Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Czar Search

"The rationale for creating “Czar” positions is that such individuals can rise above the usual DC turf wars, knock heads together, and make disparate bureaucracies achieve ambitious, overarching goals. Done well, this can demonstrate an administration's higher level of interest and dedication to an issue. But this ceases to be true when these exalted positions become so commonplace that it’s hard to see where ordinary bureaucracy ends and the extraordinary begins."
That paragraph is from the website Taxpayers For Common Sense, in a cheeky article titled Dancing With The Czars. (That was going to be the title of this article until I started to research, dang it). The article does a nice job of preempting the argument about Reagan starting the idea of a czar with his "drug czar". That was only one, however, and as the article points out, it's a heady idea when done with restraint, but when the appointments start to resemble a monolithic "czardom", an entire new bureaucracy is born.

The current czar count of the Obama administration is at 32...in only a little over five months. Here's the list:
Afghanistan Czar
AIDS Czar
Border Czar
CA Water Czar
Car Czar
Climate Czar
Domestic Violence Czar
Drug Czar
Economic Czar
Energy Czar
Faith-based Czar
Great Lakes Czar
Green Jobs Czar
Guantanamo Closure Czar
Health Czar
Information Czar
Intelligence Czar
Mideast Peace Czar
Mideast Policy Czar
Pay Czar
Regulatory Czar
Science Czar
Stimulus Accountability Czar
Sudan Czar
TARP Czar
TARP Oversight Czar
Technology Czar
Terrorism Czar
Urban Affairs Czar
Weapons Czar
WMD/Terrorism Czar
Taxpayers For Common Sense has an Excel spreadsheet that names the myriad czars and their functions. It's interesting to note that the entire Russian Empire, which spanned 400 years, did not have that many czars.

Sphere: Related Content

4 comments:

Edisto Joe said...

Obama needs a czar's czar appointed to keep up with all this.
these are the "stimulus" jobs, rihgt?

Edisto Joe

Woody said...

I'm thinking that it may just lead to his appointing himself "Czar of America".

Edisto Joe said...

Woody:
I took the liberty of linking to your article in my post today. I hope you don't mind.

Edisto Joe

Woody said...

Joe,
The link is the thing. I don't mind anyone using anything I publish as long as they link to it.
Thank you,
Woody