The View From 1776

The Federal Debt Ceiling And The 14th Amendment

Read the editorial in the New York Sun.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/07 at 04:26 PM
  1. When the congress passes a law incurring expenditures by the treasury, the government is, ipso facto (and by the 14th amendment) required to honor the debts it itself has incurred.

    It boggles the mind that there are folks in Congress who believe that they are at liberty to refuse to make payment of debts that they themselves voted to incur!

    If they want to debate reducing future expenditures, more power to them. But to refuse to pay the debts that they are responsible for incurring is the height of irresponsibility.

    Thomas, with this web site being founded on discussion of constitutional principals, I would think you would support the view that the debts of the government shall be honored.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/08  at  11:25 AM
  2. Mr. Jay, the debt ceiling debate has nothing to do with failing to pay for legal obligations. Its subject matter is stopping further expansion of expenditures exceeding the government's revenues under existing tax laws.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/08  at  01:52 PM
  3. Au Contraire, Mr. B!

    You have it exactly backwards. The debt limit does NOT restrict Congress’s ability to pass spending and revenue bills that affect the level of debt.

    It restricts Treasury’s authority to borrow to finance the decisions already enacted by Congress and the President.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/08  at  03:26 PM
  4. Yes, Pelosi is an oath-breaker, as are Reid, Boxer, Waters, Frank, Nelson, Rubio, Southerland, and Boehner... and the current corrupt "supreme" court members will do nothing to stop them.

    Almost might as well scrape the parchment clean and start over... except for the fact that the corruption is so wide and deep that we'd end up with much worse.

    I don't quite follow the point of the Sun editorial. OT1H, the corrupt supremes in majority back then declared that the US government is not bound to pay back its debts if they don't feel like it. We're much further in the hole, now, when it comes to unethical people in federal government. Pelosi wants to keep on racking up debt without limit, and whether on this or any other matter, sees the US constitution as having about as much binding on what corrupt congress-critters and judges do as a novel.

    All of them -- so-called conservatives included -- seem to think that actually doing their duty, actually adhering to the US constitution, actually balancing and paying down the federal government debt would be so extreme, so far beyond anything they'd ever be willing to consider, that it should be kept off the public's radar. No one should suggest it. No one should comment on the idea...

    Which is exactly why we should be pounding on the drums, as it were, demanding that the federal debt limit be reduced and the actual debt paid down, that spending should be significantly cut, especially when it comes to unconstitutional programs.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/08  at  05:40 PM
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  6. There seems to be great confusion about the miss-named "debt limit." Many folks seem to believe that by not raising the limit they will somehow be keeping the country from going further into debt.


    Past Congresses made purchases and the bills for those purchases are now due. The so-called debt limit allows payment of those old bills. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether we spend more in the future!

    Congress can and should have a full debate about reducing its future expenditures. But this is an entirely separate subject. Reneging on its previous commitments and obligations is unconscionable and will throw our credit rating into the toilet.

    If you buy a TV and take it home, and then tell the store that you have changed your mind and refuse to pay for it - "because you don't want to go further into debt," in addition to being a criminal, your behavior is irrational. The time to worry about going deeper into debt is before you incur the payment obligation - not after.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/16  at  03:27 PM
  7. Mr. Jay, I believe that YOU are missing the point. If I buy a TV set without having the means to pay for it, responsible people have the right and the duty to demand that I cease buying things on credit before they will honor my profligate debts.

    The debate is not about servicing or not servicing debt incurred by the government. It's about curbing future profligacy via federal deficit spending.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/17  at  01:28 AM
  8. If I buy a TV set or house or chewing gum or bread on credit without having the intention to pay it back, responsible people have the right and the duty to refuse to sell me more stuff on credit.

    The pols (and especially the Keynesians) have declared that they have no intention to actually pay back the federal government debt -- in whole or part. All they blather about is keeping the scam afloat and how rapidly they want to increase the federal government debt instead of decreasing it... which may be why the German government has asked for its gold in the hands of the Fed be delivered, and why the Fed has said they refuse to deliver even a significant portion of it in a timely manner.

    What is more distressing is that the jiggering of federal reports on e.g. price levels and unemployment insurance claims has become blatantly obvious over the last several months, after many years of the media already having run interference for them by how they package/present the bad economic news. This last is a little understandable, because economics is a confidence game, by which I mean that pronouncements which affect people's confidence in economic prospects, affect the actual economy (via decisions in how and whether to save, invest, launch ventures, etc.).
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/17  at  10:44 AM
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