Gary Shapiro

Americans agree – our federal government is not doing right by us. The Executive Branch seems out of control. A recent CNN poll found 63 percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy. Congress can’t get its act together. Eight-four percent of Americans disapprove of its performance.

Despite the fact that the great majority of government agencies and bodies have good people doing their best to serve the nation (think of the military for example), the fact is that we have some highly visible bad apples hurting our nation and its competitiveness. Here are a few examples:

Four of the five Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Commissioners – two Democrats and two Republicans – have revolted and said NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko has gone off the reservation. No one seems to know how to deal with the situation and, despite Congressional hearings, the White House has not stepped up and sought to relieve the chairman of his gavel.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sought to close down a new Boeing facility and has issued several rules making it more difficult to hire employees. Again the White House is quiet as jobs go away.

The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms facilitated gun sales to Mexico, and the guns are being used to commit crimes including the killing of U.S. federal agents. Despite being aware of this operation, the Department of Justice misled Congress, and no one has yet to take responsibility.

The Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service sent armed federal agents into Gibson Guitars on speculation it used wood to build its legendary guitars that was not processed according to another nation’s laws.

American innovators now go overseas with their new products and drugs thanks to the Food and Drug Administration’s legendary sluggishness in reviewing and approving new products.

Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing some 2,000 consumer electronics companies.