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Thread: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezC3 View Post
    All these doomsday scenarios are getting out of pocket. No one is going to let us default on debt. No one is going to empty out the coffers. The worst, and it is a bad situation, but what will happen is, at worst a 20% across the board cut will take place on government operations. Knowing Obama and his way of doing things this will mean some areas which are traditionally GOP valued programs will receive 75% cuts while his pet projects will be scarcely affected if at all.
    Actually, since the broad measured Pay Our Military bill has been passed and signed, the President loses a lot of discretion...
    I don't often change my signature, but this was just too over the top to let anyone forget with what this country is up against...
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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlabamaPaul View Post
    Actually, since the broad measured Pay Our Military bill has been passed and signed, the President loses a lot of discretion...
    Well, not paying our troops would be a death sentence for the Democratic Party...

    but there is plenty more that can b trimmed, and actually in my ever so humble opinion, I'd be glad to see it go. Not like this, punitive measures aren't made with a clear head.

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezC3 View Post
    Well, not paying our troops would be a death sentence for the Democratic Party...

    but there is plenty more that can b trimmed, and actually in my ever so humble opinion, I'd be glad to see it go. Not like this, punitive measures aren't made with a clear head.
    I'm convinced now that Obama can simply invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, because he is constitutionally required to do two things: spend the money that Congress authorizes, and not question the public debt. If he doesn't do both he will be violating the constitution more than if he violates the constitution by raising the debt ceiling.

    I'm further convinced that this is the way it will work out, because we cannot count on obstructionists in either house raising the debt ceiling in time. Everyone knows that even if he hasn't been given the power, the President is forever linked to the economy under his watch. This is true of Clinton, who got credit for the dot com bubble before it burst, this is true of Bush, who will forever be blamed for his role in the Great Recession even though the roots of the problem went back to deregulation in the Clinton years, or even Bush Sr, whose re-election loss was precipitated by his poor economy that was partly Reagan's fault.

    This all is to say that despite who ruins the economy, Obama would own it in history. However, he has a reasonable argument to make that he can resolve the crisis by himself by ordering borrowing to continue. The economy will not crash, and his legacy and the American people will benefit. In fact, if he does not do this, he will bear some responsibility for the economic ruin.

    You can be sure that if this were to happen, Republicans will be furious. They will not only be incensed that their quixotic scheme would have failed and that they were repudiated by Obama, but they will accuse him of acting unconstitutionally and will likely impeach him for this.

    If they do that, the GOP will self-inflict a final blow. Sick of the paralysis, the public will hate another political crisis manufactured by the GOP, one that will die in the Senate, and especially one that accuses Obama of a crime for having raised the debt ceiling. Even in the soggy minds of the populace, they will understand that Obama saved the economy, and they will be disgusted by the GOP attempting to punish him for it.

    If that happens, and the proceedings drag on into the midterms, either Republican Congressmen that are blamed by challengers for having not stopped the debt ceiling from being lifted will be primaried, and their replacement will be too right-wing to win the general election, or they will have disgusted enough of their own voters over the impeachment that even if they do get the nomination they will lose the election. Even with all the gerrymandered districts, a reckless and destructive GOP will lose the House if they go this far.

    If that happens, Obama will have two full years more with Democratic majorities in both houses and at that point he could be unstoppable. Having seen how they acted in the minority in congress his first two years and the havoc they unleashed in his middle four, the public will not forgive the GOP for blocking his legislation anymore. He could probably convince Republicans to come along on immigration, he could replace the damage done by sequestration with a responsible budget, he could even tackle gun control, education, and improving on Obamacare. And whereas Republicans could have shared some credit for any of those things, Democrats will be the main recipient of the credit.

    If that happens, the next president will be a Democrat, and the GOP will have fully lost a generation, like they did from 1932-1952. The false equivalency myth will be shattered, and the GOP will be remembered during this era as having lost their way and damaged the country with their antics. If they do recover, they will have to jettison the Tea Party and retake the center. This country needs two strong parties to balance each other, and that only happens when the GOP regains self-control.

