A wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread. This is what Obama, with his fiscal cliff plan, threatens us with. A wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread. This is what Obama, with his fiscal cliff plan, threatens us with.

Debt ceiling day of reckoning

Patriots, the Day of Reckoning is coming. Will Barack Obama Use The 14th Amendment As A Way To Get Around The Debt Ceiling?

What has the 14th Amendment to do with the debt ceiling?

Amendment 14, Section 4 of the Constitution reads in part:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,…shall not be questioned.

  • Keep in mind, the referenced “nuclear option” clause in the Constitution says that since “default” on our debt would begin the spiral to financial ruin it could cause a “national security threat” and the president would have the authority to act unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling.
  • Keep in mind, not raising the debt ceiling does not mean default. The U.S. takes in 2.2 trillion dollars in tax revenue a year, so on the surface it is difficult to see why saying “no” to the increase would cause the collapse.

Role of the Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve headquarters. The debt ceiling comes down to what is going on in this building.
The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building. Photo: User Cliff1066/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Generic License

Here’s the kicker: since the Federal Reserve is not a transparent agency we cannot ”audit their books” (since its unconstitutional start in 1913 the federal reserve has set monetary policy in the U.S.). “We the people” have no way of knowing what notes are due for payment, how much is due and most importantly when those scheduled payments are due. We are clueless. We don’t even know that there is positive cash flow in the Fed. My personal theory: we have a negative balance. We have been digitizing (new tech word for printing) so much money for so long for so many “programs,” real and corrupt, that any real cash flow to the Treasury has already been spent! Think about it as the mortgage payment you make, that the bank deducts from your account monthly. It’s gone before you even know it’s there. You and I can’t print money, but the feds can. That’s why they won’t allow us to see the books. If they did, the jig would be up. Would anyone continue to deposit money in a bank if they knew that the bank was not keeping the money in the vault?

What shall “we the people” do?

Don’t panic! We’ll survive. But times are going to get real tough. Keep doing what you can to reduce your own debt. Interest and the costs to you and your family will rise. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Minimize credit. Restore faith in God, not government.

Editorial note:

Today, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), appearing on Fox News Sunday, told host Chris Wallace that any talk of using the 14th Amendment to let the President raise the debt ceiling by himself is “crazy talk.”

It’s not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and to say somehow the president has the authority then to basically do this by himself.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said flatly that the Congress, and only the Congress, has any authority to decide what to do about the debt ceiling.

Featured image: A Weimar Republic citizen wheels a barrow full of near-worthless Reichsbanknotes to the corner baker to buy a loaf of bread.

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constitutional law, debt, debt ceiling, finance, global economy, president

Comments (5)

  • You and Sen Sessions need to read the Constitution.

    If I understand this the Constitution trumps any other law like the debt ceiling.

    The debt ceiling raise is needed not for new spending but that that has been already authorized by Congress, ie by law and thus the President has 2 duties:
    1) Uphold all laws that have been passed
    2) The debt has already been committed to over many years so it is valid and “shall not be questioned.

    That makes using the 14th a no brainer.

    The Presidential oath also requires the President to protect and defend the Constitution. If he does not follow it as laid out above one could argue you could impeach him as well.

    In fact all members of Congress took a similar oath so their inaction to provide the debt ceiling action needed to fund the laws passed by them could be deemed a violation of their oath of office subjecting Boehner in particular to impeachment. Right?

    The other issue here is that failure to protect the nation’s financial system from a meltdown is akin to “war” and the President again is bound to protect the nation as well. Keeping the nation from falling into a deeper recession, higher borrowing costs, higher deficits due to a double dip and the world losing faith in the US as a reserve currency makes his inaction on the 14th impeachable to me.

    Failure to act has been estimated to cost the US $50B minimum directly for even a few day default due to increased debt rollover costs and as much as a trillion over a decade not to mention higher borrowing costs for consumers and business as well.

    The President has put forth $2T in cuts and asked for $400B in tax loopholes being closed. Every deficit reduction plan that Reagan, Bush I and Clinton did required a combination. Why can’t the Repubs simply negotiate in good faith and get this done?

    If they do not they will get hung out to dry by the President being forced to act under his Constitutional duty. That surely isn’t going to help them defeat Obama. It might just sew up his re-election before they even have a primary.

    If they think he isn’t tough enough to do this. Just remember the Sunday nite we found about Osama or the Somali pirates that were taken out right after he took office.

    If he needs to he will act and get the job done as he should, no doubt about it.

