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Obama rules, ignoring checks and balances

ONE of the objections to ObamaCare has not gotten as much attention as it should.

It is the president's power to waive the law for any company, union or enterprise he chooses.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides for "equal protection of the laws" for all Americans.

To have a law that can cost an organization millions of dollars a year apply or not apply, depending on the whim or political interest of the president, is to make a mockery of the rule of law.

How secure is any freedom when this kind of arbitrary power is in the hands of one man?

Arbitrary ObamaCare waivers are bad enough by themselves. They are ominous as part of a  general practice of this administration - to create arbitrary powers that permit them to walk roughshod over the basic rights of the American people.

The Obama administration has evaded the checks and balances of the Constitution time and time again, undermining the fundamental right of the people to determine, through their elected representatives, the laws that govern them .

You do not have a self-governing people when huge laws are passed too fast for the public to even know what is in them.

You do not have self-government when executive orders are used to create "czars," so individuals wielding vast powers equal to, or greater than, the powers of cabinet members, do not have to be confirmed by the people's representatives in the Senate, as cabinet members must be.

You do not have self-government when decisions to take military action are referred to the United Nations and the Arab League, but not to the Congress  elected by the American people.

You do not have self-government when a so-called "consumer protection" agency is created - to be financed by the unelected officials of the Federal Reserve System, which can create its own money out of thin air - instead of being financed by appropriations voted on by members of Congress, who have to justify their priorities and trade-offs to the taxpaying public.

You do not have self-government when laws passed by the Congress - signed by previous presidents, and approved by the federal courts - if the president can waive and refuse to enforce whatever sections he does not like, despite his oath to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Barack Obama, for example, has refused to carry out sections of the immigration laws that he does not like, unilaterally creating de facto amnesty for those illegal immigrants he has chosen to be exempt from the law.

The issue is NOT the wisdom or justice of this president's immigration policy, but the seizing of  powers not granted to any president by the Constitution.

You do not have self-government if President Obama succeeds in having international treaties under United Nations auspices govern the way Americans live their lives, whether with gun control laws or other laws.

Obama's "citizen of the world" mindset was revealed in 2008, when he said "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that every other country is going to say OK."

The desire to circumvent the will of the American people was revealed even more ominously when Obama said to Russian President Medvedev - when he thought the microphone was off - that, after he is reelected and need never face the voters again, he can be more "flexible" about missile defense.

There are other signs of Obama's contempt for American constitutional democracy, but these should be more than enough.

Dare we risk how far he will go when he never has to face the voters again, and can appoint Supreme Court justices who can rubber stamp his power grabs?

Will it still be America in 2016?

Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California. His website is


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