Perhaps with the help of the Wikipedia Community we can actually fill in the answers to some of the questions below.
Is anyone else bothered by our government's recent trend in creating all of the new "czar" positions? Car Czar, Tech Czar, Energy Czar, etc. etc. How have we survived as a nation since 1776 without these czars? Why are they necessary now?
First: Let's look at the word "czar."
- also tsar or tzar (zär, tsär) A male monarch or emperor, especially one of the emperors who ruled Russia until the revolution of 1917.
- A person having great power; an autocrat: “the square-jawed, ruddy complacency of Jack Farrell, the czar of the Fifteenth Street police station” (Ernest Hemingway).
- Informal. An appointed official having special powers to regulate or supervise an activity: a racetrack czar; an energy czar.
According to a statement in the following article, Obama has "more czars than the Romanovs," who ruled Russia for three centuries. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE54S5U120090529
Several questions come to mind when I begin to think about all of these Czars:
Can anyone name all of Obama's Czars? How much does it pay to be a Czar? Can a Czar make more money than the President? What is the total combined annual Czar salary? What are the responsibilities of a czar in this government? What is the term limit for a Czar? Is a Czar considered a contractor? How are czar's held accountable for either good performance or bad performance? What happens to all of these Czars after Obama leaves office?
Here is my running list of Obama's Czars:
- Bank bailout (TARP) czar: Herb Allison
- Energy czar: Carol Browner
- Car czar: Steve Rattner (Other notables in the General Motors takeover and restructuring: Brian Deese and Lawrence Summers) COMPENSATION: Obama's Car Czar's 'pay-to-play' scheme
- Drug czar (position originally created under Nixon, renamed in 1988 to The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy): Gil Kerlikowske
- Assistant Drug czar: Thomas McLellan
- U.S. border czar: Alan Bersin
- Urban czar: Adolfo Carrion, Jr.
- Regulatory czar: Cass Sunstein
- Iran czar: XXX
- Middle East czar: Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell
- Stimulus accountability czar: Earl Devaney
- Afghanistan/Pakistan (AfPak) czar: Richard Holbrooke
- Cyber-security czar: XXX
- Infotech czar: Vivek Kundra
- Faith-based czar: Joshua DuBois
- Health reform czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle
- Non-proliferation czar: Gary Samore
- Terrorism czar: John Brennan
- Regulatory czar: Cass Sunstein
- Drug czar: Gil Kerlikowske
- Guantanamo closure czar: Daniel Fried
- Persian Gulf/Southeast Asia czar: Dennis Ross
- Sudan czar: Sudan special envoy J. Scott Gration
- Climate czar: Todd Stern
- Intellegence czar: Dennis Blair
- Economic czar: Paul Volcker
- AIDs czar: XXX
- Green jobs czar: XXX
- Science/Weather czar: John Holdren
Who was the first American czar? When did the media begin to use the term czar to describe high level positions in the American government?
Without a doubt, the Obama administration has fully achieved the democrat stereotype for Big Government. The only one that they have backwards is Tax and Spend. They are doing it in reverse: Spend and Tax.
I don't know about you, but I prefer to live in America. Let's drop this "czar" terminology.
Presidency of Barack Obama
President Obama's People (photography: Nadav_Kander)
List of Sources:
Here's some more czar stuff:
Glenn Beck Reviews the 18 Czars that Obama has Appointed (May 31, 2009)