“In nearly eight years in office, President Obama has sought to reshape the nation with a sweeping assertion of executive authority and a canon of regulations that have inserted the United States government more deeply into American life.
“Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power, Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.
“Blocked for most of his presidency by Congress, Mr. Obama has sought to act however he could. In the process he created the kind of government neither he nor the Republicans wanted–one that depended on bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency. But once Mr. Obama got the taste for it, he pursued his executive power without apology, and in ways that will shape the presidency for decades to come.
“The Obama administration in its first seven years finalized 560 major regulations–those classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having particularly significant economic or social impacts. That was nearly 50 percent more than the George W. Bush administration during the comparable period, according to data kept by the regulatory studies center at George Washington University.
“An army of lawyers working under Mr. Obama’s authority has sought to restructure the nation’s health care and financial industries, limit pollution, bolster workplace protections and extend equal rights to minorities. Under Mr. Obama, the government has literally placed a higher value on human life.
“And it has imposed billions of dollars in new costs on businesses and consumers.
“Many of the new rules are little known, even as they affect the way Americans eat, love and die. People can dine on genetically engineered salmon. Women can buy emergency contraceptive pills without prescriptions. Military veterans can design their own headstones.
“In its final year, the administration is enacting some of its most ambitious rules, including limits on airborne silica at job sites, an overhaul of food labels to clarify nutritional information, and a measure making millions of workers eligible for overtime pay.
“The administration’s regulatory legacy has become an issue in the campaign to replace Mr. Obama, as Donald J. Trump has sharply criticized regulatory overreach and promised to undo many of the new rules. But executive power has expanded steadily under both Republican and Democratic presidents in recent decades, and both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton have promised to act in the service of their own goals.
“The new rules built on the legislative victories Mr. Obama won during his first two years in office. Those laws–the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and the $800 billion economic stimulus package–transformed the nation’s health care system, curbed the ambitions of the big banks and injected financial support into a creaky economy. But as Republicans increased their control of Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama’s deep frustration with congressional opposition led to a new approach: He gradually embraced a president’s power to act unilaterally.
“History may now judge the regulations to be one of Mr. Obama’s most enduring legacies. At the least, his exercise of administrative power expanded and cemented a domestic legacy that now rivals Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in reach and scope.
“In May, Mr. Obama was asked by a farmer in Elkhart, Ind., to justify the ‘dramatic increase’ in government regulations that affected his business. ‘I’m not interested in regulating just for the sake of regulating,’ Mr. Obama responded. ‘But there are some things like making sure we’ve got clean air and clean water, making sure that folks have health insurance, making sure that worker safety is a priority–that, I do think, is part of our overall obligation.’
“Infuriated Republicans describe many of the new rules as unwarranted, resulting in ‘less jobs, less businesses, less prosperity, lower take-home pay,’ in the words of the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan. Business groups, also incensed, have challenged a number of new regulations in court, delaying them or preventing them from taking effect. Some economic experts worry that the accumulation of regulation is contributing to the economy’s persistent sluggishness.
“‘The big issue that I grapple with is that the regulatory state keeps growing,’ said Robert Hahn, an economist and a regulatory expert at the Smith School at the University of Oxford. ‘And as it keeps growing, when does it become too much?'”
The New York Times, August 14, 2016
First section of The Regulator in Chief, by Binyamin Appelbaum and Michael D. Shear–the first segment in the series, The Obama Era.
Under President Obama, the government has not necessarily “placed a higher value on human life.” Most
notably notoriously, the lives of conceived, yet unborn human beings are given no value at all in Obama’s America.
Furthermore, this assessment of President Obama’s abuse of power focuses almost exclusively on the economic consequences. The social consequences of President Obama’s abuse of power are far more severe.
Still, this is the best assessment of President Obama’s abuse of power that I’ve encountered.
Throughout President Obama’s two terms, I have wondered if he has abused his power more than President George W. Bush did. Now I know he has–this assessment confirms it.
