Once again Barack Obama has signaled through his actions that he believes himself some kind of king—in a nation that threw out kings. Go figure—but he’s getting away with it again.
One law for the peasants and a different interpretation for the political class: this what monarchs did for favored courtiers but it has no place in America.
By amendment to the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (yeah, right) Congress voted itself into ObamaCare because the optics of doing otherwise would have lost votes needed for passage.
The reasoning, stated on the floor of the Senate by Chuck Grassley of Iowa, was that if the law was good enough for the people, it was good enough for Congress. No one had the brazenness to argue against this line of thought.
But like millions of other citizens, Congress has discovered that ObamaCare will cost both the politicians and their staff a lot of money. So here comes Obama, always ready with a Chicago-style bribe to grease the works, with a wholly illegal exemption for the politicians who forced the law on us.
The Office of Personnel Management has written a rule (yes, it was just that easy for this Administration) that simply ignores the law. Both Senators and Representatives will get subsidized to enroll in healthcare exchanges although, under the law, their salaries ($174,000 a year) make them ineligible for subsidies.
Their staff will also take an average of more than $10,000 taxpayer provided subsidies for participating. These will be, unlike every other company or citizen, considered tax free contributions beyond the reach of the IRS.
An additional “sweetener” lets each Congressional office pick which staff can be entirely exempted from ObamaCare. We should have it so good.
Already exempted from the law are the President, the Vice-President, the cabinet, Congressional leadership (like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) and insultingly—the committee staff members who wrote the law.
This shameful double-standard should be embarrassing to the White House and Congress but they have no shame. Instead, they have doubled-down on such corruption with this latest rule.
That’s why Senator David Vitter has legislation introduced that would not only undo the bribe but require all those politicians, previously exempted, to come under this nasty, destructive law themselves.
Instead of insulating lawmakers from the laws they force on us, Vitter’s legislation would make sure that they feel the same pain we do. Harry Reid has attacked Vitter for his presumption and both Republicans and Democrats are scrambling behind the scenes to protect their own hides from ObamaCare costs.
It is hard not to conclude that we, the people, are in their eyes merely the sheep who can be ever more closely sheared as the hogs feast on privilege and perks. This is the rise of the ruling class in a nation designed by our Founding Fathers to be without royalty or class.
We have already delivered 1.6 million petitions to repeal ObamaCare because it is a disaster working to undo both the healthcare system and our economy. Now our voices must also take on the self-interest of Republican legislators.
ObamaCare is as big as the income tax and as full of unintended consequences that we will suffer from now on unless we win repeal, defunding or even a one year delay. The House has the lever to make these things happen with “must pass” legislation like the debt ceiling authorization that is coming up. This presidential bribe is designed to buy them off and remove them from a personal motivation to avoid ObamaCare.
If they want out they can repeal ObamaCare. But first we must hold their feet to the fire of the law they rammed down our throats and accept the truth that in America they are not royalty above the law.
Ken Hoagland is the founder of a citizen advocacy group called “Restore America’s Voice”. They use citizen pressure to insist on “consent of the governed” on public policies that are too frequently in the interest of politicians but against the common interests of the people. They can be found atwww.RestoreAmericasVoice.org and on Facebook as Repeal-It-Now.