Beck calls Senate-confirmed Orszag a "czar"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

In the "Know Your Czars" segment of his August 26 radio show, Glenn Beck singled out Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag as his latest example of an Obama administration "czar" -- officials he has previously complained are "advising our president" but "don't go through a confirmation process" and "don't answer to the legislative branch." However, Orszag, whom Beck called "our budget czar," "the proud Enron of czars" and said is "handy with a calculator," was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in January.

From the August 26 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: That's right, everyone. It's time for your favorite game, "Know Your Czars," the most fun you can have watching your country disintegrate. Today's czar likes numbers. In fact, he announced that the Obama administration had lowered the deficit this year from 8-point -- 1.8 trillion to 1.6 trillion. Well, everybody dance, or not.

Sure, he also noted that U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will widen to 1.5 trillion next year, reflecting a deeper recession than previously expected, and that the economy will shrink to .8 percent this year, worse than the 1.2 percent contraction projected way, way, way back in May. But it is clear that this guy's great with numbers 'cause he's a real cost-cutter. Any guesses who this guy might be?

[...]

BECK: No, sorry, today's czar is Peter Orszag. Peter Orszag, our budget czar, handy with a calculator, and based on his predictions so far, the proud Enron of czars.

ANNOUNCER: Ooh, sorry. Just like everyone who plays this game, you lose. But at least you'll die a little smarter just for listening to "Know Your Czars."

Beck claimed czars "don't go through a confirmation process" and "don't answer to the legislative branch"

Beck claimed czars "don't go through a confirmation process." On the August 24 edition of his television show, Beck said:

BECK: One area I have a lot of questions on is czars. And I want to start with one czar tonight, because we're talking tonight is about the economy, things that just don't make sense. And the -- my main point tonight is, until they start making sense, you should not allow them to pass any other bill, because you don't know what's in those bills. Has anyone asked the question: "Who has written these bills?" I have. I'm going to tell you all about the stimulus bill here in a second.

But let me go back to the czars. There are nearly three dozen of these czars. They don't answer to anybody. They are special advisers to the president. They don't go through a confirmation process. They are advising our president. Who are they? What do they believe? What are they advising the president to do?

Beck claimed czars "don't need to be confirmed by the Senate." During the June 9 edition of his television show, Beck said:

BECK: The czars, they don't answer to anybody. They don't answer to the legislative branch. You know what? You know what the czars look like? The czars almost have a little box around them, just like that.

They don't need to be confirmed by the Senate. They rarely go before committees. They can claim executive privilege when they're asked to testify. They are accountable to no one except the president himself.

But look at the power that we've handed out to these unelected, unconfirmed people. They don't answer to anyone.

Senate confirmed Orszag by unanimous consent

January 13: Orszag testified before the Senate Budget Committee.

January 20: Senate confirmed Orszag's nomination by unanimous consent.

Transcripts

From the August 26 broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program:

ANNOUNCER: It's time for another episode of everyone's favorite show, "Know Your Czars!"

BECK: That's right, everyone. It's time for your favorite game, "Know Your Czars," the most fun you can have watching your country disintegrate. Today's czar likes numbers. In fact, he announced that the Obama administration had lowered the deficit this year from 8-point -- 1.8 trillion to 1.6 trillion. Well, everybody dance, or not.

Sure, he also noted that U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will widen to 1.5 trillion next year, reflecting a deeper recession than previously expected, and that the economy will shrink to .8 percent this year, worse than the 1.2 percent contraction projected way, way, way back in May. But it is clear that this guy's great with numbers 'cause he's a real cost-cutter. Any guesses who this guy might be?

STU: Uh, is it Bernie Madoff?

BECK: Hmm, sorry. Sorry, no; not Bernie Madoff. Let me give you another hint. These big deficit savings are from their own estimates, so we can see how accurate they are. Sure, we're already about 18 percent higher than the top end of their unemployment estimates -- top end, we're already 18 percent higher -- but is that because they were completely wrong about how their stimulus plan would work? Could it be that the plan actually made things worse? Of course not. This czar says, quote, "This administration's economic projections show that we have inherited a deeper recession than understood," end quote.

Yes, it's their favorite word in the entire universe, "inherited." They -- by the way, you won't be getting anything inherited very soon under these people. They inherited that $1.6 trillion deficit, so there was nothing they could do about it. They had to spend more this year to turn it around in the future. Now that is financial optimism. Any guesses who this czar might be?

STU: Is it Ken Lay?

BECK: Ooh, sorry. Give you another hint. In 2008, George Bush had what all -- the all-time record deficit in history. People, like me, bashed him for it. Barack Obama is crushing that record this year, but here is the detail that our czar forgot to mention: Even by Barack Obama's own estimates, at no time in the next 10 years is Barack Obama able to do better than President Bush's worst year.

Now, I'm not saying that he ever has a surplus; I'm saying his deficit is worse than Bush's worst year for every single year in his first term, his second term, and the first half of -- well, I would say Joe Biden's term, but it will probably be just the rest of Barack Obama's lifetime term.

Today's czar shows the best year will be a deficit of $739 billion in 2015 if everything is as rosy as he says it will be. That's 61 percent worse than Bush's worst year, and that's without universal health care and cap and trade. But it gets worse.

Again, by Obama's own budget projections, the policies he's already put in will have the deficit getting worse, not better, at the end of projections -- worse in 2016 than 2015, worse in 2017 than 2016, worse in 2018 than 2017, and worse than 2019 than 2018. But after that, don't worry. I mean, everything else is going to be -- anybody know who this czar is?

STU: Is it the state of California?

BECK: Ooh, very, very close.

STU: Is it Marc Rich?

BECK: Marc -- I think Marc Rich and Ken Lay are all --

STU: Sounds like he has all the qualifications.

BECK: -- dead, aren't they? No, sorry, today's czar is Peter Orszag. Peter Orszag, our budget czar, handy with a calculator, and based on his predictions so far, the proud Enron of czars.

ANNOUNCER: Ooh, sorry. Just like everyone who plays this game, you lose. But at least you'll die a little smarter just for listening to "Know Your Czars."

From the August 24 broadcast of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Apparently the old one wasn't good enough, so America is now being transformed. Our president promised us he would do that. Those were his words: "transforming America." Well, I think we need to ask some questions, and questions need to be answered before we let this government continue to steamroll over us.

One area I have a lot of questions on is czars. And I want to start with one czar tonight, because we're talking tonight is about the economy, things that just don't make sense. And the -- my main point tonight is, until they start making sense, you should not allow them to pass any other bill, because you don't know what's in those bills. Has anyone asked the question: "Who has written these bills?" I have. I'm going to tell you all about the stimulus bill here in a second.

But let me go back to the czars. There are nearly three dozen of these czars. They don't answer to anybody. They are special advisers to the president. They don't go through a confirmation process. They are advising our president. Who are they? What do they believe? What are they advising the president to do?

From the June 9 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: But czars aren't new. During FDR's administrations, some executive positions were actually called -- you ready for this? -- "dictators." He put them down here. They didn't really answer to anybody. Dictators. There was -- this is -- look it up. They had the dictator of steel. They had the dictator of lumber. Yeah, tell me how much all of the Democrats and the progressives just hated Mussolini. Dictators.

The idea was for them to control supply within each industry in order to keep the prices up. Richard Nixon did the same thing, but he thought dictators, that Mussolini and Hitler thing, that's probably pretty bad now. He called them instead "czars," which, if I'm not mistaken, weren't they all shot in the woods at one point for being really bad guys?

The first czar was an energy czar. He was charged with overseeing the 1970s energy crisis. That's worked out so well -- it's fixed now. The other presidents also have had czars. No one could hold a candle now to President Obama. He has named 16 czars so far, and he's not even done yet.

Well, you might look at this and say, "Ooh, what's the problem? I mean, they can cut through all the bureaucracy. They can get stuff done, right?" Oh, yeah. Except, remember our Founding Fathers? They were kind of smart. They had this whole idea -- let's balance power a little bit.

Usually, this is what the system looks like. The czars, they don't answer to anybody. They don't answer to the legislative branch. You know what? You know what the czars look like? The czars almost have a little box around them, just like that.

They don't need to be confirmed by the Senate. They rarely go before committees. They can claim executive privilege when they're asked to testify. They are accountable to no one except the president himself.

But look at the power that we've handed out to these unelected, unconfirmed people. They don't answer to anyone.

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck Program
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