Long ago … you know, the week before last, King-O ruled by Executive Order that Illegal “dreamers” wouldn’t be deported (though the law says they should be), that illegals ID’ed in Arizona won’t be processed by Feds (though the law says that they should be), etc.
Setting the politics aside, the legal justification is called “prosecutorial discretion”.
That means that not all laws are to be enforced … only those that the executive branch of government judges to be worthy of enforcement.
While Dems are cheering Obama’s “bold stroke”, I’m betting they’ll rue the day.
Let me give you a couple of examples why …
The Individual Mandate
OK, un-conservative Chief Justice Roberts ruled that the penalty — err, “tax” — is constitutional and has the force of law.
Fast forward to January 2013 … and, imagine a President Romney.
Now, imagine a President Romney issuing an Executive Order to the IRS that they should not enforce ObamaCare’s individual mandate.
Better yet, imagine him reversing the executive action to add 16,000 IRS agents to enforce the individual mandate … or for that matter, any ObamaCare provisions, say the 3.8% surcharge tax on investment income.
Boom. Gone !
“Prosecutorial discretion” in action.
Think Dems will refer to it as Romney’s bold stroke?
* * * * *
Taxes on Dividend Income
For decades — maybe centuries — economists have argued against the double taxation of dividends … once at the corporate level, once at the individual level.
What if President Romney declares — by Executive Order — that the IRS should stop collecting taxes on dividend income and stop chasing down folks who don’t pay the taxes voluntarily. So what if the law is on the books?
No Congressional action required.
Just garden variety prosecutorial discretion.
* * * * *
I bet you get the picture …
My instincts tell me that the principle of the executive branch cheery-picking the laws it likes isn’t a long-term winner.
As old Rev. Wright would say: “The chickens will come home to roost on this one.