By Haddon Libby
With a new Commander in Chief, the United States gets a new Cabinet. Assuming that the Senate confirms President Trump’s choices, here is a list of some of those who will be crafting and implementing policy:
Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus, 44, who was previously chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Defense: Marine General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, 66.
Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson, 64, who was CEO of ExxonMobil.
Treasury: Steven Mnuchin, 54, who was with Goldman Sachs before becoming a hedge fund manager and owning OneWest Bank until 2015.
Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, 70, who was also the Attorney General for Alabama for twelve years.
Labor: Andy Puzder, 66, the CEO of CKE Restaurants. A lawyer by training, he was a long time trusted advisor to Carl Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. While heading CKE, the company was sold to hedge fund Apollo Investments. Puzder is strongly anti-abortion.
Education: Betsy DeVos, 59, is the daughter of Edgar Prince, billionaire industrialist (Johnson Controls). She is a strong proponent of charter schools and the school voucher system. It is expected that she will be looking to make significant change to the educational system. Worth noting, her brother Erik Prince, started the controversial military contractor, Blackwater (now XE Services).
Commerce: Wilbur Ross, 79, the billionaire investor who ran the bankruptcy restructuring practice of NM Rothschild for decades. He is considered to be one of America’s greatest turnaround experts in business.
Health and Human Services: Representative Tom Price of Georgia, 62, was an orthopedic surgeon before entering politics. This is one of Trump’s more controversial choices in that he is against abortion, stem cell research, gun control, equal rights for the LGBT community and any climate change laws that would hurt our economy. On health care, he is strongly against Obamacare and prefers the use of age-adjusted tax credits for healthcare, allow insurers to sell in all fifty states and provide additional tax breaks for healthcare spending accounts.
Interior: Montana Representative and former Seal Team Six commander, Ryan Zinke, 55.
Transportation: Former labor secretary and former deputy secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, 63, who is married to Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. She has also worked for Bank of America and Citibank as well as serving as CEO of the United Way. Her father was a wealthy Taiwanese shipping magnate who immigrated to the United States while Chao was a child.
Energy: Former Texas Governor and Dancing with the Stars contestant Rick Perry, 67.
Housing and Urban Development: Retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, 65.
Homeland Security: Marine General John Kelly, 66.
Agriculture: Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, 69 who was previously a veterinarian and farmer and became a Republican in 1998.
Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, 48. He is best known for fighting President Obama’s regulatory agenda and suing the administration over its immigration policy and Obamacare. It is believed that he will actively reduce EPA regulations while in office.
United Nations Ambassador: Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, 45.
National Intelligence: Recently retired Indiana senator, Dan Coats, 73.
CIA Director: Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo, 53, who strongly supports domestic surveillance programs and opposes the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center or CIA secret prisons.
White House Counsel: Don McGahn, 48, is best known for being a member of the Federal Election Commission and serving as chief counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He spent most of his career working on campaign finance law.
National Economic Council: Goldman Sachs President and CEO, Gary Cohn, 56.
There are many other nominees that we are unable to list due to space constraints. Most of these nominations suggest that Trump will unwind most of the Obama agenda and attempt to achieve significant changes in the way Washington DC works.
As a sidenote, one of the perks that every member of the Trump Cabinet gets is the tax-free sale of any investment holdings making these positions very lucrative.
Haddon Libby is an Investment Advisor and Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management. He can be reached at 760.449.6349 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.