President Barack Obama today announced a reorganization of the U.S. Department of Commerce and five other agencies including the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Trade Representative. Mr. Obama’s major argument for the restructure is the need for the federal government to be more efficient in its ability to respond and aid American business.
To get the reorganization going, Mr. Obama will ask Congress to grant him the authority to reorganize the agencies upon receiving permission from Congress on a simple up or down vote. This authority had been granted to presidents between 1932 and 1984.
While Congress ponders this request, Mr. Obama intends to lift the Small Business Administration to the level of a cabinet agency.
I think this is a good move in the right direction although I remain suspect as to whether the move is steeped solely in getting the biggest bang out of the taxpayer buck or a political move to put the GOP in the embarrassing position of not saving $ 3billion over the next ten years by downsizing government while reducing the deficit.
It’s bad enough that Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry couldn’t name the three he wanted to eliminate. At least the president is helping him out with one of them. It’s also bad that the GOP’s identity problem when it comes to free market capitalism (are we simple job creating communists or haters of capital formation or high returns fascists) is coming to the fore. As a political move, Mr. Obama’s timing, right before the 535 yahoos return from celebrating the winter solstice, is just about right.