Oct 10, 2010

How Oversight Should Work

Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service released a report underscoring the important function that congressional oversight plays in working with the executive branch: "A fundamental objective of congressional oversight is to hold executive officials accountable for the implementation of delegated authority. This objective is especially important given the huge expansion of executive influence in the modern era." As we move closer to the November midterm elections, a ...

  • Team Oversight
Oct 7, 2010

White House Records in the Facebook Era

Advances in technology have brought new transparency to our democracy. Americans can interact with federal officials in real time. Citizens use Twitter and Facebook to have unfiltered conversations with their elected representatives — anytime and anywhere. These innovations in direct digital democracy have increased government’s openness and accountability and lowered the barriers between public servants and the people they serve. The challenge for policymakers is to ensure that these ...

  • Open Government
Oct 6, 2010

Time for a Hiring Freeze

While millions of Americans struggle to find work, the federal civilian workforce has prospered. Federal employees’ salaries and benefits have spiked over the past decade. In fact, their compensation advantage over workers in the private sector has grown since 2000 from about $24,000 to almost $51,000. Not even the recession has slowed this trend. Unemployment remains dangerously high, and the number of poor is at its highest level since 1959. But as the private sector has lost 7.7 million ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Sep 30, 2010

Creating Jobs: Regulatory Tsunami Impeding Economic Growth

One of the greatest myths in American politics is that one person can create jobs. Sure, when the economy is strong, the person whose watch it is gets the credit. When the economy is struggling, they get the blame. But let’s be clear and honest, it’s not President Barack Obama who creates jobs. It’s not Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the Senate. It’s not John Boehner, the Republican leader of the House. Job creation stems from the innovators and entrepreneurs in our ...

  • Regulation & Jobs
Sep 28, 2010

Congress Must Oversee Executive Branch

The unparalleled encroachment of the federal government in the private sector and the lives of individual Americans that began during the Bush Administration and continues in the Obama Administration (see, for example, the Troubled Assets Protection Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the rapid growth of the federal workforce, and the health care and financial overhauls) has led to concerns of an oncoming tsunami of opacity, waste, fraud, and abuse.  This trend must be met by ...

  • Team Oversight
Sep 20, 2010

Time for Another Government Bailout

The declining demand for traditional mail delivery service presents a crisis for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). A continued imbalance of costs and revenues means taxpayers could be asked to bail out the independent government agency, which is required by law to be self-funded. As labor contract renegotiations between USPS and its employee unions commence this fall, Congress should reject requests to delay again billions of dollars in future retiree health insurance obligations that USPS is ...

  • Postal Reform
Jul 1, 2010

Political and Economic Suicide

President Lincoln once warned that our greatest danger, "if it ever reaches us, must spring up from among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot," Lincoln said, "we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live throughout all time, or die by suicide." Regrettably, that is what many of the Obama administration's policies amount to: political and economic suicide. Economically, the president and the Democrat-controlled Congress have pursued ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Jun 23, 2010

Government Needs Oversight Too

If you go to the Democratic Web page for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it reads: “The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications.” An extremely premature public conversation is now taking shape about how the Congress would shift if the Democrats lose the majority in the November midterms ...

  • Team Oversight
May 28, 2010

Can a President Make it Legal?

President Richard Nixon uttered one of the most infamous quotes in U.S. political history on April 6, 1977, defiantly declaring, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” This sentiment embodies all that is wrong with politics. It explains why, more than 30 years later, the political establishment struggles with the image that Nixon’s misguided statement creates. Since February, questions have swirled around allegations first made by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.). He is ...

  • Team Oversight
May 6, 2010

Bailouts are not Smart Reform

America needs smart financial reforms that protect investors from fraud, address government regulatory failures and keep the government in the role of an unbiased quality-control technician instead of a corporate owner or bailout backstop. But if the Democrats in Congress get their way, we can expect more bailouts, more centralized control of our economy and more waste, fraud and abuse. Indeed, when regulators are given unchecked power and limitless discretion, they become unmanageable. Too ...

  • Wasteful Spending