April 19, 1999
Not only does President Clinton not feel any shame about his
impeachment; as he told Dan Rather recently, Clinton now feels stronger
than ever, able to ignore and override the U.S. Constitution by
exercising extraordinary new powers that no President has ever
exercised before. Rep. Jack Metcalf (R-WA) says that Clinton has "made
himself a super-legislator by issuing executive orders that require the
appropriation of funds."
Clinton's good friend and defender of Oval Office misdeeds, Paul
Begala, put it like this: "Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda
cool." No, it isn't cool; it's hot with disdain for the constitutional
rules that "all" legislative powers belong to Congress and "all bills
for raising revenues shall originate in the House."
Executive Orders (EO) originate with the constitutional text that
says the President shall "take care that the laws be faithfully
executed." However, "laws" must mean laws that are already passed, not
laws that the executive order purports to create.
Metcalf is trying to rein in Clinton's attempts to take over
powers that belong to Congress by introducing H.Con.Res. 30. It
provides that any executive order that "infringes on congressional
powers and duties," or requires spending federal funds "not
specifically appropriated for the purpose of the executive order,"
would be advisory only and have no effect.
Some of Clinton's executive orders (now up to 279, but others are
not numbered) are federal land grabs over property that belongs either
to the states or to private landowners. Land use and zoning are
quintessentially matters of state or local, not federal, jurisdiction.
By EO 13061, Clinton purported to give himself the power to take
over 10 rivers a year (later extended to 14), whose adjacent lands of
indeterminate size would be put under the control of Clinton-appointed
River Navigators, each with a salary of $100,000. Congress never
authorized this land grab or appropriated any money for it, so Clinton
says he will divert funds from 12 departments.
This Rivers EO takes governing authority away from states and
localities. It threatens private property rights guaranteed by the
Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
Clinton's surprise grab of 1.7 million acres of Utah land for a
national park in 1996 just happened to include a trillion dollars worth
of clean-burning, low-sulfur hard coal. Clinton's removal of this huge
natural resource from commercial availability tremendously enhanced the
value of the second largest source of environmentally-safe coal, which
just happens to be owned by Clinton's Indonesian friends the Riadys,
who gave millions of dollars to Clinton's presidential campaigns in
1992 and 1996.
For the Mexican and Brazilian bailouts, Clinton used executive
authority to raid a U.S. Treasury Department fund set up in the 1930s
for the specific purpose of being available to stabilize the U.S.
dollar. The President certainly was not authorized to give this money
to foreign governments so they could make their loan payments due to
Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's old firm, Goldman Sachs.
Clinton's EO 13107 on Implementation of Human Rights Treaties
tries to bypass the constitutional requirement that treaties, to be
valid, must be ratified by the Senate. By this EO, Clinton purports to
set up an apparatus to implement our alleged "obligations" under the UN
treaties on human rights "to which the United States is now or may
become a party in the future."
UN treaties that the Senate has refused to ratify, but would be
included in this EO, include one on economic rights (which refuses to
recognize private property rights), one on the rights of the child
(which would set up a global committee of "experts" to monitor
childrearing), and one on women (which would interfere with our social
relationships and textbooks).
Clinton's EO 12919 of June 3, 1994, entitled National Defense
Industrial Resources Preparedness, asserts plenary and dictatorial
authority over citizens, food, transportation, energy, health,
contracts, materials and resources, to be exercised by the National
Security Council and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Many
wonder if this EO's real purpose is to grab emergency powers if we are
bitten by the Y2K bug.
Clinton's EO 13083 on federalism, which was a transparent attempt
to rescind the Tenth Amendment, did give Congress a wake-up call.
After congressional protest, Clinton said he would suspend it, but it's
still viable and needs Metcalf's bill to make it inoperative.
Clinton has almost two more years as President. His unprecedented
grab for new powers by a blitz of executive orders is in awesome tandem
with his other power grabs through phony "peacekeeping" expeditions,
bombing of four sovereign countries, plans to create a "Homelands
Defense Command" to use the Army for domestic law enforcement,
monitoring of our bank accounts, and databasing of our health records.
Congress and the American people must call a halt to Clinton's
assault on our separation-of-powers form of government. James Madison
called the accumulation of executive and legislative powers in the same
branch "the very definition of tyranny."