Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is a Czar?

The following is from the "A Conservative Kid" blog. With the resignation of Anthony "Van" Jones I felt a revisit to this information was warranted. It is brought out clearer than I had time to put together over this last holiday weekend. For a more current view check out Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer's blog from this past Sunday.

For a really good look at the Czar list and who is filling these unconstitutional positions of power, check out this posting over at "The Adventures of Mr. Buff"

What is a Czar, and Why Does Obama Have 16 of Them?

Czar – noun

1. An Emperor or king
2. An Autocratic ruler or leader
3. Any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field

(source dictionary.com)

Before you get worked up over the definition of a Czar, it should be known that we have used them in our history before. Roosevelt was the first president to use Czars in his administration, they were, at the time called Dictators. They were in place to regulate certain parts of commerce, similar to the Obama administration. Nixon used Czars as well but calling them “Dictators” would be a bad political move, so he named them Czars. They have been used by a few presidents since, rarely and in cases of Emergency because of the power they hold.

The power Czars have is the reason they are used. Like the president, they are part of the Executive branch, and do NOT answer to the congress. They are not appointed by congress and go through no vetting process. They can claim executive power if they are asked to testify before congress, and do not have to answer questions to congress, or the American people. Obviously they are not elected officials so the American people have no say in who gets the job, and if they do a poor job, only the President can remove them.

Under the Obama administration, Czar Usage has been taken to a whole new level. In the few months that Obama has been in office he has appointed 16 Czars, they include,

· Energy Czar, Carol Browner
· Border Czar, Alan Berstein
· Pay Czar, Kenneth Feinberg
· Car Czar (Leader of small taskforce), Steve Rattner
· Urban Czar, Adolfo Carrion Jr
· Infotech Czar Vivek Kundra
· Faith Czar, Joshua DuBois
· Health Reforme Czar, Nancy-Ann DeParle
· TARP Czar, Herb Allison
· Stimulus Accountability Czar, Earl Devaney
· Non-Proliferation Czar, Gary Samore
· Terrorism Czar, John Brennan
· Regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein
· Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske
· Guantanamo Closure Czar, Damiel Fried
· Great Lakes Czar, Cameron Davis

Credit to David J Rothkopf for is Article on ForeignPolicy.com for many on the list!

Together this List of Czars oversee Billions of US Tax Dollars and they don’t have to answer to Congress or anyone. Obama doesn’t have to go before Congress to get approval to spend he just appoints another Czar. The Irony behind these Czars, most of them mirror current administrations in our Government. There is a Department of Homeland Security, and Border and Terror Czars, a FDA and a Drug Czar, a Securities and Exchange Committee, and US Treasury, but also Pay Czar, and Regulatory Czar, the list goes on. Why would be the incentive to use Czars over current branches of Government to get the Job done?

That is where Regulation, Power and Control fit into the big picture. The current forms of Administrations all answer to the Congress, they Report to the President but Answer to Congress. They get all their funding from Congress and Congress has the power over them. This has been part of our government’s “checks and balances” for hundreds of years, and is Vital to our Country’s freedom. With this significant entourage of Dictators, oops I mean Czars, the Obama administration gets to exert MORE Executive power over other Agencies of the Government. Who knows how long this List of Czars will get, it seems at this rate Obama will fufil his promise to create 100K jobs this summer by appointing 100K Czars to his Administration.

While many on this list of Czars were appointed more as figureheads to fulfill promises during his campaign, they still oversee Billion of US Tax Dollars and are completely unregulated. For instance the Great Lakes Czar to, “Oversee the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to clean up the Great Lakes,” is not really a big deal, I mean they only have 5 Billion to spend (Obama was praised by the Media having a task force appointed to save 100 million from the budget over the course of 90 Days). Some of these Czars oversee Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, and in the example of the Pay Czar, will be pushing for controversial private sector regulations on the Salaries of executives. Regulations like this should be going through Congress and the US Treasury, not a person who answers to “no one except the president”.

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