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June 6th, 2011

When In the Course of Human Events

By Betsy McCaughey

Home prices have sunk to 2002 levels,gas prices are up  52% from two years ago, and unemployment hit 9.1% in the latest jobs report. If these dismal conditions persist, Iowa  caucus goers will make the economy their top issue when they vet the presidential candidates, pundits predict.

But there is something bigger at stake in the coming election — freedom.   We the people are less free than we were just three years ago. President Barack Obama is turning the rule of law into rule by waivers and cronyism. He is attacking our right to engage in political activity without fear of punishment.  He is evading the constitutional limits on presidential power.   And he is pushing federal spending to  such an unprecedented level that Americans toil to support government programs rather than their own families.

The United States has endured hard times, even a Great Depression. Past presidents have pursued destructive economic policies, yet the nation survived.  Protecting our personal liberties is a higher priority, because once lost they cannot be recovered. Iowa caucus goers and all Americans must choose a president who  understands and reveres  the U.S. Constitution.

To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence, the history of President Obama is the history of a long train of  abuses and usurpations.  Let these facts be submitted to a candid electorate:.

He issued a draft Executive Order in April compelling federal agencies to collect information from businesses and individuals about their corporate and personal  campaign contributions  before they can be awarded a federal contract.  The president’s proposal  will have a chilling effect on First Amendment freedoms and threaten the livelihoods of   critics.  On April 27th, 27 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the White House asking for an explanation. The president failed to respond.

He  granted 1,372 waivers exempting certain  businesses and unions from obeying the Obama health law, though the rest of us must comply.  According to the administration’s Department of Health and Human Services website, the waivers are granted “on a case by case basis.” The power to grant a waiver is the power to withhold it and destroy a business. No one should have to slither to the White House for an exemption.

He has continued to engage in war making  in Libya without obtaining Congressional authorization, though  the 1973 War Powers Resolution required him to do so before a May 20 deadline. Shockingly, the president has stonewalled requests from Congress for his administration to provide information on the war.

He rammed through a recess appointment of Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, avoiding the Senate’s advice and consent as  required under the U.S. Constitution.  Finance Committee Chairman Senator Max Baucus, a member of the president’s own party, deplored how the president denied senators the chance to have their questions answered.

He has pushed federal spending so high that Americans  toil not for themselves and their families, but to support government programs.  For the entire decade from 1996 through 2007, federal spending never exceeded 19% of GDP. By the second year of the Obama administration, it had soared to 25% of GDP. Add in state and local government spending and government programs now consume 42% of everything we all produce going to work every day.  Only once before in American history did government consume so much of the fruits of our labor  – during World War II when we were fighting for our survival. Nothing now justifies  expropriating such a large share of our productivity. The more government spends, the less we have to spend on our families and the fewer choices we have. That means less freedom.

When in the course of human events, . . . I think you know the rest.

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About the Author

Betsy McCaughey
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., is a patient advocate and former Lt. Governor of New York State. She is a regular contributor to

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