Nixon famously insisted that whatever the President does is legal, by definition. Nixon learned otherwise, but only because the media-government complex ousted him from office. Now with media liberal superstar Obama, all bets are off. As John Glaser writes,
“In case you’ve been asleep for the whole of Barack Obama’s first term, here’s one fundamental doctrine that has proven itself to guide his administration: if the President does it, it’s not illegal.”
One example of ignoring law can be seen in the proposed military budget. Obama has officially proposed a budget for what we call “defense.” Benjamin Friedman comments on it for the Cato Institute’s blog:
“That $640.5 billion includes $88.5 billion for war (a.k.a. overseas contingency operations), $526.6 for non-war spending in the Department of Defense, and another $25.4 billion spending outside DoD, mostly for nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, which officially counts as “national defense” or budget function 050 spending. Those spending levels ignore the budgetary cap set by law and the political reality it reflects. The $552 billion requested in 2014 for non-war “national defense” spending exceeds by $55 billion the spending cap set by the 2011 Budget Control Act, as amended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.”
Friedman doesn’t object too much to this process. He assumes that Congress is going to make cuts. I could understand that Obama would prefer to propose high and make the Republican-controlled Congress take responsibility for reducing the expenditures to what is possible.