Remarkably, instead of working to build a consensus with these elected legislators to get America back on track, the President announced in his state of the union address a number of executive measures to run the federal government as he sees fit.
The problem with his “my way or the highway” approach is obvious to everyone but the President. Just like the American electorate, the U.S. government is divided. And not just by majority and minority parties in Congress. By design, the federal government is split into three branches to prevent one from encroaching upon the authority of the others.
Listening to the speech in the House chamber where lawmakers debate the “people’s business,” it was a bit bewildering to hear the President boldly announce ways Big Government was going to solve America’s problems. The President’s misguided philosophy is rooted in activist government outreach in which he sees himself as the “steward of the public welfare.”
I respectfully disagree with the President’s notion that lodging more power within the executive branch and taking in more tax revenue for Uncle Sam will restore America’s prosperity. For the last three years, the President charted a course of bail-outs and hand-outs that dug us even deeper into the deficit ditch. Last year the legislative and executive branches locked horns over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Some view Washington’s wrangling to be frustrating, but the give-and-take and back-and-forth is a function of the framers’ intent.
Our republic is founded on a non-negotiable principle: the unalienable rights of each citizen to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Thanks to the U.S. Constitution, the President cannot bypass Congress and unilaterally decide that some people have been too successful and ought to pay extra taxes, for example. Executive overreach has been creeping ahead the last few years, starting with unaccountable czars and now full dismissal of the advise and consent clause with recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess. If left unchecked, the gradual concentration of authority would lead to an erosion of constitutional protections that weaken individual liberties and personal economic freedom.
The state of the union message offers a big opportunity to set the tone in Washington and reassure the American people that the United States is headed in the right direction. In an election year already being driven by presidential politics, it’s unfortunate the President missed this big opportunity to show the leadership the American people are hungry to see. With unemployment still looming large over millions of households, working families, job seekers and the under-employed want their elected leaders in Washington to come together. The electorate wants problem solvers, not more big spending solutions that lead to even more problems.
Taking more money out of the pockets of investors, entrepreneurs and small business owners through higher taxes will not help grow the economy. Instead, it would dry up the pipeline that creates jobs in the private sector. Just as is the case with the President turning his back on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create up to 20,000 jobs and forge an important energy alliance with a trusted neighbor. Limiting government interference through less burdensome regulations, tax certainty, lower taxes and reduced government spending will clear the way for the free enterprise system to grow the economy and create jobs.
The U.S. Constitution has helped create the most resilient nation in the world, building a foundation for the strongest economic opportunities and political freedoms on earth. Thankfully, America’s constitutional charter is built to outlast the whims of those whose agenda would infringe upon the rights, liberties and freedoms for which American men and women in uniform have fought and died for more than 200 years.