Executive Branch

House Questions Obama’s Authority to Delay ObamaCare

Obama and executive power

“[The President] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…” — Article II, Section 3 (The Faithful Execution Clause)

Last week, the Obama administration elevated blogging to new heights.  The Treasury Department used its Treasury Notes blog to announce a one-year delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate.  This was followed by a post on The White House Blog by Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s closest advisor, titled “We’re Listening to Businesses about the Health Care Law.”

The administration’s announcement demonstrated that it’s hip to the modern favored form of communication.  But this announcement came on the eve of the July 4th weekend, a time when we reflect on the timeless principles of our founding.   The flashiness of the blog medium and its informal, in-touch style of conveying the ObamaCare delay has not blinded Americans to what underneath amounts to an old-fashioned executive power grab.

ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate Effective in 2014

The problem is that ObamaCare (PPACA), which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, has a clear effective date for the employer mandate. PPACA section 1513, dubbed “Shared Responsibility for Employers” (the employer mandate), states that the excise tax penalties on employers under IRC Section 4980H “shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.”  End of story.

House Members Weigh-In

Regulatory State Gone Wild

Ten Thousand Commandments

Americans spend $1.8 trillion each year — nearly $15,000 per family — complying with regulations passed down by the federal government. That’s the estimate given by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in the latest edition of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.

“The 2012 Federal Register ranks fourth all-time with 78,961 pages, but three of the top four years, including the top two, occurred during the Obama administration,” noted the statement accompanying the report. “The 2010s are on pace to average 80,000 pages per year—up from 170,000 in the 1960s and 450,000 in the ‘70s.”

“There are more federal regulations than ever—the Code of Federal Regulations, which compiles all federal regulations, grew by more than 4,000 pages last year and now stands at 174,545 pages, spread over 238 volumes. Its index alone runs to more than 1,100 pages,” CEI added. “Government has added more than 80,000 regulations in the last 20 years—3,708 in the last year alone. That’s one new rule Americans must live under every 2½ hours. Today, 4,062 sit in the pipeline. Those will add at least $22 billion in compliance costs and probably much more.”

The cost to Americans as result of the regulations is perhaps the troubling aspect of the report. But another startling point is the way in which these rules and regulations are being imposed on Americans. Because the Obama Administration cannot pass many of these regulations through Congress, it is bypassing the legislative branch altogether, meaning that there is little to no oversight by Congress.

The report also notes that there has been a jump in “economically significant rules” — those that bring $100 million or more in compliance costs — on President Obama’s watch.

Our Own Three Ring Circus

See Video

Considering the most recent videos I’ve put up (here and here), I admit that I must be in a nostalgic mood.  But as they say, “oldies are goodies”, and this video does a great job of explaining the role of the three branches of government.  I think the correlating of our federal government with a three ring circus couldn’t be more perfect- DC certainly has its share of clowns and performing animals.

Ron Paul Explains Earmarks to Cavuto on Fox

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Dr. Paul explains the truth behind earmarks and the responsibility Congress has to earmark every single dollar.

Arrogant Obama asks cabinet members to come up with even more “creative” ways to get around the Constitution

President Barack Obama is doubling down on his use of executive power. He met with his cabinet yesterday and asked them to come up with “creative” ways to get around Congress to enact the administration’s agenda:

“You’ve already seen the power of some of our executive actions making a real difference for ordinary families,” Obama said at a White House meting. “We’re going to have to be creative about how we can make real progress.”

The president is increasingly relying on executive orders and regulatory moves to move his agenda, despite opposition from House Republicans, who have threatened to sue him over his executive actions, and the Supreme Court, which ruled last week that Obama’s recess appointments were unconstitutional.
[…]
He cast his actions as a response to voters who elected him in 2012.

“The people who sent us here, they just don’t feel as if anybody is fighting for them or working them,” he said. “We’re not always going to be able to get things through Congress … but we sure as heck can make sure that the folks back home know that we are pushing their agenda and that we’re working hard on their behalf.”

And there it is. That last point. President Obama seems to believe that he was the only person on the ballot in 2012 and, because he beat Mitt Romney, deserves anything and everything he wants. Nevermind that voters also elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, thereby endorsing a divided government.

Lawless Obama wants $500 million to fund military intervention in Syria that Congress never approved

In the West Wing episode “Isaac and Ishmael,” the character Josh Lyman, who’s the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, claims that the Executive branch is the most powerful of the three branches of the federal government, only to be corrected by a high school student.

“Actually, Mr. Lyman, isn’t it true that the framers made sure that the Executive branch was the weakest of the three branches? Because we were breaking off from the royalist model that put absolute power in just one place,” the student said. “I mean, isn’t that why they made the Legislative branch the most powerful?”

President Obama not only failed to read the Constitution he claims to have used in his lectures at the University of Chicago Law School, he also failed to watch The West Wing.

President Obama is now asking Congress to provide him with $500 million that would be used to fund a program that hasn’t been reportedly sketched just yet. According to the White House, the program would focus on training and equipping “appropriately vetted” members of the opposition of the Syrian regime, something the U.S. has already been allegedly doing unofficially and without Congress approval.

Barack Obama is the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be, constitutional law professor warns

Barack Obama and Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon would envy the power that Barack Obama has consolidated into the Executive Branch. In this new, unrecognizable system of government, a president can change laws arbitrarily, paying no mind to the two other coequal branches of government.

During an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity on Wednesday evening, Jonathan Turley, a Georgetown constitutional law professor and political leftist, explained that President Obama’s flouting of a law requiring that his administration notify Congress before the transfer of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is just latest example of the “uber-presidency.”

“[U]nfortunately our system is changing, and it’s changing without a debate, or even a discussion as to what we’re going to do in the future when we have a three branch system, a tripartite system but one branch is so dominant,” Turley told Sean Hannity. “What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an uber-presidency as I’ve called it, where the president can act unilaterally. This is only the latest example of that.”

Today in Liberty: Out-of-pocket costs could double under Obamacare, VA scandal exposes dangers of single-payer

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” — President Herbert Hoover

— There shall be higher out-of-pocket costs: The pharmaceutical lobby is warning that Americans who’ve purchased health plans on the Obamacare exchanges could face big cost increases next year. ”The report for [PhRMA] was conducted by actuarial firm Milliman, which found that people on the Silver Plan, the most popular Obamacare plan, would likely pay 130 percent more for out-of-pocket prescription drugs compared to people on similar employer-sponsored plans,” The Hill notes. The study didn’t account for subsidies, which could help qualifying Americans lower their costs. That being said, John Castellani, CEO of PhRMA, gives us this gem of a quote: “Americans participating in the Exchanges were promised coverage comparable to employer plans and yet the reality is that many new plans are failing to provide an appropriate level of access to quality, affordable health care.” Thanks, Obamacare!

Surprise!: Obama administration not even close to living up to transparency promises

Though he once promised that his administration would be the most transparent in American history, the Obama administration has gone to great lengths to keep sunlight from shining, the Associated Press reports:

More often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
[…]
The government’s own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that halfway through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records. In category after category - except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees - the government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.

In a year of intense public interest over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times - a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year, when it cited that reason 3,658 times. The Defense Department, including the NSA, and the CIA accounted for nearly all those. The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency cited national security six times, the Environmental Protection Agency did twice and the National Park Service once.

Turley blasts Obama’s “uber presidency”

Jonathan Turley continues to be one of the few leftists with a conscience when it comes to the concentration of power in the executive branch. Though he agrees with many of President Barack Obama’s policies, the Georgetown law professor, who recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee, has serious concerns about the means through which he has enacted them.

In a post at his blog on Friday, Turley responded to latest major change in the law, in which the administration ostensibly delayed enforcement of the individual mandate, blasting President Obama for ignoring the Constitution and criticizing Democrats for enabling the administration: (emphasis added):


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