The Corner

Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution

It is wearying to catalogue President Obama’s lawlessness – his systematic, blatant violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws (you know, those statutes that Congress writes) be faithfully executed. But this last Obamacare rewrite is especially worth noting.

I am not just talking about the president’s (latest) illegal waiver of the employer mandate, which yet again delays (this time, to 2016) the requirement that businesses with 50 to 99 employees must provide Obama-certified coverage or pay crushing fines – a desperate political calculation to accommodate Democrats who face angry voters this November. I am talking about the other bomb administration officials dropped in announcing this unconstitutional edict.

Obama’s central-command policies are inevitably crashing into each other. The waiver may provide some relief to endangered Democrats, but it also gives employers an incentive to lay off employees in order to get under 100 and qualify for the illegal waiver. So Obama has unilaterally legislated illegal conditions on the illegal waiver. To wit, employers will be required to certify to the IRS, under penalty of perjury, that the waiver was not a motivating factor in the company’s hiring and firing decisions. As Fox News’s Chris Stirewalt quips, “To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.”

So now Obama, like a standard-issue leftist dictator, is complementing lawlessness with socialist irrationality.

Think about how lunatic this is. There is nothing even faintly illegal about businesses’ – indeed, all economic actors’ – making financial decisions based on tax consequences. (And remember, notwithstanding Obama’s misrepresentations to the contrary, Obamacare mandates are taxes, as Obama’s Justice Department argued and as Chief Justice Roberts & Co. concluded.) The tax consequences of Obamacare are profound; that is precisely the reason that Obama is “waiving” them. No responsible officers in a corporation of relevant size would fail to take them into account in making the decision to staff at over or under 100 employees; in determining whether some full-time employees should be terminated or shifted to part-time; or in making any number of the decisions Obamacare’s mind-numbing complexity requires.

The officers’ responsibility is to the owners of the company, the shareholders. The business exists to create value, not to provide employment – employing workers is a function of the value added to the enterprise, not the need to create a more favorable election environment for the statist political party. Corporate officers who overlooked material tax consequences would be unfit to be corporate officers.

What is illegal and irrational is not a company’s commonsense deliberation over its costs, it is Obama’s edict. And look what attends this one: criminal prosecution if Obama’s Justice Department decides the business has falsely certified that its staffing decision was not motivated by Obamacare.

Think about that for a second. The waiver is illegal. It flouts the language of the Obamacare statute, under which the employer mandate is required already to have been implemented by now. There is nothing in the law that empowers Obama to waive the mandate, much less to attach lawless conditions to such a lawless waiver. A business that seeks the waiver and fails to pay the mandated tax (in lieu of providing the required coverage) is in violation of federal statutory law, regardless of its compliance with Obama’s outlaw edict. The payments required by the statute, after all, are owed to the public, not to Obama – he’s got no authority to deprive the government of these funds just because it would harm Democrats to collect them.

Yet, Obama proclaims his illegal waiver with impunity – Congress apparently unwilling to stop him. You, on the other hand, will be prosecuted for breaking the “law” if you do not comply to Obama’s satisfaction with the illegal and irrational condition he has unilaterally placed on his illegal waiver.

Got that?

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