President Obama and the Tax Code

Josh Ernest announced Monday, “The president certainly has not indicated any reticence about using his executive authority to try to advance an agenda that benefits middle-class Americans” he then went on to say “This is related to the president’s ability to use his executive authority to do what he thinks is the right thing for the country. The fact is, we haven’t seen a lot of efficient production out of Congress over the last couple of months.” No Mr. Ernest the fact is that President Obama does not have the power to just act unilaterally without the authorization of congress. He can’t just decide that congress has failed, so he will do what he wants. He does not have that power.

I have read Article II of the United States Constitution Article II, for those of you who are unaware (Mr. President you might want to pay attention), outlines the powers of the Executive office. Weirdly nowhere in those powers was there anything about the President being able to change laws, on his own.I then read the amendments made to the Constitutions, and what I found was interesting.The 16th Amendment ratified on February 3, 1913 states,

“The Congress shall have power to la and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

I do not see anywhere in that amendment where the President was given power to change the tax code. The executive was not even mentioned.  Actually it very much sounds as though the Executive Branch has nothing to do with determining the tax rates. It sounds as though congress does. The President’s only real way of changing the rates would be to veto legislation from congress sent to his desk. So in fact Mr. Ernest President Obama does not have the power to change the tax code by himself. He does not have the power to close loopholes on his own, he cannot just wave his magic wand and tax people into oblivion. He cannot use the tax code as a weapon against his political enemy. He cannot punish people with the tax code.

The tax code does need to be reformed, the problem is though that President Obama does not want reform. When President Obama says “tax reform” what he means is increasing taxes. He wants more taxes, he wants people to have to pay more towards the government.  He wants to level the playing field by crushing those on top, and leaving the poor begging for scraps.

There is no chance for Tax Reform under President Obama because he will not compromise, he will not act within the confines of the law.  He will not compromise his radical agenda, for the benefit of the American People.


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