The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Checks and Balances Not Working in U.S.

editorial

IN theory, checks and balances in government are a good thing. The legislature, executive, and judiciary all prevent each other from exercising excessive authority.

Cabinet secretaries cannot be members of the National Assembly or Senate under the new constitution. This ended the 'imperial presidency' which badly damaged Kenya. But how good will the new American-style system be? The United States is presently in crisis. Congress is refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama scraps his medical insurance scheme introduced two years ago.

Obamacare has already been passed by both Congress and the Senate, and ratified by the Supreme Court. It is law, and is already funded. But the Republican party, driven by its extremist fringe, still wants to block it. And to get its way, it is threatening to force the US to default on its debt.

Politics is not supposed to work this way. If President Obama gives in, Congress will dominate and control the executive for evermore. Checks and balances will have vanished.

So who will blink and back down? Let us hope it is the Republicans because otherwise there will be another global economic shock and interest rates will shoot up, even in Kenya.

Quote of the day: "You may have the universe if I may have Italy." - Opera composer Guiseppe Verdi was born on October 10, 1813

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