The Executive Order signed by President Obama last Friday is troubling, despite the lack of concern expressed by others. The powers included in this Executive Order are terrifying to anyone who believes in markets and freedom. These powers become even more worrisome when they are exercisable by someone who has already shown disdain for the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
I have expressed my concerns. Others have agreed and others have suggested that such concerns are unwarranted. The basis for non-concern appears to be that such laws/orders are not unusual and represent proper preparation on the part of government. That defense is untenable in my opinion because there has never been power granted to any government or State that has gone unused (and not been abused). The powers in this order will not be an exception.
Simon Black provides his perspective:
Quietly, and with little fanfare, President Obama signed a “National Defense Resources Preparedness” Executive Order on Friday. As the name suggests, the order intends to shore up the country’s national defense resources in advance of a national emergency.
To be fair, this is not the first time that such an order has been written. Presidents Bush (II), Clinton, Reagan, and even Eisenhower provided directives in the same spirit as President Obama’s order– providing some level of government commandeering in times of national emergency.
In the past, these orders have related to things like production capacity for defense contractors, or giving FEMA authority to resolve disputes between other departments in federally designated emergency areas.
President Obama’s order, however, takes things much, much further.