The “unconstitutional power grab”, which rightly describes Obama’s (non) recess appointments on Wednesday is another alarming move in a string of examples as to why we need to make sure we do not re-elect him the the presidency
Quite frankly, as a lifetime CPA, I welcome a split government: a president from one party and Congress from another. Laws don’t get passed except in the occasion that they have true bipartisan support. This type of inaction is actually quite good for the economy – something we desperately need right now – because businesses can plan long-term and individuals can have a sense of security.
The Clinton period was a perfect example of how this worked because spending bills were stifled and tax laws were not changed significantly. The economy became strong and budget surpluses resulted, precisely because the Republicans deadlocked him in Congress. But in this current political climate, we can’t benefit from split government because of two critical things that are different from the Clinton Era.
The first is the tax sunset. Bush tax cuts implemented in ’01 and ’03 are all scheduled to end in 2012 and revert to the prior tax rates. Inaction by Congress will result in the largest tax increase in memory, across the board and at all levels. Although the Democrats are fond of saying the tax cut benefits fell disproportionately to the higher income earners, this is clear demagoguery – because the financial pain to be felt in the middle and lower classes once the tax cuts expire will be monumental. Subsequently, the economy will also tank.
The second difference – and more important as evidenced on Wednesday – is that the president has been able to effectively pass laws which Congress has not passed through the use of the Executive Order and his government agencies. For example, in October, Obama announced new programs to aid college students to repay their federal loans, veterans to find employment, and homeowners make their mortgage obligations. All three initiatives were done by Executive Order rather than by legislation. He remarked, “We can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So where they won’t act, I will. We’re going to look every single day to figure out what we can do without Congress.” Such an attitude is reinforced by the White House campaign called “We Can’t Wait”; this puts forth directives from the Executive Branch, claiming that inaction by Congress requires action from Obama.
Regarding Obama’s use of government agencies, two striking examples of many come to mind. First, limitations on emissions were passed as a set of rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which implemented almost in its entirety the cap and trade bill which failed in the Congress. Similarly, the National Relations Labor Board (NLRB) has been passing rules that are virtually as onerous as the card check, which have failed to get through Congress.
It should also be noted that due to the aggressive use of governmental agencies to execute actions meant to be carried out by the legislature, the term “QUANGO” will become much more common and vernacular. QUANGOs, which stands for “QUasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organizations” will continue to undermine our government’s checks and balances, and we will see in America the parallel mistakes being made in Great Britain today. Among the most offending QUANGOs are the Federal Reserve, the NRLB, the EPA, and the the Federal Trade Commission.
Typically a Democrat second term would be fine in tandem with a Republican Congress because a government that does nothing is the key to economic success. But with this current administration, it’s a perfect storm for catastrophe; Obama would have four more years to implement all his absurd policies in whichever way he sees fit. With his campaign now in full swing, this strategy was boldly confirmed with his appointments.
Obama’s declared,“I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer. I’ve said before that I will continue to look for every opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward. But when Congress refuses to act in a way that hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them”.
Ah, Obama claims necessity. And as William Pitt the Younger aptly observed: ”Necessity [is] the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It was the argument of tyrants; it was the creed of slaves.”
In fact, it was confirmed on Friday by the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, that Obama acted preemptively. “So the President acted because Congress wouldn’t, and it was clear that Congress wouldn’t — and numerous senators have made clear they won’t,” Carney said. “And we have to have that: these independent agencies exist for a reason, and the president believed that it was essential to make sure that that agency could function.” Banking on an uninformed electorate and a Congress with a conveniently short memory, to hell with the Constitution and precedent in law!
With this abuse of public trust, and with the urgent issues, upcoming laws, and higher taxes we face, we must find the Republican candidate – imperfect though he may be – who can win the Presidential election and restore integrity, fiscal sensibility, and respect for our Constitution to the highest office and our country.