Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obama Infects Federal
Work Forces With 'British Disease'

Editorial - January 29th, 2011 - Washington Examiner

Sadly, an executive order signed by President Obama in 2009 has injected a massive dose of the British disease into the daily operation of the federal government. Executive Order 13522 is innocuously titled "Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services." The reality is that the only thing improved will be the ability of federal employee union bosses to tell managers of government departments and agencies what they can and cannot do. What makes this an even more extraordinary turn of events, however, is the fact the Obama administration has empowered union bosses to exercise this new power behind closed doors without fear of exposure via the Freedom of Information Act.


According to a recently distributed guidance memorandum signed by Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients, federal managers must "allow pre-decisional involvement with unions in all workplace matters to the fullest extent practicable, without regard to whether those matters are negotiable subjects of bargaining."

In addition to exempting over 500 unions from ObamaCare, Barack Obama continues his practice of legislating by "executive order" to turn over political power to union bosses. This obscene practice of "executive order" legislation started under the premise that certain powers belonged to the executive branch and these powers were subject to such a Presidential ruling about how they would be enforced. Then lazy legislators decided to write into their laws, the delegation to the executive branch of the power to write rules to "flesh out their laws" and decide exactly what they meant.

Beyond his support for a vast expansion of the federal entitlements that are bankrupting our nation, George W. Bush pushed the envelope on use of "executive orders" to write such laws as he felt were needed in areas where neither power existed. Several of the early conservative legislators who broke with Bush did so over this abusive expansion of the executive branch power. It is clearly neither in furtherance of his constitutional powers nor in compliance with legislative granted powers. It was intolerable. However what most people noted during Bush's exercise of this power was that there was no effective way to reign in his abuse.

At least some of the Obama administration leadership noted this lack of an effective way to reign in this power. They have as a result used the expansion of this power more abusively than even Bush was guilty. In the situation addressed in this article, the pairing of a legislatively authorized new department with an "executive order" authorization to turn over its operation to union bosses is a perfect example of the outrageous trend Bush started. Those in the Republican Party who chastised Bush for his abuse of the process are looking much more prescient now. They predicted the risk to our freedoms that would come from abuse of this power. What is amazing is how little time it took for their predictions of doom to become reality.


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