Thomas Sowell

Consider the "stimulus" legislation. Here the administration was successful in rushing a massive spending bill through Congress in just two days-- after which it sat on the President's desk for three days, while he was away on vacation. But, like the medical care legislation, the "stimulus" legislation takes effect slowly.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will be September 2010 before even three-quarters of the money will be spent. Some economists expect that it will not all be spent by the end of 2010.

What was the rush to pass it, then? It was not to get that money out into the economy as fast as possible. It was to get that money-- and the power that goes with it-- into the hands of the government. Power is what politics is all about.

The worst thing that could happen, from the standpoint of those seeking more government power over the economy, would be for the economy to begin recovering on its own while months were being spent debating the need for a "stimulus" bill. As the President's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, you can't let a crisis "go to waste" when "it's an opportunity to do things you could not do before."

There are lots of people in the Obama administration who want to do things that have not been done before-- and to do them before the public realizes what is happening.

The proliferation of White House "czars" in charge of everything from financial issues to media issues is more of the same circumvention of the public and of the Constitution. Czars don't have to be confirmed by the Senate, the way Cabinet members must be, even though czars may wield more power, so you may never know what these people are like, until it is too late.

What Barack Obama says Wednesday night is not nearly as important as what he has been doing-- and how he has been doing it.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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