    If all this happens, Obama will have earned a place near the top of the greatest presidents. He has already prevented a second great depression, and passed the most sweeping health care law in decades. He will then also gain credit for having essentially won a Congressional Civil War, one started on the day of his inauguration by Republicans that decided to put politics ahead of the people by standing against whatever Obama proposed, before they knew what he would do, regardless of what damage their actions and inactions would have on the country. He would have killed the notion that politics is a zero-sum game between two opposing ideologies, and perhaps he will finally have accomplished his initial goal of ending the hateful partisanship that plagues Washington.
    "Obamacare delenda est"

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    I'm convinced now that Obama can simply invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, because he is constitutionally required to do two things: spend the money that Congress authorizes, and not question the public debt. If he doesn't do both he will be violating the constitution more than if he violates the constitution by raising the debt ceiling.

    I'm further convinced that this is the way it will work out, because we cannot count on obstructionists in either house raising the debt ceiling in time. Everyone knows that even if he hasn't been given the power, the President is forever linked to the economy under his watch. This is true of Clinton, who got credit for the dot com bubble before it burst, this is true of Bush, who will forever be blamed for his role in the Great Recession even though the roots of the problem went back to deregulation in the Clinton years, or even Bush Sr, whose re-election loss was precipitated by his poor economy that was partly Reagan's fault.

    This all is to say that despite who ruins the economy, Obama would own it in history. However, he has a reasonable argument to make that he can resolve the crisis by himself by ordering borrowing to continue. The economy will not crash, and his legacy and the American people will benefit. In fact, if he does not do this, he will bear some responsibility for the economic ruin.

    You can be sure that if this were to happen, Republicans will be furious. They will not only be incensed that their quixotic scheme would have failed and that they were repudiated by Obama, but they will accuse him of acting unconstitutionally and will likely impeach him for this.

    If they do that, the GOP will self-inflict a final blow. Sick of the paralysis, the public will hate another political crisis manufactured by the GOP, one that will die in the Senate, and especially one that accuses Obama of a crime for having raised the debt ceiling. Even in the soggy minds of the populace, they will understand that Obama saved the economy, and they will be disgusted by the GOP attempting to punish him for it.

    If that happens, and the proceedings drag on into the midterms, either Republican Congressmen that are blamed by challengers for having not stopped the debt ceiling from being lifted will be primaried, and their replacement will be too right-wing to win the general election, or they will have disgusted enough of their own voters over the impeachment that even if they do get the nomination they will lose the election. Even with all the gerrymandered districts, a reckless and destructive GOP will lose the House if they go this far.

    If that happens, Obama will have two full years more with Democratic majorities in both houses and at that point he could be unstoppable. Having seen how they acted in the minority in congress his first two years and the havoc they unleashed in his middle four, the public will not forgive the GOP for blocking his legislation anymore. He could probably convince Republicans to come along on immigration, he could replace the damage done by sequestration with a responsible budget, he could even tackle gun control, education, and improving on Obamacare. And whereas Republicans could have shared some credit for any of those things, Democrats will be the main recipient of the credit.

    If that happens, the next president will be a Democrat, and the GOP will have fully lost a generation, like they did from 1932-1952. The false equivalency myth will be shattered, and the GOP will be remembered during this era as having lost their way and damaged the country with their antics. If they do recover, they will have to jettison the Tea Party and retake the center. This country needs two strong parties to balance each other, and that only happens when the GOP regains self-control.

    If all this happens, Obama will have earned a place near the top of the greatest presidents. He has already prevented a second great depression, and passed the most sweeping health care law in decades. He will then also gain credit for having essentially won a Congressional Civil War, one started on the day of his inauguration by Republicans that decided to put politics ahead of the people by standing against whatever Obama proposed, before they knew what he would do, regardless of what damage their actions and inactions would have on the country. He would have killed the notion that politics is a zero-sum game between two opposing ideologies, and perhaps he will finally have accomplished his initial goal of ending the hateful partisanship that plagues Washington.
    Section 8 of Article I specifically states the Congress is the only entity with the power to borrow money which raising the debt limit would be doing. Raising the debt limit is congress's way of authorizing the U.S. to borrow money. The president does not have the authority to borrow money, only congress does.

