Constitutionality of Debt Ceiling – Take 2

On July 30, 2011, I posted about the constitutionality of the debt ceiling, which the GOP was threatening not to raise. Here we are two years later, and nearly nothing has changed. The GOP is threatening not to raise the debt ceiling again. This coms after they threatened a government shutdown unless they could mess with the Affordable Care Act. That threat went live, so the government is currently shut down, save essentials (including the ACA).

(I’ll plagiarize liberally from my 2011 post.)

The GOP doesn’t want to raise the debt ceiling. That’s kind of lame because they (along w/ Dems) approved big spending. Lots of debt naturally follows lots of spending. It was expected. And guess what? Default isn’t an option. The 4th section of the 14th amendment says:

“. . . .the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned”

This means the US must honor its debts. This amendment came after the Civil War when the US’s foreign policy was on shaky ground. To instill confidence in its foreign relations, it assured the world that the US was good for its debts. It’s also there to stop nutty politicians from gaming the government and killing it from within. We’re not allowed to default. (Another treatment of the same issue here.)



Obama should espouse the above interpretation out loud to deflate this ridiculous conflict.





One comment

  1. Sigh, so now it is the Republicans that are fooling with our system. In 1982 Reagan and Tip O’Neill came together to pass TAFRA (the disastrous Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act). Tom Foley and Tip O’Neill worked hard to gain partisan support and not tear the government apart, Ah for the good ole days. Reagan said we needed to pass TAFRA and the Congress said with some working we could pass it. Debate ensued and stocks went crazy, but the people (Dem) were willing to listen. Reaganomics was not the best thing for the nation and it is responsible for many of the problems we have today, but the Dem didn’t tear the government apart getting it fixed. As O’Neill stated “the tax bill will not repeal Reaganomics … Congress cannot with one vote correct the excesses and inequities of 2 years. … it is a step from “Trickle down economics and a step toward common sense. I support my fellow Dem. to support the bill because it is the only opportunity Congress has this year to restore sanity and fairness to national economic policy.” So the government could have shut down, the Dem could have not raised the debt ceiling but Congress chose it was more important to work together. We are no longer a Congress that is pro American. We have created a Congress that is every man for himself. They do not have best interests of their constituency, their pocket books or eventually the corporations that support their elections. This is going to catch up to everyone. I hope the corporations that have funded these elected officials are slowly waking up from their greed and realizing that if we default they will not be able to get good assembled overseas, parts for their factories or loans for their growth. These things tend to even things out. Good Luck America … Ben Franklin was right, we shouldn’t give the vote to everyone!

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