Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Czar-ist Wednesday

Here at Constitutional Guardian
we have initiated a weekly feature: Czar-ist Wednesday. The purpose is to examine the ever increasing and ever elusive list of Obama's Czar's who serve at the pleasure of the President without the requirement of public scrutiny.

The Czar's differ from the President's Cabinet, Secretary's and under-Secretary's in that they are not required to be publicly vetted nor are they subject to Congressional review.

The difficulty is, due to the lack of accountability in the system it is impossible to get a complete list of the czar's, their actual responsibilities or their salaries. We know next to nothing about this burgeoning bureaucracy in the Executive branch--at last count 32 Czars and growing.

What we do know is this. Transparency is necessary to the maintenance of a representative government such as ours. We have a right and, some would argue, a responsibility to know and understand how our money is being spent and who is spending it. Let's assume each and every Czar is competent and effective there is still enormous potential for redundancy--double effort to coordinate policy and increased costs--not to mention chain-of-command questions. In the State Department alone there are four Czars who have been appointed by the President to pursue specific policies that were previously handled by the Secretary of State and under-Secretary's.

For example, the Afghanistan Czar, Richard Holbrooke, reports to (but was not appointed by) Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. The Central Region Czar, Dennis Ross is listed as a Special Assistant to the President and reports to (but was not appointed by) the National Security Adviser, General James L. Jones. The Guantanamo Closure Czar, Daniel Fried reports to (but was not appointed by) Hillary Clinton. The Mideast Peace Czar, George Mitchell, reports to (but was not appointed by) Hillary Clinton. The Sudan Czar, J. Scott Gration, reports to (but was not appointed by) Hillary Clinton.

With all the fog surrounding the Czars and their backgrounds, their salaries and their responsibilities, it seems prudent to ask...why Czars? Why now?

No comments:

Post a Comment