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Make the Debt Limit Disappear!

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, congress, constitution, corruption, cover-up, debt ceiling, democrats, dishonesty, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, obama, politics, news, propaganda, republicans )

- 2477 days ago -
The economist is Bruce Bartlett, who pointed out in an April 29 column in the Fiscal Times that the president didn't need Congress's permission to raise the debt limit. "The debt limit is statutory law, which is trumped by the Constitution which has-->

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Kit B (276)
Friday July 8, 2011, 8:15 pm

The economist is Bruce Bartlett, who pointed out in an April 29 column in the Fiscal Times that the president didn't need Congress's permission to raise the debt limit. "The debt limit is statutory law, which is trumped by the Constitution which has a little known provision that relates to this issue," Bartlett wrote. "Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says, 'The validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.' " The way he read it, if Congress wouldn't raise the debt limit, the president could start creating debt anyway. "Constitutional history is replete with examples where presidents justified extraordinary actions by extraordinary circumstances."
********************Read full article **********

Maybe it's time to stop the haggling and just get the job done! President Obama doesn't need to compromise to do what needs to be done.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Friday July 8, 2011, 8:49 pm
I think it may be starting to worry republicans that common people actually do know what it says in the Constitution. The entire document was written in pretty plain language that most people can understand without a lawyer interpreting it.

Terry King (113)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 7:36 am
If Barney Frank thinks invoking the 14th amendment is insane, I would have to agree.

patricia l (317)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 8:55 am
They have to stop playing chicken! Adopt the People's Budget Plan.

Kit B (276)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 9:30 am

My opinion about all of this is based on reading and more reading (did I mention reading?) and not just a couple of people's ideas but sifting through many ideas and yes, from the right and left. Still, I do believe that if one stops listening to the endless re-election rhetoric and just will put a pencil to paper the answers become clear. We must be realistic about spending - like that has never been discussed over and over. Sure Congress from all sides have their agenda's and they really are not talking about what will work for solving the current crisis of JOBS, but just more of the same old stuff that we are supposed to swallow and and believe - cuz "they say so" - not good enough for me.

Many things in the New Deal worked because we went to war, and that is just a fact. However, many things also worked because people were put to work at jobs to build or create a badly needed infrastructure in a growing country. We are again at that cross road, we now have a crumbling infrastructure, we have a need to grow the conversion to alternative forms of energy, we have a need to grow and support small business - those are the only REAL American businesses. We also have a very real need to give people a helping hand to get new education or training as their old jobs are now gone forever. We can do this and yes, it will cost money. Big money no doubt, but these are things that pay back - we will again have a strong and healthy economy this time based on real and solid foundations not on the illusion of credit. Working people buy things, make things, and that is what the economy is about - not artificial cuts or measures that take effect in 10, 20 or 30 years but right now.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 11:22 am
Yes, those things will help the economy, but you cannot have a really prosperous country when the biggest industry is the service industry. That industry has little if anything to sell to other countries. Individuals may feel some relief, but the country will continue to suffer because we have lost the most important national wealth maker, manufacturing. We once spoke of 'goods and services' now it is only services.

Rebuilding the infrastructure of this country is important and will create a lot of jobs, but without a manufacturing base to maintain the recovery and keep more of our money here at home we as a nation are well on our way to becoming a third world country where our infrastructure will fall into decay with no new wealth coming in to maintain it and without a manufacturing base, where is the need for a good road and bridge system other than to transport goods some other country produced?

The only industry in this country bringing in any wealth is the Military Industrial Complex. We are the war machine of the world; not a very noble title to hold.

Kit B (276)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 11:34 am

oh please do not misunderstand, when I speak of supporting small business I am talking directly to those many companies in American (currently with less then 500 employees) that are in the business of manufacturing. We do still make things, we do still trade and exchange goods - though in small amounts compared to years past. That can change - we can do all of things I talked about and be supportive of those businesses who make concrete, re-cycled steel, tool and die companies, those companies who do manufacture solar equipment. We can do these things and we can sell our goods. After some of the deals struck we most certainly need to renegotiate our trade contracts for true fair trade.