    The 14th amendment states the validity of public debt..........shall not be questioned. It does not give the president permission to borrow money. If anything it implies servicing the debt and paying its interest must come first prior to any other expenditures. With 2.9 trillion coming into the treasury annually, paying the 420 billion or so interest on the debt first means there should be no default and to not do so would put the treasury department and the administration in violation of the Constitution. But then one could get into a debate on what exactly validity and without question mean. I may owe the credit card company 100.00, if I don't pay it, it is still a valid debt and legally I am still responsible for it.

    this is sort of like a guy making $2,900.00 a month with a $420.00 car payment. He can make that payment out of what he has coming in or he can spend that money and default on the car payment in order to spend his money on other things. But the 14th amendment basically say that $420.00 must be paid before any other bills.

    This amendment is also a civil war amendment which at the time it was written if original intent is applied from those who wrote it, it was to ensure all debt run up by the Union would be paid and none of the debt run up by the confederacy would be paid. It was quite simple back then. Today everyone is trying to read a whole bunch into it that was not there originally. Go back to the journals of the House and Senate, the state legislatures if they kept one and check it out.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    Section 8 of Article I specifically states the Congress is the only entity with the power to borrow money which raising the debt limit would be doing. Raising the debt limit is congress's way of authorizing the U.S. to borrow money. The president does not have the authority to borrow money, only congress does.

    The 14th amendment states the validity of public debt..........shall not be questioned. It does not give the president permission to borrow money. If anything it implies servicing the debt and paying its interest must come first prior to any other expenditures. With 2.9 trillion coming into the treasury annually, paying the 420 billion or so interest on the debt first means there should be no default and to not do so would put the treasury department and the administration in violation of the Constitution. But then one could get into a debate on what exactly validity and without question mean. I may owe the credit card company 100.00, if I don't pay it, it is still a valid debt and legally I am still responsible for it.

    this is sort of like a guy making $2,900.00 a month with a $420.00 car payment. He can make that payment out of what he has coming in or he can spend that money and default on the car payment in order to spend his money on other things. But the 14th amendment basically say that $420.00 must be paid before any other bills.

    This amendment is also a civil war amendment which at the time it was written if original intent is applied from those who wrote it, it was to ensure all debt run up by the Union would be paid and none of the debt run up by the confederacy would be paid. It was quite simple back then. Today everyone is trying to read a whole bunch into it that was not there originally. Go back to the journals of the House and Senate, the state legislatures if they kept one and check it out.
    First of all, if the constitution says two diametrically opposite things, you have no choice but to abide by the least bad option.

    Second, it would not be possible to only pay off our creditors and nothing else, the system is too complex to do that forever.

    Third, the nature of an amendment is to change the constitution. Therefore, the amendment should trump any original passages in the constitution.

    Fourth, because the amendment was written in the context of the post-Civil War era does not mean it no longer applies, any more than you can claim the 2nd amendment no longer applies because it was written in the post-Revolutionary War era. The amendment is written rather broadly so that the debt would never be questioned.

    Fifth, a guy who misses a payment on a car he bought could have it repo-ed. What would the government have repo-ed if we default? Furthermore, if a guy missed payments on his car he might destroy his credit and never be able to borrow again. If you extend that to the government that would be unbearable.

    I have read many arguments by legal experts for why invoking the 14th, even if it is questionable, would be the most prudent action.
    "Obamacare delenda est"

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    First of all, if the constitution says two diametrically opposite things, you have no choice but to abide by the least bad option.

    Second, it would not be possible to only pay off our creditors and nothing else, the system is too complex to do that forever.

    Third, the nature of an amendment is to change the constitution. Therefore, the amendment should trump any original passages in the constitution.

