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Illegally Changes ACA, Like Nixon
by George Will,
annotated by FM Duck
Aug 18, 2013
Washington, DC --
Obama's increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely
proportional to his shriveling presidency.
Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his
second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda
is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and
redlines is floundering. And at last week's news conference he offered
as a justification for
his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act, he said: "I
didn't simply choose to" ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in
2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with healthcare. No, "this
was in consultation with businesses." [FM
Duck Note: Really? Businesses? Which businesses qualify to
help justify Obama's breaking of the law? Can Obama change any
provisions or paragraphs of any ol' law he feels like? From where does
he obtain this authority to trash the checks and balances between the three
branches of government. Certainly not from his contract with the
American people, namely the US Constitution.]
continued: "In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for
me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak
that doesn't go to the essence of the law . . . it looks like there may be
some better ways to do this, let's make a technical change to the law. That
would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we're not in a
normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the
executive authority to do so, and we did so."
props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists
did not ask the pertinent question: "Where does the Constitution
confer upon presidents the 'executive authority' to ignore the separation of
powers by revising laws?" The question could have elicited an Obama rarity:
Brevity. Because there is no such authority.
explanation began with an irrelevancy: He consulted with businesses before
disregarding his constitutional duty to "take care that the laws be
faithfully executed." That duty does not lapse when a president decides
Washington's "political environment" is not "normal."
it "normal"? The 1850s? The 1950s? Washington has been the nation's capital
for 213 years; Obama has been here less than nine years. Even if he
understood "normal" political environments here, the Constitution is not
suspended when a president decides the "environment" is abnormal.
does the Constitution confer on presidents the power to rewrite laws if they
decide the change is a "tweak" not involving the law's "essence." Anyway,
the employer mandate is essential to the ACA.
Twenty-three days before his news conference, the House voted 264-161, with
35 Democrats in the majority, for the rule of law — for, that is, the
Authority for Mandate Delay Act. It would have done lawfully what Obama did
by ukase. He threatened to veto this use of legislation to alter a law. The
White House called it "unnecessary," presumably because he has an
uncircumscribed "executive authority" to alter laws.
In a 1977
interview with Richard Nixon, David Frost asked: "So, what in a sense you're
saying is that there are certain situations . . . where the president can
decide that it's in the best interests of the nation . . . and do something
"Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."
claim, although constitutionally grotesque, was less so than the claim
implicit in Obama's actions regarding the ACA. Nixon's claim was confined to
matters of national security or (he said to Frost) "a threat to internal
peace and order of significant magnitude." Obama's audacity is more
spacious; it encompasses a right to disregard any portion of any law
pertaining to any subject at any time when the political "environment" is
Duck Note: As we have stated over and over, President Obama is
hell-bent on becoming America's socialist dictator and his actions in this
area, after taking over GM, allowing the Fed Reserve to issue trillions of
unfunded debt, using the IRS to deny equal tax exemptions of political
parties, using the NSA to spy on all citizens, and signing tons of illegal
Executive Orders are becoming bolder and bolder by the minute. Don't
be surprised if Obama calls for Martial Law soon and tries to use the
military to extend his power over the United States.]
should be embarrassed that, by ignoring the legal requirement concerning the
employer mandate, he has validated critics who say the ACA cannot be
implemented as written. What does not embarrass him is his complicity
in effectively rewriting the ACA for the financial advantage of self-dealing
members of Congress and their staffs.[FM
Duck Note: Repeat: the US Congress and Obama have all signed off
on exempting Congressmen and their aids from Obamacare. But not you.
Why are you shocked? Who is John Galt?]
says members of Congress (annual salaries: $174,000) and their staffs
(thousands making more than $100,000) must participate in the law's
insurance exchanges. It does not say that when this change goes into effect,
the current federal subsidy for this affluent cohort — up to 75 percent of
the premium's cost, perhaps $10,000 for families — should be unchanged.
Congress awakened to what it enacted, it panicked: This could cause a flight
of talent, making Congress less wonderful. So Obama directed the Office of
Personnel Management, which has no power to do this, to authorize for
the political class special subsidies unavailable for less privileged and
less affluent citizens.
president does it, it's legal? "Exactly, exactly."
– FM Duck
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