Almost every single person you speak to who is voting for Hillary Clinton will tell you that one of the main reasons is because she can get things done and Bernie Sanders cannot. But is this true? The short answer is a big fat NO.
So what CAN Bernie do as president? Let’s take a look….
The president has a long list of executive power, the most influential being executive orders and appointing department leaders.
Action Through Appointing Leaders
For example, as Oscar-winning director of the documentary “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson points out in a recent video from the Huffington Post, Sanders could appoint an attorney general and a head of the Department of Justice Criminal Division who haven’t spent their entire careers defending corporate criminals, and then invite the DOJ to actually put bankers in jail. This particular move would drastically change the economy already, since the fear of not being able to buy your way out of a life in prison would deter people from committing corporate fraud in the first place, and the people who are already doing it would be removed from the economy.
Ferguson goes on to point out that president Sanders could also appoint an anti-trust division head that would actually investigate the cartel-like crony-capitalist relationships throughout Wall St., bringing major anti-trust cases against the big banks. This would help to reduce and possibly put an end to crony capitalism down the line.
The president also has the power to appoint a Federal Reserve chair who would require banks to divest assets and operate safely instead of gambling with their investors’ money. The Fed chair also can regulate bankers’ compensation so that nobody can personally profit from financial disasters.
That much can be done without any new laws. It’s the sort of power that the president has, but rarely uses for the good of the people. After all, presidents are people too and often look out for their own assets. Obama, as quite a few big media sources explored in 2015, has a net worth over at least a few million dollars.
Action Through Executive Orders
In the CBS debate in February 2016, Sanders explained that he agreed with President Obama’s use of executive orders to slow down deportation and grant temporary protection to millions of illegals to get them on the path to citizenship. In fact, he said he would “go further”, though he never quite said how. The truth is that Obama’s executive order proved that a president does have the power to grant citizenship, at least temporarily, so it sounds like Bernie wants to push his executive power to the limit when it comes to immigration.
Some Bernie opponents will say that’s only one issue, but immigration isn’t the only thing an executive order can control. Economic regulation is also on the list. Last month, on April 15th 2016, Obama created an executive order to induce more competition in the economy by reducing price gouging, price fixing, illegal bid rigging, and all sorts of other anti-competitive conduct that breaks anti-trust laws. This action is a step in the direction of a Bernie Sanders regulated economy that has more policing of trade, making sure both workers and consumers are more informed and less ripped-off.
This shows the clear power of executive orders for regulating both immigration and the economy. And with the executive appointing powers also under his belt, there is quite a bit Bernie Sanders can pull off in even just one term in office.
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.