on the national debt chews up another 10%, spending on national defense gobbles up around 20%, and then federal agencies require around 15% to operate. Therefore, it is impossible to bend the rising cost curve on government expenditures without restructuring America’s most treasured entitlement programs.

I hope you enjoyed reviewing my plan and read it with some sense of humor. However, the reality is that America is facing unprecedented challenges, but not unconquerable obstacles. We face nothing that cannot be solved or overcome, but our struggles require leadership, vision, and a plan. 

Most importantly, it requires you to vote.

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

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