Czar ordered pay cuts without approval

Fox News reports:

White House pay czar Kenneth Feinberg was the driving force behind the move to order steep pay cuts from bailed-out executives, and did not even seek the president’s approval before making his decision.

The Treasury Department is expected to formally announce in the next few days a plan to slash annual salaries by about 90 percent from last year for the 25 highest-paid executives at the seven companies that received the most from the Wall Street bailout. Total compensation for the top executives at the firms would decline, on average, by about 50 percent.

The sweeping decision, though, came from Feinberg and not from President Obama.

One official told Fox News that Feinberg from the start had the independent authority to work with companies and make such a call. Obama was never required to sign off before final decisions were made.

I’m not one to get exercised over President Obama’s umpteen czars. If the president wants to hire someone to help coordinate policy in a certain area, that’s his business.

But that’s assuming that the czar is merely coordinating policy. It’s another matter entirely if the czar has independent executive authority (particularly for something as outrageous as dictating salaries). In that case, he needs to face Senate confirmation, and the “pay czar” does not. That is unacceptable, and I would have thought it unconstitutional as well.

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