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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
August 15, 2013

Is Our President Turning America into a Second-World Nation?
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — In May of 2008, then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama said, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times, and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen."

At the time, his statement didn't receive much attention. His adoring political supporters thought such comments were nicely sentimental. Who, among those hearing Obama's statement, believed that he intended to actually reduce the American standard of living? Who even considered whether other countries approved of our standard of living?

Five years later and a year into his second term, America needs to think about the "musings" of its President. He really did mean what he said. Barack Obama has unilaterally declared war on America's standard of living; he has decided what he will allow Americans to have and not have. Any thoughts or arguments to the contrary will be difficult to support.

Americans' choices about the temperatures of our homes and cars, the style of cars we drive, and what we eat are now topics of the President's executive directives. And those executive directives are all aimed directly at imposing federal control over every aspect of our lives.

 

Americans' choices about the temperatures of our homes and cars, the style of cars we drive, and what we eat are now topics of the President's executive directives.

The President has repeatedly expressed his frustration with Congress' refusal to pass the legislation he wishes. On multiple occasions, he has stated that if Congress fails to enact his legislation, he will take matters into his own hands and go around Congress. In short, our President has ignored the Legislative branch and its constitutional authority and has ruled unilaterally. Such actions are many things, but democratic or constitutional they are not.

The most massive imposition of government into the lives of Americans -- the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) -- came into being through a political coup. Obama, joined by the House and Senate leadership, executed the complete takeover of the American health care system. Without a single elected representative having read, let alone debated, this health care takeover, America's once unique and incredibly effective private health care system, literally overnight, has come under the control of the federal bureaucracy.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now has complete control over health care, enforcing the requirement that every American be covered by it. The IRS also has unlimited control over every American's health care information. Failure to meet all of the dictates of federal health care directives will be met with fines and enforcement actions.

 

...health care services we will be allowed will be measured based on our diets, body mass index and other measures imposed by the federal bureaucracy.

In late June 2013, another executive branch coup took place. Obama directed executive agencies to initiate the dismantling of America's coal-fired electrical generation system. In keeping with his May 2008 promise, and ignoring Congress and the representative nature of America's once-democratic system, Obama is unilaterally shutting down conventional coal-fired plants. These plants provide the majority of America's electricity.

He argues that coal-fired electrical generation is causing global warming. Since America, he says, is the major cause of this warming, he is doing what Congress has not done. However, contrary to Obama's claim, there has been no global warming in more than 15 years. The scientific community is split as to whether or not coal- and oil-fired electrical generation cause "carbon pollution" that results in environmental harm.

 

Obama is unilaterally shutting down conventional coal-fired plants. These plants provide the majority of America's electricity.

   

In response, rather than to engage in debate and follow our legislative process, Obama blandly dismissed any further process, saying, "We're not going to convene a meeting of the Flat Earth Society."

As for his belief that Americans should not be able to eat as much as they want, he has unilaterally dictated the diets of children in public and private schools that receive federal food subsidies (a return of our own taxpayer dollars). Through the ACA's implementation regulations, the health care services we will be allowed will be measured based on our diets, body mass index, and other measures imposed by the federal bureaucracy. Our once-mighty health care system is well on its way to becoming an historical footnote, being replaced by a second-rate system of bureaucratic red-tape, compliance mandates, and decisions by bureaucrats rather than by health care professionals.

America's ride to second-world status, and soon third-world status, has left the station under full steam. Is anyone going to stop it?

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2013 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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