President Claims Court Ruling Against Health Care Law Would Be Unprecedented
In an effort to try to nudge the Supreme Court toward a favorable decision on his signature legislative accomplishment, President Obama argued that overturning the Affordable Care Act would be “unprecedented.”
“Both Congress and the Executive have already assessed the constitutionality of this law,” Obama asserted. “We wouldn't have approved it if it were unconstitutional.”
The President said that “the fact that two branches of the government have already come down on the side of the law's constitutionality should be enough. Frankly, I'm surprised that the Court is even bothering to take up the issue. In a best-out-of-three play-off they don't play the third game if one side has won the first two. In fact, to have a situation where one branch can overrule the other two would be unprecedented.”
Obama discounted the Republicans' citation of 150 previous instances in which the Court had overruled Acts of Congress. “Those were all before the Roosevelt era when the Court finally realized that its attempts to limit the power of the government to act for the general welfare were mistaken,” he said. “Since that time the practice has been for the Court to defer to the other branches except in cases like Roe vs. Wade where the other branches have failed to enact the appropriate laws.”
In related news, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that “We've become accustomed to letting the Court have the last word on the Constitutionality of our laws. However, there is no language in the Constitution that expressly grants the Court the authority to negate an Act of Congress. Neither is there any language requiring the Executive to abide by what the Court says. So, an unfavorable ruling doesn't mean 'game over.'”
President Illuminates Philosophies of Government
Gearing up for what promises to be a difficult campaign, President Obama laid into his critics saying “they want you to be on your own.” He contrasted this “social darwinism” approach to his “on us” philosophy.
“The idea that Americans want to be left alone to pursue happiness on their own is clearly out-of-step with the way most Americans think,” Obama maintained. “People only go to work because they have to, not because they want to. When they're on the job they're watching the clock waiting for the workday to end. They look forward to the weekend, not the workweek. So my opponents' promise of more opportunity to earn a good life through hard work misses the boat.”
The President pointed to statistics indicating that the percentage of adults in the US workforce is the lowest it has been in decades as evidence that “the difficult transition to a leisure-based society is making headway. Under my leadership millions have been able to drop out of the workforce. These people now have more time to spend with their families, enjoy hobbies, watch TV, or do the many things they previously had to forgo because they had to get to a job and punch a time clock.”
“The choice for voters this Fall will be whether they want to continue on the path I've laid out over the last three years or whether they want to turn back toward the dismal life of toil that my opponents offer,” Obama said. “The GOP says 'you're on your own.' The Democratic Party says why struggle to pursue happiness. Let it be 'on us.' I'm confident that only a fool would choose to pay his own way when he could vote to live off another.”
Treasury Says Deficits Mustn't Be Allowed to Slow Spending
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner argued against letting fears of ballooning federal government deficits interfere with increased government spending.
“The federal government's debt and deficit are no big deal,” Geithner insisted. “It's not like personal or corporate debt or fiscal shortfalls. It can be canceled at any time. Look, the government makes the laws. It can easily make a law absolving itself from the responsibility to repay borrowed money if it has to.”
Geithner hastened to clarify that he was “not advocating such a law at this time, but the power is there if we need it. I don't think we will need it because the Federal Reserve has the authority to create as much money as it wants to. We owe $16 trillion. The Fed can create $16 trillion—problem solved.”
A bigger worry as Geithner sees it is that “government won't have sufficient funds to invest if we don't provide more stimulus spending. A key to sustaining support for the Administration is a generous supply of cash to distribute ahead of the November balloting. As Franklin Roosevelt demonstrated in winning three reelection campaigns, getting money into the right hands helps secure the votes the incumbent needs to retain his office.”
Left-wing economist Paul Krugman backed Geithner's stance saying that “maintaining the flow of cash from the government is crucial. Congress should appropriate the funds and not worry about where the money will come from. In turn, the Fed should create as much new money as is needed to fund these outlays and not concern itself with the inflationary consequences. In fact, inflation works to the government's benefit by allowing it to repay debt with cheaper dollars.”
Obama Critiques Media Bias
President Obama told journalists that their effort to give both sides of a story conveys unwarranted credibility to his opponents.
“Reporters may think it's fair or balanced to juxtapose contending views on controversial issues,” the President lectured. “This creates an impression that there might be merit on both sides. But must wrong be given a platform to contend with right? Must sin be given a voice to counterbalance virtue?”
The President urged media representatives to “not shy away from your duty to report the truth nor dilute it with a dollop of lies just to attain an appearance of unbiased treatment. Truth should be allowed to stand on its own.”
“The fact of the matter is, if they were alive today both Roosevelt and Reagan would be supporting my reelection,” Obama contended. “I am the perfect blend of FDR's compassion for the forgotten man and Reagan's optimism for the future. This is what journalists should be writing in their coverage of the campaign.”
New Jobless Claims Understated 56 of Last 57 Weeks
Given the difficulty of estimating economic data it is common practice for government agencies to announce a preliminary number subject to later revision. Under the law of averages, estimates should balance out between being higher or lower than later revisions. Amazingly, though, the Obama Department of Labor's preliminary estimates of new jobless claims have been lower than later revisions in 56 of the last 57 weeks. The odds of this happening by chance are infinitesimal.
This oddity was explained by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. “We feel it is better to err on the side of optimism,” she said. “The preliminary estimate is widely reported. The subsequent revisions are rarely noticed. By adding a bit of sheen to the preliminary estimate we feel we are helping to boost morale. We believe that good morale is an important building block for positive change.”
“Making the economy look better will make people feel better,” Solis went on. “If people feel better they are more likely to support the policies of the Administration, which we feel is crucial if we are to be given the opportunity to continue on the path laid out by the President for another four years.”
Democrats Deride Ryan Budget
Wisconsin's Republican Representative Paul Ryan's effort to put the federal government budget on a track to balance in the next decade was widely criticized by Democrats.
“This budget is not a statement of our national values,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “It represents a bleak future for America,” said Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md). “It is antithetical to our entire history,” said President Obama.
Statistical analysis reveals that Ryan's budget spends 46% more in inflation-adjusted dollars than Democratic President Bill Clinton's last budget. It also would put federal spending at 22.2% of gross domestic output vs. the Clinton budget's 18.2%.
Unfazed, Pelosi pointed out that “Ryan's budget still would deny the federal government access to nearly 78% of the nation's wealth. Too much of our resources would be left in private hands. It's just another cynical ploy aimed at blocking the President's program of hope and change.”
Hoyer seconded Pelosi's lament alleging that “It would starve the government of the funds it needs to transform our society. In many European countries the government's share of the output is well over 50%. Under Ryan's plan we wouldn't even reach half that amount.”
“America has been on a march from selfish individualism toward collective solidarity for over 200 years,” Obama contended. “I have set steps in motion that would serve to accelerate the pace of this march. In this regard, Ryan's proposal that we slow down would needlessly condemn yet another generation to alienating individualism. I say the suffering has already gone on way too long.”