President Obama will ask Congress today for the authority to consolidate government agencies with redundant and overlapping responsibilities, in an effort to shrink the size of government, increase effeciency, and win the 2012 election. Obama proposed something along these lines in last year’s State of the Union speech and has to make another pretty soon, so the timing is good. It wouldn’t hurt his re-election chances to steal this issue from the Republicans, but to pull it off he’ll have to be granted some exceptional power, “held by no president since Ronald Reagan”, according to the L.A. Times.
The question is not how much of an election-year stunt this is — of course it’s an election-year stunt — but whether is it a good idea (I think so, but the devil is always in the details), and whether the Republican House will allow this issue-theft. It’s hard to see, though, how the House would defeat this proposal without damaging their candidate’s presidential chances, but maybe we get to see some hint of whether the Republicans believe in smaller government or the Republican Party.
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