Archives for posts with tag: Separation of Powers

Little Johnny Boehner has been bitching about President Obama’s supposed “executive overreach”, and how that mean old Prexy has been violating the Constitution’s Separation of Powers doctrine. So what does the Speaker do next? Why, he violates that very doctrine himself via legislative overreach. (“Grimy arse”, said the pot to the kettle.)

Boehner, you see, doesn’t like the way we are negotiating a treaty (an executive branch power) with Iran, so he invited Bibi Neti, the PM of Israel, to f*** up the negotiations address Congress. This without involving the President. That is a legislative power grab of unprecedented proportions.

And Boehner isn’t even trying to pretend. He says, straight out, that he is trying to take over treaty negotiations:

That invitation to address Congress, extended by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, marked a sharp rejection of Obama’s plea for Congress to stay out of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. If Congress votes to sanction Iran, Obama had warned, it could upset delicate and long-running talks.

Boehner said he would ignore the president’s demand, taking the unusual step of inviting a foreign leader directly into an American political debate.

Obama “expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran,” Boehner told fellow Republicans at a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning, according remarks provided by a senior GOP aide. “Two words: ‘Hell no!’ . . . We’re going to do no such thing.”

Boehner also told reporters Wednesday morning that he did not speak with Obama before inviting Netanyahu to address Congress.

The Speaker’s pot arse is far grimier than the Prexy’s kettle one. If Boehner were truly concerned about the Constitution, he would not be using an agent of a foreign power to kneecap the President while Obama is negotiating with another, unfriendly, nation.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Here is how the process actually works:
Step One: Congress decides how much money to spend and passes bills so the rest of the government can spend it.
Step Two: since Congress rarely considers whether or not we can afford all of the spending they authorize, there is usually a budget deficit, which increases the national debt.
Step Three: the Congress allows the treasury to borrow more money to cover the spending that Congress ordered. That is called “raising the debt ceiling”.

Pretty simple, and you may have noticed something: the word “President” appeared nowhere in the process. That is because the Executive cannot and does not allocate the vast majority of Federal funding. The Prexy has damn-all to do with the funding levels established by Congress. All he can do is execute the funding (which is why it is called the “Executive Branch”).

So why does Congress ask the Prexy for “concessions” or “reforms”, whenever the debt ceiling need lifting? The answer, Gentle Reader, is this: Congress is too scared to admit that they are responsible for our massive budget and the resulting red ink, so they play “pin the blame on Obama”. If the taxpaying public knew that Congress was to blame, they might vote their legislators out of office.

And the one thing no Senator or Congresscritter can bear is the idea of having to actually work for a living. So they pretend that it is the eeeeevil Obaminator who is responsible for the deficit. And the “News” media plays chorus to the Teapublican lies.

Remember this when you next cast your ballot. Congress owns the budget, the deficit and the debt. It’s time for those lazy, cowardly millionaires on Capitol Hill to nut up and accept responsibility for their actions, and to stop lying to us about who is to blame for the consequences of said actions.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

The “Republicans” who control the House of “Representatives” are once again threatening to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless their whiny, silly, pouting, and just generally idiotic demands du jour are met. In this case, it’s a demand that ObamaCare be destroyed. A  ridiculous demand, of course, but that’s not how deep the rabbit hole of stupid goes.

Here’s the deal: Congress spends money. They are responsible for the amount of taxing and spending.  That means they are responsible for the amount of the national debt. That means they are responsible for the need to raise the debt ceiling.

“But ObamaCare”, the Wingnuts cry. News flash: Congress voted for it. That means they’re responsible for the funding that they voted for. Not the Prexy, not the courts: that’s what’s called the Separation of Powers. Congress holds the power of the purse, and for years they have been using that power in a most irresponsible manner.

Yes, the debt is too high. But that is no reason for Congress to try to weasel out of paying the bills they have run up over the decades. No, that is a reason to adjust tax and spending policy to bring the national debt down in the future,

The law of the land says the U.S. Government has to pay its bills. If Congress refuses to do so, they will be in violation of the law.  And only Congress will be responsible. No one else. It’s their fault for spending more than they take in.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. and Mrs. Blunt and Cranky are in an undisclosed but warm and sunny location, getting a much-needed vitamin D infusion. So here is a short post about the Prexy’s news conference today:

Is this humble blogger the only person on Planet Earth who noticed that almost every question asked of President Obama should have been directed at Congress? The Debt Ceiling, gun control laws, almost everything being asked was a topic that is the responsibility of the Legislative Branch, and about which the Executive can do damn-all.

On the other hand, if the reporters had asked Congress, they wouldn’t have gotten straight answers, so what the hey. Ask the wrong guy, ask the right guys, nothing’ll get done either way. So sure, ask Obama. Why not?

Mr B & C