01.09.2013 in Economy, Featured, Government Debt, Government Spending by Bill Wilson 11

Get ready for Obamabonds

By Bill WilsonSoon, the Obama Administration will be able to borrow money to refinance and expand the $16.4 trillion national debt without any permission from Congress.

That is, if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets her way.

On CBS’ Face the Nation on Jan. 6, Pelosi said that if the debt ceiling is reached without a congressional extension, Obama should just raise it himself. “[I]f I were president, I would use the 14th Amendment, which says that the United States will always be paying … I would just go do it, right.”

Here, Pelosi is saying that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution gives Obama the power to do whatever he pleases in order to ensure, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.”

Never mind that this section of the Amendment was originally set up to ensure that debts incurred during the Civil War would be honored, and also to bar the federal government or any state from assuming the debts of the Confederacy. Pelosi wants the Administration to assert that it is a universal mandate.

From this she is claiming that the President has the power to ignore Congress and issue as much new debt as he deems appropriate. Neat argument.

There are several problems with this proposition, of course. The Constitution empowers Congress, not the President, in Article 1, Section 8 to “borrow money on the credit of the United States.”

Further, Article 1, Section 7 gives the House of Representatives the sole power to originate legislation affecting “the raising of revenue.” And there is no question that adding new debt is new revenue.

Fortunately, so far the Administration has resisted these siren calls to just raise the debt ceiling willy-nilly. “This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Dec. 6.

Although that is little comfort. Instead, the White House just wants Congress to eliminate the debt ceiling all together. Which, if Pelosi is ever again Speaker of the House, one should expect that might be her first order of business.

All of which means Republicans in the House are actually in a race against time in order to get the nation’s reckless entitlement spending under control.

60 percent — some $2.2 trillion — of the $3.65 trillion budget is spent automatically without any vote in Congress. This so-called “mandatory” spending — the constitutionally questionable process of baseline budgeting — is the true driver of our debt crisis.

The only time Congress gets to vote on that part of the budget, really, is whenever the debt ceiling comes up. Otherwise, there are no annual appropriations votes on the Social Security budget, or the Medicare budget, etc. The only way to get at them is to amend the eligibility requirements under law — and that requires 60 votes in the Senate.

Except, Republicans have never had a filibuster-proof majority since Rule 22 was adopted in 1917 and modified in 1975 lowering the requirement to a three-fifths majority from two-thirds to invoke cloture. And at the rate they’re going, likely never will.

So, unless Republicans are willing to use the debt ceiling to rein in entitlement spending and balance the budget, and to use it now, the country may never address these issues in any meaningful way. We may be just an election way from the debt ceiling being eliminated all together.

At which point, we may as well just abolish Congress itself. Then, it will have become little more than a useless puppet theater, a means to control the masses through the illusion of representation. Why even have elections at all if representatives are not even allowed to vote on the only budgetary matters of significance?

The truth is, when the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling comes due, the stakes could not possibly be any higher.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

This article has 11 comments
  • jim 09.01.2013 11:08 AM

    Pelosi is a classic liberal nut case and an ugly one to.

  • pduffy 09.01.2013 11:12 AM

    The constitution is a meaningless document at this point in history because the courts refuse to uphold it and congress won’t act either so Mr. Obama has become a defacto dictator. There is nothing left but a grass-roots rebellion, and once that is squashed, it will be over.

  • Darrell Russell 09.01.2013 11:21 AM

    The constitution is used by the progressives only if it meet their need on a given agenda. The rest of the time it is an impedance to their push for a socialist style of government in the US.

  • Patriot still 09.01.2013 11:34 AM

    Nancy should be fired or impeached or what ever you can do to a senator that no longer uphold the oath of office she took to support and uphold the constitution of the United States.

  • grumpy3625 09.01.2013 11:38 AM

    There are a massive amount of people in the U.S. who want to overthrow the government (the Constitution provides for that to happen) but we have no leader. Electing a leader is a bit dicey since the process of choosing one or communicating to The People that we have one would certainly tip our hand. Everyone that has relatives in law enforcement or the military or the government should educate them on “the problem”. The greatest weapon that our enemies can possess is that they have the minds of the people. Start talking. I know that a shameful amount of you didn’t vote in the last election so the least you can do is to correct that by spreading the truth.

  • Daniel Wolfe 09.01.2013 12:18 PM

    Just for your information, Pelosi is a Representative… not a Senator. And you’re right, she should be thrown out… tarred and feathered!

  • Don 09.01.2013 12:39 PM

    Anyone that has supported this idiot Bit### should be Euthanized for the good of the Nation. But there should be no delay in Euthanizing Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid two of the total Morons in Washington DC but there are many more that should be listed to save the Nation.

  • Bob 09.01.2013 2:27 PM

    Nobama’s goal is to destroy this country. He needs to be stopped. If Congress hasn’t the guts, nor the Supreme Court, there needs to be some alternative!

  • David Jones 09.01.2013 3:22 PM

    The President has used his executive order so many times that Pelosi thinks it can be used for every thing. It that’s the case them why doesn’t he just make himself the King can forget about losing power. These liberals make me sick to my stomach and Pelosi and Reed have reached their limit. I’m sure that Obama has tried to figure out a way to add amendments to the Constitution to give himself more power.

  • tagdogs 09.01.2013 5:06 PM

    As long as we are talking about mental institutions in regards to the problem of gun abuse, can’t we find a way to have Pelosi committed as mentally defective?

  • Sgt. York 09.01.2013 5:45 PM

    dang ol rubber face is wantin some bonds that will be worth -$2.00 out of every $5.00 invested. No wonder her ol man is doin so well. Answer not no but hell no.

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