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Obama's Deep Disrespect for Congress and the Rest of Us

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Obama Administration's FY2013 federal budget is inherently dishonest and is a reelection scheme that masquerades as a budget.  Take a close look, and you will see that the Obama Administration’s approach has veered far away from mere incompetence and political expediency. 

President Obama, it would seem, has crossed into new territory and his Administration, unhappy with the constitutional constraints on Executive authority to direct spending, is now openly violating the Constitution.  

The highest law of the land constricts Team Obama’s ability to spend taxpayer money on pet projects that have never been part of any appropriation bill.  However, the Obama Administration routinely spends money that has never been appropriated and routinely exceeds the spending limits set by even this spendthrift Congress.

A recent example can be found at Health and Human Services (HHS).  Auditors discovered that the agency has routinely spent taxpayer money on projects that were not appropriated by Congress.  Of course, the Obama’s Administration is violating the Constitution when it takes these actions. The Anti-Deficiency Act compels large fines and possible jail time for individuals within the Administration that are caught spending money that has never been appropriated.  

ADA is intended to ensure that Article One of the United States Constitution, Section 9, Clause 7 (the "power of the purse"), which provides that "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law" is implemented and respected.  Our Founders, wisely, understood the dangers of giving a President the power to direct public spending in an unrestricted manner independent of any congressional review. 

When you peel back the curtain on the Obama Administration, it seems clear that constitutional restrictions were never seen as anything other than a speed bump as they blindly motored on directing taxpayer funds to pet projects, and exceeding overall congressional appropriations. 

The HHS Audit report is a sad, but fascinating, report of error piled upon error-for the past three years. One damning statement from the accountants concerns a $500 million dollar discrepancy (yes-- half a billion dollars of taxpayer money is unaccounted for in just one line item of several billion dollars-worth of instances of missing funds). 

The outside accountants responsible for the HHS audit explain that HHS did not "ensure that the legal accrual is recorded in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States nor did CMS [HHS agency] follow its own stated policy".

In other words, HHS just seemed to have done whatever the heck they wanted with the funds, spending whatever they wanted regardless of the instructions from congress.

Even more damning is the report’s discussion of the inadequacies of the HHS internal accounting systems which are apparently ill-equipped to handle the existing HHS accounting, much less the more rigorous demands of Obamacare-related accounting.

HHS Secretary Sibelius received this report in November of 2011, but the discrepancies and missing funds had been known about a year earlier.

Consider--at the same time that the Secretary and the President were attacking anyone expressing concerns that Obamacare would be too costly and confusing, it’s likely that some of the HHS funds were improperly used to influence the debate and promote the acceptance of Obamacare.  Put another way, HHS used taxpayer money to lobby Congress. 

Clearly, the Obama Administration and Secretary Sibelius had to know that the government was already anti-deficiency (billions in debt) on multiple line items.  But, Sibelius and Obama continued promoting Obamacare because they don’t seem to care about legalities, but rather advancing their extreme agenda.

Team Obama is ducking and dodging these revelations, hoping that few will understand the significance.  For what Americans are seeing are the budgetary lies and fraud that do our nation great harm.

First, there's HHS’ missing billions of dollars (which are not accounted for, nor repaid, in the FY20123 budget either)—that’s an obvious fraud.  But there is also the vast violation of trust by Sibelius and Obama, who have been colossally dishonest in their dealings with congress and with the American people.

Another example is the FY13 budget for the Small Business Administration (SBA), which Obama has asked Congress to make a permanent Cabinet level agency.  Rather than controlling costs, Obama has done a smoke-and-mirrors with the numbers, by hiding standard expenses as off-balance sheet items.

Americans know the dangers of off-balance sheet accounting shenanigans.  But, the Obama Administration is hoping that few members of congress, and even fewer Americans, are familiar with the specifics of some of less publicized line items proposed and won’t notice when expenses go missing.

The only problem with Obama’s bold and improper scheme is that agencies are not supposed to spend money that congress hasn't allocated.  So, for example, the SBA's disingenuous representation that it will not be requiring any fund to cover Disaster Loans in FY 2013 (which begins in October 2012—hurricaine season), when for the past several years, the SBA has consistently required at least a $100 Million dollars to cover its needs in this area, is extremely troubling. 

If SBA made this smoke-and-mirrors decision, then the SBA is being dishonest in its representation to OMB (Office of Management and Budget), which means that the OBM is being dishonest in its representation to EOP (Executive Office of the President,) which means that the President is being dishonest when he submits these figures to congress.

What Americans are seeing is fraud and lies compounded upon more fraud and lies-- and all done, seemingly without a qualm, to advance left wing ideologies and maintain the deception. 

Obama has put congress in a difficult situation. Congress cannot have an honest discussion, or even an honest disagreement, about changes that should or should not be made, or funds that should or should not be spent, because of the sheer illegality of many of the line items in the Obama Administration's FY13 budget proposal.

When the Obama Administration submitted its FY13 budget to congress, ignoring runaway entitlement spending, faking “spending cuts”, and once again depending upon another $1 trillion in borrowings to pay for fads and dodgy ambitions, the fraud continues.



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