Apparently, We CAN Wait (for 353 Days)
Today, 353 days after President Obama’s last State of the Union address, he will fulfill one of the promises he made during that speech.
The Associated Press reports that President Obama will ask Congress for greater power to consolidate government agencies in order to shrink the federal government:
“Obama will call on Congress to give him a type of reorganizational power last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. The Obama version would be a so-called consolidation authority allowing him to propose mergers that promise to save money and help consumers. The deal would entitle him to an up-or-down vote from Congress in 90 days.”
That’s right, President Obama is actually going to try and fulfill one of his promises and make the government smaller and more efficient. We were stunned as well. After all, late is better than never, right? Last year, during the President’s State of the Union address, the President said (bold for emphasis):
“Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and more efficient. We can’t win the future with a government of the past…
“There are 12 different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different agencies that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked…
“In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote — and we will push to get it passed.”
Well, 12 months is close to “the coming months”.
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online writes that “Obama often used the slogan ‘the fierce urgency of now’; in 2011, he used the slogan, ‘We Can’t Wait.’” Apparently, according to Mr. Geraghty, we are living in “the fierce urgency of whenever.”
So when President Obama gives what is hopefully his last State of the Union address later this month, we should expect him to say: This is what I want to do and I promise I will do it, after you re-elect me in November.
We won’t be holding our breath for any change.