Obama: ‘By Hook Or Crook,’ I’ll Expand Government

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama says he’s going to push the limits on presidential power as far as he can go during the last two years of his tenure.

“Where [elected Republicans in Congress] are not willing to work with us, we will do it administratively or we will convene the private sector,” he said in a friendly interview with The Huffington Post.

“By hook or by crook,” he added.

Obama said his big-government push would “make sure that when I leave this office, that the country is more prosperous, more people have opportunity, kids have a better education, we’re more competitive, climate change is being taken more seriously than it was, and we are actually trying to do something about it.”

In practice, Obama’s agenda includes more progressive control over peoples’ salaries, education practices and the energy companies. Each expansion means that state and local governments plus large and small companies will cooperate with regulators to push progressives’ goals, instead of trying to please Americans voters, taxpayers and free-market consumers.

Despite the huge victory delivered by GOP voters and swing voters in November, it is not clear if the GOP leaders can — are will even try — to block Obama’s plan.

The Constitution says the White House can only execute Congress’ laws, not rewrite them.

Obama’s supported by 46 senators, most of the established media, plus a progressive and ethnic coalition that comprises roughly 40 percent of the electorate.

On the other side, the GOP is split, and the mainstream media is relatively small.

Half the party consists of a small-government core that wants to curb progressives’ government-magnified power over Americans’ economic and social lives.

But the GOP leadership, plus a large chunk of legislators, most lobbyists and campaign donors, are reluctant to rally voters against Obama’s big-government agenda. Instead, they prefer to make deals that provide short-term economic benefits to business groups and to wealthy donors.

Since November, the divided GOP has failed to reduce Obama’s progressive power grabs in the health sector, the energy sector, the education sector, the Internet and the immigration system.

In many cases, judges and GOP governors are more effective in blocking Obama’s agenda.

For example, lawsuits by governors have already frozen Obama’s amnesty, and may force major changes in Obamacare. Also, Obama’s Internet takeover will be stopped or just slowed by disadvantaged companies, as will much of his energy takeover.

GOP leaders have repeatedly failed to stop Obama’s “by hook or crook” expansion of progressive power at the expense of the free-market and Americans’ freedoms.

In February, the GOP retreated on its effort to block an agency decision that would allow a federal agency to decide how much companies can charge for Internet services. That power ensures that Internet executives’ most important customers will now be federal regulators, not American Internet users.

Over the last year, the GOP leadership failed to block — or even fight — Obama’s November amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants.

The benefits that Obama wants to provide to the 5 million illegals include work-permits that let them compete for jobs held by Americans, plus future payments from the Social Security fund, tax rebates worth roughly $1.7 billion over 10 years, plus drivers’ licenses and a quick path to citizenship and the voting booth by 2024. The 5-decade cost of Obama’s amnesty could reach $1.3 billion.

In December, the GOP leadership let Obama fund his amnesty in exchange for new rules that allow Wall Street banks to get federal backing for risky economic bets.

In February and March, GOP leaders in the Senate and in the House allied with Democrats in Congress to overcome GOP opposition to the amnesty, by allowing Obama to use fees paid by illegals to fund his amnesty.

But the GOP leaders are sometimes willing to fight Obama and his progressives. In March, Sen. Mitch McConnell launched a far-reaching campaign to protect his home-state coal companies.

At other times, the GOP leaders are willing to fight the GOP’s small-government wing. In March, GOP leaders in the House negotiated with Democratic leaders to develop a health-sector spending plan that would deepen and expand government control over the health sector, and would also increase the national debt by roughly $400 billion.

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