The spending cut agreement announced last week eliminates federal funding for four of the Obama Administration’s controversial “czars.”
Specifically, the agreement eliminates the salaries and expenses of the “czars” for health care (Director, White House Office of Health Reform), climate change (Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate Change), autos (Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy), and urban affairs (White House Director of Urban Affairs).
The proliferation of czars under the Obama Administration has become a potent symbol of big government. “Obama promised an era of openness, but it is difficult to see how he can accomplish that when so many advisers are not accountable to anyone but the president,” the Knoxville News-Sentinel wrote in an editorial. A Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette editorial raised the issue of the impact the czars could have on the economy: “there is a danger that the additional bureaucracy of government by czar will mean less efficiency, leading to overlapping jurisdictions and turf battles that will only dim the nation's prospects for economic recovery.”
Getting the axe are three of what Hot Air Blog says are “the most offensive ‘czars’.” Ed Morrissey writes:
“Obama has an HHS Secretary in Kathleen Sebelius, so he doesn’t need a ‘czar’ on health care. Likewise, his Cabinet includes a Secretary of Energy (Stephen Chu) and Interior (Ken Salazar), so why does the administration need a ‘climate change czar’? The government shouldn’t even be in the car business, so the car czar has to go. And while the ‘Urban Affairs Czar’ hasn’t gotten much press, shouldn’t Shaun Donovan’s role as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development cover, er, urban affairs?”
Overall, the agreement cuts government spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decade and represents the largest non-defense spending cut in American history. In an op-ed for USA Today, Speaker Boehner called the agreement “far from perfect,” but said it is a “first step toward getting spending under control.” You can read the text of the spending cut legislation online here and learn more about it here.