Has President Obama abused his Power by Vetoing a Bill passed by both Houses of Congress?

On another forum, there was an allegation that President Obama abused his power when he vetoed the Bill that both Houses of Congress recently passed to eliminate what’s known as Obamacare, the national health care plan called The Affordable Care Act.

The allegation said, “Why should Congress make the effort to pass bills only to have them vetoed by the President? To say that this has been a ‘do nothing’ Congress is to ignore the fact that there hasn’t been anything they could do consistent with their beliefs and the beliefs of the people who elected them. If they did so, they would be betraying the trust of the voters.”

But the Framers of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, gave every President of the United States the power to veto Bills passed by Congress and prevent the legislative branch from becoming too powerful. This is an illustration of the separation of powers integral to the U.S. Constitution.

While the word “veto” does not appear in the Constitution the power of the President to refuse to sign legislation is clearly outlined in the Constitution:

“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.” –  U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, clause 2

Note, Article I was not added to the U.S. Constitution by an Amendment. Therefore the veto power of a U.S. President comes from the Founding Fathers as another method to control the abuse of power by another branch of the Federal government.

Therefore, President Obama has not abused his veto power. In fact, he has only used his Constitutional veto power 8 times and none were overridden with a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress as the U.S. Constitution spells out in detail.

In fact, G. W. Bush used his Constitutional veto power 12 times and 4 were overridden by both Houses of Congress.

President Bill Clinton used his veto power 37 times and 2 were overridden by Congress.

H. W. Bush used his Presidential veto power as written in the U.S. Constitutions by the Founding fathers 44 times and only 1 was overridden.

Ronald Reagan used his veto power 78 times and had 9 overridden by Congress.

In total, there have been 2,570 vetoes by U.S. Presidents and only 110 were overridden by Congress. There have only been six presidents who never used their veto power. Do you know who they were, and who used the Presidential veto the most?

Here’s the link to the list of Presidential vetoes all the way back to George Washington, who used his Constitutional veto power 2 times. If you are curious to discover if Congress overrode Washington’s 2 vetoes, you’ll have to click the link and scroll to the bottom of the list that is found on the U.S. Senate’s website.

If you are reading this Blog post and have read or heard that President Obama abused his power by using the presidential veto as it is spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, then whatever source you got this idea from is a liar and a fraud and cannot be trusted—ever.

Never forget what Abraham Lincoln, who used his veto power 7 times, said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Several presidents before Obama failed to get a national health care plan through Congress: for instance, Truman, Nixon, Carter and Clinton.

Do you remember the original question in the 2nd paragraph of this post: “Why should Congress make the effort to pass bills only to have them vetoed by the President?”

Well, since Obama has been President, Congress has enacted 1,080 laws and Obama vetoed EIGHT, less than one percent. – govtrack.us

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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Who do Americans trust and why we should elect a nurse for President

Conservatives—studies show they are better organized than liberals—are great at spreading cherry-picked facts (better known as propaganda, lies and misinformation) to fool and confuse America, and I read an example of this recently. I wasn’t sure it was an example until I did some Google digging.

Newsmax.com (March 23, 2014) reported a Fox News Poll that claimed President Obama’s Approval Ratings Keep Sliding. “The Fox poll shows 54% of Americans disapprove of how he has done his job.” Reverse that and he enjoys a 46% approval rating.

But what happens when we compare President Obama’s approval rating with others. For instance, the Republican Party.

Examiner.com reported in January 2014 that “According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 80 percent of Americans don’t trust the Republican Party.”

Wow, does that mean only 20% trust them—less than half Obama’s trust factor?

I wonder why neoconservative Rupert Murdock’s Fox News didn’t report that fact.

Did you know that the Libertarian Koch brothers are spending tens of millions to influence the 2014 Congressional elections? Probably not, but they are. You may want to read “Covert Operations” published in The New Yorker to discover just who these billionaire brothers are and how they are subverting democracy and don’t forget, they are libertarians.

The New Yorker says: The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.” In addition, “Koch Industries (is) one of the top ten air polluters in the United States.”

Do you trust the Koch brothers now?

Then I wanted to know how many American’s trust libertarians—after all the Koch brothers are the wealthiest, most powerful libertarians in America—according to Politico.com on September 11, 2013, “The poll surveyed all voters, not just those on the right, and overall 27 percent said they didn’t know enough to offer an opinion of libertarianism. About 40 percent of 18-to-32-year-olds view the word ‘libertarian’ favorably, although about a third don’t know what it means.” Having 60% of Americans either ignorant of what libertarianism means or against it still isn’t as good as the 46% who trust President Obama.

What about the tea party movement? After all, they are very loud. DailyKos.com says, “Americans still wouldn’t trust them with scissors.” A recent Bloomberg National Poll asked “Do you consider yourself a supporter of the Tea Party Movement?” Only 24% said yes and 66% said no. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll had the same results.

The Democrats don’t do much better with 72% of Americans lacking confidence in them—doesn’t say anything about not trusting them, just a lack of confidence. However, according to Politicususa.com, “Americans View Democrats as More Ethical and Honest. … Despite spending years attacking the character of President Obama and the Democrats, a new Pew Research Center survey found that the American people trust Democrats more than Republicans 41% to 31%.”

Is there anyone Americans trust more than Obama? Gallup answered that question with a December 17, 2013 poll. I think that’s recent enough to still be trusted.

Eighty-two percent of Americans trust Nurses and 70% grade school teachers. At the bottom are political lobbyists at 6% and members of Congress at 8%. Even newspaper reporters were trusted by only 21%. In fact, 34% think the wealthy are less honest.

I then wondered why a nurse or grade school teacher hasn’t run for president. But since we don’t have a nurse or grade school teacher as President, I guess we’ll just have to live with President Obama who does a whole lot better with the trust factor than everyone who’s badmouthing him in the media—like neoconservative Rupert Murdock’s Fox News and all those negative political ads the infamous libertarian Koch brothers are paying for to make democrats running for reelection look bad so Americans lose trust in them and vote for a Republican instead.

Since I was a teacher for thirty years and taught mostly 7th, 8th and 9th grades, I wanted to know what Americans thought about all public school teachers, not just grade school teachers. The Christian Science Monitor reported last August 2013 that “Americans remain largely critical of the US education system as a whole, but parents, especially, are increasingly pleased with their neighborhood schools and more displeased (unhappy) with the rising use of standardized, multiple choice tests to evaluate, and potentially punish, teachers, a new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll suggests.” And “72 percent of respondents say they trust the men and women who are ‘teaching children in the public schools.’”

Maybe a nurse should run for president and a teacher for vice president. In fact, let’s fire Congress and fill those seats with nurses and public school teachers and let them run the country. In the meantime, President Obama still has the highest approval rating compared to both parties, Congress, the tea party people, the media, neoconservatives and libertarians. Do you think we can trust the media to report that?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy. He was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975 – 2005)

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 1 of 3

The Republican Party—known as the GOP or the Grand Old Party—was founded on February 28, 1854, when Alvan E. Bovay called an anti-slavery meeting at the Congregational Church in Ripon, Wisconsin. Abraham Lincoln was the GOP’s first elected U.S. President.

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

That leads me to this question: why is it so easy for the GOP—or Democrats for that matter—to fool some of the people all of the time, and why am I asking this question?

Let me explain, and I hope that I don’t lose the thirty-second people who make up the average readers surfing the Internet.  Short attention spans and poor reading skills often don’t make for educated people and ignorant people are easy to fool.

I left a comment for an ABC-Yahoo! News piece about the US National Debt and the Deficit. Many of the comments blamed Obama for the increased National Debt. Anyone who disagreed was voted down by a large margin.

President G. W. Bush’s 2009 budget—the last budget he submitted to Congress—left the national debt at $12,311,349,677,612 [that’s more than $12.3 Trillion].

Near the end of Obama’s first term in office in December 2012, the debt had reached $16.4 Trillion, and conservative-media critics and tea-party politicians blamed Obama for the increase—in thirty seconds or less, I’m sure—and in my comment, I explained—until I ran out of room—why President Obama could not be held responsible for most of what has been added to the debt since he has been President.

Then an anonymous person left a comment and accused me of lying and this anonymous person left no evidence to support that accusation. I did not lie and the facts—when one spends the time to understand them—also do not lie.


Mandatory and Discretionary Spending Explained

All I did was explain—probably in too much detail for the average 30-second fool—that the annual-federal budget had two parts: 1. mandatory and 2. discretionary spending.  According to NationalPriorites.org, 62% of the annual budget is mandatory and only an act of Congress can change this portion of the budget. When I say mandatory, I’m talking about programs like Social Security that’s been around since 1935 and Medicare since the early 1960s. Without approval from Congress, the president cannot change the way these programs are funded, because they are on automatic pilot. If you want to discover more about mandatory spending in the U.S. Federal Budget, you can find it here at cbo.gov

It is Discretionary spending that funds the departments and agencies of the federal government and here is where the President has some input, but he still needs approval from Congress. He can’t force Congress to approve the budget.

For example, the Department of Defense [DOD] gets 57% of discretionary spending [in 2011, President Obama proposed $549.1 billion to fund the DOD, but Congress only approved $530.8 billion]; the Department of Education received 3% of discretionary spending; Department of Labor 2%; Department of Transportation 2%, etc.

Discretionary spending may be increased or decreased on an annual basis by Congress. In other words, what will it cost for each agency to operate for another year to fulfill that department or agencies duties according to laws that were passed by Congress?

There is one department that has both mandatory and discretionary spending. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1778, and for 2013, 54.4% of its budget [$76.3 Billion] was considered mandatory and could not be touched. Therefore, the President can only submit the VA’s discretionary budget of $64 Billion to Congress for approval.

