We have a committee for that
The President has a great deal of faith in committees, except when he doesn't. For example, last year he created, by executive order, the debt commission - a committee designed to provide recommendations on how the country can balance its books. The commission's report came out in December of 2010, and was promptly ignored by the White House. Instead the Obama administration offered a budget that still spent more than a trillion dollars of deficit spending. The rhetoric was that Obama was cutting a trillion over 10 years. The debt commission was all but forgotten.
The Obama budget was dead on arrival with the house and the American people. In the interim Paul Ryan outlined a budget counter proposal that trimmed between 4 and 6 trillion dollars in 10 years. Obama had played political chicken with the Republicans, daring them to go after the sacred cows of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Ryan took the challenge, and his real plan for real fiscal reform struck a chord with voters, and changed the conversation in Washington.
President Obama got fiscal responsibility religion, apparently scared about chickens coming home to roost in 2012 and offered a counter proposal in a recent speech. Besides berating Ryan, we were treated to a lot of the same campaign rhetoric we heard in 2008. From imagery of Republicans taking care away from Autistic children and poor children, to the old stand by of "tax cuts for the rich". He also mentioned that deficits were bad and that we had to live within our means.
After listening to Obama's speech and then looking at the budget offered just 2 months earlier, the only thing that is clear is that President Obama is the President that was for deficits, before he was against them.
During the speech, President Obama offerer another committee to come to the rescue.
"And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need."
Considering what he did with the recommendations from the debt commission, one has to wonder just what recommendations the President would listen to if such a commission was created. More troubling, hasn't history shown that command and control style economics don't work? The history of communist China, Cuba, and the USSR are riddled with 5 year plans that didn't produce and commissions and committees that didn't work or were simply ignored.
Some may find that comparison harsh, but I point you to the latest news from the Presidents core constituency, big labor. The unions representing Boeing workers are claiming that Boeing's decision to build planes in a right to work state, is "discouraging membership in a labor organization" and thus violates federal law. Translation; those big burly Union members got their feelings hurt and now big labor is asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to deny Boeing the right to build planes in the state of their choosing. If the NLRB (another committee) sides with the unions, you will have the equivalent of the government dictating to a private company what means of production will be allowed for the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners in the US.
From commissions to committees President Obama's teams have failed on several fronts. From the economy to a coherent foreign policy the only thing the President has successfully accomplished is passing a massively unpopular health care bill that will cost trillions. If the President wants to shake of the moniker of socialist, he might want to try suggesting some capitalistic solutions for a change. After all capitalism has created the wealthiest, most generous, and richest country the world has ever seen.
Aaron Gee is a U.S.-based IT consultant who started the blog foundingideals.com.