Archive for Friday, January 13, 2012

Obama takes on big government: ‘It has to change’

January 13, 2012


WASHINGTON — Seeking more power to shrink the government, President Barack Obama on Friday suggested smashing six economic agencies into one, an election-year idea intended to halt bureaucratic nightmares and force Republicans to back him on one of their own favorite issues.

“The government we have is not the government we need,” Obama told business owners he’d gathered at the White House. Lawmakers seemed willing to at least consider his ideas.

Sounding like a manager of a disorganized company, and looking like one by pointing to slides as he spoke, Obama asked Congress to give him a kind of reorganization power no president has had since Ronald Reagan. It would guarantee Obama a vote, within 90 days, on any idea he offers to consolidate agencies, provided it saves money and cuts the government.

His first potential target: Merging six major trade and commerce agencies into a one-stop-shopping department for American businesses. The Commerce Department would be among those that would cease to exist.

Attacking senseless duplication across the executive branch he runs, Obama said: “Why is it OK for our government? It’s not. It has to change.”

Politically, Obama is seeking advantage on the turf often owned by Republicans: Smaller government.

He is attempting to directly counter Republican arguments that he has presided over the kind of regulation, spending and debt that can undermine the economy — a dominant theme of this year’s debate and one often cited by his potential re-election rival, Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama said he would use his expanded authority to recommend the collapsing of other agencies across the government, not just in the business field, without getting specific. Congress would keep the final say over any proposal. But fast-track power would give Obama a stronger hand to skip much of the outside lobbying and turf battles and get right to a vote.

Congressional reaction was mixed, but generally followed a pattern from both parties — support for making government more efficient, and wariness about how Obama’s plan could upend the trade American trade agenda or undermine the prerogatives of Congress.

Republicans skeptically pointed to Obama’s past promises as the size of the nation’s debt keeps growing.

“It’s not often that we see real proposals from this administration to make government smaller,” said Rep. Fred Upton, the Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I look forward to reviewing the proposal and hope that it will be the first of many to unravel the red tape.”

Indeed, Obama promised more plans to shrink things if given more power, citing inefficiencies all across the government.

In an unusual united front that underscored some bipartisan skepticism, the chairmen of two of Congress’ most powerful committees joined in a statement that questioned the president’s desire to wrap the U.S. Trade Representative office into a new agency. The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont, said government cannot be reduced “at the expense of programs that are helping businesses, ranchers and farmers create jobs.”

For Obama, it was all about common sense.

He spoke of business people who deal with the government as part of their daily life and are exasperated by a maze of agencies, permits and websites.

“We can do this better,” he told them. “So much of the argument out there all the time is up in 40,000 feet, these abstract arguments about who’s conservative or who’s liberal. ...You guys are just trying to figure out, how do we make things work? How do we apply common sense? And that’s what this is about.”


cato_the_elder 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey, Barack, here's a tip: If you want to downsize both present and future government, then urge Congress to repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, and commit to signing the repeal legislation.

Gregory Newman 5 years, 1 month ago

You don't have a clue? On the health care he said fix it. The Dodd-Frank was needed you don't have a clue how wall street operates.

On October 3, 2008 President George W. Bush signed into law The Troubled Asset Relief Program to address the subprime mortgage crisis. That crisis came about because of the Acts of Reagan-Clinton. You can’t even get mad at George W. this was necessary to improve the liquidity of these assets by purchasing them using secondary market mechanisms, thus allowing participating institutions to stabilize their balance sheets and avoid further losses or the financial market of the whole world would collapse. That would have been a world chaos beyond anyone’s imagination because of the contracts with multi-nationalist.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is "An Act to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end "too big to fail", to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.”

Now these controls; the Garn-St. Germaine Depository Institution Act,(Reagan) “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act” and NAFTA/GATT(Clinton) are forms of redistributions of wealth and none of these has President Obama’s name attached and these can be considered as socialist policies because you and I have to pay the tax on the subsidy, like for an example TARP. (Troubled Asset Relief Program) All $700 Billion of it.

This Republican congress does not give a hoot about you. On September 28, 2010 Senate Republicans successfully blocked a bill from coming to the Senate floor that Democrats claim would help keep American jobs from going overseas. The Democratic bill would have ended certain tax breaks for companies expanding overseas while giving new tax incentives to businesses bringing jobs home.

Then on October 6, 2010 Ron Paul and a few other Republicans called for the elimination of the Federal minimum wage yet they claim they are for the American people.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 1 month ago

In your lengthy, incoherent rant, you apparently don't have enough of a clue to refute the point I made, namely that if Obama really wanted to downsize the growth of present and future government he would agree to sign a repeal of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, both of which create eye-popping new bureaucracies and vastly increase both the size of government and the level of government intrusion into our lives.

