Republicans are publicly stating again that America is a hostage. They are saying that if we don't start the process of crippling Social Security and Medicare that they will cause America to default of the national debt. The idea being that only Congress can raise the national debt ceiling. A debt that Republicans themselves created through the Bush tax cuts for the rich and 2 unnecessary wars.
But - there are three reason what Obama can raise the debt ceiling without Congress.
- The first reason is the 14th Amendment that says, "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."
- The second reason is that when Congress passed budgets with more spending than income they implicitly voted to incease the debt. That they knew, or should have known, that deficit spending would increase the debt, and they voted to do that.
- The third reason Obama can increase the national debt on his own is in the case of a national emergency. If Congress fails on its own to do its job and be fiscally responsible then the President as the Chief Executive has to step in to avert a world wide crisis. And letting America go into default as a part of a political stunt would be irresponsible, and as President Obama should not let that happen.
So - if I were Obama here's how I would play it out. I would tell Republicans that I refuse to negotiate with hostage takers, as he is doing now. Then I would wait for Republicans to cave in not telling them about the intent to use constitutional powers to avert the crisis. Obama could sit back and wait for then to either cave in or actually deliberately let America's credit go into default. At the point Republicans actually put America in default Obama would then invoke all three of the above reasons to raise the national debt on his own. No court is going to overturn that kind of decision.
But my bet is the Republicans cave in and we never need to find out what Obama would have done. Take the Republicans to the cliff edge and dare them to jump. Taking America hostage is morally wrong and we should rub their noses in it.
As a result America's credit will be saved. The credit rating will go up because the "Adults" are back in charge. And Republicans will have a record of having committed an act of treason against America on their record when they run in the next election. I'm just hoping Obama is smart enough to figure it out.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!