At long last, savings! See:
President Obama has abolished the position in his White House dedicated to transparency and shunted those duties into the portfolio of a partisan ex-lobbyist who is openly antagonistic to the notion of disclosure by government and politicians.
Obama transferred “ethics czar” Norm Eisen to the Czech Republic to serve as U.S. ambassador. Some of Eisen’s duties will be handed to Domestic Policy Council member Steven Croley, but most of them, it appears, will shift over to the already-full docket of White House Counsel Bob Bauer.
The transparency thing was always a sham, of course. And anytime any President wants to can one of his “czar” positions is fine with me.
Which brings us to the obligatory Star Wars reference.
When Obama starting naming all these new czar positions, essentially overriding his cabinet and escaping congressional oversight, I thought of a scene from the command room on the original Death Star — and then promptly forgot to blog it for over a year. Anyway, it goes a little like this:
Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
General Tagge: But that’s impossible. How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.
OK, so the whole reference kinda falls apart with the bit about the giant orbiting battle station with its planet-destroying death ray. But it’s pretty obvious that this is an administration none-too-beholden to promises of transparency, or even to traditional (and constitutional) strictures on presidential powers.
I think Ira Stoll’s latest column, on the Fed’s bulging two-trillion dollar balance sheet, closes the case:
…to me the real significance of the chart (along with the downward stock index charts since the Fed’s statement Tuesday afternoon) is the potentially volcanic political impact. Think of it — $2 trillion in government money, more than the entire annual spending of the entire federal government in 2001 — thoroughly insulated from the control of elected officials.
Chopping up half of the American auto industry and handing it out as political favors? Carving up the health industry to give life-and-death power to an unelected political appointee? Killing off a hundred thousand high-paying jobs in the Gulf, as a sop to the environmental lobby?
That’s all chicken feed, compared to what the Feds can (and will) get up to with a $2,000,000,000,000 (and growing) slush fund.
POSSIBLY RELATED: In the long run, we’ll all be declared dead.