Obama Wants To Add A Secretary Of Business

Barack Obama signaled that if he wins re-election that he would expand government by adding a new cabinet level Secretary of Business. This Secretary would oversee newly consolidated government agencies, including the Small Business Administration.

MSNBC aired an interview on Monday's Morning Joe that was conducted over the weekend by Mika Brzezinkski and Joe Scarborough.

Obama's comments on the Secretary of Business started about eight minutes into the interview, which can be seen below:

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Obama said:

"I've said that I want to consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies. We should have one Secretary of Business instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like getting loans through the SBA or helping companies with exports. There should be a one-stop shop. Now, the reason we haven't done that is not because of some big ideological difference. It has to do with congress talking a good game about wanting to streamline government but being very protective about not giving up their jurisdiction over various pieces of government."

During the interview, Obama decided to repackage his proposal, from earlier this year, to eliminate the current Department of Commerce and consolidate other currently independent agencies into it. Here's what he said:

So today, I’m calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had to streamline and reform the Executive Branch. This is the same sort of authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times. And let me be clear: I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service and a leaner government.

Now, a little bit of history here. Congress first granted this authority to presidents in the midst of the Great Depression, so that they could swiftly reorganize the Executive Branch to respond to the changing needs of the American people and the immediate challenges of the Depression. For the next 52 years, presidents were able to streamline or consolidate the Executive Branch by submitting a proposal to Congress that was guaranteed a simple up or down vote.

In 1984, while Ronald Reagan was President, Congress stopped granting that authority. . .

Right now, there are six departments and agencies focused primarily on business and trade in the federal government. Six. Commerce Department, Small Business Administration, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. In this case, six is not better than one. Sometimes more is better; this is not one of those cases, because it produces redundancy and inefficiency. With the authority that I’m requesting today, we could consolidate them all into one department, with one website, one phone number, one mission: helping American businesses succeed. That’s a big idea.

We’d have one department where entrepreneurs can go from the day they come up with an idea and need a patent, to the day they start building a product and need financing for a warehouse, to the day they’re ready to export and need help breaking into new markets overseas. One website, easy to use, clear. One department where all our trade agencies would work together to ensure businesses and workers can better export by better enforcing our trade agreements. One department dedicated to helping our businesses sell their products to the 95 percent of global consumers who live beyond our shores. . .

So with or without Congress, I’m going to keep at it.

Well he's pretty much been doing that anyways, including his consideration of implementing a cybersecurity executive order, even though Congress said "No" to it.

But all Obama is doing is using someone else's idea and renaming it so that he can call it his own. That's right. In 1903 President Teddy Roosevelt developed the Department of Commerce, which Obama wants to rebrand as the Department of Business.

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