By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Here’s the way the debt ceiling debate will go:
1. The House and Senate will stalemate. The Senate will not pass anything Boehner sends over, and Obama would veto it anyway. The House will not pass anything that Harry Reid sends over.
2. President Obama will raise the debt ceiling on his own, citing the 14th Amendment and his duty as chief executive to take bold steps to deal with this national emergency. A number of prominent Democrats like James Clyburn are already urging the president to do this.
Bill Clinton said that he were still president, he’d do it and dare the courts to stop him.
The president himself told LaRaza this week, "Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting." The New York Times is urging the president forward on this lethal plan, as is Yale law professor Jack Balkin, who said, "At the point at which the economy is melting down, who cares what the Supreme Court is going to say? It's the president's duty to save the republic."
Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post chimed in. "It seems to me that definitive action--unilateral, if necessary--to prevent the nation from suffering obvious, imminent, grievous harm is one of the duties any president must perform.”
Now the Democrats are engaging in reprehensible linguistic sleight of hand here. The 14th Amendment says, “The validity of public debt...shall not be questioned.” Now debt is debt, money that has been borrowed and which legally must be repaid. Democrats are including Social Security and Medicare, etc. under the term “debt.” But they do not represent debt. They may represent promises, or commitments, but a promise is not a debt.
Social Security and Medicare are not even “entitlements” since from a strictly legal standpoint nobody is entitled to anything under these programs. The laws that created them allow Congress to change the parameters of these programs anytime they wish.
All the 14th Amendment means is that the debt must be serviced first. The federal government receives over $200 billion a month in revenues, and only needs about $20 billion of that to service the debt. The only way the U.S. can go into “default” is to refuse to service the debt. But since the federal government receives ten times the revenue it needs to do that, the only way the US can go into default is if President Obama chooses to do so.
Two credit rating agencies have already downgraded U.S. creditworthiness. The issue, as they have made clear, has everything to do with the debt and nothing whatsoever to do with the debt ceiling. It is the amount of debt and the absence of any plan to deal with it that is leading to the downgrade. Raising the debt ceiling, in fact, will make the problem worse instead of better because it will simply pile more debt on top of what’s causing the downgrade already.
3. The president’s unilateral move to borrow money on his own authority will create a constitutional crisis since the president has no authority, none whatsoever, to borrow money on the credit of the United States. Only Congress has been authorized by “We the People” to do that.
Article I, Section 8 is unambiguously clear. Among the enumerated powers granted to Congress - and not to the Executive branch - is the “Power...to borrow Money on the credit of the United States.” The president does not have that power under the Constitution and can’t steal it through a fanciful reading of the 14th Amendment.
4. This will clearly be an impeachable offense, since the president will have usurped power that does not belong to him and willhave violated his oath of office to uphold rather than destroy the Constitution. Articles of impeachment will be filed by somebody in the House, but they won’t get anywhere. And even if they do, and the president is impeached by the House, the Senate would conduct the trial and he will be acquitted, just as Clinton was. It takes 67 votes to convict, and with Democrats holding a 53-47 edge and egging him to do it, there’s no way Obama doesn’t walk away scot free from a Senate trial. He’ll be just as guilty and just as free as Casey Anthony.
5. We will have a tyrant king in place and will no longer be a representative Republic. We will be a functional monarchy, headed by a figure who can borrow and print as much money as he wants. If he gets away with this, there will never again be a need for a battle over tax increases. If the president wants more money, all he has to do is borrow it. Who’s gonna stop him?
The only thing that can stop the engineer on this runaway high speed train is a fear on Obama’s part that such a transparent power grab will cost him re-election in 2012. But what if he thinks this will actually help him in 2012? He can read the polls like everyone else and knows he’s in desperate shape. This is his “Hail Mary” pass. Even if it would cost him re-election, and I believe it would, the amount of damage he can do to the Republic and the Constitution in the meantime would be incalculable.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)