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Obama's Latest "We Can't Wait" Power Grab Attempt




President Barack Hussein Obama announced on Friday, January 13, 2012, that he wants to “consolidate” the Commerce Department’s trade and finance functions with the Small Business Administration (SBA), specifically the Office of the US Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. He also said that he was elevating the SBA to a cabinet-level position, and pledged to do it even without Congress.  [emphasis mine]   Obama said, “Let me be clear, I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government.” And if you believe that I have a bridge in NYC in which you may be interested!

Politics as usual? Probably. But here are three reasons why this move may be good politics:

  1. Obama gets to talk like a business leader – He says he wants to cut through bureaucracy and red-tape, and make government more consumer-friendly.
  2. It reduces his image as a big-government liberal and prevents any Republican candidate from getting a perfect campaign contrast.
  3. US citizens believe that government agencies are a confused mess because it happens to be true.

Obama said, “I ran for office pledging to make our government leaner and smarter and more consumer-friendly. And from the moment I got here, I saw up close what many of you know to be true: The government we have is not the government that we need. Now, what we’ve tried to do over the first three years of my administration is to do a whole range of steps administratively to start making processes, procedures, agencies more consumer-friendly. But we need to do more, and we need authority to do more.” So why is Obama now getting around to asking Congress for new authorities nine months before he faces reelection?

So it all comes down to three factors:

  • Politics – Obama is asking for powers he claims expired under the Reagan administration, which cut a significant amount of government bureaucracy in the 1980s.
  • Proposed saving are a “drop in the bucket” compared to the Obama’s proposed 2012 federal budget of $3.7 trillion – The Obama administration says the consolidation is expected to save $3 billion over 10 years by getting rid of duplicative overhead and programs.
  • Usurp power – His “We Can’t Wait” phrase/strategy in order to bypass Congress is a clear attempt to usurp power.

Rush Limbaugh commented on President Obama’s speech and his plans to shrink the size of government: “The Commerce Department, The Small Business Administration, The Office of the US Trade Representative, The Export/Import Bank, The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, The Trade and Development Agency. Now what do these agencies all have in common? They’re all pro-business…and this is where Obama wants to shrink. You can even say those agencies might lean to being pro-Republican or pro-Conservative.”

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