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The President's Czars: Undermining Congress and the Constitution (Studies in Government and Public Policy) Paperback – April 27, 2012
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An important and timely book that will become the definitive source not only for understanding, but also for resolving, the constitutional ambiguities of this phenomenon. --Robert J. Spitzer, author of Saving the Constitution from Lawyers
A carefully reasoned, well documented, and impressive piece of work that is sure to contribute to the national debate over executive power. --Andrew E. Busch, author of Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right
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Many believe that Czars are a recent creation; however the authors trace their creation back to President Woodrow Wilson and World War One. For example, during World War One, Wilson created the Food Administration with future President Herbert Hoover at its head. The Food Administration, "...issued a food schedule that required people to not eat wheat on Mondays and Wednesdays, no meat on Tuesdays, and a variation of the two from Thursday to Sunday" p. 47 This is just one example of many that the authors give of Czars wielding enormous power with little or no Congressional accountability.
While tracing the evolution of Czars, the authors show that Congressional reaction to them has been feeble at best. With such little opposition, the creation of Czars as exploded with Presidents Bush 43 and Obama. For example, in the first pages of the book, the authors show how Kenneth Feinberg was "Pay Czar" for TARP and later was "Claims Czar" for the BP oil spill. In these positions, Feinberg controlled access to billions of dollars, without Congressional authorization. Feinberg was created by Obama and responsible to Obama, no one else. Such a situation raises serious separation of power issues.
One minor problem I have with the book evolves the number of acronyms in the book.Read more ›