Do you think it’s only through Executive Orders that Mr. Obama is fundamentally transforming our nation? It’s not. He’s ruling by memo, rule changes, policy directives and guidance issuances. The president has been doing this since 2009 and it escapes notice. Though just as powerful, they don’t have the same public oversight as executive orders, allowing him to operate in relative secrecy while in plain sight.
USA Today and other media outlets finally caught up to the Sentinel’s July article explaining how Obama rules. His use of seemingly innocuous memos and directives is insidious and goes under the radar. It’s easier for him to pretend he isn’t fundamentally changing the agencies of government to be powerful arms of the executive and not the people by using seemingly innocuous memos.
Obama’s executive orders with presidential memorandums add up to more executive actions than any other president since Truman. They are more serious because they are fundamentally and permanently transformative.
Obama has issued 195 executive orders as of Tuesday. Published alongside them in the Federal Register are 198 presidential memoranda — all of which carry the same legal force as executive orders, according to USA Today on December 16th.
Obama recently violated the Constitution and rewrote immigration law, not with a signed and numbered executive order, but with two memos.
It’s a less traceable form of governance and imperial overreach since they can be somewhat buried in the Federal Register. Memos don’t even have to be based on any law as executive orders have to be.
Obama has issued executive orders to give federal employees the day after Christmas off, to impose economic sanctions, to establish DREAMers, alter Obamacare law, and to determine how national secrets are classified. He’s used presidential memoranda to make policy and change the law on gun control, immigration, healthcare and labor regulations. Tuesday, he used a memorandum to declare Bristol Bay, Alaska, off-limits to oil and gas exploration, according to USA Today.
Presidential Memorandums can circumvent Congress and have the same force of law as executive orders. They can be just as lasting as Obamacare and illegal immigration will be.
Barack Obama is forever changing the way the government does business by growing the power of the executive branch. His use of executive orders pales when combined with his use of memos – “guidance” issuances – to make it happen.
He doesn’t need executive orders as long as he has his pen, phone and the ability to “clarify” with “memoranda”. His “clarifications” are fundamentally transforming us and giving his overblown agencies powers they were never meant to have.
Other classifications of presidential orders carry similar weight. Obama has issued at least 28 presidential policy directives in the area of national security. In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last year, a federal court ruled that these, too, are “the functional equivalent of an executive order,” USA Today reported.
According to the same USA Today article:
The Office of Legal Counsel — which is responsible for advising the president on executive orders and memoranda — says there’s no difference between the two. “It has been our consistent view that it is the substance of a presidential determination or directive that is controlling and not whether the document is styled in a particular manner,” said a 2000 memo from Acting Assistant Attorney General Randolph Moss to the Clinton White House. He cited a 1945 opinion that said a letter from President Franklin Roosevelt carried the same weight as an executive order.
Barack Obama invented a “rule” to legalize DREAMers and it was issued with a memo. It was a “rule” that halted most deportations. These are laws which are being read appropriately by smugglers and corrupt politicians in Central America and Mexico as a reason to smuggle children and adults into our country because we all know they will never be deported.
While Obama’s support for illegal immigration is very visible to those of us paying attention, it is only one avenue by which rules and memos have seriously damaged our system of laws and checks and balances.
Obama sent a guidance memo out in 2009 which resulted in the White House now having their hands all over FOIA requests. Anything that “might embarrass” the White House and the president must be reviewed by the executive agency receiving the request.
As a consequence of this “guidance” memo, which was allegedly meant to “clarify”, FOIA requests are delayed or ignored.
I think we can all agree that the White House should have no hand in FOIA requests.
The government has consumed more and more of the private sector in every aspect of our economy – education, energy, finance, transportation and so on – thanks to the growth of these controlling executive agencies.
All any future president has to do now to impose a more imperialistic executive on the public is grow the agencies.
Mr. Obama can issue a “guidance” memo, changing the way they operate, giving them overreaching powers. Congress has no say and it can all go on under cover of regulations, rules, and paperwork no one reads.
We have seen this process repeat itself with Obamacare, which looks nothing like the original law. For example, Kathleen Sebelius wrote her own “rule” mandating that religious institutions must pay for birth control, abortifacients, and surgical sterilizations, giving government the ultimate authority over religious conscience.
She even had the gall to define what a religious institution is for religious people. It also intrudes on parental rights since they decided to mandate the privacy of children seeking these drugs.
