Once again, Obama, Mr. 99 Percent, sided with big business, at the expense of patients, when he autocratically gave the nasty, greedy insurance companies an extra year to charge patients higher out-of-pocket expenses and delayed Obamacare’s $6,350-per-individual and $12,700-per-family limits on such charges. This means fatter coffers for Aetna and Blue Cross and thinner wallets for working-class sick people. And Obama also perpetrated this without legislative authority.
Obama made three recess appointments to the five-member National Labor Relations Board on January 4, 2012, even though the Senate was not in recess — it technically was on a break, but holding pro forma sessions. Hence, the D.C. Circuit Court concluded last January 25 that those nominations were “constitutionally invalid.” Without those members, the NLRB lacked a quorum. That rendered bogus its decisions during the previous year. Regardless, the NLRB issued 112 rulingsafter the D.C. Circuit delegitimized those three members. Last May 16 and July 17, respectively, the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals backed the D.C. Circuit’s opinion. The Senate on July 30 confirmed fresh NLRB appointees, who now compose a proper quorum. They are sifting through the wreckage of 18 months of board decisions that the Fourth Circuit vacated as illegal.
By June 15, 2012, Congress had failed to adopt the so-called DREAM Act. So what? Obama that day brazenly abandoned his duty to enforce existing law and instead shielded from deportation illegal aliens up to age 30 whose parents brought them here before age 16. Without legislative approval, Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program granted de facto amnesty and even work permits to at least 800,000 such illegals. According to official statistics through March 2013, of the 472,004 applicants for “deferred action,” just 1,377 were denied and 268,361 applications had been approved.
Just last week, Obama unveiled a brand-new $6 billion cell-phone tax to fund high-speed Internet links for government schools. Rather than support legislation for this tax, Obama expects his appointees to the Federal Communications Commission to impose it by edict. As White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said during the Obamas’ annual pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard: “Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.”
There is a way to get things done in Washington, and this is not it. Then–Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a reliably liberaljurist, put it well in Clinton v. City of New York (1998): “There is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend, or to repeal statutes.”
Obama sees things differently. For him, the Constitution is for chumps, and the law is for losers. In History of the World Part I, Mel Brooks observed: “It’s good to be the king.” Yes, but it’s better to be Obama.
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.