Thursday, July 29, 2010

The farmer in the dell, The farmer in the dell, Hi-ho, the derry-o, Your Country's going to hell

The followingt from Maggies Notebook

White House Budget $1.5B for Farmers: What Budget? Does WH Have Spending Power?

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, has told Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) the White House will find $1.5 BILLION for farmers suffering from disasters across the country, including for her state of Arkansas, from the budget. What budget? We don't have a budget. He means from Obama's stash, which comes from only the Almighty knows where.
White House

Lincoln successfully got the $1.5 billion of agricultural disaster assistance in a bill designed to aid small businesses. Republican blocked the vote. But apparently Rahm will find it, and provide it through "administrative assistance" from Obama's stash? 

Emanuel called Lincoln on Thursday morning to tell her the administration would find $1.5 billion within its budget to help farmers in Arkansas and around the country who are coping with natural disasters.
Emanuel promised to provide the assistance administratively to get her to agree to delete $1.5 billion in disaster relief assistance for farmers from small-business legislation. 
Emanuel’s intervention shows how closely the president and his senior aides are following the bill Democrats are trying to push through Congress. 
Since when does the Executive Branch have the right to spend? Again, from what Budget will Rahm find the $1.5 billion? Only Congress has the power to spend. The point is, if Congress does not agree to spend taxpayer dollars, the President cannot just take care of it himself.

Note: this has nothing to do with farmers getting money that may be due them. It has everything to do with how they get it. From what authority does White House have that power?


Anti-Deficiency Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA) is legislation enacted by the United States Congress to prevent the incurring of obligations or the making of expenditures (outlays) in excess of amounts available in appropriations or funds. It is now codified at 31 U.S.C. § 1341[1]. The ADA prohibits the Federal government from entering into a contract that is not "fully funded" because doing so would obligate the government in the absence of an appropriation adequate to the needs of the contract.
This Act of Congress is sometimes known as Section 3679 of the Revised Statutes, as amended.
To some extent, but not entirely, it implements the provisions of Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 (the "power of the purse") of the Constitution of the United States which precludes the expenditure of funds by any branch of the Federal government unless those funds have been appropriated by Congress. In part, the Act is actually inconsistent with the Constitution because it recites that expenditures without appropriations can be made where expressly permitted by Congress: the Constitution permits no such exception[citation needed].
Although the ADA and its predecessors are over 120 years old, no one has ever been convicted or even indicted for its violation.[2]. (Emphasis mine...may Obama be the first to be convicted.  ~ Storm'n Norm'n)
An important corollary of the constitutional provision is that departments and agencies of the government may not "augment" appropriations either by raising money instead of seeking and getting an appropriation or by retaining funds collected and using them instead of receiving an appropriation. This bar to augmentation of appropriations is regularly violated by the executive branch and often with the consent of Congress. Practices in the nature of revolving funds (funds that are kept liquid by the use of "income" realized by agencies) clearly violate the augmentation limitation.
A more subtle but important violation of the Constitutional provision occurred when Congress passed TARP. Congress never appropriated ANY funds to TARP and instead simply recited that the necessary funds would be "deemed appropriated" at the time they were expended. This "deeming" provision violated not only the cited provision of the constitution but a host of other provisions as well.

Bonus video...

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