Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Congress Isn't Necessary For The One

What happens when Obama's own Democrats balk at his radical Leftist agenda (yes, it does happen on occasion, such as with his latest 'jobs' bill)?

He does what he wants to do anyway.

Yep, it's that simple.  No Constitutional justification or authority to do it, of course, but since when does the rule of law hold back a tyrant or dictator?  Take the latest example:
Barack Obama wants everyone to know that he's the president, and by golly he's getting impatient. "We can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job," he told a Las Vegas crowd Monday. "Where they won't act, I will." What does that mean? "I've told my administration," he explained, "to keep looking every single day for actions we can take without Congress, steps that can save consumers money, make government more efficient and responsive, and help heal the economy. And we're going to be announcing these executive actions on a regular basis."

Obama, formerly a "senior lecturer" in constitutional law, apparently thinks it's fine to thumb his nose at the separation of powers and simply enact legislation by executive fiat, on the grounds that "we can't wait." No more "yes, we can," which is so 2008. Yet this is the same old arrested development that is endemic on the Left.

There are three overarching areas in which Obama promises to take action: Jobs, mortgages and student loans. We've seen this movie before. Obama has been demanding a "jobs" bill since early September, by which he means another half-trillion dollars of so-called "stimulus" spending on various Democrat constituent groups, not least of which is public unions. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) agreed that indeed we can't wait -- and that the Democrat-controlled Senate should therefore act on the 17 House measures passed already this year (including part of Obama's proposed bill) that would, in various ways, enable entrepreneurs to create jobs.

The president proposes an overhaul to an existing government program to help people refinance their government-guaranteed mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency simultaneously released detailed changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, known as HARP. Helping people who are "underwater" on their mortgages -- they owe more than their homes are worth -- sounds like a noble goal. In reality, however, the program won't help that many people and it won't mean much for the economy at large. Enrollment requirements include that one's mortgage must have been owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since at least May 2009, the current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80 percent, and the homeowner must be current on payments. In other words, this will hardly help those facing foreclosure or lift falling home prices.

Besides, foreclosures aren't caused by underwater mortgages; they're caused by homeowners not making payments, often because they're out of work. In other words, they are the symptom, not the disease. Deregulate, lower and stabilize taxes, grow the economy and the number of jobs, and housing problems will be alleviated as a result. (The economy did grow at 2.5 percent in the third quarter, but that's not even a maintenance level, much less a signal of real recovery.)

Obama's other proposal is to help students with their education loans, which indeed are astronomical (more on that below). He believes that by adjusting the cap on payments each month and lowering interest rates slightly, graduates will have more money at their disposal, so they will spend more and boost the economy. It's the same old demand-side theory, and we can expect the same old result. What's more, the impact would be negligible.

The Atlantic crunched the numbers: "How much would an interest rate reduction of up to 0.5% affect payments? For the average borrower, the impact would be small. In 2011, Bachelor's degree recipients graduating with debt had an average balance of $27,204, according to an analysis done by, based on Department of Education data. That average has ballooned from just $17,646 over the past decade. Using these values as the high and low bounds of average student debt over the last ten years, the monthly savings for the average student loan borrower would be between $4.50 and $7.75 per month. Clearly, this isn't going to save the economy."

That last sentence pretty well sums up the entire Obama presidency.
This is obviously an attempt to simply look like he's doing something about the most pressing issue of the day while not really doing anything about the most pressing issue of the day.  But, even worse, this also illustrates why they went ahead and passed the stimulus, Obamacare, massively bloated budgets, oppressive EPA regulations, and a number of other things despite tremendous opposition from the American people.  Obama is a tyrant at heart, and nothing -- certainly not a piddly thing like the law -- is going to stop him from forcing his agenda on this nation.

He's also stated publicly that he wants to bypass Congress on immigration reform, too.  Oh, and housing.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

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