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US National Debt Is Technically Illegal

From, of all places, CBS News:

U.S. National Debt Tops Debt Limit

By Mark Knoller

December 16, 2009

The latest calculation of the National Debt as posted by the Treasury Department has – at least numerically – exceeded the statutory Debt Limit approved by Congress last February as part of the Recovery Act stimulus bill.

How else could the national debt exceed the debt limit, except “numerically”?

The ceiling was set at $12.104 trillion dollars. The latest posting by Treasury shows the National Debt at nearly $12.135 trillion.

A senior Treasury official told CBS News that the department has some "extraordinary accounting tools" it can use to give the government breathing room in the range of $150-billion when the Debt exceeds the Debt Ceiling.

Were it not for those "tools," the U.S. Government would not have the statutory authority to borrow any more money. It might block issuance of Social Security checks and require a shutdown of some parts of the federal government.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had such “tools”?

Pending in Congress is a measure to increase the Debt Limit by $290 billion, which amounts to six more weeks of routine borrowing for the federal government. (The House just passed the increase, though the Senate has yet to act. It is expected to approve the measure.)

Republicans and conservative Democrats blocked moves by House leaders to pass a $1.8 trillion dollar increase in the Debt Limit so the Democratic majority would not have to face the embarrassment of raising the Debt Limit yet again before next November’s midterm elections.

As the article noted above, the debt limit was just raised to $12.104 trillion by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the ‘Stimulus’), back in February.

The Debt Limit has been raised about a hundred times since 1940, when it was $49 billion – about five days worth of federal spending now

That $49 billion would be $757 billion in today’s money. So we were (only) spending $757 billion as we were frantically gearing up to fight WWII.

And now we are ratcheted up to a $12 trillion debt ceiling. And for what exactly?

It is simply breathtaking.

And it proves once again, that like with so many things out of our government, it is what is considered legal that is the real scandal.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “US National Debt Is Technically Illegal”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    “gearing up to fight WWII”

    Uh, wasn’t a Democrat also president in 1940?

  2. proreason says:

    Obamy decides what’s legal.

    He won. And it cost him a billion to do it, if you don’t count the 10 trillion or so in wealth that he had to destroy to make it happen.

    That gives him dominion over all life forms, doesn’t it?

    It’s in the Constitution somewhere.

    We love him.

    Just look at what he has done for us already!!

  3. beautyofreason says:

    Well, the Democrats have many idealistic beliefs and social projects to finance with money that is not their own. And why not ? They can just steal what they need from the taxpayer.

    Soft tyranny is all that comes to mind.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    What does it matter?
    Technically speaking, if people come here illegally they are not illegals. So this is simply a moot point to the government.

    Ho hum ……………. who wants a slurpee?

  5. joeblough says:

    What they laughingly call the “national debt” is in fact a form of slavery.

    The payment of that “debt” will come out of Americans’ pockets in the form of taxes.

    That means it will be work from which the laborer cannot derive any benefit.

    I.e. slavery.

    Our self-appointed betters would object that of course we will derive a benefit … it’s just a benefit that we’re too stupid and corrupt to appreciate … but it’s a benefit we need, according to their allegedly superior standards.

    Even in the case of the health care dictatorship … something that the majority of the country has already said they don’t want.

    I call it taxation without representation at best, but really it’s worse, it’s slavery.

    We’ll be working off that “debt” for years.

    Where’s Spartacus when you need him?

  6. wardmama4 says:

    Repeal the 16th Amendment – if they can’t get it – they can’t spend it. Yeah I know it sounds simple and won’t happen (let’s start with a poll, how many want to pay taxes? How many like tax hikes? – and let’s not skew the poll with 90% welfare recipients waiting for ‘Obama money’) but it is worth a try.

    But I think even a start (need 33 states) and a real push – just might scare those politicians who really give a damn about being a ‘representative’ into re-thinking their current mode of ‘tax-em till they drop’ attitude.

    Both parties are scum – but read the platforms of the other parties out there – they too have big agendas which require big money – i.e. they are all the same that is why it is time to clean house (GOOH) and put in people who know the Constitution (you can get a free one from your Representative and/or Heritage.org) – and will stand for smaller, more Constitutional government – i.e. a second Re-founding of America or a 2nd American Revolution.

    Read the 5000 Year Leap – America is a concept that has never been tried before in human history – we worked well together until the turn of the 1900s when the ‘progressives’ started infiltrating and making social programs the law of the land – it is eating us alive and now Mr. Barack ‘I WON’ Obama is intent on destroying this great Nation – We The People out number them and must stop this now – so that our children and grandchildren have an America worth living in.

    And ponder this question – if Obamacare is the legislation to be HIS legacy – why did he not put it into the mix first?!? If it was that important, why the Slush fund Stimulus first – perhaps to buy the votes because even he knew that with the majority – he did NOT HAVE the votes necessary to pass this invasion of privacy and taxation nightmare?!? Perhaps.

    Stand Up and Be Counted or get out of the way – Stop Them Now.

    • Right of the People says:

      WardMama you are so right. And the great thing about it is that it is right in the preamble to the Constitution.

      “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
      Declaration of Independence

      I think it is about time we exercised our constitutional rights and take this sucker back!

  7. canary says:

    Most Republicans cowering like abused submissive muslim women; covered faces and heads hidden buried in the sand in shame. Little sheep leading us on our way to the slaughter. baa baa.

    Our elected leaders throughout America tip toe like mice while allowing their constituents all to be heisted…
    ….by the liberal fat cats. We need lions that will roar grrr.


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