On Saturday, President Trump signed several executive orders to push along Coronavirus relief efforts. According to USA today, the orders include an additional $400 of weekly unemployment benefits, suspend student loan payments, help protect renters from eviction, and defers payroll taxes. With the unemployment payments of $600 per week set to expire this month, this order extended the deadline and pushed it down to $400 dollars from $600. The order extends bans on late fees and eviction filings that expired July 25th. Student loan payments will be suspended until further notice, mostly due to some colleges not opening but still requiring large payments. The biggest part of this is the payroll tax cut, which will ultimately give more money to American workers during this time, and will help businesses get back their feet. Now, there are two questions that come out of this. Is it constitutionally legal? And is it politically smart? Let us start with the constitutional question.
The number one question that should always come up with any kind of legislation or executive order is passed, is if it is constitutional or not. The reason for this is because it prevents these branches of government from exceeding their constitutional authority. Over the years of course, this idea has basically gone out the window. Obama, throughout his presidency, signed executive order after executive order that were way over the boundaries of his constitutional authority. Now that Trump has signed these 4 executive orders, we should look at the constitutional legality of it. Regarding student loans, the President does have legal authority it, thanks to an existing law on the books. However, overall, the orders seems, to me, to be unconstitutional. Tax cuts, unemployment benefits, all of these fall under the authority of the legislative branch. The president should not have the power to override the power of the legislative branch. The original intent of executive orders was to enforce laws that have already been passed. No where in the constitution does it say that the President can unilaterally change the law or make law. So, constitutionally, this is not a good thing for the president to do. Politically, on the other hand, it is very smart. For weeks, Democrats have stopped every sort of legislation for Coronavirus relief. Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly blocked members of congress from even having debates of it. The reason for this is so that Nancy Pelosi can use it as a political tool against Republicans. She will say that democrats did everything they but those evil Republicans blocked the relief because they want people to suffer. This is basically what she hoping for. Trump saw what she was doing, and took advantage of it. In response, democrats went nuts over it.
Joe Biden, the democratic presidential candidate, said that the executive order was “a war on social security”. The claim comes from the payroll tax cut the president issued. Biden claims that this will stop social security benefits from being payed, which is absurd. If there is one area that will be protected, it is social security. This just reveals the current problem with social security, but that’s a topic for another day. One claim that democrats and the media are is that it is constitutionally illegal. This is something I agree with, but coming from them, it is quite hilarious. So there is a piece in The Washington Post about this. Here is what it says.
President Trump on Saturday attempted to bypass Congress and make dramatic changes to tax and spending policy, signing executive actions that challenge the boundaries of power that separate the White House and Capitol Hill.
At a news event in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said the actions would provide economic relief to millions of Americans by deferring taxes and, he said, providing temporary unemployment benefits. The measures would attempt to wrest away some of Congress’s most fundamental, constitutionally mandated powers — tax and spending policy. Trump acknowledged that some of the actions could be challenged in court but indicated he would persevere.
“These policy announcements provide little real help to families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement following the executive actions. “Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.” They pointed out that Trump’s housing plan “provides no assistance to help pay the rent.”
Some experts have said the president has no legal basis to unilaterally extend unemployment benefits. The president on Saturday told reporters, “We have a lot of money that was unspent,” referring to the Cares Act.
Again, this is something I agree with. However, this is the same media who cheered Obama’s DACA executive order, which was obviously constitutionally illegal by all measures. These are the same people who say that the constitution is a racist document meant to protect slave owners. So they have no leg to stand on when it comes to constitutional law. Again, this very smart politically. The reason for this is because while Trump is trying to help Americans, the democrats are angry that he had the audacity to do so. They have lost their minds over this. Never mind the fact that if Obama had done this, they would have cheered it. The dirty little secret is that democrats wanted the economy to fail specifically so they can win an election, which is disgusting. This ultimately makes the democrats look awful to the American people.
If President Trump continues a long like this, he will likely win reelection. The gap in the polls between him and Biden have begun to close pretty dramatically. Now, if he can somehow discipline himself, then he will be nearly unstoppable in the election.