Obama should ignore the debt ceiling

  • Article by: HENRY J. AARON
  • Updated: September 30, 2013 - 8:00 PM

As the U.S. government headed toward a possible shutdown of nonessential services, House Republicans also said that they would not agree to lift the debt ceiling unless implementation of the health law was delayed by one year (among other conditions). So the government is also headed toward a mid-October default on its debts — and a full-blown constitutional crisis.

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jonnoSep. 30, 13 8:26 PM

I have a question for you Professor Aaron, and this is in no way, shape or form meant to be political. If the United States is not going to raise taxes to fund growth in spending, where do you think this money is going to come from? You do realize that the U.S. Treasury issues debt obligations to counter parties for cash...real cash which is used for government programs. As part of the Liberty Bond Act (a law...remember we are supposed to follow those), Congress is given the authority over the total amount of U.S. Treasury debt to be outstanding. This is Congress' check on the Executive Branch's spending intentions and ironically came about during war time. Using your logic, Professor, the U.S. government and anybody else would be entitled to whatever they wanted without paying for it. Do you really think that hospitals, constuction contactors, farmers and entitlement beneficiaries are inclined to take T-bonds from the Treasury directly? When it comes to the budget, from a Democratic or Republican viewpoint, you can make any argument you wish...but cash is king!

jeff57flSep. 30, 13 8:31 PM

How about working with congress to address our long term deficit. Someone pick up the phone!

supervon2Sep. 30, 13 8:43 PM

And, people should ignore the limits on their credit cards. Somehow, I think the messenger, while he is in the back pocket of the Liberals, is sending the complete wrong message. But, when you're desperate you'll try anything.

army1994Sep. 30, 13 9:01 PM

Any way you look at it laws would be violated. Congress has obligated us for the spending. If they don't want to raise the debt limit, have the guts to cut the spending the way it is supposed to be cut -- through legislation. If they aren't willing to do that, then raise the taxes to cover the bills, or raise the debt limit. If Congress doesn't have the guts to act, the President will, as the author stated, have to choose which law to break. The debt limit seems like the logical choice.

hawkeye56379Sep. 30, 13 9:12 PM

The Fourteenth Amendment says that the validity of the public debt may not be questioned, so it's a Constitutional requirement for the debt owing to be paid. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States and supercedes all laws to the contrary. We can't allow a default.

spicebearSep. 30, 13 9:16 PM

In essence, what professor Aaron is saying is that Congress has already de facto expanded the debt limit by voting for spending at the same time it voted for cuts in revenue. If Obama has to choose, ignoring the debt limit is likely the most defensible option and will cause the least harm.

spicebearSep. 30, 13 9:28 PM

jonno... The President can't have any "spending intentions." Only Congress can authorize spending.

staredSep. 30, 1311:18 PM

This President violates or selectively enforces laws all the time. So why bother to discuss the issue?

crystalbayOct. 1, 13 1:23 AM

The GOP is hell-bent to destroy the economy and destabilize our system. Seven months ago, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget bill which the House has refused to even take to a conference committee. They've been asked to do so 18 times since last April. That's why they drove us to the cliff again and shut down the government tonight - all to take apart a law of the land, ACA. They've had the country lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis, all manufacture and caused by their irresponsibility. I fully expect to hear "Obama didn't even pass a budget" soon when, in fact, the House has shirked its responsibility to even go to conference with the Senate's bill. That's like cutting off a man's hands then blaming him for not playing the piano. Had the House done its duty and taken the budget to conference, this bizarre crisis they caused would never have even occurred. There's absolutely no excuse for allowing the Senate budget bill to languish in order to create yet another crisis. None at all.

arspartzOct. 1, 13 1:39 AM

Is the POTUS mandated to spend what congress allocates, or is the allocation the LIMIT of what can be spent and a dedication of those funds. Full faith and credit means he has to pay the debts, but does not need to fund the social safety hammock if funds run dry.


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