Power of the Executive Branch

Everyone should have learned back in civics class that the central government has three branches: legislative, judicial, and executive. They were created with the intention to balance one another and to keep any one branch from grabbing too much power and becoming a monster. As we understand the Constitution, the Founding Fathers deemed the House and the Senate to be the most powerful branches of American government which in turn, gives power to "we the people."

But currently, we the people, have ascribed almost unthinkable power to our presidents. Just last night during his State of the Union Address, president Obama asked for even MORE power to be granted to the executive branch.
The president talked about how congress is "obstructionist," how our Constitutional Republic is “broken,” and that our current "old-fashioned executive branch" doesn’t possess enough power. For me, this was the height of his speech (or rather, the height of my blood pressure.) Obama's exact words were:

Some of what’s broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough to get anything – even routine business – passed through the Senate.

He goes on to say:

The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote. That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.

And then this:

The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective Government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can’t achieve.

So to review.. According to Obama, we can no longer rely on the elected officials that WE vote for to get things done, and the solution is to act without them when he deems it necessary. According to Obama, he is going to ask Congress to give him more authority, which will continue removing power from locally elected officials that are intended to make our voices heard. And finally, according to Obama, "with or without Congress" he will be taking action.

Can someone please confirm for me (and all of the happy clowns in the room that were clapping for this last night) that we didn't just burn the constitution and pretend it no longer exists?

It is quite obvious that president Obama has decided to run for re-election as an out and out liberal populist, or more accurately, socialist. In his speech we heard rhetoric on deficit reduction and regulatory reform. He went on to cite that he is aligned with Lincon's idea “government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.”

Whether what he detailed in his vision will come to pass or if he even means what he says can't be known for certain. But what can be known for sure is that the substance of his speach had one theme and that was that he (and the government) think we the people need MORE. Here are just a few of the things he mentioned:

  • More spending on education 
  • More spending on infrastructure 
  • More money towards green energy projects 
  • More money for homeowners who need help on their mortgages 
  • More money (in the form of tax credits) for companies that hire veterans 
  • More money (in the form of tax breaks) for manufacturers. Specifically for high-tech manufacturers, manufacturers who relocate to poor areas, manufacturers who retrain workers, manufacturers who don’t outsource jobs, manufacturers who upgrade their buildings, etc. 

It is easy for me and I'm sure, millions of Americans, to hear and identify with the unifying theme of the address. I can surely hear the message loud and clear that public policy should be created with a struggling middle class in mind. The president's message will absolutely resonate with many Americans who have lost jobs and who are feeling the struggle right now. It’s also easy to see why Obama and his campaign advisers thinks a populist message will be a winning one.

When it comes to government controls, I always find myself asking the same question time and time again. How much is too much?

In his speech last night, Obama suggested raising taxes on the wealthy. I've read countless economic and financial reports that have clearly determined that raising taxes on the richest 1-2 percent will not cover the projected cost of Medicare and Social Security alone once the baby boom generation has retired. Those are programs we currently have in place today! Adding spending on energy and education will not pay for itself and it definitely won't help pay down our debt.

What we heard last night was rhetoric of fairness with no plan for long-term deficit reduction.We heard a proposed agenda that provided general guidelines for reform that will not only cost us money but will never even begin to pay down our debts. We heard a man wants the American people to believe and trust that government can solve our problems and by giving him more power, he will do just that. My thoughts are with the founders and I am saddened that Americans have stood by and allowed government to control so much of our lives.