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.”


Flap Doodle 2 years, 3 months 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?


overplayedhistory 2 years, 3 months ago

Hyperbole begets hyperbole. As soon as you guys quit saying he is the worst thing since Stalin, I will stop suggesting nefarious reasons for irrational opposition to Ideas that were originally your own.

Do GOP Ideas really shift that frequently?


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

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


George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months 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!


overplayedhistory 2 years, 3 months ago

I just wish he didn't have a funny name and Carmel colored skin so the tea pubs could get behind this.


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

What's up with this "zombie" crapola anyway? If anyone are zombies, it's blind-ideologue Obama worshipers. Wow! When a far-left blog or some moron like Bill Maher or liberal star like Jon Stewart utters some word or phrase, leftist zealots stick to it like crazy-glue.


Agnostick 2 years, 3 months ago

It's always fun to watch zombies empty their junk mail folders into their arguments. "Just throw anything! Maybe it'll stick! Maybe the intelligent folks won't notice!"

Oh, we notice alright... ;)


booyalab 2 years, 3 months ago

Obama is a master politician.


beatrice 2 years, 3 months 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.


George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months 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?


jafs 2 years, 3 months 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.


Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 3 months ago

Love the hysteria this is creating for the small government people. They scream, cry and whine about big government and when they get what they want they continue to throw a tantrum (this time with kicking and stomping the feet). Just like a 3 year old who didn't get their nap.

Way to be role models fellas. I'm sure you're kids would be proud at the example you set.

Keep on posting your chain emails (even when they're proven to be lies), and ridiculous black and white/conservative vs liberal divorce decrees (so much for the independents in this nation- I guess they don't get any place to go). Keep feeding your brain full of made up excrement.

I'll keep smirking and shaking my head at your childish behaviour.


bearded_gnome 2 years, 3 months 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.


indrid_cold 2 years, 3 months ago



tange 2 years, 3 months ago

Obama... Bush... Reagan... I recall the moment it ALL pivoted...


beatrice 2 years, 3 months 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.


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago


Fact is, watching "Monster's Ball" and listening to Billy Joels' "Captain Jack" puts me in better spirits than the thought of Obama as our president.

God help us all if he is re-elected.


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

beatrice, telling us to say "I hate Obama". The gal who had such a deep seated hatred for Bush, it seeped into others, like Sarah Palin's hubbie, who she at least once, called a "moron". Save it, bea.


pace 2 years, 3 months 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.


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

  1. We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks, and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

  2. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors..

  3. We'll continue to believe healthcare is an earned luxury and not a right.

  4. We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."

  5. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya," or "We Are the World".

  6. We'll practice trickledown economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

  7. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our constitution and our flag.

  8. Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

                John J. Wall
                Law Student and an American

P.S.: Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, and Jane Fonda with you.

P.S.S..: And you won't have to "Press 1 for English" when you call our country.

                **If you can't stand behind our Military, Please feel  free to stand in front of them! **

    Scott Henley

FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, regressive, Marxists, and Obama supporters, et. al.: We have stuck together since the late 1950s for thesake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our ownway.

Here is a model separation agreement: 1. Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass, each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy. Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides had such distinct and disparate tastes.

  1. We don't like redistributive taxes, so you can keep them.

  2. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

  3. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA, and the military.
  4. We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar, and bio-diesel.

  5. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

  6. We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, and Wall Street.

  7. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless homeboys, hippies, druggies, and illegal aliens.

  8. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.

  9. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

  10. You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

  11. You can have the peace-niks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

  12. We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

  13. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness, and Shirley McLain. You can also have the U.N., but we will no longer be paying the bill.


camper 2 years, 3 months 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.


George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months 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.


Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

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


Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

If any other of our presidents had stated that there were 57 states in the United States, wouldn't you have had second thoughts about his capabilities?

If any other of our presidents would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in his home town, would you not have thought he was a self-important, conceited, egotistical jerk.

If any other of our presidents had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, wouldn't you have winced in embarrassment?

If any other of our presidents had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If any other of our presidents' administrations had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If any other of our presidents had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If any other of our presidents had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America, would you have ever approved?

If any other of our presidents had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive?



its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

"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."

I'm sorry, say that again......I think you lost me.

Is this some sort of joke? Problem is, devotee lemming Obama worshipers will take it to heart.....the corrupt Obamamania worshiping liberal lamestream media will tell themselves to believe it too.

This guy is a joke, and I can not underscore that enough. Unfreikkingbelievable.

Expect this drivel non-stop here on out until the election.


Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

If any other of our presidents had criticized a state law that he admitted he never even read, would you think that he is just an ignorant hot head?

If any other of our presidents joined the country of Mexico and sued a state in the United States to force that state to continue to allow illegal immigration, would you question his patriotism and wonder who's side he was on?

If any other of our presidents had pronounced the Marine Corps like Marine Corpse, would you think him an idiot?

If any other of our presidents had put 87,000 workers out of work by arbitrarily placing a moratorium on offshore oil drilling on companies that have one of the best safety records of any industry because one foreign company had an accident, would you have agreed?

If any other of our presidents had used a forged document as the basis of the moratorium that would render 87,000 American workers unemployed would you support him?

If any other of our presidents had been the first President to need a Teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If any other of our presidents had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take his First Lady to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents had reduced your retirement plan holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved? *

If any other of our presidents had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought it a proud moment for America ?

If any other of our presidents had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents had visited Austria and made reference to the nonexistent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If any other of our presidents had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?


Liberal 2 years, 3 months ago

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

That is just to much.... can anyone say that Obama see's the writing on the wall?


deec 2 years, 3 months 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.


Armstrong 2 years, 3 months ago

Talk is cheap. I will believe it when it happens


Flap Doodle 2 years, 3 months 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.


beatrice 2 years, 3 months 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.


sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

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


Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

Obama: Liar liar pants on fire


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

He adds hundreds of thousands of government employees in 3 years and calls for change. lol lol and the Liberal press says.."Obama takes on big government" ha ha ha... "O" is the one that is making it bigger and the Liberals say...."TAKES ON BIG GOVERNMENT"...too funny.

This guy is "perfect" for the New America.


cato_the_elder 2 years, 3 months 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.


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