Not long after President George W. Bush decided to send troops to Iraq (a decision Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton supported)–adding to casualties of U.S. troops and Afghan civilians, and creating casualties of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians–I stated that President Bush should be impeached.
“Then Dick Cheney would be President,” replied the woman to whom I was speaking.
She was right–Dick Cheney would have been much worse.
Even George W. Bush’s father recently confirmed that his son had taken orders from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
What about impeaching President Obama? A little late for that, isn’t it? When President Obama gave legal status to five million illegal immigrants, that infuriated both Republicans and Democrats. John Boehner even threatened to push a lawsuit against President Obama for such blatant abuse of power. Wonder why he didn’t. Wonder why senators and representatives of both parties failed to take action against President Obama immediately. Instead, Republicans just threatened to deport all five million of those immigrants–as if they were to blame for a U.S. president’s abuse of power. And Democrats quickly quieted down. Why?
Maybe five million instantly legalized immigrants would eventually cast five million votes for Democratic presidential and congressional candidates–and maybe the Republican Party could gain more support in the 2016 election by using President Obama’s impeachable offense as leverage against the Democratic presidential and congressional candidates.
We are nothing but pawns for both political parties.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties play us against each other, and now we’re going to have to return the favor–again.
If Donald Trump were elected President, Congress would have to find a reason to impeach him, and remove him from office immediately–so that Mike Pence could take his place.
But Donald Trump cannot possibly defeat Hillary Clinton in a general election.
So when Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States, Congress will have to find a reason to impeach her, and remove her from office immediately–so that Tim Kaine can take her place.
Dick Cheney would have been even worse than George W. Bush, as President–so impeaching George W. Bush, and removing him from office would not have been an easy option.
But just as impeaching Donald Trump, and removing him from office would be an easy option, impeaching Hillary Clinton, and removing her from office will be an easy option.
Frankly, I would rather Mike Pence be President of the United States than Tim Kaine.
But Tim Kaine will be reasonably suitable to replace Hillary Clinton, and serve as President instead.
And just as Mike Pence would really have to behave himself if President Donald Trump were impeached, and removed from office–Tim Kaine will really have to behave himself when President Hillary Clinton is impeached, and removed from office.
Yet in order for this absolutely necessary action to take place, Congress must keep a Republican majority. A Democratic majority congress would not impeach Hillary Clinton, and remove her from office, no matter what she did–the Democratic Party holds her accountable for nothing (as we saw so clearly in the Democratic primary process–in which she literally stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders).
And even if Donald Trump could defeat Hillary Clinton, a Republican majority congress would impeach him, and remove him from office, because Republicans are even more opposed to him than Democrats are.
So we cannot go wrong keeping a Republican majority in both houses of Congress. And of course if this Republican majority gives President Tim Kaine too much hell, we’ll just vote-in more Democrats in the 2020 election.
This is damage control.
Complicated, isn’t it?
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties play us against each other–then we have to play them against each other.
This is why I voted for Ross Perot in 1992. At the time, I liked Clinton and Bush. But I knew it made the most sense to vote for Ross Perot–the last independent presidential candidate who had a chance at all. I realized, at the tender age of 26, that because the President of the United States was just one person whose power equaled that of all of Congress, it made sense that he (or she) have no political party affiliation. Even an independent president would be somewhat biased toward one party or another–but a Republican or Democratic president would be totally biased toward one party or another. And to this day, I wonder how so many millions of other American voters failed to realize that.
Maybe they’ll realize it now. Maybe Republican voters will realize that membership had no rewards–Donald Trump won anyway. Maybe Democratic voters will realize that membership had no rewards–Hillary Clinton won anyway.
Maybe Republican and Democratic voters will join us independent voters by untold millions in the next four years–and will help us smash this unimaginably corrupt political-party-controlled system, once and for all.
Power to the People–not to political parties that manipulate people.