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I want the old Barack Obama back. He made sense. The new guy, he scares the heck out of me. Like a king, he assumes that the realm will be better if he can spend as he pleases.
He also issues executive orders when Congress doesn’t immediately do what he wants. To be fair, he isn’t the first president to do that. Or the worst.
That was Teddy Roosevelt. He issued 1,000 executive orders, including one that demanded phonetic spelling. On all government documents, “kissed” should be K-I-S-T and “enough” E-N-U-F. At least Congress mustered the two-thirds vote needed to override that one.
I might not mind presidents behaving like kings—if they at least made the tough decisions that the government needs to make, like balancing the budget. But no president has tried to use an executive order to eliminate whole programs or cut spending. They almost always act only to increase their own power.
Yet they pretend they make bold choices—even when refusing to make choices. Obama said, “We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the elderly and investing in the next generation.”
That’s Washington-speak for, “We will spend government money on young and old alike and refuse to think about when this will bankrupt America.”
But it sounds exciting when he says it. He’s not just a king—he’s Santa Claus, too. Except that Santa spends his own money. The president spends yours.
Kings don’t like to be constrained. But all government should be.