Hasn't this president rapidly expanded the power of the executive branch enough already? Not even halfway through his first time, President Obama has already basked in the unprecedented concentration of power in that office. Now, he wants more.
President Barack Obama sent legislation to Congress that will give the White House broad authority to reduce wasteful federal spending and block earmarks.
The proposal, called the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2010, comes amid growing criticism that the federal government's spending is out of control. Such concerns played a hand in a Kentucky primary earlier in the week, where Rand Paul defeated a well-connected Republican state politician by attacking federal spending and deficits.
The legislation allows Mr. Obama to propose a series of rescissions to spending packages approved by Congress. It would have to vote on whether to approve Mr. Obama's rescissions within set time frames to limit debate and without the ability to make any changes.
Somehow, he has spun Kentucky's Tea Party victory into a vehicle to amass more power. The legislation may be a good idea in a vacuum, but given the nationalization of entire industries we've seen in the last 18 months, maybe we can table this one for a little bit.
Just to show how far we've come from the idea of separate but coequal branches, note the language in the excerpt above: "President Obama sent legislation to Congress..."
Yes, I know it's standard operating procedure in recent presidencies for the executive branch to draft legislation, and Congress still gets to vote on it (though expect there to be arm-twisting and possibly a naked Rahm Emanuel sighting. But that's not really how it's supposed to work. Can you imagine the Supreme Court sending legislation to Congress? It's absurd, but how is that different than the executive branch doing it. [continue reading]