Care to refute that?

ljwhirled 5 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 1 month ago

After 3 years of his non-sense....he now comes up with this idea? This is pure comedy!

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

As usual, the same people are on here attacking the President, making outlandishly false statements that cannot be supported in any way -- like "He adds hundreds of thousands of goverment employees" -- and not a single one concerns hmself with the issue at hand.

Why not just repeat this line in every post: "I hate Obama." Simple, easy, and it wouldn't change anything about your actual posts.

To the article: I am glad to see the President looking at how to tighten government agencies. It will be interesting to see if those in congress who claim to be in favor of smaller government will support this idea.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

It kind of puts them on the spot a bit, I think.

If they oppose it, then they're going against their own stated goals, but if they support it, then they'll help his popularity. Either way it'll help him.

Not to be too cynical, but I suspect that's his main reason for proposing this right now.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

jafs, be cynical. We are talking about politicians after all, and one of their great desires is to stay in office. Cynicism is warranted for all politicians no matter party affiliation.

However, if you are a member of the party that constantly makes the point of stressing a desire for smaller government (despite evidence to the contrary of actually doing so when in power) and the President offers such an opportunity, don't you have to take him up on it?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe - we'll see.

We're talking about politicians, after all :-)

Carol Bowen 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, the president mentioned streaming the government and making it easier for business in at least one of his state of the union speeches and, maybe, during his campaign. This Initiative is not new.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

And, yet, he has done nothing in that direction for 3 years, and now, just as we're heading into the election year, he does so.

The timing makes me cynical.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

"All told, we find that Boehner’s 200,000 number is way off. We rate it False."

That is the quote from the source you just cited.

You really should read your sources before posting them to support your claims. As it notes, your claim that Obama has added "hundreds of thousands of government employees" is incorrect. Now you know.

gudpoynt 5 years, 1 month ago

False.... consistency is worthless when you're consistently wrong, FYI.

And yet, you seem happy and satisfied to be clearly wrong much of the time.

Which makes me wonder, as your comments often do, why are you so proud to look so foolish so frequently?

Somehow, the right wing media machine has manufactured, marketed, and sold a political identity that amounts to announcing "I'm Proud to Be a Dumb American".

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

The current regime is going to do/say anything that they think will get them thru November. If they don't get turned out, it'll be back to business as usual.

realisticvoter 5 years, 1 month ago

As long as we don't go back to something like the W administration that is the root of all our current problems.

Armstrong 5 years, 1 month ago

Talk is cheap. I will believe it when it happens

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

More private sector jobs were created in 2010 than in 8 years under the guy before him. So in addition to crashing the economy, Bush destroyed employment. Heckuva job.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Thanks - that's very useful.

It's remarkable how much exaggeration and misleading stuff gets circulated, even after it's been dis-proven.

I have to wonder about the integrity and honesty of people who do that.

realisticvoter 5 years, 1 month ago

Easy answer, he's not a Republican, much less a Tea Party nutcase.

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

The violence is largely on the part of the police. Occupy is not an arm of the democratic party, unlike, say, the tea party, which has been co-opted into being an arm of the worst elements of the GOP. Occupy has independents, anarchists, democrats, republicans, socialists, and even some teas and republicans. They are explicitly non-party affiliated. While many may have voted for Obama the first go-round, they are highly disillusioned with him, precisely because he did not follow through on his campaign. This canard makes no sense. If they are for Obama, why are they protesting against his policies? The Occupy movement is about the unholy alliance between big business and government, and the corrupting influence each has on the other. Their disdain is directed at both parties, because both parties are corrupt.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Again, phxman, just write "I hate Obama," and leave it at that. It will deliver the same message and save you lots of time. Trust me, we get it. You really, really hate Obama.


beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm not attacking the messenger, I'm attacking the message. You aren't saying anything.

You also lie about my desire for one party rule. That is your desire, not mine.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Not from my reading of the link.

It seems to be a very accurate analysis of the claims.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Having read (I hope) the link that vertigo has provided twice, I trust you'll stop circulating misleading and incorrect claims.

If not, I have to wonder why not.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Step one, re-purpose DEA agents as janitors in overseas embassies.

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

I can see a grand compromise. The GOP supports the president's proposal and adds a consolidation of some of the many overlapping social safety net programs.

camper 5 years, 1 month ago

A step in the right direction eh? I suppose one aisle will find their own angle or reason to turn it back around in disdain. Perhaps if they admit that they actually agree with something President Obama proposes, it would threaten their own ideaology, which of course cannot be changed and is as immovable as an Egyptian pyramid.

