Saturday, September 28, 2013

In Which I (holding nose) Agree with Nancy Pelosi

It is very hard for me to write these words, as I consider Nancy Pelosi to be a contemptible, loathsome creature.  But that doesn't mean she's always wrong.

The issue here is the debt ceiling, the one Senator Obama voted against raising in 2007, calling doing so "irresponsible" though to do so now does not so strike him.  I had heard this argument raised the last time the debt ceiling was under consideration, but it wasn't until the other day when I met with my favorite former submariner, squishy-lefty-government-worker friend who raised it again,  that I decided to study the matter and see where I came down on it.

Mrs. Pelosi believes that Section 4 of  the 14th Amendment pretty much makes the idea of a debt ceiling unconstitutional.  Based on my reading of the document, I agree.  Here is the wording:  

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

In essence, what Pelosi advocates (and I support) is for the President to simply ignore the debt ceiling and order the Treasury to continue to issue bonds to finance the debt.  The Founders appear to have believed that if a Congress authorizes (and appropriates) something, it ought to pay for it.  The debt is the accumulated terror of decades of doing so.  It is a bad thing, something that should be lower, but the Constitution appears to me to be saying that any legislation creating a situation in which the nation would have to default--is unconstitutional.

So here is what I Mr. Obama should do.  Again, ignore the debt ceiling, and wrap himself in the 14th Amendment.  Of course Republicans would go nuts, but since they don't have the votes to Impeach him it would effectively take the issue off the table.  They could bitch and kvetch all they like, but the ceiling would simply cease to exist.  We don't like it?  Change the Constitution, the same thing we say to the gun control crowd.

The other strategic benefit of Obama doing this is that it offers Boehner and the Republicans a way of honorably moving on from this ridiculous fight.  They could (and would) scream about Presidential over-reach, but they could go back to their constituents and honestly say that they fought the good fight against that tyrant Obama.  Hell, they could even consider Articles of Impeachment.  But at the end of the day, they wouldn't go anywhere, we'd be able to get at the real problems of budgeting, and we could rid ourselves of this dubiously constitutional requirement to raise debt ceilings. 


Anonymous said...

You completely overlooked the phrase "Authorized by Law"
The debt limit law expressly un-authorizes spending above a certain limit.
Add to this the fact that there is no law authorizing most spending since Reid is in violation of the law for 4 years now to deliver a budget. So even the current spending below the debt ceiling is of questionable legality.
So rest easy tonight. The Botox bitch of Bolshevism may yet eventually be right about something -- a stopped clock is right once or twice a day -- but you need not agree with her, because this interpretation isn't even remotely on solid ground.

Now it is true that the vile creatures we elect continue to spend and continue to raise the debt limit making the law somewhat moot in the long run, but in the short run we can at least slow down their raping of the nation.

Anonymous said...

You completely ignored the bit in the Constitution which says "Authorized by Law"... the debt limit law passed in 1917 expressly revokes the legal authorization of any spending which would cause debt to be issued beyond a specified limit.
Sleep well that the Botox bolshevik is still wrong and you do not have to agree.

"The Hammer" said...

CW sometimes you remind me of John McCain (Sometimes? Hell most of the time). You may be right but so what? This is something that obviously needs to be decided by the courts, so let the leftist scum have at it. They have plenty of lawyers. But right now we're in a big fight and this is not the time to give aid and comfort to the enemy. And incidentally, I don't recall Pelosi raising this BS during her 25+ years representing the fruits, nuts and flakes of San Francisco...quite the damn contrary!
So do us a favor, take off that Brooks Brothers suit and put on your Duck Dynasty camo and lets kick some liberal ass. You're either part of the solution or part of the problem, and I'm tired of losing.

LL said...

A stopped clock is right twice a day.

Mudge said...

Is raising the debt ceiling necessary to pay the principal and interest on our accumulated debts as well as pensions and bounties or is it to permit ever and ever more borrowing to fund the difference between this Administration's never approved budget and the amount it can take from the citizenry? If it is the former, then you are correct to agree with Ms. Pelosi. If the latter, you are, as in virtually every case where someone agrees with her, mistaken. The woman, it turns out, absolutely IS wrong 100% of the time. She always has been wrong for this magnificent nation we inherited but through our insecurity in fighting hard, even mercilessly, to protect it from a growing political class seeking to change it, I don't know if we can survive much more of her ilk. And as my friend from Tangier Island says of your new-found like minded thinker, "the woman sleeps hanging upside down".

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Anon--I ignored nothing of the sort. The constitution makes anything passed by the Congress and signed by the President subject to the 14th Amendment. It is the entire debt ceiling law which is unconstitutional.

Hammer--I may be right, but so what? What kind of logic is that? If I'm right, I'm right. We don't win by ignoring the Constitution.

Mudge--it is immaterial what the spending is for. The Constitution provides for the debts accrued by the government to be paid. Again, the entire concept of a debt limit is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

"The Hammer" said...

CW this is a Constitutional QUESTION, that's all. I'm not ignoring anything. I just don't think it's a good time to smooch Nancy Pelosi butt. And by the by, liberals have done a lot of winning by ignoring and subverting the Constitution. Why would you side with someone who wipes their ass with the greatest political document ever written (unless it suits them) every minute of every day of their life?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Hammer--because I refuse to wipe my own ass with the greatest document ever written.

JB said...

I thought no less a Constitutional scholar than Obama said that those citing the 14th Amendment in this argument are wrong? Of course, I suppose his position on this could evolve . . .

The Conservative Wahoo said...

JB, does it surprise you that he is a shitty conlaw guy too?

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