A report from the American Action Forum shows that just nine Obama executive orders have cost the taxpayers $31 billion to implement.
Recall Obama's words to justify government by decree.
“‘I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone … I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball.’ That was President Obama in 2014 pledging to use executive action to implement his policy priorities,” writes Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute. “The American people elected Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate and President Obama responded through regulation, rather than working with Congress on legislation.”
AAF points out that the costs in regulations for these nine executive orders is a staggering $743 billion. But there are costs borne by the taxpayers, too:
The costliest executive action is creating a new repayment plan for student loans, totaling $15.4 billion. Delaying the employer health mandate under Obamacare cost taxpayers $12 billion, and changing cost sharing provisions for Obamacare insurers cost $3 billion.Executive orders mandating overtime for contractors cost $501 million, while the Labor Department’s overtime rule that goes into effect in December will bring $115 million in unfunded state costs.An executive order creating additional background checks for transferring firearms is costing $5.5 million. In all, the American Action Forum found $31.3 billion in costs from nine administrative actions.The over $30 billion price tag was not allocated through Congress, but through administrative maneuvering.“Regulatory action is often framed as a way to generate net benefits for the American people while carrying out the will of Congress,” Batkins said. “For as much as critics target some regulations for scrutiny, there is typically at least the appearance of congressional approval.”“For the actions discussed here, President Obama acted unilaterally without legislative approval to cement his policy vision,” he said. “There are regulatory costs for these rules, but taxpayers will also have to find $31 billion to cover this expensive vision.”
Most of these actions by Obama alter existing law and go against congressional intent. The clearest example of this is the delay in implementing the Obamacare employer mandate. Courts have given the executive branch wide leeway in deciding how to implement the law, making congressional action to stop the change in mandate and other actions difficult if not impossible.
What Obama and the Democrats don't realize is that they have established the precedent for the next president. Either Clinton or Trump will build on this legacy of executive orders that go around Congress to achieve a goal of the executive branch. And the Constitution will continue to be shredded, making a mockery of our democracy and Congress an irrelevancy.