In his January State of the Union address, Obama put the retirement savings plan for workers through with a memo and that sets a very dangerous precedent.
California already made it mandatory for low-paid workers. They take 3% out of the workers’ salaries, don’t put it in a lockbox, and promise that one day the retiree will have a small, poverty-level income from it, making them totally reliant on big government which may or may not be there for them.
It promises to keep them in poverty even in retirement because government does not grow money like the private sector. In the meantime, the government gets to use the peoples’ money.
What makes this most dangerous is the potential for seizing private retirement investment accounts. Obama has already talked about doing exactly that and and he has put just such a plan in at least two of his budgets, which fortunately did not pass.
His memos requiring taxpayers to pay more-and-more of college students’ loans are also particularly dangerous. After he took college loans away from banks, the government raised the rates but the taxpayer will see no gain from it – the money goes into the general fund.
They told students they have to pay smaller-and-smaller percentages and don’t have to pay at all after 20 years.
In June, Obama told the Department of Education to allow certain borrowers to cap their student loan payments at 10% of income. That then falls on the taxpayer.
Colleges don’t have to cut their budgets as a result because the government loans and grants keep coming, enabling them to spend exorbitantly on things not related to education. Taxpayers are responsible for payment in the end.
We mustn’t forget pay equality memos; affirmative action type memos which give “ladders and opportunities” for young men of color; forced and expensive “workplace flexibility” rules for government union workers; sexual harassment rules for schools; and all the many equal opportunity rules.
In April, Obama directed the Department of Labor to collect salary data from federal contractors and subcontractors to monitor whether they’re paying women and minorities fairly.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is vastly out of control. We recently saw an example of that when they informed private businesses that they can’t ban people from speaking foreign languages at work. They can’t even fire employees who don’t speak English if they can do the job according to the EEOC’s low standards, not the employer’s.
It’s bigotry to mandate people speak English in our English-speaking country according to the EEOC and Obama.
There is no aspect of our lives that Mr. Obama will fail to intrude upon. His administration spews out several thousand regulations a year which are killing businesses.
The energy sector is being seized via memo. He has annual energy reviews which became the practice via memos.
The EPA is controlling every aspect of the energy sector to varying degrees with little pushback. When they’re not destroying coal, they’re controlling private property.
Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, wants to control all water bodies in the U.S., even puddles, using an unsubstantiated study that shows all water is connected underground. That goes into effect soon. That’s being done via memo.
Mr. Obama has sent guidance memos out to every department forcing them to concentrate on global warming.
Obama misused the Antiquities Act of 1906 to make a park out of millions of acres of the Pacific Ocean, closing it off to fishing and drilling. He bypassed Congress and issued a memo. He’s only just begun.
If you want to know where Mr. Obama is going with all this, check out The Center for American Progress, a socialist think tank funded by George Soros and headed up by Obama adviser John Podesta. They use the language of liberty to do the exact opposite.
They want to rid the earth of oil use and seem to think that somehow “renewable energy” alone will give us energy savings, energy independence and even save the earth from global warming.
Of course there is always the public comment period for these rule changes – as if the government cares what people say.
People do not know that they need to make comments nor do they have the time.
It is difficult to even find the comment sections for many of these outrageous administrative changes to the laws of our nation.
The people who really understand what is going on are generally seniors and they are often not on the Internet to comment.
Once these agencies formed, it was inevitable they would grow out of control because our Supreme Court is now heavily politicized, our representatives in Congress don’t really represent us, and executives usually want more power.
Obama is destroying the separation or powers with his governance by memos. He is land grabbing by memo, destroying states rights. States’ rights are meant to help control an overreaching executive but he overrules them with memos.
The executive branch is now a fourth arm of government but it is bound by no laws and operates like a rogue government completely under the control of the executive and protected by the workers’ unions and the media.
This has become abundantly clear but I hadn’t seen too much written about it until I saw an article by The Competitive Enterprise Institute by Clyde Wayne Crews titled, “Despotism-Lite? The Obama Administration’s Rule By Memo”. The only place where I’d say Mr. Crews went wrong is calling it “Despotism-Lite.” There’s nothing “Lite” about it.
It is tyranny when the people have to fear the government and rely on the benevolence of government bureaucrats to not abuse their powers. We are dying a slow and – for some of us – painful death.
The saddest part of all of this is Congress has allowed the whittling away of all its powers for decades and now that it’s been magnified by Barack Obama, they are doing nothing to stop him. They are always putting it off to another day.