We now have a President who is issuing executive orders that directly contradict passed legislation. A large number of people are relieved. They are small business people who have been granted two consecutive stays of the Obamacare provisions effecting business operations that employ between 50 and 99 workers. To wit, the president has suspended by fiat the legal requirement that every small business enroll every full-time employee in an Obamacare approved plan or pay $2,000 per un-enrolled employee. The Wall Street Journal describes this order below.
The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. Companies with more workers could avoid some penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers.
This is in response to the entirely predictable problems that GOP opponents of the Affordable Care Act predicted. The business people applying for indulgences cited the fact that this would force them to reduce full time employment to the point where they could then afford the cost of the Obamacare coverage mandate. When the CBO explained this was already happening the Progressive antipathy was palpable. Another Wall Street Journal article describes the reaction.
Like the individual mandate, the employer decree is central to ObamaCare’s claim of universal coverage, but employers said the new labor costs—and the onerous reporting and tax-enforcement rules—would damage job creation and the economy. Liberals insisted that such arguments were false if not beneath contempt, but then all of a sudden the White House implicitly endorsed the other side. Now the new delay arrives amid a furious debate about jobs after a damning Congressional Budget Office report last week, only this time with liberals celebrating ObamaCare’s supposed benefits to the job market.
So we once more see the two-faced nature of Progressive economic articles. They believe they can stick it to the man until reality shows them emphatically that they can’t. Then, out of the blue, they develop a sense of market acumen. When it was a few odds and sods over a ten year time horizon, Obamacare freed workers into glorious funemployment. When the number of funemployed reaches double-digit millions, the joys of self-discovery give way to an avalanche of male bovine scatology. Obviously, this wasn’t what was intended.
What’s even more pernicious is the established precedent. Clearly, all laws don’t really mean what they say. A president can judiciously slice, dice and vivisect their text in accordance with the whims of an angry mob in the streets. CNS News describes the specific contradictions between the current Executive Orders and the wording of the Affordable Care Act.
The final words in the section of PPACA mandating that employers with more than 50 full-time employees provide their employees with “minimum essential coverage” imposes a specific statutory deadline for doing so. It says: “EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” Last summer, the administration unilaterally moved this hard statutory deadline back one year to 2015 for all employers with more than 50 full-time employees. Now, without any action by Congress, the administration is moving it back again for some employers—despite the plain language of the law.
This destroys two fundamental precepts of limited constitutional republicanism.
1) The President can invalidate lawfully enacted legislation at any time this legislation doesn’t suit his agenda.
2) The President can then sell these indulgences in return for political influence. Hence he can use the possibility of enforcing the laws of the land as written as a threat to blackmail citizens into complying with his mandates.
Ipso facto, the President is no longer subservient to the same law as the citizens. At this point we are on the road to no longer remaining a constitutional republic. If we don’t repeal Obamacare and if we continue to incentivize citizens to appeal for executive nullification of duly enacted laws, we run the risk of turning the Office of President into the Office of Lord Protector a la Oliver Cromwell. As Admiral Akbar famously yelled: “It’s a trap!”
The way out of this trap is as follows. Work for and demand Republican office holders who will legislate for the repeal of Obamacare. Contribute to and support Conservative organizations who will litigate against any exemptions or indulgences related to the Affordable Care Act. We are in danger of allowing this misbegotten law to become a vehicle by which the lawful rule of our nation is subverted by a power-mad Chief Executive. All I can say is that Admiral Akbar warned us.