    Here is the SCOTUS case law that is pretty definitive on the subject:

    PERRY V. UNITED STATES, 294 U. S. 330 (1935)

    The government’s contention thus raises a question of far greater importance than the particular claim of the plaintiff. On that reasoning, if the terms of the government’s bond as to the standard of payment can be repudiated, it inevitably follows that the obligation as to the amount to be paid may also be repudiated. The contention necessarily imports that the Congress can disregard the obligations of the government at its discretion, and that, when the government borrows money, the credit of the United States is an illusory pledge…

    The Constitution gives to the Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, an unqualified power, a power vital to the government, upon which in an extremity its very life may depend. The binding quality of the promise of the United States is of the essence of the credit which is so pledged. Having this power to authorize the issue of definite obligations for the payment of money borrowed, the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations.

    • This is not a question of failing to repay those old Treasury bills, notes and bonds. This is about not taking on any new debt. Even an entitlement does not qualify as any sort of promissory note or other note.

      I never signed any such promissory note. I don’t recognize as valid any interpretation that anyone signed it for me.

      • Whether any of us like it or not it is all about the “obligations” that Congress over time has signed into law, not the bonds.

        The ceiling raise has nothing to do with future spending, only that which has already been committed to by this and prior sessions of Congress over out history.

        We elected them, they act via their Constitutional responsibility passes lawas/funding programs, we own it and has the “full faith and credit” of the US behind it. These are all laws that then need to be upheld, ie honored.

        In PERRY V. UNITED STATES, 294 U. S. 330 (1935)SCOTUS addreses the larger contexgt of debt as “obligations” that further supports the notion that default would be unconstitutional and thus stopping it would be required of the President:

        “…The government’s contention thus raises a question of far greater importance than the particular claim of the plaintiff. On that reasoning, if the terms of the government’s bond as to the standard of payment can be repudiated, it inevitably follows that the obligation as to the amount to be paid may also be repudiated. The contention necessarily imports that the Congress can disregard the obligations of the government at its discretion, and that, when the government borrows money, the credit of the United States is an illusory pledge.

        We do not so read the Constitution….To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor. This Court has given no sanction to such a conception of the obligations of our government.

        The office of the President as “Chief Executive” is empowered by the Constitution that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.

        He is also Constitutionally bound by his oath of office:
        “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

        This creates a slippery slope for any President. In other words he has no choice in acting per the Constitution lest he violate his oath and for that could be subject to impeachment.

        A secondary argument, slightly less compelling, is that in his job as Commander in Chief to protect the nation against any threats could be cited here. A default that plunges the nation into another recession and costs the taxpayers hundreds of billions in additional Federal interest payments and billions more in higher credit card, mortgage and consumer loans threatens the nation as much as any war or attack does. Not acting would weaken the nation considerably and his failure to protect the nation from this sort of “attack” would also be seen as a failure to fulfill his oath.

        So the 14th/PERRY V. UNITED STATES makes it clear on the debt’s validity and the fact that it cannot be abrogated in anyway that diminishes the full faith and credit of the nation and its trust with any one owed money via a statute approved by Congress, be it your mom on SS, a cleaning contractor for a federal building or foreign nations holding bonds. All are equally valid and must be honored.

        So no action by Congress is illegal. In “Perry” Chief Justice Hughes wrote the majority opinion: “We do not so read the Constitution…the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations.”

        If Obama does not act to avert the crisis if negotiations fail that is a more compelling reason to Impeach than trying to claim that he exceeds his Constitutional power in resolving the crisis using the 14th.

  • So, the real question is: “If the debt ceiling is not raised and the dems continue to spend until all the money is gone, what then?” When the welfare checks stop, the medicare payments stop, when all the “entitled” are refused what they consider “their rightful entitlements”….will we have riots, burning, civil unrest, looting etc….? And the shocker is that there are still people out there that will vote for Obama and his National Socialist agenda again!!!!! (Oh yeah, I call Obama a Nazi….cause he is…and a traitor)
    For years, since the 70s, I have been saying that what we have here is a condition of “Taxation without Representation”….because BOTH parties have had the idea that re-election is their focus rather than what the voter’s concerns are. The government administration has been totally responsive to real or potential donors to their campaign fund….that and lining their pockets….and that’s it! Well, we are reaping what we have allowed while we slept and lived the “good life” and didn’t pay attention to the fact that the country has departed, slowly and bit by bit from the ideals and the Constitution that or original founders blessed us with. Unscrupulous democrats and GOP appeasers have allowed this…..and we have a hell of a job ahead to try to win it all back. God Bless America!

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