Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Rick Perry's Sudden Change of Heart is Business as Usual

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 76576
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

Rick Perry
Rick Perry
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Details   DMCA

When Rick Perry sought the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination, eliminating the US Department of Energy was part of his campaign platform. Granted, he had trouble remembering its name, but he wanted the department gone. Completely.

On January 19, Perry appeared before the US Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, a first step toward his confirmation as Secretary of Energy in the coming Trump administration. How does he feel about the department these days? Well, somewhat differently:

"My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking .... after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination."

As a cabinet official, Perry's bailiwick will sprawl across all 50 states and the several US territories. He'll dispose of a budget a fraction of the size that he controlled as governor of Texas (less than $30 billion versus more than $100 billion), but within his sphere of influence, he'll actually wield more, and less contestable, power.

Is anyone surprised that Perry doesn't want to eliminate a particular job now that it's going to be HIS job? If so, you shouldn't be. David Stockman told you all about that phenomenon 30 years ago.

US president Ronald Reagan appointed Stockman, a former Republican congressman from Michigan, to the post of Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1981. He served in that post until 1985 before his candor and honesty got him in trouble and brought him to the point of resignation. Then he authored what, to my mind, remains the classic account of how power corrupts, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.

Most summaries of The Triumph of Politics emphasize Congress's profligacy in running up huge deficits by increasing spending while cutting tax rates. But Stockman also takes a hard look at the executive branch, and not only from the angle of the president's willingness to cooperate with Congress.

Each newly appointed Reagan cabinet secretary, swept into power on the promise to hack away at government root and branch, was happy to do so in every department. Except his own. "Yes, cut spending -- everywhere but here. THIS department is indispensable and, by the way, under-funded."

As the Perry saga demonstrates, thus shall it ever be. There may be a way to cut government down to size, but if so "electing the right people" probably isn't it.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Aircraft Carriers: Give Truman and Ford a Burial at Sea

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: