Slowly at first, then all of a sudden, the Obama administration has devolved into the Obama regime. Obama does whatever he wants. Those pesky impediments on his predecessors — namely, federal law, the separation of powers, and the Constitution — have proved as tough as tissue paper in containing Obama’s ambition to impose statism on America. From Obamacare to unions to telephones, it’s basically another day, another decree.
“I have to figure out what I can do outside of Congress through executive actions,” Obama reportedly told the Congressional Black Caucus last month. In Jacksonville on July 25, Obama announced, “Where I can act on my own, I’m going to act on my own. I won’t wait for Congress.” As Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere explained: “The president is done caring about congressional Republicans calling him a dictator.”
Obamacare’s internal contradictions threaten to tear it apart, like a crippled satellite re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. Even committed collectivists such as Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa Jr. and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean are fleeing.
But Obama still tries to keep Obamacare in orbit — by fiat. In a move that, ironically, aligns him with the oft-bashed 1 percent, Obama gave employers with payrolls of more than 50 employees another year to offer health insurance. So, savings for CEOs and another year without coverage for their workers.
But nothing in Obamacare, a.k.a. the “Affordable Care Act,” empowers Obama to waive this mandate. Section 1513(d) clearly declares: “The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” Why stop at 2014? Why not excuse employers for five years? And why no relief from the individual mandate for America’s beleaguered rank-and-file?
When congressional Democrats screamed that Obamacare’s costs might prompt staff resignations, supposedly triggering a brain drain, Obama decided to extend subsidies to members of Congress and their employees. (Obamacare’s brain drain on companies now shedding workers seems not to worry Democrats a whit.) For 2013, this totals some $4,900 for individuals and $10,000 for families. Thus, Obama will bail out legislators who make $174,000 annually and aides whose 2012 earnings averaged $81,419 in the House alone, Legistorm.com estimates.
While taxpayers may weep for America’s brave Hill staffers and their selfless bosses, Obama and the Office of Personnel Management rescued them illegally. As the Wall Street Journalnoted, “OPM has no authority to pay for insurance plans that lack FEHBP [Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan] contracts, nor does the Affordable Care Act permit either exchange contributions or a unilateral bump in congressional pay in return for less overall compensation. Those things require appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the President.”
Consequently, any Democrat or Republican who accepts this lawless perk will be guilty of receiving stolen goods.