Lessons in Governance: By Kareem

25 Mar
Obama pitching budget in California - Photo by Mandel Ngan

Obama pitching budget in California - Photo by Mandel Ngan

Lessons in governance: Campaign promises are not necessarily the best laws.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been receiving a lot of criticism in the media lately over his handling of the AIG bonus situation and his overall job performance. However, is it really fair for us to so harshly judge the job performance of Sec. Geithner when he’s the only confirmed official in the treasury dept? I think not! Although his tax problems have created a more in depth vetting process (as if it wasn’t bad already) to prevent the tax problems we’ve seen from previous government appointees (Tom Daschle and Ron Kirk, and Hilda Solis). Any mistakes Geithner has made is the result of not having any type of deputy to rely on in his department…the guy should get a break until he’s staffed with the people he needs.

The tighter standards for vetting people are also in response to Obama’s pledge to keep lobbyists from working in the administration. While it sounds nice at first, let’s think for a moment…What if you work for a non-profit like Human Rights Watch that lobbies the government against human torturing. Is it really out of the question that a person who is probably an expert in the field cannot work for the state department now? I think it’s a bit absurd. It shows the “evil” lobbyist is in many cases an expert who,with proper vetting, could hit the ground running for the administration.

The lesson to be learned from this is that Obama’s goal to “clean up” government has resulted in knowledgeable people who can serve with distinction being banned from making the changes they have worked so hard to make. Promises made in a campaign should not always be implemented…this is a fine example.

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