How did Obama ever think that his program would pass constitutional muster? How could he imagine that the Interstate Commerce clause could cover something that wasn't interstate (health insurance cannot be sold over state lines) and wasn't commerce (failure to buy insurance is not commerce) would stand up in court? He was so sure that he would win any constitutional challenge that he arrogantly failed to put a severability clause in the bill so that it would survive even if parts were stricken down.
The decision of the Florida District Court may or may not prevail in the circuit court. But who can doubt that the Supreme Court, as currently constituted, will strike it down?
So where does this leave President Obama? His stimulus package was a disaster, conceded by all to have failed. Democrats, of course, ascribe its failure to its puny size (only $800 billion)! Republicans understand that when the government spends and borrows it destroys jobs rather than create them. But, obviously, the stimulus bill didn't work.
And now his health care bill is unconstitutional.
What happens to an arch when it loses its cornerstone? It collapses. The same fate awaits Obama in 2012.
Meanwhile, he continues to peddle the fiction that "we have broken the back of the recession." His bureaucracy puts out a GDP growth rate of 3.4 percent for the fourth quarter. Baloney. The price deflator he used to discount the impact of inflation on the supposed GDP growth was a ridiculous 0.3 percent for the fourth quarter. But the Consumer Price Index rose by 2.6 percent in the same quarter. Almost all of the GDP growth is just rising prices, not a recovering economy.
And half of the new economic activity is just the build-up of inventories. We are now a nation of inventories. Businesses are sitting on close to a trillion dollars of cash they are afraid to invest. Banks are awash in capital handed out by the Fed as it tries to force-feed the economy by printing money. And consumers have taken the stimulus money and put it into reducing their debt load - good for them but not for the economy. Household debt has dropped by $200 billion in the past two years.
But nobody is spending. Nobody is buying.
Obama's economic program is in ruins. His healthcare bill is unconstitutional. His financial regulation bill (Dodd-Frank) has so harassed small and community banks that they have stopped lending to small businesses. And, on top of all that, he is losing Egypt to radical Muslim fundamentalists.
What a presidency!
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann