« | »

Dems Pretend Obama Can Borrow Money

From the Agence France-Presse:

Obscure clause may help US avert default

By Marc Jourdier | AFP – Sat, Jul 9, 2011

The White House could resort to an little-known line in the US constitution to prevent a ruinous default if Democrats and Republicans do not agree to raise the debt ceiling by August 2, experts say.

The 143-year-old clause, written to address still-potent divisions after the bloody Civil War, has been dredged up by legal scholars as well as the US Treasury secretary to suggest how a debt debacle might be avoided.

Not really. As we noted at the time, this preposterous idea was first floated on leftwing blogs that post trial balloons from the White House and the rest of the Democrat Party’s political machine. And Mr. Geithner is denying that he ever supported the idea. (See below.)

But resorting to it could spark a constitutional crisis over just who — the Congress or the White House — controls the power of the federal purse, analysts say…

There never has and never will be any controversy about that. If that power is unclear, then the entire Constitution might as well be scrapped. (Assuming it hasn’t been already.)

Republicans in Congress — which sets the debt cap into law — have refused to raise it unless the move is accompanied by deep spending cuts, and their talks with Democrats have made little visible progress.

If the impasse is not broken, could President Barack Obama simply ignore the ceiling and borrow more money?

Remember how the Constitutional scholar, Mr. Obama, and the rest of the Democrats suggested that this was possible when they unanimously voted against raising the debt ceiling under President Bush?

We don’t either.

Some legal experts believe he could, citing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1868… "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned," it reads.

Neil Buchanan, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said that means the government’s obligation to make payments cannot be abrogated by some "arbitrary limit."

"If Congress has enacted laws that create public obligations, then those obligations must be met," Buchanan wrote in a column on Thursday.

What errant nonsense. If the debt ceiling is not raised, no one is suggesting that these debts should not be paid. The only question is whether they should be paid by borrowing more money or by cutting spending.

Taken a step farther, some suggest, the law may make the debt ceiling itself unconstitutional.

While some have argued that the constitutional clause was specific to the situation of the time, a 1935 Supreme Court ruling established that it still applies, Buchanan said.

Details, details.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has warned that a default would have "catastrophic" consequences, raised the clause during a discussion of the debt ceiling in May — though he did not say the White House should invoke it if negotiations fail.

But even ‘Turbo-Tax’ Tim Geithner does not believe the clause means Mr. Obama can borrow money on his own. (See below.)

If invoked, experts say, it could spark a nasty fight over constitutional powers between the White House and Congress.

It wouldn’t lead to a fight. But it would lead to Mr. Obama’s immediate impeachment and removal from office. So we can only hope he does ‘invoke it.’

Asked about it during his Twitter town hall this week, Obama — a former constitutional law professor — emphasized the need to reach a deal in Congress.

"I don’t think we should even get to the constitutional issue. Congress has a responsibility to make sure we pay our bills," he said.

Which, again, it can do by cutting spending rather than borrowing more money. In fact, that is the way most people demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

Geithner’s mention of the law does not mean he thinks it can be used to ignore the debt cap, the Treasury said Friday in a letter addressed to The New York Times.

"The secretary has cited the 14th amendment… in support of his strong conviction that Congress has an obligation to ensure we are able to honor the obligations of the United States," a senior lawyer for the department wrote.

In actual fact, what George Madison, the Treasury’s General Counsel, wrote to the New York Times went much further: "Secretary Geithner has never argued that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the President to disregard the statutory debt limit" and that "the Constitution explicitly places the borrowing authority with Congress."

Mr. Madison went on to say that: "Secretary Geithner has always viewed the debt limit as a binding legal constraint that can only be raised by Congress."

In other words, even Mr. Geithner does not believe Obama can borrow more money on his own. Which you would think would put an end to this entire asinine gambit, once and for all.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 11th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Dems Pretend Obama Can Borrow Money”

  1. oldpuppydixie says:

    Apparently you fail to understand THE most important fact of our time…Obama CANNOT BE impeached. He is black and therefore invulnerable! Impeachment would mark the HEIGHT of RAAAAAAAACIST activity by the EEEEEEVIL white, devil slave master in Congress.

    • untrainable says:

      Yeah! All those eeeevil congressmen in the “Congressional White Caucass”. Then there are those eeevil bastards in the NAAWP. Then of course there is Hillary’s eeevil right wing conspiracy (which is obviously an all male all old white guy organization) And if that’s not enough proof… call Al Sharpton. I’m sure he can roust out a few more white racist government entities.

    • River0 says:

      Not only does the Ruling Class think we’re complete idiots, they apparently think the world’s financiers holding U.S. debt are too. Obummer’s slick end-run around the law will only serve to highlight the chaos of the ‘progressives’, their minions, and the Democrat Senate. The feared treasury and stock sell-off will come anyway.

  2. The Redneck says:

    The problem is only partly that the 14th Amendment doesn’t cover the privileges they’re claiming.

    The main problem is that the 14th Amendment is an illegitimate amendment. It simply does not have the required votes for ratification and never has, and our government has been enforcing it anyway.

  3. proreason says:

    Laws? What laws? I spit on your stinking laws. The Constitution? What Constitution? My dog shits on your stinking Constitution.

    I am Obamy, a black man or a white man, a Christian or a Muslim, a genius or an idiot, an American or an Indonesian or a Kenyan or whatever. I have no need for your stinking rules. I rule as I see fit and your job is to bend over….peasant!!

  4. P. Aaron says:

    We can only ‘put an end to this asinine gambit by booting the ‘Bamster next year!

  5. Right of the People says:

    Maybe Barry’s going to go to Quicken Loans and get a Pay Day loan on his own account to tide the country over until the 2012 election. His credit’s good, right?

    • proreason says:

      I’ve heard that Barry funded his profligate lifestyle in Chicago with multiple cash-out refinances.

      In case you aren’t aware of what they are, it’s when you refinance for MORE than the amount you owe on your mortgage…essentially using your home like a piggy bank. Works great, of course, for a while, if home prices are increasing, like they did for 50 years before the dimdems initiated Loans for Deadbeats.

      Obamy, of course, go out before he went bankrupt. Funny that.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »