COLORADO, June 29, 2014 — In his Saturday weekly address, the president continued to champion, as he sees it, the necessity of using his pen to enact his agenda.
At a time when most politicians will say anything to get elected and then do as they please, Mr. Obama, never again needing to face the voters, is clearly stating his agenda—and doing whatever he thinks he can get away with to make it happen.
In his speech he said:
“Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down almost every serious idea. This year alone they’ve said no to raising the minimum wage, no to fair pay, no to student loan reform, no to extending unemployment insurance,” Mr. Obama said.
“This obstruction keeps the system rigged for those at the top and rigged against the middle class. And as long as they insist on doing it, I’ll keep taking actions on my own — like the actions I’ve already taken to attract new jobs, lift workers’ wages and help students pay off their loans. I’ll do my job.”
There are multiple problems with this approach.
The first problem is the policy prescriptions he advocates. He equates “raising the minimum wage” to “fair pay”; fair pay is in fact whatever employer and employee agree to.
Unions and government set a standard one-size-fits-all pay scale for jobs they control but in the marketplace employers compete for the best talent.
He also talks about “student loan reform” and “help[ing] students pay off their loans.” There wasn’t a problem with student loans until the federal government took them over. Now it can’t manage them.
He then claims that “the system” is rigged in favor of the rich and against the middle class. What he fails to mention is that he is managing the system and that under his watch his own policies have enriched his wealthy supporters at the expense of the middle class.
The only truth in his statement is that Congress has blocked his policies—and they were right to do so. The Republican rebuttal said that if the president wanted to create more jobs, he would allow the Keystone pipeline.
The Republicans, too, miss the larger picture. By arguing against his agenda point-by-point, they are legitimizing the agenda itself. All the talk about how the federal government can improve the economy —whether it be the president or Congress—misses the essential point.
The federal government has no Constitutional authority to do any of the things the president wants to do. The bottom line is that the Congress—and especially the Republican-controlled House of Representatives—is right to oppose the president’s agenda on both policy and constitutional grounds.
We as Americans must do is ask ourselves what it is we want from our federal government. After a century of Progressivism, we’re no longer sure.
The Founders had a very clear idea. They were wary of centralized government. With a vast knowledge of history, they knew that a centralized government tended towards tyranny over time. They built a two-tiered republic with many checks and balances aimed at preventing centralization of power and thus tyranny.
When Mr. Obama objects to congressional obstruction what his is saying is that he objects to the constitutional limits on his authority. When he say that he will use his pen to enact his agenda, he is saying that he intends to rule like a dictator without Congress.
His problem is that the Constitution has no provision for a dictator. Congress is always the pre-eminent branch of the federal government and the president is always answerable to Congress.
Like a little kid trying to push parental boundaries, Obama is constantly trying to push the boundaries of presidential authority.
People are finally beginning to wake up and take notice. The Supreme Court just ruled last week in a unanimous decision that his recess appointments were unconstitutional. They also ruled against the EPA regulating carbon. House Speaker John Boehner is threatening lawsuit against the president (a weak action, to be sure, but action). Recent polls show that 52% of the American people believe he lies to us and his favorability and job performance poll numbers continue to drop.
When the president tells his supporters as he did Saturday that he’s willing to go it alone, one wonders whether he realizes what he’s doing. Tyranny.