Friday, November 11, 2016

The downside of executive action

Due to the unwillingness of a Republican controlled Senate and House during President Obama's second term to pass almost anything proposed by the administration, he used executive actions to legally mandate many changes to the law.  That the two parties in Congress could not even agree to an infrastructure rebuilding plan underscores how divided the parties were.  Infrastructure efforts could not be dealt with due to the more right wing part of the Republican party being unwilling to find a way to pay for it, as any tax increases were off the table, as were many spending cuts.

 Areas most affected by Obama's executive actions were related to immigration and to climate change issues. There is no ability here to detail "actions" taken in many areas, but it is well known that the President used this authority widely.

Whether some of the lack of bipartisan legislation was due partially to Obama's unwillingness to compromise is unclear here.  With executive action available and the reasonable hope that a Democrat could again win the White House, this was the most effective way for Obama to achieve his goals.  Now his achievements may be in jeopardy.  What can be done swiftly by executive action and can be undone just as swiftly. Legislative accomplishments like the Dodd Frank bill and the Affordable Healthcare Act are much more complicated to unwind.

At times when politicians win elections, the voters wonder whether they will keep their promises. Now many American voters and tax paying residents are afraid that Trump will.

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