This paragraph offers an example of the challenge that comes with cutting federal budgets: VA Medical Programs make up 87.9% of the Discretionary Budget for the VA—programs that are in place because they were promised to military veterans who fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, The Iraq War and Afghan War. Millions of troops who fought for their country—for you—have service-related disabilities that need medical care, and each year the cost of this medical care increases requiring the President—no matter who he or she is—to request more money to fund this program.  Source: va.gov

And some fools blame the president for increasing spending for the VA and other departments. Do you want to refuse medical care for the troops who fought in America’s war—the troops who defended this nation; who defended you?

As you might now understand—I hope—based on the needs of the federal agencies and departments, the president’s budget proposal projects estimated spending, revenue, and borrowing levels for the coming fiscal year starting each October 1. The president’s budget proposal serves as a starting point for Congress to consider, and Congress is under no obligation to adopt all or any of the President’s budget and—historically—often makes significant changes.

And deficit spending happens when tax revenues do not cover mandatory and discretionary spending. If the law didn’t allow the federal government to borrow money, one of four things might happen: 1. The Congress drastically raises taxes; 2. The Congress drastically cuts funds to federal departments and agencies like the DOD ending the ability of the U.S. to defend itself; 3. The Congress raises both taxes and cuts funds to some agencies and departments to find a balance if possible, or 4. the government goes bankrupt, shuts down and the United States collapses as a civilization erupting into anarchy, chaos and violence.

Maybe China would send troops to the United States to restore order, because after the West collapsed financially, China might be the only country left that could afford to do that.

Continued on November 15, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Malarkey for the third Presidential Debate of 2012

Once again, I turned to Fact Check.org to compile a score and discover the candidate who spouted the most malarkey and the winner (or should I say loser) was Romney. However, this time it was by a slim margin: Romney’s malarkey score 55.5% to Obama’s 44.4%.

Over the years as GOP candidates have continued to win the political malarkey competition, I’ve often wondered when the Democrats were going to wake up and learn to fight fire with fire. The turning point may have been in the third presidential debate as you will learn.

As always, I urge you to read the cited details on Fact Check.org.


The full transcript of the third presidential debate.

Romney:

1. It is not technically true that our “Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917″—a repeated claim made by Romney and Ryan during the VP debate.

2. Romney was wrong when he said Obama went on an apology tour of the Middle East and criticized America. The evidence clearly shows that Obama did not do this.

3. Romney claimed responsibility for the success of Massachusetts’ fourth and eighth graders who tested first in the nation in reading and math after he became governor. But that was wrong—Massachusetts students had tested at the top or near it before Romney took office.

4. Romney exaggerated the size of the federal debt held by the public and/or foreign countries such as China that he also mentioned in the second debate.

In fact, on April 10, 2012, foreign holdings of US Treasury Securities as of January 2012 increased to $5.048 Trillion (only 31.55%) with China reducing its share to $1.1595 Trillion (7.24%). The largest holders were the central banks of China, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Russia. In addition, the US government owes itself $4.6 Trillion (28.75%).  Source: Statistics Brain.com

5. Romney was wrong when he claimed that in the 2000 presidential debate there was no mention of terrorism, because Al Gore did make one mention of terrorism in the third debate with G. W. Bush on October 17, 2000.

6. I’m going to add number SIX because Fact Check.org missed this example of malarkey that they seem to have missed every time it has been used in every debate.

Even Obama seems to have missed this one.  Romney keeps saying that 23 million Americans are unemployed and looking for work. Twenty-three million is a huge exaggeration when the Bureau of Labor Statistic of the U.S. Department of Labor reported on October 5, 2012 that “The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September.” In addition, “the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) declined over the month.

“The unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians, at 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), fell over the year.” Source: bls.org

Even if we add in the 2.5 million persons that are not counted as unemployed because they did not look for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey, we still do not come up with 23 million.

And we could add the 802,000 discouraged workers that gave up because they believe no jobs are available for them and Romney’s continued claim of 23 million looking for work still doesn’t add up. If Romney included this number, he was wrong, because these people are not looking for work.

It is obvious to me that Romney’s repeated claim of 23 million unemployed is to mislead adult voters to believe the economic situation is much worse than it is—almost a hundred percent worse.

Obama:

1. Obama claimed that during the 2008 campaign Romney said “we should ask Pakistan for permission” before going into that country to kill or capture terrorists. That was not true.

2. Obama went too far when he accused Romney of not telling the truth about Obama’s position on leaving a residual force of U.S. troops in Iraq. Obama was partly correct but did not clarify the details of this disagreement.

3. Obama was wrong when he insisted over and over that Romney never advocated “help” or “government assistance” for automakers if they went through bankruptcy.

4. Obama claimed that Romney once called Russia, not al Qaeda, the “biggest geopolitical threat facing America.” This was wrong.  Romney said a Nuclear Iran was America’s greatest threat.

Conclusion: The final score, once my #6 was added, was 60% for Romney and 40% for Obama.

See the previous posts about the use of malarkey in the Presidential and VP debates:

Malarkey

The Malarkey Score for the 2nd Presidential Debate

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”