Yesterday morning, This Week with George Stephanopoulos’s humbly titled “Powerhouse Roundtable” was debating the resignation of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, when Matthew Dowd, a prominent political consultant, said this:
This is what’s wrong with our system of government…We have a cabinet that no longer operates like you would normally want in a state or in a company, so that people are given delegation and accountability is held. Today, all the power is held by the White House…and the cabinet is given very little. It’s all photo [opportunities].
I respectfully disagree. The Environmental Protection Agency, a cabinet-rank federal agency with which American business is all too familiar, is doing much, much more harm than could be accomplished with mere “photo ops.” Indeed, the EPA is waging an ideological war on an entire industrial sector of the economy. Worst of all, the agency is doing so on behalf its captors—environmental special interests–rather than U.S. voters. To be precise, green groups like the Sierra Club and NRDC have “captured” EPA, in the same way that industry was thought to have done to regulators in the 1960s. These environmental organizations spend significant resources on getting their preferred candidates elected. In return, they enjoy political spoils. The most conspicuous manifestation of this capture is the continuously revolving door between the non-profit, public (i.e., EPA), and private “green” sectors of the economy. Another is “sue and settle,” by which environmental lawyers at these green special interests have seized the regulatory initiative at the agency. Thus empowered at the EPA, these organizations use the Federal State to advance their political agendas against heavy industry in general, and fossil fuels in particular.
Matthew Dowd says the cabinet is impotent, because the White House is hoarding all the control. Contrary to this assertion, EPA, in fact, is running amok, performing the policy whims of green special interests outside the Presidency.
Video of the segment is re-posted below.
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