In the past few weeks, the debate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling has grown more and more heated. While it is assumed that both sides ultimately want to prevent the nation from defaulting on its debt, each side of the aisle has its own agenda to achieve along with the increase in the debt ceiling. Republicans have been attempting to pass a bill to cut spending and create a balanced budget amendment so that the nation does not have to continually raise its debt ceiling. However, Democrats have objected to heavy cuts, especially entitlement cuts, and instead demanded revenue increases through raising taxes and closing tax loopholes along with more modest spending cuts.
President Obama has threatened to veto bills that only seek to implement short-term fixes to the problem. He has also threatened to veto Republican backed bills which would heavily cut spending without raising revenue. However, by stating that he would veto a bill which would avert what many people would consider a financial disaster for the U.S., Obama has shown that he is willing to let the nation fall into ruin in order to maintain his liberal agenda. Does that sound like another, less-than-popular Democratic executive?
Indeed, Governor Beverly Perdue has issued several vetoes this past legislative session based on purely ideological standards. Perhaps the most potentially damaging to the state would be her veto of Senate Bill 781: Regulatory Reform Act, which she vetoed because it transferred power from her executive agencies to the courts—a transfer that she called unconstitutional. Before the Regulatory Reform Act, in certain circumstances her agencies could decide whether or not to follow court rulings and were effectively given the final say in any conflict. SB 781 transferred that authority to the Office of Administrative Hearings, a quasi-judicial agency. However, there is precedence of judicial agencies acting in such a manner in the past, rendering her question of constitutionality nearly moot. Had Perdue’s veto of the Regulatory Reform Act not been overridden, she would have prevented the creation of numerous jobs whose conception, until this bill was passed, would likely not have even been considered due to NC’s obstructive, burdensome, and duplicative regulations.
Another veto that stands out due to its ideological motivation would be Perdue’s veto of House Bill 351: Restore Confidence in Government Act—a voter ID bill which would have simply increased the validity of North Carolina elections. Despite polling which showed North Carolinians overwhelmingly supported this bill and evidence of other states who have found no impact upon voting by the implementation of similar voter ID bills, liberals still declared this bill was an attack on the voting rights of the poor and minorities. Perdue vetoed this bill in order to please her liberal base.
While ideological vetoes are nothing new in executive-level politics, some are more destructive than others. Perdue laid her claim on the title of Veto Governor for her multitude of ideological vetoes of popular and job-producing legislation from the last legislative session. Now President Obama is threatening to harm America’s economy should he be presented with a debt-limit increase bill that does not fit with his ideological agenda.
Is this what we expect of our politicians?