By John Fuller
On or about Oct. 17, the United States government reaches its debt limit. With the government borrowing more than $2 billion a day, it was inevitable that we would reach the congressionally pre-determined debt ceiling.
President Barack Obama and the Democrats claim that unless the debt ceiling is raised the U.S. will default on its bills. That is a lie. If the debt ceiling is not raised, it does not mean the government has defaulted, it means that it must immediately balance its budget. So how is it that everyone is talking default?
There are forces that preclude the U.S. defaulting on its debt. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says, “The validity of the public debt of the U.S., authorized by law, … shall not be questioned.”
Some argue that this gives Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling without Congress.
That would lose in court.
But it does mean that the nation must pay its debts before paying entitlements.
The president could refuse to cut entitlements before paying interest on the debt, but that is an impeachable action.
What the president is trying to do is frighten our lenders, the people, Republicans, and Congress to raise the debt ceiling, borrow more money, spend more, fund Obamacare and destroy this nation financially.
By Joe Carbonari
Once again it appears that Congressman Paul Ryan is the Republican Party’s Next Great Hope.
He is the architect of House Republicans’ six-week deficit ceiling extension proposal, and he has softened his Medicare position sufficiently to suggest that there is the real possibility of movement on deficit reduction – a face-saver for the party’s brinkmanship advocates.
It was essentially Ryan’s proposal that House Speaker John Boehner used as the icebreaker to get negotiations going last week.
The political polarization that has led to our current state of brinkmanship is unsustainable. We must address it.
The Republican Party must get its Tea Party faction under control if it is to continue to play its traditional, and necessary, responsible role in our two-party system.
Insisting on cliffside negotiating by threatening a government shutdown, and then following it up with the threat of a world-scale economic decline due to an unprecedented debt default is childishly irresponsible.
We must stop acting as if the Tea Party’s current leadership deserves a seat at the table. For their legitimate concerns to be taken seriously the Tea Party must moderate its language and eschew tantrum tactics.
We are friends and fellow citizens. We should start acting like it. Our future depends on it.
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