According to the President, he has been trying now for about five years to have Congress address serious inefficiencies in the Federal Government. He has been asking that several agencies be consolidated in order to promote efficiency and cost savings. Obama cited an example that a small business owner seeking answers might have to consult five different Federal agencies for simple answers, instead of consulting just one. Obama then stated that he has tried to convince Congress to consolidate many of the duplicitous agencies but all efforts thus far have been unsuccessful. When asked why his efforts have failed, his response fell directly into the curriculum I am currently teaching my students.
Under Article I of the Constitution, only Congress can create Federal departments, agencies and Cabinet positions. Also under Article I, only Congress can fund these departments, agencies and Cabinet positions. By having such authority, Congress maintains what is commonly known as the "Power of the Purse" - which includes the ability to maintain oversight over them all.
According to the President, every time he has addressed the issue of consolidating wasteful agencies and departments, Congress itself has declined! Obama indicated that by consolidating four or five departments or agencies into single more efficient entities, a like number of Congressional Oversight Subcommittees would also have no further reason to exist, hence the reluctance of members of Congress to give up any individual power they may have. When pressed further, Obama stated he would continue over the next three years to address this serious issue. I sat dumbstruck after hearing Obama's claim! A "liberal, Marxist, Socialist, Kenyan, Muslim" president actually calling for the elimination of wasteful government agencies and departments - shrinking the size of the Federal Government? Had I really fallen asleep on my couch only to be transported to a parallel universe to hear such talk? Not surprisingly, his comments received no traction from the Media!
If Obama is being truthful in this regard, then why has he not made this a serious topic for bully pulpit use? Why hasn't he been telling the American public on a regular basis that he wants to shrink the size of the Federal Government but has been hampered (and/or obstructed) by Congress? It certainly gives one pause to think.
When I mentioned this to a couple of my "fair and balanced friends" they immediately reacted. "He never said that!" "Obama is a LIAR, he never wants to shrink the government!" "Under Obama the government continues to expand!" When I pointed out that I agreed Obama has done a poor job of communicating (virtually everything) to the American Public, they seemed a tad mollified, but they then went on a screed that Obama's unemployment numbers are also a "Lie" because the 7% unemployment rate included Federal Workers returning to work after the shut-down furloughs. Clearly my "fair and balanced" friends do little to learn anything except that which is broadcast to them by their supporting ideological media! How come? According to the most recent jobs report, unemployment HAS been cut to 7% due to unexpected jobs growth, not including the return of furloughed Federal employees (they were accounted earlier in the October jobs report). (See;
http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2013/12/06/jobs-report-u-s-economy-added-203k-jobs-in-november-unemployment-down-to-7/). More importantly, Federal employment has been trending down over the past several months, despite the return of furloughed workers (See; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/12/06/federal-workforce-declines-even-as-overall-jobs-picture-improves/).
So instead of perpetuating politically designed and orchestrated talking points and narratives about the President simply being a "Liar", perhaps folks should be reviewing news from sources that do not promote themselves as "Fair and Balanced?" As mentioned last week, when a strong majority of Americans distrust each other and now boil down their entire understanding of their President as a "Liar", perhaps it is time to step back and see the "forest from the trees." According to all financial indicators, the economy is improving and America is actually moving forward, despite the rancor and distrust fomented by pundits and their ideological For-Profit supporting Media. As President Harry S. Truman once said; "You can never get all of the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all of the facts, you cannot make proper judgments about what is going on!" Proper Judgments indeed! Have a great week!