“Bush’s Most Radical Plan Yet”

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Osha Gray Davidson has a must-read investigation in Rolling Stone about the Bush administration’s efforts to create, in a tiny paragraph buried way way down in its federal budget proposal, a “Sunset Commission.” And what, pray tell, would this Sunset Commission do?

The proposal, spelled out in three short sentences, would give the president the power to appoint an eight-member panel called the “Sunset Commission,” which would systematically review federal programs every ten years and decide whether they should be eliminated. Any programs that are not “producing results,” in the eyes of the commission, would “automatically terminate unless the Congress took action to continue them.”

Read the whole piece. If passed, these commissioners would very likely be lobbyists, who would happily strip away the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, etc. Bye-bye worker protections. Bye-bye highway safety commission. Bye-bye— “But wait!,” you cry. “Doesn’t this violate the separation of powers!? Why should the executive branch be able to disintegrate agencies created by Congress? Surely the Supreme Court would knock this little measure down in a heartbeat.” Ah, now we’re starting to see what’s at stake in the court battles. Contrary to the grand belief out there that the Democrats are opposing “people of faith,” (yes, that’s it, Dick Durbin, devout Catholic, is declaring a war on faith) the real problem is that nominees like Janice Brown would happily carry the administration’s water over little anti-consumer, anti-worker moves like this.

By the way, I see today that President Bush is planning to extend his little Social Security privatization road-trip beyond its originally-allotted 60 days. Okay, well here we have a multi-million dollar federal program that not only doesn’t produce results, but does the exact opposite of what it’s intended to do: the more Americans hear about Bush’s phase-out plan, the more they hate it. By all accounts, it’s the worst-performing taxpayer-funded program in the history of this country, and in the name of small government, it should be terminated at once. Thrift starts at home, folks.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate