Obama’s recent announcement that he will appoint a commission to propose and possibly oversee the closing and sale of obsolete federal buildings is yet another delaying tactic which allows Team Obama to wear the mantle of fiscal hawks, serious about cost-cutting, while delaying the need for immediate action to reduce the ever-ballooning deficit. Kicking the can down the road to delay tough decision-making is becoming President Obama’s best sport.
There are three good reasons why Americans should be skeptical of Obama’s recent proposal.
First, Americans have seen Obama use commissions to provide cover and to buy time. The recent Fiscal commission is a prime example. Taking almost a year to assemble and taking another year to analyze data and prepare their proposal, the commission bought time for the President to posture. When the Fiscal Commission did report their findings and urged immediate action, their counsel was immediately ignored by Team Obama. It would seem that the Obama has learned that the value of commissions in to provide a fig leaf for Administration failures. Americans should be concerned that should a commission produce a set of recommendations that would actually require the president to make a tough decision, that it will be ignored.
The most recent announcement from the White House to sell off unneeded or underutilized federal office buildings proposes theestablishmen of a commission modeled after the Pentagon’s Base closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). The obvious problem is that if President Obama did not take the advice of the commission that he hand-picked, on an issue critical to our nation’s survival as a super-power, why should Americans have any confidence that Obama will act on the recommendations of a “BRAC-like” commission on federal buildings?
Second, the White House did not admit the BRAC process is expensive and closures take years to implement. Duplicating BRAC for federal buildings will require a huge staff, development of countless proposals that must be vetted through congress, and logistical planning to move or eliminate hundreds to thousands of government employees. These kinds of BRAC decisions will take longer to implement than Obama’s time in office and even longer to derive the cost-savings currently proposed by Obama.
Meantime, using the closing of federal buildings as proof of his vigorous cost-cutting administration, Obama may continue to pile up additional non-essential spending, citing the savings from the GOV-BRAC closings as his “pay-go” plan. The end result is that Americans will find that the country is even more in debt than before Obama morphed into a “fiscal hawk”.