Shelly Peterson (213)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 1:54 pm
Kudos Kit!!! Your 2nd comment is pure truth and reason.... Outstanding!

Mary L (132)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 2:04 pm
I agree the president needs to be high handed at this point, I simply don't believe it's going to happen. He siad if he accomplished his goals, he'd be fine with being a one term president. Doesn't look like he meant that.

Kit, there's not much more I can add, you said it well and thoroughly thanks.

David C (133)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 7:10 pm
still want to know why the debt ceiling has never been an issue in all the years I followed politics until now....also wonder why the repuglicons suddenly find the debt ceiling an issue just because a democratic president put 2 repuglicon wars on the budget....

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 10:18 pm
'The validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.' What I wanna know is why RepubliCONs are so unpatriotic & unAmerican that THEY would question it? Seriously, who else WOULD question it? Who's gonna Come Here and TRY to collect on it? Hmmm?????;)

Billie C (2)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 10:25 pm
we need to bring jobs back to this country. we need to quit spending money like it grows on trees. obama hasn't a clue about money. every time you turn on the tv he's giving some country another couple of billion dollars. it has to stop. quit taking care of the world and take care of our own people. if he can just bypass congress and generate all the debt he wants we are screwed for sure.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 12:21 am
Sorry to disappoint you Billie, but that is exactly what Section 4 of the 14 Amendment to the Constitution says he can do. That section strictly forbids the US Government from defaulting on it's debt. The debt ceiling itself is unConstitutional. To further reinforce that the Supreme Court in 1935 ruled that Section 4 applied to all US debt which would mean that the annual budget is nothing more than a guideline for all programs and legislation that are already in force. The big fight they had over the possible government shutdown? Unconstitutional.

KS Goh (0)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 12:31 am
Thanks for the article.

Kit B (276)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 5:46 am

From a New York Times Op-Ed part:

"What could be more prudent than balancing the books every year? In fact, forcibly balancing the federal budget each year would be like telling families they cannot take out a mortgage or a car loan, or do any other borrowing, no matter how sensible the purchase or how creditworthy they may be.

Worse, the balanced budget amendment that Republicans put on the table is far more extreme than just requiring the government to spend no more than it takes in each year in taxes.

The government would be forbidden from borrowing to finance any spending, unless a supermajority agreed to the borrowing. In addition to mandating a yearly balance, both the House and Senate versions would cap the level of federal spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product.

That would amount to a permanent limit on the size of government at a level last seen in the 1960s, before Medicare and Medicaid, before major environmental legislation like the Clean Water Act, and long before the baby-boom generation was facing retirement. The spending cuts implied by such a cap are so draconian that even the budget recently passed by House Republicans and condemned by the public for its gutting of Medicare would not be tough enough.

Under the proposed amendments, the spending cap would apply even if the government collected enough in taxes to spend above the limit, unless two-thirds of lawmakers voted to raise the cap. More likely, anti tax lawmakers would vote to disburse the money via tax cuts. Once enacted, tax cuts would be virtually irreversible, since a two-thirds vote in both houses would be required to raise any new tax revenue. It isn't easy to change the Constitution. First, two-thirds of both the Senate and House must approve an amendment, and then at least 38 states must ratify the change.

But expect to hear a lot about the idea in the days ahead and in the 2012 political campaign, with Republicans eagerly attacking Democrats who sensibly voted no.

Democrats, undeniably, have a tougher argument to make. A fair and sustainable budget deal will require politically unpopular choices on programs to cut and taxes to raise. Americans deserve to hear the truth: There is no shortcut, no matter what the Republicans claim. Nor is their urgency to impose deep spending cuts now, while the economy is weak, as Republicans are insisting.

