President Trump signed four executive orders last week ostensibly to combat the self-inflicted Great Depression of 2020.
His real aim was political. After the Congress deadlocked on several spending packages–none of which including constitutional legislation–Trump acted alone, much like Franklin Roosevelt rode in on a white limo to save the day in 1933.
Vote for me, Trump said, and I’ll make these tax cuts permanent. Exactly how was never explained.
Democrats quickly howled that Trump’s moves were unconstitutional, a laughable position since just six years ago they championed the same type of action when they were in control of the executive mansion.
You see, the imperial presidency is a disease that will be used by whatever party is in power to advance a political agenda and thus stay in power the Constitution be damned.
John C. Calhoun pointed out this would be the inevitable result of the American political experiment in his Disquisition on Government.
The sad truth is that Trump’s orders are unconstitutional. So were Obama’s in 2014. So were W.’s, and Clinton’s, and H.W.’s and Reagan’s, and Carter’s, and Ford’s, and Nixon’s, and Johnson’s, and Kennedy’s, and Truman’s…
You get the picture.
I wrote an entire book on this problem in 2016, Nine Presidents Who Screwed Up America, and then created a class at McClanahan Academy that provides the dirt on all 44 men who have held an American presidency. Long story short: very few adhered to their oath of office.
The leftist legal scholar Ian Millhiser suggested Trump could get away with such a move because of “prosecutorial discretion.”
Trump has the power to exercise prosecutorial discretion, which means he can order the IRS or DOJ not to enforce the tax code for the duration of his presidency.
But breaking the tax code is still illegal. Violators can still face civil or criminal penalties once Trump is out. https://t.co/QfKbE8crYJ
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 8, 2020
That argument would work if the laws in question were unconstitutional. We can quibble if such taxes are constitutional, but because of the 16th Amendment, we would probably all lose that argument. Trump, then, is violating his oath of office by suspending legally passed taxes at will.
CNN doesn’t know what to think about the whole thing. It could be good or it could be bad, but it is never unconstitutional. That is the problem.
The president has become an elected king, the very thing many in the founding generation feared.
How can we correct this problem?
We should be thinking locally and acting locally. The government has no power if we don’t consent to their absurd circus or if we carve out independent oases in this desert of stupidity called the “United State” of America.
I discuss the problem in Episode 339 of The Brion McClanahan Show.