Streetwise Professor

July 4, 2013

Take Care to See That the Laws Be Faithfully Executed

Filed under: Economics,Politics — The Professor @ 7:21 pm

The Obama administration has announced the delay of the implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate.  There are at least three aspects of this that deserve comment.

First, the practical impact.  Some have argued that this will undermine the other part of Obamacare-namely, the individual mandate and insurance “exchanges”.  Namely, it will induce firms to dump their corporate coverage, and force people onto the exchanges.  This will happen only because of other provisions of Obamacare that increase the cost of employer coverage. Firms that currently provide insurance without the mandate cannot be constrained by it, so relaxing this constraint will not induce them to change their behavior except to the extent that other aspects of Obamacare increase the cost of providing employer coverage.  That is, it would be the selective enforcement of various provisions of Obamacare that will lead to these perverse effects.  Obamacare is barely coherent, but mandates are an important part of maintaining that coherence that it possesses.  The law is rife with cross-subsidies and taxes, and mandates to purchase coverage are necessary to force the net payers to remain in the system and thereby subsidize the net recipients.

Second, the political impact.  This is obviously intended to push the implementation of a big part of Obamacare past the midterm elections.  Some firms would likely have responded to the mandate, with its various restrictions, by dropping coverage.  Especially given the unpreparedness of the exchanges, and the high costs that the young and healthy will incur buying coverage on exchanges, this would have been a major source of anger.

Third, there is the Constitutional issue.  Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution directs the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”  For worse or worst, Obamacare is law-at Obama’s insistence.  It is his Constitutional duty to execute the law.   He should not be able to walk away from this duty, just because it is politically expedient to do so.  That would be true if he hadn’t pushed the measure into law, but it is all the more necessary because he did, to hold him accountable for the consequences of his political choices.

Obama is the Chief Executive.  He needs to perform his Constitutional duty.  His black letter Constitutional duty.  His duty to execute the laws faithfully.  To fail to do so is to undermine the Constitutional order, in particular by respecting the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.  The blending of such responsibilities is a recipe for tyranny.

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1 Comment »

  1. Absolutely correct, Perfesser, but we are missing the psycho-dramatic aspect of this guy. Consider the Clinton Administration, Bill was Peck’s Bad Boy, pulling as many stunts as he could to see if he could get away with it. when caught, lying manfully (and skillfully) to weasel his way out of it – one could almost feel the pleasure / pain of it. In other words, the American people were little more than the audience a psychodrama where Bubba’s pathologies could be acted out. Narcissism triumphant.

    Obama is the same, just the pathology is different. He is phenomenological, without a past or future, just a now, and with no constraints. If the law is inconvenient, ignore it; legislate by executive order, go to war without Congressional approval or authorization (Libya). all such minor inconveniences like the constitution serve only to limit him, and deny us the benefit of his greater wisdom. who is he to hurt us so?

    I am tired of being these guys’ psychic blow up sex-doll.

    Comment by Sotos — July 5, 2013 @ 10:25 am

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