It will be interesting to here Rush Limbaugh's take in this. I may tune in tommorow during lunch.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

To sum up: "I hate Obama."

Three words are all that are needed to get your point across.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Funny thing is, few are on here saying they love him. However, there are a few of you who can only spout their hatred. Your hatred has possessed you, and nobody really cares. We get it. You hate him.


Obama? Romney? Will it really matter?

realisticvoter 5 years, 1 month ago

Minor point. Who is this guy and why would I want to forward his bias towards anyone who doesn't agree with him. It's not like he has reputation for being honest and having a an outstanding record of integrity.

camper 5 years, 1 month ago

This guy has a distorted way of thinking. Just look at #15. In the minfd of this guy, everyone who drives a Subaru Station wagon is a leftist or a Marxist.

That manifesto above is in the same class as something you might expect from that crazy church in Topeka. You know, the people who picket funerals.

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

The teas will stand up against Obama even if it is something they would like to see happen. Like the zealots they are. They will not compromise, nor will they work with the democrats or the elected president. They would rather see the country continue to suffer, They will vote no, nothing will pass unless it hurts Obama's chances for reelection,The movement of hate. They started out wanting some of the very things that will happen in this reduction, but they have changed their goals. A party of hate.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Prove it. You have made this accusation about my posting habits in the past, but you haven't been able to support it. Telling lies about me -- is that really all you have?

"at least once". That is rich. I doubt I used the word "moron," but it might have happened ... once. I know I called President Bush a liar once. I've since apologized because it was in poor form. And you think this compares to your long posting habits?


beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

You could just type in "I.H.O."

Better still, just logon on and leave a blank post. Just knowing who it is will tell us you are thinking, "I hate Obama." It isn't like you offer anything else.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I seriously doubt Obama knew about the release of guns to Mexico. It was a really, really bad decision, but he probably didn't know. It doesn't rank up there with trading arms for hostages, but it is still a bad decision. It isn't enough to oust him.

How much did Holder know? That is a fine question to ask.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

Obama takes on big government?

oh, I hadn't heard that pigs started flying???

this isn't even "window dressing. lol.

he dramatically increases paperwork for employers and medical care providers,

*thinks he is gona increase some kinda "efficiency" in medical care,

pushes absurd 'dust' regulations including applying to farmers (this had to be overcome by a huge ag outcry), generally unleashes the EPA in opposition to jobs, *putsoff and effectively kills the keystone-XL pipeline with many thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the sake of his envirowacko backers, ... etc. etc., ...

and we're supposed to believe that he's "taking on big government?" lol!

he's as sincere about this as he is about diminishing our debt after doubling it in three years!!!

or, as sincere as this: there's the time he called the Iraq war a "dumb" war and shouldn't be fighting it, and more recently opposed the Bush surge there that did cause the war to come to an ed, yet now he tries to take credit for ending the Iraq war (that ended on the Bush admin's timeline) and which he opposed up to now.

man, the liberal press sure is licking Mr. Obama's boots. wow.

Obama opposes big government ... and Bill Clinton gives llectures at women's colleges about chastity, ... riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Obama offering up what the Republicans claim they want, and this makes Republicans unhappy? There is no winning with some people.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Although there are many things I dislike in the above "divorce" suggestions, I have often thought it would be an interesting experiment to have a split like that.

Then liberals and conservatives would both have the freedom and the power to institute their policies and pursue their agendas without opposition - I wonder what would happen in each of those countries.

Sorry about the independents/moderates, vertigo - I don't know what they'd do.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Bizarre post, even for you.

Are you now claiming that Britain before the Revolution was a "liberal society"?

One wonders about your understanding of those words.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You have a right to that opinion.

However, we don't have taxation "without representation", and the Obamas aren't monarchs, and many people don't feel the same way you do about the government.

Also, of course, Republicans seem just as likely to tell people what to do in their personal lives as Democrats - more so in some cases.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

The true independent/moderates would probably end up picking up the pieces in both countries after the hard left/hard right policies failed in their respective halves.

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

To Bea and others:

Is it possible to disagree with government policy, size and costs without being called racist or defined as hating somebody or something?

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, of course it is. However, some things are obvious. When the same people come on here repeating lies even after the falacies of their arguments have been pointed out (consider the repetition of bogus e-mail chains, for instance), they continue in their parade of name-calling of elected officials and individuals (despite Alex's statement that he would halt such practices), and they refuse to discuss the context of the story at hand in order to bash an elected official, then they are doing so out of their obvious hatred. At some point it is just about hate.

