Czars in Charge

August 14, 2009

Do you know Herb Allison? Does the name Daniel Fried sound familiar? How about Alan Bersin or Carol Browner? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve never heard of these people. These people are the “czars” responsible for giving bailout money to banks, closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, determining how to secure the border, and revamping American energy policy.

The concept of having a czar to help coordinate a pressing, emergency issue is not new. Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush each had one czar. President Clinton had three, and President George W. Bush had four. However, in just six months in office, President Obama has already named at least 32 czars, and more could be coming.

These “czars” are given a staff, a $172,000 per year salary, and broad authority to set policy that affects your life. They are not subject to Senate approval, and don’t have to answer to anyone except President Obama.

This is just another example of the growth of big government without any accountability to Congress, or to the American people. That’s why I’m a cosponsor of H.R. 3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act. I believe this bill would cut off the salaries for these czars to restore transparency and accountability to our government.