The transparent electoral motive that fuels so many of Obama’s executive orders seems unprecedented. The tone is also brand new. Obama’s predecessors have signed executive orders and, more or less, left it at that. But Obama pounds his chest as he does so. As he told Congress at last month’s State of the Union address: “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
While appalled Republicans sat on their hands, Democrats stood up and shouted like equatorial, rubber-stamp parliamentarians: “Hooray! We are irrelevant!”
Meanwhile, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Marc Thiessen wrote in the February 10 Washington Post, new Congressional Budget Office figures show that Obamacare will reduce U.S. incomes by $70 billion annually between 2017 and 2024. The CBO also estimated that by 2021, Obamacare’s disincentives to hire and incentives not to work would slash labor hours by the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.
Rather than dispute these figures, key Democrats embraced them. …
Rather than resist an increasingly weak — yet ever more assertive — Obama, GOP congressional leaders hand him whatever he wants. Thus, House speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP chief Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pushed through a $1.012 trillion budget with, at best, minuscule and illusory spending cuts. A $956 billion farm bill includes $3 million to promote Christmas trees (who on Earth would buy them without federal assistance?), $100 million for maple-syrup market research, and $170 million for catfish protectionism. Boehner and McConnell sent Obama this gift-wrapped monstrosity, which was $56 billion higher than Obamacare’s original price tag. And in exchange, Obama gave them . . . zippo!
On February 12, Boehner and McConnell helped send Obama a measure to suspend the debt limit until March 15, 2015. (The debt ceiling was not raised from $17.2 trillion to a higher level; it simply was removed. The gas pedal remains in Obama’s Little Red Cor-debt, but the brakes are gone.) This passed the GOP House with Boehner and only 27 Republicans voting yes. The other 194 votes were from Democrats. When McConnell surrendered on cloture, 11 other Republican senators helped Democrats advance their dirty work. The debt ceiling is now a debt sunroof.
And what did Washington’s top two Republicans get for giving Obama 13 months to shop till America drops? Nothing! No repeal of Obamacare’s $47 billion bailout of health insurers. No approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. No termination of the cure-killing medical-device tax. No votes on these matters, which would have forced Democrats to choose. This could have helped Republican candidates in November. …
Earth’s sole superpower is sagging where it should be No. 1. America has slouched to No. 12 on the 2014 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom.
“Now considered only a ‘mostly free’ economy, the U.S. has earned the dubious distinction of having recorded one of the longest sustained declines in economic freedom, second only to Argentina, of any country in the [20-year] history of the Index,” the report states. “The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.”
Regarding graft, America has stayed stable in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Unfortunately, and as recently as 2013, the U.S. has remained Earth’s 19th most honest country. …
America is a total mess.
The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags.