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Friday, October 8, 2010

A Veto Worth Your Vote

Oct. 8th, 2010

We are pleased to publish the first article by one of our contributors, PM.


President Barack Obama today indicated that he would veto HR 3808. As some have noted, the timing of this bill, considering revelations that some financial institutions habitually rubber-stamped foreclosure filings without reading their contents, is suspicious at best.

I'm not here to discuss the relative positive or negative aspects of the legislation in question. Rather I think it worth noting that effective governance of our Executive Branch can be measured not only in the legislation a President signs, but also by what is not signed.

President G.W. Bush vetoed exactly zero legislation for nearly the first five years of his administration; and vetoed only 10 bills over the course of his two terms (the lowest total number since the Harding administration, which covered a mere two-and-a-half years, as Harding was killed by a heart-attack while in office).

For comparison, Obama's first veto occurred in December, 2009, less than a year into his Presidency. It was, despite what the chattering chuckleheads on the right would have you believe about Obama's love for spending tax-payer money, vetoed to stop unnecessary spending

That this is only Obama's second veto in the twenty months of his Presidency is unremarkable given the apparent difficulty of Congress to send much of anything to the White House seeking signature.

The point of emphasis here is simply to note that if our three pronged system of government is to work as designed, it is incumbent on the President to veto bills that, even though they may have flitted through Congress in a bi-partisan manner (and in this case, virtually unopposed), are harmful to Americans.

Obama's veto of this legislation is, in my opinion, just as significant as the Credit CARD Act and the creation of the Consumer Protection Agency both signed into law by Obama. I hope he gets the credit he deserves for vetoing bad legislation.

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