GOP’s latest phoney ploy

Congressman Bill Johnson is touting a verbosely titled item called the REINS Act (“Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny”) designed to accomplish the allegedly lofty goal of curbing what a July 15 News and Sentinel editorial writer called “runaway government of the type favored by President Barack Obama.”

This goal is “lofty” only in the sense that it is mostly hot air! Johnson and his right-wing cohorts have deluded themselves into thinking that every piece of legislation can be re-litigated after passing both Houses. This was not the Founders’ intention. Since 1787, the Constitution has given U.S. Presidents considerable leeway in issuing executive orders that facilitate their implementation of laws passed by Congress. President Obama has issued only 183 Executive Orders since taking office in 2009. Compare this with the 291 from George W. Bush, 364 by Bill Clinton, and 381 by Ronald Reagan. Eisenhower issued 484, and FDR issued a whopping 3,522.

The REINS silliness is the latest phony ploy in a non-stop campaign of misinformation that Johnson and his aides have conducted since his “gerrymandered” election to the U.S. House in 2010. He’s also been claiming that he and his extremist colleagues have passed “over 40 job-creating bills” that have allegedly been “stalled by Harry Reid and Democrats in the Senate.” Balderdash! Most contain “poison pill” provisions like the anti-labor elements inserted into the recently passed “Workforce and Innovation Opportunity Act,” or the pension-stripping provisions attached at the last minute to the purposely delayed Highway and Infrastructure Trust Fund Extension Act.

Johnson has made it no secret that he wants to deregulate and privatize almost everything, including Social Security. He favors unlimited “corporate welfare,” and his definition of “small business” is restricted to the Fortune 500 energy-development companies that contributed heavily to his campaigns. In 2007, Bill was the managing director of Stoneridge Inc., a Northern Ohio IT firm that fired 300 workers and shipped their jobs to Mexico, Estonia, and China. Yet Bill always turns up to claim credit for “creating jobs” in the MOV – even jobs that have been created by others without his assistance.

It’s time for Johnson and his fellow-comedians to pass some real legislation. Let’s call it the BRAINS Act (“Better Representation and Intelligent National Stewardship.”) It would be designed to force lawmakers to become better educated on the issues, and drop silly stunts like REINS, forego costly, nonproductive witch-hunts, and scrap endless attempts to “repeal Obamacare,” and to finally begin working in the best interests of this nation and its citizens.

Fred O’Neill