Beware the Czarâ€™s of Obama!
By: Neil Braithwaite
Called, â€œevil despotsâ€ by Neil Cavuto on FOX, Obamaâ€™s Czars will control much and answer only to President Obama. Is that the kind of change Obama voters wanted for America? I know for sure itâ€™s not what McCain voters wanted.
In light of Obamaâ€™s propensity to appoint a Czar at the drop of the hat, I decided to investigate the history of Czars in America and came across some interesting and somewhat disturbing facts. Answers.com had the following US History Encyclopedia reference:
â€œ[The] Office of Price Administration (OPA) was the federal agency tasked with establishing price controls on nonagricultural commodities and rationing essential consumer goods during World War II (1939â€“1945).â€
Why is this important? Because this office was formed by an FDR â€œexecutive orderâ€ that evolved and grew into legislation, with many regulatory arms, that eventually controlled almost every aspect of a persons life for about seven years. And, strangely enough, Leon Henderson, the head of the â€œPrice Stabilization Divisionâ€ was given the title, â€œPrice Czarâ€ by the media. I knew there was a Czar in there somewhere.
The OPA was used to help control and regulate the needed resources during wartime and also to help stave off inflation. In other words, it was an FDR administration plan to keep America economically strong while fighting an expensive war.
On the surface, this effort by the government seemed far-reaching in usurping individual rights in an attempt to preserve a highly stressed wartime economy. Kind of like the economy we live in today.
The initial task of the OPA was to ration everything from cars to typewriters, but it grew to do more than just ration goods. Because America began to face broad economic problems, â€œCongress passed the Stabilization Act on 2 October 1942. This created the Office of Economic Stabilization (OES) that was responsible for controlling wage levels, regulating food prices, and generally stabilizing the cost of living.â€
Did you get that? The Office of Economic Stabilization took the government from rationing goods needed during the war effort to â€œcontrolling wage levelsâ€ and anything else that might destabilize the economy. I think that would cover just about every aspect of our personal lives â€“ donâ€™t you? Thatâ€™s what I call power!
The US History Encyclopedia makes the point that â€œthe effectiveness of OPA’s measures is subject to some debate.â€ As with any overreaching government program, unintended consequences began to manifest. In this case, black markets, product quality concerns and even cattle rustling emerged as a result of government price and wage controls.
The government was also in full compliance mode with over 650,000 investigations in 1943 alone and 618,029 violations found in 1943-44. Thatâ€™s quite a lot of government oversight â€“ donâ€™t you think? Can you say, â€œBig Brother?â€
The US History Encyclopedia sums up with the following: â€œRationing for gasoline and foodstuffs was discontinued on August 15, 1945. All rationing ended by the end of September 1945. Price controls remained in effect in the hopes of preventing price instability as the war economy converted back to peacetime functions, but they were gradually discontinued through 1947. On December 12, 1946, Executive Order 9809 transferred OPA to the Office of Temporary Controls. While some sugar and rice control programs were transferred to the Department of Agriculture, most other OPA functions were discontinued. OPA was disbanded on May 29, 1947.â€
While there are still government controls on a lot of things like rent in NYC for example, it is very important to understand that the government has the power to implement just about anything it wants if the timing is right. And, it can all start with unaccountable appointed Czars and an executive order or two by the President.
President Obama recently appointed Kenneth Feinberg as a â€œSpecial Master for Compensation,â€ better known as the â€œPay Czar.â€ Sounds a lot like the precursor to â€œwage controlâ€ to me.
Once Obama realizes he needs a real war to fully implement his plans to â€œstabilizeâ€ the economy, he will reinstate the â€œwar on terror,â€ and get busy resurrecting the full powers of the OPA.
For the sake of all America is and stands for, letâ€™s all hope Obamaâ€™s administration and historians continue to stay mired in the last eight â€œBushâ€ years.