    Fourth, because the amendment was written in the context of the post-Civil War era does not mean it no longer applies, any more than you can claim the 2nd amendment no longer applies because it was written in the post-Revolutionary War era. The amendment is written rather broadly so that the debt would never be questioned.

    Fifth, a guy who misses a payment on a car he bought could have it repo-ed. What would the government have repo-ed if we default? Furthermore, if a guy missed payments on his car he might destroy his credit and never be able to borrow again. If you extend that to the government that would be unbearable.

    I have read many arguments by legal experts for why invoking the 14th, even if it is questionable, would be the most prudent action.
    So many interpretations. If push comes to shove, the SCOTUS will have to decide. Article I needs no interpretation, it is plain. Perhaps the 14th does. As to the feasibility, one would think someone out there could write a new software code to accomplish just that. Either that go back to old fashion pencil and paper and a file cabinet the way it was done in olden days and could have easily been done back then.

    We'll see what the SCOTUS says if it goes that far. I have the problem when I read the Constitution I read it with layman's eyes and take what it say in plain English with original intent. I am not a lawyer and do not delve into lawyerese.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    So many interpretations. If push comes to shove, the SCOTUS will have to decide. Article I needs no interpretation, it is plain. Perhaps the 14th does. As to the feasibility, one would think someone out there could write a new software code to accomplish just that. Either that go back to old fashion pencil and paper and a file cabinet the way it was done in olden days and could have easily been done back then.

    We'll see what the SCOTUS says if it goes that far. I have the problem when I read the Constitution I read it with layman's eyes and take what it say in plain English with original intent. I am not a lawyer and do not delve into lawyerese.
    I'm no lawyer either, so I depend on the best explanation from legal experts. In this case they seem to say there's a case to be made. In any event, a case can only reach the Supreme Court if it is brought up by a plaintiff. In a case involving the country fulfilling its obligations, I don't see who that would be except a spiteful Congress, but even then that sounds far-fetched.
    "Obamacare delenda est"

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    It is a SCOTUS issue on the 14th and the
    POTUS knows it. Can'tor wait for Issa's hearing(s) heading into the 2014 election.
    Meanwhile, in 2013, Mr. Obama has my permission to procede to negate Repubs from crashing a fourth straight Christmas.
    Who's responsible for crashing the economy the other 364 days ?

    It's not the GOP, thats for sure. Maybe Obama will propose a new green jobs iniative where he basically loses billions of dollars in a ill fated plan to manufacture something that first, China can build cheaper and second, that no one wants

    It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't call the result of that chaos a " recovery".

    Or maybe he could offer up another "stimulus" and lie about " infrastructure" investments.

    I mean I didn't believe him the first time when he did it but you folks are sure to buy into it.

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    While we have no reason to doubt your crack legal opinion, I think I'll stick with real lawyers, including the Constitutional Law Professor in the White House.

    My prediction-

    I have no doubt that Obama will use the 14th, or the trillion dollar coin option, to avoid default. I can see the TP calling for impeachment, which could lead to the most ludicrous impeachment proceedings ever....where a President is accused of thwarting Economic terrorists. This will signal the end of the GOP.
    And don't forget the votes aren't there in the senate to impeach him.

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    Re: Can President Obama Unilaterally Raise the Debt Ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by aberrant85 View Post
    I'm no lawyer either, so I depend on the best explanation from legal experts. In this case they seem to say there's a case to be made. In any event, a case can only reach the Supreme Court if it is brought up by a plaintiff. In a case involving the country fulfilling its obligations, I don't see who that would be except a spiteful Congress, but even then that sounds far-fetched.
    I don't know either. Perhaps on one or a few congressman. Not the whole congress for sure. Members of congress have a long habit of protecting the president of their party and it is a sure thing the Senate wouldn't go along even though it meant a huge loss of congressional authority. But congress has been ceding their authority to the presidency since I was born. Only the party out of the White House argues of constitutional authority and congressional power. I wouldn't even take a guess.

    Only after Watergate did congress reign in some of the presidential powers and then it was very little.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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