There seems to be nothing more conducive to creative thinking than an election that has slipped away from an incumbent. All of a sudden, Barack Obama is chock full of new ideas. He wants a “grand bargain” on debt and entitlement reform, for instance, even though neither were part of his 20-page picture book, er, second-term agenda that he just released last week. But even more creatively, Obama wants to create another Cabinet position — the Secretary of Business:
In an interview with MSNBC, the president said he wants to consolidate a number of business and trade-related agencies, creating a “one-stop shop” for oversight.
“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 giving loans to SBA [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports,” he said in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brezezinski and Joe Scarborough.
Maybe he should show up for his current Cabinet meetings. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Obama already has a Cabinet official that’s supposed to promote business:
Maybe Republicans would have opposed the Secretary of Business if they’d learned about it somewhere besides cable news, but who knows? The reasons could include turf, but also the fact that the government already has an agency with a “focus on expanding the American economy and job creation” and that “invests in America’s long-term growth and competitiveness”
It’s called the Department of Commerce, with its very own Secretary, and the quotes in the preceding paragraph are how the White House describes its mission in its 2013 budget. Mr. Obama wants to expand Commerce spending by 5% to some $8 billion annually. Extra credit goes to anyone who can name the acting Commerce Secretary. No Googling.
It’s actually Rebecca Blank, who has been acting Commerce Secretary since June, when John Bryson left after having a strange series of vehicle accidents in Los Angeles. Bryson replaced Gary Locke, Obama’s first appointee, who became Obama’s Ambassador to China. Now, if you don’t know all that, don’t feel bad. Neither does Obama, apparently.
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