Why didn’t he think of this sooner?
President Obama announced during this week’s State of the Union address that he is going to bypass Congress and issue more executive orders during the last three years of his presidency.
You might think that sounds like a dictatorship. After all, our government was formed around a foundation of checks and balances, with Congress and the judicial branch of government keeping the President from acting on his own. He’s not a king, a tyrant or a despot. He’s president of a democratic republic, not a banana republic.
But think about it. We’ve been waiting for years for Congress to handle tough issues like immigration reform, tax reform, Social Security reform, Medicare reform, trade reform and budget reform. Nothing ever happens. When Congress does handle tough issues, we end up with laws that run more than 2,000+ pages long, that no one understands and that bear little resemblance to their original intent.
Do we really want another Affordable Care Act or another Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act? Do we really want all of those milquetoast compromises? And what about the billions in pork that have to be added to even the most basic bill before Congress approves it?
The President’s approval rating has dipped to an anemic 41%, but only 12.4% approve of the job Congress is doing. If you don’t despise the U.S. Senate, the probability is high that you despise the U.S. House of Representatives, so almost no one wants Congress to run the country anyway.
So President Obama may as well continue to ignore the U.S. Constitution and act as self-appointed emperor. He’s already ignored the law on numerous occasions, filling dozens of positions with people who might not otherwise pass muster in Congress – even though his party runs the U.S. Senate; changing immigration policy just before the election, and tinkering with the Affordable Care Act, including providing an exemption for members of Congress.
But it’s time to think bigger. Lifting the minimum wage for federal contractors and creating MyRAs is not going to do much to enhance his legacy. He has three years left. Here’s how he can make the most of his remaining days.
Executive Order #1. The Endless Bull. Henceforth, the stock market will move in only one direction – up. Once the order is enacted, the Federal Reserve Board can taper all it wants. It can even end quantitative easing immediately, before it runs out of bonds to buy.
The endless bull (we’re not referring to the content of his speech here) may not help him achieve his number one goal of income parity for all, but we’ll all be rich anyway, so no one will care anymore. One hundred percent of us can become part of the 1%.
And think of the foreign capital we’ll attract … at least until China dictates that its stock market must increase every day by more than the U.S. stock market.
Executive Order #2. Universal Happiness. During a Fox News poll last week, 74% of respondents said the country feels as if it’s still in a recession. And President Carter thought he had to deal with a national malaise! Clearly, Americans need to lighten up. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew nearly 2% last year. True, that’s far short of the 3.3% average growth the economy has enjoyed since World War II, but it’s an improvement over previous years.
And who’s fault is it that growth hasn’t been stronger? Clearly, it’s not the fault of President Obama or Congress. They’ve been leading by example, spending so much money that the federal debt exceeds $17 trillion.
Spending, of course, creates economic growth and America’s consumers have not done their part. They need to follow the lead of Congress and the President by spending money they don’t have. Happy people spend money. Once President Obama signs the order for universal happiness, consumers will spend and the economy will grow.
Executive Order #3. Jobs For All. With more than 100 million Americans not working, it’s no wonder that economic growth has been sluggish. The housing market, likewise, has showed signs of recovery, yet pending home sales dropped 8.7% in December. The weather didn’t help, but as Larry Yun of the National Association of Realtors noted, some potential buyers may be priced out of the market, as home prices have been rising faster than income.
Quantitative easing and stimulus spending were supposed to create job growth. They didn’t, so it’s time for another approach. Congress and the President have passed a law requiring that everyone have health insurance, so why not pass a law requiring that everyone have a job? And, with everyone working, President Obama won’t have to worry about passing another extension of unemployment benefits through Congress.
Executive Order #4. World Peace. Well, why not? It’s amazing what a President can require by executive order. And even if an executive order requiring world peace is unworkable, no one’s going to object. Imagine the negative publicity the Supreme Court would get if it ruled that an executive order for world peace is unconstitutional. It’s a great symbolic gesture and, most important, it will poll well.
Once world peace and national prosperity are declared law, President Obama can call it a day and write his memoirs. If these orders aren’t fully implemented when his term expires, he can just leave it for the next President, along with the $17 trillion federal debt, tax reform, an insolvent Social Security system and our antiquated immigration policy. He has to leave something for the next President to do.