Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obama's "Economic Plan"

The Big News on Wednesday was Barack Obama's "Economic Plan." Before looking at the details of the plan, let's take a refresher course in fundamentals.

The Powers of the President

Article II of the Constitution defines the office of the Presdient, the Chief Executive. (Article I lays out the powers of the Legislative Branch, before the Executive, because the Legislature is Constitutionally designed to be more powerful than the Executive.)(The Legislature is also superior to the Judicial Branch [Article III].)

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 says:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Until this clause of the Constitution is amended, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger cannot become President.

If Barack Obama is elected President, Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 requires:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

With his "economic plan" being presented before auto workers in Janesville Wisconsin, it doesn't look like Obama understands the oath he must take, and the Constitutional powers of the President.

Section 2 of Article II gives the powers of the President. Here is the entire section, listing all the powers given by "We the People" to the President in the Constitution:

Section. 2.
Clause 1:
• The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
• he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices,
• and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2:
• He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
• and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:
• but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Clause 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

That's it. That's the extent of the President's power. No power to establish an "Economic Plan." No power to preserve the jobs of autoworkers in Janesville Wisconsin, Detriot Michigan, or anywhere else, or any other jobs in any other industry. Such "economic plans" belong to Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini, not an American President.

Remember, the American colonies Declared their Independence from King George III. As shocking as it was in their day, they set up a government without a king. Physician Benjamin Rush was shocked by this proposal:

Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.

Nevertheless, Dr. Rush eventually came around and signed the Declaration of Independence.

The American Revolution truly was a revolution of ideas, including the idea of "the consent of the governed." Under the "divine right of kings," everything the king did had a presumption of divine approval. Under the "consent of the governed," nothing the king did had a presumption of legitimacy unless the governed gave their consent to the king's act.


And in America, there was no king at all.

So the American colonists, in their revolution against the King of England, did not create another king in the Constitution of 1789. They did not give the President the power to do all the things for which George III was indicted in the Declaration of Independence (1776)

Presidents’ Day: A time to reflect on what is the proper role of a U.S. President The New American

1776 also saw the publication of Adam Smith's treatise, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. America became the most prosperous nation in the history of the human race because we allowed the economy to be regulated by an "invisible hand," not the iron fist or the clumsy visible foot of the Chief Executive.

The very short Article II of the Constitution was echoed in the doctrine of

Enumerated Powers

The theory of the Constitution is that "We the People" delegated certain rights and powers to the new federal government. The new government possessed only those powers which "We the People" delegated to it. The question posed during the Constitutional Convention and during the ratification process was "What form of government best secures the Blessings of Liberty and promotes the general Welfare?" The answer given was not "a huge centralized federal government and a powerful king-like President with unlimited powers," but rather, a limited federal government that has only a few powers enumerated in the constitution, with the rest of government remaining with the states.

The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship between the federal government and the states in these famous words:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]

That means the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but not autoworkers. And nobody believed that the state governments had the authority to nationalize production of automobiles, computers, medical care, and groceries. Government on all levels was on a short leash, and vast unbounded liberty extended to The People and their businesses.

When Obama delivered his "Economic Plan" to the auto workers, he wanted them to believe that they should vote for him because he could use the powers of the President to save their jobs or create new, better jobs for them.

There are two problems with this claim. First, Obama doesn't have the power under the Constitution to save autoworkers' jobs. Second, he doesn't have the knowledge. Nobody does. Not even Ron Paul.

The reasons why autoworkers are losing their jobs in Detroit have to do with the decisions of millions -- no, billions -- of people around the world.
• The decisions of those who buy cars,
• the decisions of those who are willing to build cars at wages lower than workers in Detroit,
• and the decisions of all the people who create the steel, aluminum, rubber and plastic that goes into making cars.
Trillions of decisions go into making a car, each decision based on the knowledge each individual entrepreneur and worker brings to bear on the decisions he or she must make in order to keep in business, and keep their families fed, decisions which make up the long global chain of creating an automobile -- knowledge which Barack Obama, in all his infinitude and omniscience, does not have. There is not a single human being on the face of the earth who can build a car from scratch. I said, from scratch. I include smelting the iron, synthesizing the rubber, fabricating the plastic, and programming the computer chips. The only One Who knows how to build a car, orchestrating billions of individual decision-makers, is the "Invisible Hand."

Obama is un-American to announce such an "economic plan."

He is also an idolater, as are those who believe his promises of salvation.

Obama, Hillary, and McCain all promise to do two things:
(1) violate their oath of office
(2) the impossible

Repetition of such unconstitutional promises only deceives voters and perpetuates their abysmal ignorance.

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