Something is very broken in our government, and I’m not talking about the trillions in wasteful spending by Democrats in Washington. It’s something else that I believe will be regarded as the true legacy of the Obama presidency—a tectonic shift in the balance of power from private citizens and our elected representatives in Congress to the executive branch.
What Soros, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of the progressive crowd understood better than anyone prior to Obama’s arrival in Washington, was the mechanisms for the direct control over most American enterprises already existed within the federal framework. It was present in the cabinet level departments and other federal agencies that answer to the President, giving an immoral leader unchecked authority should they be so bold to exercise it, influence the framers of the Constitution had never intended when this nation was established.
Over the years, cabinet level departments and government agencies, including the EPA and FCC, have substantially grown in power as additional responsibilities were added to their mandates through legislation. This ongoing process was acutely demonstrated this past year when control of the healthcare insurance industry was gifted to the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Treasury was put in charge of banking.
These agencies now hold so much power that their decisions can trump laws written by Congress. Last week the Secretary of Health and Human Services granted waivers to 30 corporations and unions that exempt them from ObamaCare mandates. It makes one question the purpose of elected representatives when an unelected bureaucrat can dictate at will whether or not companies have to comply with the law.
Under Obama’s leadership the transfer of power away from Congress has progressed with alarming speed. For months, Cap and Trade energy legislation was bitterly contested on both sides of the aisle and in the end the bill was abandoned. However, because of regulations set by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, a government bureaucrat that most Americans have never even heard of, CO2 emission limits will begin January 2011. Our economy faces potentially catastrophic increases in energy costs, all accomplished without a single vote in Congress.
We have seen the executive branch use government regulations to take direct control of private industries including auto manufacturers, educational loans, commercial fishing and domestic energy production while Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials provide de facto amnesty to illegal aliens by refusing to prosecute offenders.
Even with all of these successes, the Obama administration still reaches for more influence. The Department of Education is actively considering regulations that will give it control over the educational content taught all levels from kindergarten through graduate school and the Department of Interior is looking to take over millions of acres of privately owned land throughout the United States.
An isolated instance of failure by the administration can be found in the FCC where efforts to implement Net Neutrality regulations have been thwarted, not because of Republican resistance or the lack of a legal framework, but due to Democrat resistance that have made the issue so politically radioactive that even Obama hesitates to carry it out.
Of course this may change after the November elections. Obama has spent the last few months framing the argument that conservatives are trying to take the country “backwards” and he is the only one that can “save” us. Along with dilutions of grandeur in which he draws moral equivalence between his efforts to socialize America with Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves, Obama may well decide to continue with his efforts in spite of a Republican majority through Presidential decrees and additional government regulations, actions that Congress will be powerless to stop outside of impeachment.
Those 30+ Czars Didn’t Appear Out of Thin Air
Soros and the liberal elite had been planning the socialist transformation of America long before Obama ever made it to the national scene. They knew that a task so immense required a large team of dedicated operatives, many of whom could never pass Senate confirmation due to their radical backgrounds, to manipulate the chains of power outside of Congress and the public’s view.
It is this prior planning that explains how Obama found his 30+ czars so quickly. It may have seemed to the rest of us this was a rush project that seemingly took effect overnight, but in actuality the strategy behind and selection of the czars had in the works for a very long time.
The czars are designed to serve multiple purposes, one of which is to create redundancy in the halls of power that Obama could manipulate to implement his socialist agenda. With two chains of command through a cabinet Secretary and an unofficial czar, the President can easily switch his loyalties to reinforce the more radical viewpoint. It also makes it difficult for government officials to protect their departments from outside influence since Obama can selectively hand over department responsibilities to a more willing accomplice waiting in the wings.
The czars also create the perfect back channel of communication between the White House and outside organizations, in particular the Center for American Progress, a Soros front group that has made no secret of its activist agenda. While Americans would be rightly outraged if Cabinet members and their staff met regularly with socialist fanatics, no one in the main stream media bats an eye when Obama administration officials regularly meet with partisan lobbyists.
This is a Wakeup Call for Congress
While this problem started well before Obama was ever elected, executive branch power grabs have been taken to such an extreme under his leadership that they threaten the long term stability of our nation.
Congress must retake power from unelected bureaucrats, un-vetted czars, outside activist groups and an out of control President. Every government agency mandate must be carefully reviewed and rewritten to ensure unrestrained regulations can never again grow beyond the control of our elected representatives.
No branch of government should ever grow so powerful that it can act beyond its constitutional limits. The separation of powers is the cornerstone of our democracy and it is Congress’s duty to preserve this most important of traditions for future generations of Americans.