In 2009, the Democrats passed and President Obama signed a stimulus package that cost nearly a trillion dollars and was supposed to fund “shovel ready” jobs on roads and bridges to get the economy moving. The “shovel ready” jobs turned out to be not so shovel ready, and the money ended up either being sent to Big Labor or wasted.

It was such a failure that President Obama just demanded another round of it.

The White House proposal would delay automatic cuts at federal agencies for one year while funding other Democratic priorities, including $50 billion for a new infrastructure bank and additional benefits for unemployed workers.

Barack Obama’s big idea for dealing with the fiscal cliff is to spend even more money, at his discretion and in a way that will bind recipients of the spending personally to him, while removing congressional power over the debt ceiling. He has already, via Harry Reid’s partisan hackery in the Senate, effectively done away with the requirement that Congress must pass budgets to fund the federal government.

What is going on here is simple and yet breathtaking. Barack Obama is making his move in this moment of manufactured crisis to seize full power over spending from the House, which is specifically given that power in the Constitution. He is effectively moving to turn all of Congress into a quaint relic, much as the House of Lords has long been on the other side of the Atlantic.