The Department of Commerce will celebrate its 109th anniversary this year, having been created in 1903. And if President Obama gets his way , the agency won't make it much past 110. Announcing last week that he is seeking authority to streamline the executive branch, President Obama said he needs the same kind of "authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times. And let me be clear: I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government." Never mind what the Constitution says.
As an example, the president wants to shut down the Department of Commerce, taking its core functions and giving them to a new agency that will also fold in the tasks of the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade and Development Agency and the Export-Import Bank.
The President said of his grab for additional powers: "This is a big idea."
"We live in a 21st century economy, but we've still got a government organized for the 20th century," President Obama said this morning. "Our economy has fundamentally changed - as has the world - but the government has not. The needs of our citizens have fundamentally changed but their government has not. Instead, it has often grown more complex."