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The Problem with Czars

September 18, 2009

There are big Constitutional problems with the overuse of presidential advisors, colloquially known as czars.

Previous presidents have used these advisors to pull together in one person policy that would otherwise be spread among several or even many agencies.  (This in itself says something about the size and scope of the federal government, doesn’t it?)

The problem with czars in the current administration is that they are not confirmed by the Senate and not accountable to anyone other than the president.   That is precisely the point: going back to Woodrow Wilson, the father of public administration, the idea of administrators is to be unaccountable.  Of course, Wilson didn’t phrase it quite that way.  Rather, his idea was that administrators would do what they thought best “untouched by partisan politics.”  What they think best?

Sound scary? It should.  The civil service was founded to counter the partisanship that resulted from the “spoils system”–a presidential appointments a system perfected by Democrat Andrew Jackson.   Read Amity Schlaes’ book to learn how the National Recovery Administration abused its power in the 1930s and was eventually declared unconstitutional.   The Hatch Act was passed to prevent politicians (FDR was doing it) from using government employees from to perform partisan activities.

And now the Democrats are at it again.  The czars.  The billions earmarked for Acorn.  The expanded national service organization.  Even the millions spent on those American Recovery Act road signs. (In Colorado, Gov Ritter has tagged his name onto those signs.)

How many times do we have to repeat history?

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4 Comments
  1. Susan Crane permalink
    September 18, 2009 4:59 pm

    President Obama’s use of the title CZAR is distasteful and is reminiscent of slavery and our freedom is at risk. According to Webster is, “One with absolute power and authority.” It is derived from a Russian term “tzcar” and from Caesar “Czar”. This is a revolting threat to our freedom to say the least. Did Mr. Obama skip World History 101?
    The term CZAR was first put into use by Russia’s much dreaded leader “Ivan the Terrible”, who plundered Russia’s rich estates, killed their owners and took their land. He (Ivan the Terrible) forced the peasantry to remain in bondage to their new land owners (slavery) HUM. I am “blown-away” our president would want the word CZAR to be used with any government official’s title within the United States. The title of CZAR is also associated with the dreaded Drug CZARs from South America and Mexico. Remember these CZARs will have absolute power and authority and is conjoined with “Ivan the Terrible” a known slave master, so it should disgraceful title used in the US.
    Americans should be outraged to make sure the title CZAR not be associated with our country. It conjures up thoughts of slavery! Americans know all to well how slavery hurt our countrymen, by the cost in lives for freedom. Why do we allow Mr. Obama to borrow a title originating from a Communist / Socialistic / Soviet (Russia) country? Are we going to be enslaved by the Obama administration? Is this not taking us backwards? Are his plans to subvert our Constitutional right to freedom and alter our political structure that gives our country strength? Is the next CZAR going to be the Crime CZAR who will go house to house to rid Americans their right to bear arms, in the name protection! From whom? The bad guys or the government? Yeh, Right! Sounds like “Big Brother” to me!
    CZARs will have absolute power and authority this is the beginning of Socialism / Communism in our country which will enslave US Citizens by our own government. Our civil rights will soon have no meaning, nor will the U.S. Constitution and its system of “checks and balances”. These CZARs are left-wing radical extremists. They will stifle businesses and future entrepreneurs that have made our country what it is today. Remember they will have the power and authority.
    What happened to the promises Obama spewed out of his mouth during his campaign for presidency? “CHANGE” is still ringing in my ears, shrink big government and remove “ear-marks” & “pork barrel” spending, and his promise not to increase our taxes. Who is he fooling? He must think we are stupid! The CZARs & their committees create a larger not smaller government! Future generations will be enslaved / indentured to this debt even before they take their first breath of life. Obama or the next administration will raise our taxes at staggering proportions! Scary! He has only been in office for 8 months and the noose of freedom is being tightened!

  2. Ron permalink
    September 19, 2009 9:35 am

    Al,
    How would you score the SEIU based on your observations and implications?

  3. acmaurerco permalink*
    September 20, 2009 12:57 pm

    Ron,

    Haven’t looked into SEIU much but from what I’ve heard it is much like ACORN in its radical and thuggish tendencies.

  4. acmaurerco permalink*
    September 20, 2009 1:01 pm

    Susan,

    Thanks for your comments about the czars. “Czar” and “Tsar” are actually two different transliterations of the Cyrillic characters for the same Russian word–which, as you point out derives from the Roman “caesar.” I hope we all still know how corrupt most of them were!

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