Racism should be called on when it appears, but that has nothing to do with disagreeing with government policy of elected officials. If you are accusing me of accusing someone of being racist simply for disagreeing with government policy, please point out where I have done so. As a matter of fact, please point out anywhere here where I mention race.

The race issue certainly is a touchy one and it has been used inappropriately to attack those who question Obama. No doubt. However, not all statements directed toward Obama's haters is based on race. In fact, it is now a first line of defense among many of the haters, even when no such charges are being levied.

Hope that answers the question for you.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

But the press has pointed out Harry Reid's ridiculous comment about Obama, for which he has apologized and the person he was talking about accepted the apology. We all know about it. Why? Because the press covered it. If you think Reid is the only one to say stupid things, you aren't paying close enough attention.

I don't believe his views are tied to his religion.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bible has a few questionable passages on race as well. So what?

The point isn't that religious writings can be offensive. What is important is whether or not someone still holds those offensive passages as relevant to their daily lives today. I see no reason to hold most Mormons or most Christians to the racial views of their religious founders. As long as a politician with religious beliefs doesn't attempt to rule others based on those beliefs, then I really don't have a problem with it. This is true whether we are talking about Reid, Romney or Obama.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I never said I accepted Reid's apology. I still think it a really stupid thing to say. I wrote that the person Reid was speaking about accepted the apology. I didn't realize Mrs. Obama had accepted O'Neal's comment.

However, I'm glad to see you linking Reid and O'Neal as people who have said and done foolish things when it comes to race. Now, every time you rehash Reid's old comment, will you also be rehashing O'Neal's recent faux pas?

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

By the way George, you are the first person on this string to mention race, so I'm not really clear on why you asked the question.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh really. Show me once where I raised an issue of race when it wasn't directly related to another's comments. Yes, I will make note of someone's racially insensitive comments. If you truly believe we are better by ignoring racist statements, that is your choice, but I choose not to.

As I said to math, support your argument. Prove it. Show me one instance where I have called another a racist simply because they disagreed with the policies of the current administration. Otherwise, I would appreciate your not making such outrageous statements about my posting habits.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I also can't help but notice that in addition to your false accusation about me, you completely ignored the substance of my response to your initial comment. That is just weak. And here we were getting along just fine.

Oh well.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

That is your opinion, and not all would agree with you. I'm sure those still working in the American automobile industry wouldn't agree.

gudpoynt 5 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

"What's up with this 'zombie' crapola anyway?"

Funny, several of us have been asking Alex the same exact question over these past couple of months.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Getting nervous?

To some of us, the rules of participation mean something. Or, as snap likes to say, "be legal or be gone."

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

Lord save me from self appointed lie, racism, homophobe, etc. detectors. Would it be too much to ask if we could avoid calling each other names for a week? Instead of the "liar" sobriquet (or whatever) we would accept that the other person believes what they have posted. If you have facts to the contrary (the Huffington Post" is not a fact) then post it otherwise say your truth and let it be. No good comes from demeaning other people!

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

You post this shortly after making a false claim about me? Oh physician, heal thyself.

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

Moderate Responds:

Bea Said: Hate talk How is calling a Black woman Mrs. YoMama not racist if it is made only as a means of denigrating the woman because of her race? It is racially based, and it is racist. You do use the race card, Bea. This is just one of a number of exchanges we have had. From another comment above it appears that you don’t consider it the race card when you believe it is racist. That was my point. Save me from people who interpret other people’s comments as racist when they have no idea of the other parties intent. So Bea, my comment was not inaccurate by my reckoning – just by yours

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

George: "Is it possible to disagree with government policy, size and costs without being called racist or defined as hating somebody or something?"

Please, in all of your wisdom, please explain to me how calling the First Lady "Mrs. YoMama" has anything to do with a disagreement with government policy, size and costs. Show me.

If you don't think that the e-mail is based in racism, that is on you. Most people on THAT story did. If you actually read those threads, you would also find nuance within the discussion about race. However, it was NOT on this story, of course, the one in which YOU brought race into a discussion. I am not just throwing it out there because someone disagrees with the President's policy, which is what you claimed. You, in fact, are the one to obviously play the race card.

Under your reasoning, unless the person says they are racist, we should not question their motives, ever. Brilliant. Nice way to stick your head in the sand. Ignore all you want. When it is there, I will question it and I will help shine a light on it.

You claim that I throw out the race card in discussions of policy, when I do not, is as repugnant as your claim of being called a racist. Physicain, heal thyself.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe what you meant to say was "I hate Obama."

How soon they forget.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Work force participation is at the lowest level since detailed records have been kept. The number of people on food stamps is at an all-time high. Are the Mope's plans are working out just as he intended?

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