Friday, April 16, 2010

Presidential Power Getting Too Great

One of the many beautiful things the Constitution of the USA does is separate and balance the power of the three federal branches of government -- Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. However, over the past couple of decades, that balance appears to be changing. The President is being given an expanded role.

It became apparent with Bill Clinton, continued with George W. Bush, and has gotten out of control with Barack Obama.

The president is not a king. We do not have a parliamentary system nor a prime minister. His role (and his administration) is to enforce the law, not make it. That's Congress' job.

It is the Congress that has the role of laying and collecting taxes, paying the debts, provides for defense and general welfare, borrow money, regulate commerce, establish rules of naturalization, coin and regulate money, promote progress in science and arts, support and maintain an army and navy, declare war.

The President is given the power to make treaties, nominate and appoint judges, ambassadors, other public ministers and officers but with the advice and consent of the Senate and in some cases a vote.

So when a president says he is going to do this and that, it often comes with a caveat: the Senate must approve.

What we see happening today, and this has been escalated to levels of concern with Obama, is that he is making these edicts as if he were a king.

As the federal government takes more and more control over are lives, we are seeing mandates from the "king" just because he thinks they are good ideas.

Just in the past couple of years, we have seen, and will continue to see, these edicts taking place in the banking, insurance, manufacturing and health care industries.

This should be a concern for the legislative and judicial branches. But they are not looking too interested.

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