Next President’s Second Task

Bruce Bialosky
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Posted: Jan 03, 2016 12:01 AM
Next President’s Second Task

Many people do not understand the inability of the Republicans to accomplish more in Washington. They can certainly put a stall on many of President Obama’s appointments, especially judges who will outlast this president’s term, but the president has too much power. If we look forward to the next president, who will be a Republican -- short of a fit of stupidity -- that person will have a lot to do and it is clear what their second task will be.

The obvious first task is to review all of Mr. Obama’s executive orders, many of which are lawless, and cancel or reverse them. That is so obvious that it is not a consideration for the first duty. Thus, the first job of the new president must be to propose a comprehensive plan to get us out of these financial doldrums and move our economy forward. Then they should start to dismantle all these agencies being used by Obama to grow government and kill off the private sector. One and two go hand-in-hand because we will never totally unleash this economy without accomplishing both.

Many of these entities go back to the 1930s. They were brought in by Roosevelt (FDR) and never dismantled despite being anachronistic. There have been many entities which added to the alphabet soup of the federal government (SEC, FCC, FTC etc.) since then, with or without Republican complicity. The EPA was fashioned under Nixon but the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) was handed to us by Obama. They are mostly agencies in search of a raison d’etre.

In the hands of President Obama, these agencies have been stacked with left-wing government wonks seeking to further his goals because he could never get Congress to further expand the massive government. A perfect example of accomplishing this mission is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), established by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. In addition to lawlessly making recess appointments to the Board and having them overturned by the Supreme Court, the activities of the Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon were invalidated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Get the idea about how much Mr. Obama wanted this agency to do his bidding?

They finally accomplished his main goal when the NLRB handed down one of its biggest rulings of President Obama’s tenure, stating that companies can be held responsible for labor violations committed by their contractors. This is so significantly famous because it also makes franchisors (McDonald’s, Subway) responsible for the decisions and employees of the franchisees despite having no involvement in that practice. This overturned the NLRB’s own 30- year-old precedent establish after the 1982 Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ landmark ruling in NLRB v Browning-Ferris Industries, and then codified by the NLRB in two decisions in 1984.

Their justification for this change, which was done 3-2 along partisan lines, is that they could and they did. When you have a mission to accomplish something, then damn precedent and law and go full speed ahead. That is why it is so imperative to not just rein in agencies like this, but to defund and dismantle them. Republicans for too long have gone along with the existence of these organizations that have taken over the day-to-day operation of the government and interpret the laws in the way that most suits their political agenda – think the FCC and Net Neutrality.

This dismantling has been done at the federal level. In the 1990s when John Kasich was chair of the Budget Committee in the House of Representatives, he terminated about 100 agencies and bureaus as part of balancing the budget. Subsequent to that being done, for many years I asked people if they could name any of those agencies or bureaus or whether they missed them. When they said no, I suggested we do another 100.

In an overlooked part of a recent interview, Mr. Obama made a fascinating statement. He said that we, the American people, are asking too much of the government. I am not quite sure which people he is speaking to, but it certainly is not the people I know. There are certainly many instances of crony capitalism where so-called capitalists either take advantage of government (think Solyndra, Elon Musk) or ask the government to protect it from competition (the explosion of licenses for businesses like interior decorators).

What we do not focus on is that government does too many things and thus because of that they do very few things well. They have gotten so astray from their core mission that they are discombobulated regarding the matters they do. When Obama and his cohorts suggested the federal government get even deeper into health care they did not analyze whether what they were already doing was properly operating. They just forged ahead. If they had just looked at the dysfunction of the VA they would have actually scaled back government’s involvement in the health care system. Yet some call for government to take control of the entire system. They look at the concept and not the outcomes.

People find the government overly intrusive. The only ones who don’t are the people living on OPM (other people’s money). The next president has to work with Congress to dismantle this intrusive and destructive ever-expanding government. That is what the Republican candidates should be addressing on the campaign trial. Not blabbering about each other or others’ matters.

This election is about the economy, the size of government and national security. Focus, please.