So here’s my question to you, fellow taxpayers. If lawmakers are not going to perform their most basic constitutional functions, then what are we paying them (at minimum) $174,000 a year to do? We might as well can them all and save the money.
To be clear, this is not the only duty our derelict lawmakers have abdicated. Declaring war when we’re, in fact, at war comes to mind. As does, say, exercising the authority to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations” and lay import duties.
Over the past 80 years, Congress has voluntarily delegated much of this constitutional trade-regulating power away from itself and to the president, as trade historian Craig VanGrasstek lays out in his new book, “Trade and American Leadership.”
More recently, Congress turned a blind eye as Trump abused even that generously re-delegated authority. Here, too, Trump cited similarly bogus “national security” rationales to justify his overreach. Yet in response, Republican lawmakers — members of a party that once embraced free trade and sounded the alarm about an “imperial presidency” — have introduced legislation that would give the president even more discretion to levy tariffs without their interference.