What is needed is enactment of a thoughtful deficit-reduction package, to be implemented as the economy recovers. If politicians respect the voters enough to tell them the truth, the voters may reward them at the polls."

Can we finally begin to address this as adults? I am very bored with the political gamesmanship, republican/T's either already know this gambit is dangerous for the American economic recovery or if they do not they should be run out of town. This is not higher math folks - in fact it is very basic and the ideas presented by this so called "Ryan Budget" can not and will not work. Governments do not and can not run like your personal budget at home, if that needs explanation then you have far more to learn about the institution of governments then can be explained or taught here. We have far too much drama and too little work to either come to a reasonable agreement or just get the job done. Intractable resolve may work for parents and their children but these people have been elected to secure the function of government, not to stand immovably on ill-conceived and non-workable ideas.

Kit B (276)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 5:49 am

Ralph is correct: Let's just get this done!

Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


Kit B (276)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 6:55 am

It is this "clinging" to the singular idea of my way and only my way. Childish at best.

Esther Z (94)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 8:50 am
I would think President Obama would know a thing or two about our constitution since he taught constitutional law at the Chicago School of Law, and should be familiar with Sec. 4 of the 14th amendment. I just don't see him using it since he's becoming such a centrist and has this obsession with bi-partisanship. Not gonna happen.

Eric Straatsma (3802)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 9:24 am
Corporations are in control. They just voted in a raise in the military industrial complex budget. 1.3 TRILLION per year and climbing. They say in mass media they 'cut' military spending, but what they actually really mean is that they slowed down the INCREASE of the military budget in future years.. They call that a 'cut'.

Just like Republicans say that cutting the oil company subsidies is like 'raising taxes'... There is a LOT of smoke, mirrors and spin going on. They think Americans are dumb and will BELIEVE that magic words and creating money out of thin air will cure everything.

The QE program is also interesting.. They printed over a TRILLION dollars in QE1 and QE2, now looking at QE3. Essentially the government printed money, charged itself interest and spent the money to buy US Treasury Bonds, which are debt.. This is like charging one credit card to pay the minimum balance on another.. HOw long can that go on? We are rapidly spiraling down into a black hole, and very few are telling the truth or bothering to say what is REALLY going on...,

Eric Straatsma (3802)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 9:26 am
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Thank you!

Morris G. (18)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 2:43 pm
So many inaccuracies in this:
First the 14th Amendment says, "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by LAW..."
Only the legislative branch can make law NOT the executive (president) branch. So unless and until the congress passes a debt ceiling increase LAW it is not authorized by LAW past $14.29 trillion.
Second if you know your Constitution you would know that Article 1 Section 8 gives the power to the legislative branch, NOT the executive branch, to borrow money on the credit of the United States. The president does not have the constitutional authority to borrow money - only the congress has that authority therefore congress and only congress can raise the borrowing ability of the US.
Third what the 14th Amendment does do, according to a prior Supreme Court decision, is to prioritize the payment of bondholders (debt) over other government spending. So if we do not increase the debt limit we do not have to default on debt. We can pay the debt with the government tax receipt revenue but we have to pay that before we spend on anything else. That to me is a good place to start.
Finally why would you not want a debt limit in place? My god folks, our children and grandchildren, and their grandchildren have to pay this back. We are over $14 TRILLION now not including the unfunded liabilities which are likely another $60+ TRILLION. We need a debt limit and we need to figure out out to pay it down and decrease it. This debt is not free money guys.

Susan L (150)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 6:36 pm
Yes, Patti !!! Adopt the People's Budget and get this show back on the road! Get rid of RepublicanTp's and stop the party of NO good for the PEOPLE of the United States!

Mary Donnelly (47)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 8:11 pm
Thanks Kit; great post; better comments--especially your second one.

The founding fathers of the USA wanted checks and balances; I wonder how they might feel today seeing just how unbalanced some of these checks can end up.
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