Friday, November 14, 2008

Pick Your Czars Carefully

Maybe my secret conservative economic leanings are starting to show. Or maybe I'm just as conflicted about the economy as everyone else: I agree today both with Paul Krugman - the rececession is just starting to pick up steam and more stimulus is needed badly - and David Brooks - just throwing money at terribly managed car companies is likely to be less effective than simply burning it and saying a few prayers.

But one point that Brooks raises I find interesting: that Obama is talking about creating an "auto Czar."

I don't know if that's the same thing as the Energy Security Czar on Podesta's org chart. Or the Environment Czar. But one thing that does concern me is the proliferation of Czars in the Obama administration.

After all, the government isn't 19th Century Russia. All these Czars running around are likely to do nothing more than get in each other's way. Kind of like Elvis Costello's Two Little Hitlers.

Two little Hitlers will fight it out until
One little Hitler does the other one’s will

Actually, two Czars in the Obama administration are probably just about right. Pick the two issues that need the most Czaring to get done. Energy and Environment? Maybe they're the same thing. How about Energy and Health care.

But Cars? File that under Energy, too.

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