Now, just in case folks start believing this is just a political stunt by the President, watch this video from President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address.President Obama, looking to make the federal government "leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly," asked Congress Friday for the authority to merge six trade and commerce agencies as part of a broader effort to rebuild the government for a "21st century economy."Speaking at the White House before a crowd of small-business owners, Obama pledged to streamline and reform the executive branch, and asked Congress to reinstate an authority — last used by former President Reagan — to put his proposal in action.
“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 we need,” Obama said.
“We live in a 21st century economy, but we’ve still got a government organized for the 20th century. Our economy has fundamentally changed — as has the world — but our government, our agencies have not. The needs of our citizens have fundamentally changed but their government has not. Instead, it has often grown more complex."
Obama is asking lawmakers to grant him a reorganizational power that would let him propose mergers that would save the government money. The House and Senate would then decide whether to approve his ideas in an up-or-down vote in 90 days.
The president's proposal is an attempt to put Republicans on the defensive in an election year by forcing them to choose whether to support something they have long stood for — reducing the size of government and cutting spending. The plan could help Obama counter charges from the GOP that he is a big-government liberal who has tried to expand the bureaucracy during his term in office.
You can't say he was just blowing smoke. He's doing exactly what he said he would do. Now, let's see if these "anti-big government" Republicans will step up to the plate or come up with some clever argument along the lines of "he's trying to get rid of the wrong government agencies! He should be trying to disband the EPA, Dept of Education, Commerce Dept," or something like that. Already, Speaker Boehner's spokesman had this to say:
Regardless, in case some of you forget just how vehemently your side dinged the President over the size and complexity of government, remember this government/health care organization chart?A spokesman for Speaker John Boehener (R-Ohio) welcomed Obama's proposal but questioned his commitment to reducing the size of government.
“Given the President’s record of growing government, we’re interested to learn whether this proposal represents actual relief for American businesses or just the appearance of it," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement. "American small businesses are more concerned about this administration’s policies than from which building in Washington they originate. We hope the President isn't simply proposing new packaging for the same burdensome approach.
"However, eliminating duplicative programs and making the federal government more simple, streamlined, and business-friendly is always an idea worth exploring," he continued. "We look forward to hearing more about his proposal."