COMMENTARY | President Obama has decreed that the employer mandate for most companies under Obamacare is to be delayed until 2016. He did this not because the law or the Constitution says he could. He did so because he wants to and he can.
“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.”
The venerable Charles Krauthammer had it correctly when he stated, “But generally speaking you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law lawlessly. This is stuff you do in a banana republic. It’s as if the law is simply a blackboard on which Obama writes any number he wants, any delay he wants, and any provision.”
The problem is that none of the other branches of government, not Congress and certainly not the courts, seem disposed to stop the president. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would not move even if the president were to suspend habeas corpus and start arresting tea party members (in fact some Democrats might cheer such a move all things considered.) The courts are hung up over standing and who (besides anyone who cares about the rule of law) is harmed.
The president should be careful about this kind of making law as one goes along. A Republican who is just as ruthless as he is might – say – suspend the collection of the tax on capital gains or the endangered species act. There is no theoretical limit to what a president might do if Obama continues to get away with failing to faithfully execute the laws, especially a law that he so fervently worked to see rammed through Congress and brought into being to blight and threaten the lives of tens of millions.
The only ones who can stop the president are the American people, who can register their displeasure at the polls this November and place a check on his overweening since of power and entitlement.