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Here’s the one thing: A shadow government is giving the Obama administration unprecedented power with virtually no oversight.
I’ll explain exactly what I mean, but first, let me play history teacher for a minute because it’s important to understand how we got here.
Our system of checks and balances was designed to protect liberty by ensuring that power could never be concentrated. Yet, over the years, progressives on both sides of the aisle have been slowly chipping away at that fundamental idea.
During FDR’s administrations, some executive positions were actually called "dictators" — like the "dictator of steel," "dictator of lumber," etc. The idea was for them to control supply within each industry in order to keep up prices.
Richard Nixon did the same thing, but instead of calling them "dictators" he called them "czars." The first was an "energy czar" who was charged with overseeing the 1970s energy crisis. (And what a bang-up job he did. We are a-OK on the old energy front these days!)
Other presidents have also named czars, but no one can hold a candle to President Obama who has named 16 czars so far — and he’s not done yet!
So, what’s the problem? I mean, czars can cut through the bureaucracy and get stuff done, right? Right… but who do they answer to?
They don’t need to be confirmed by the Senate; they rarely go before committees; they can claim "executive privilege" when asked to testify, and they’re accountable to no one but the president himself.
But look at the power we’ve handed to these unelected, unconfirmed people.
On the low end, you’ve got the "Great Lakes czar," who has a budget of $475 million. But on the high end, you’ve got the economic czar, regulatory czar and government performance czar that can oversee trillions of dollars.
In between you’ve got a "drug czar," "terrorism czar," "urban affairs czar," "technology czar," "intelligence czar," "cyber czar" and six other "czars" — we could really use a "czar czar" to stay on top of.
Could our founders really have been dumb enough to write a Constitution that would allow this to happen? Of course not. The Constitution says that all revenue bills must start in the House and that oversight is one of the most important jobs of the legislative branch — two concepts that are now being shredded.
Besides, if this isn’t just a power grab, then why do we need a "health czar" when we already have a confirmed health and human services secretary? Why do we need a "border czar" when we have ICE and a secretary of homeland security? Why do we need a "car czar" when we already have Treasury and Energy Departments?
The answer: Because none of that bureaucracy answers directly to the president… the czars do. Everyone else answers to you. The czars don’t.
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