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Should Obama Bypass Congress on the Debt Ceiling?

Politics 2011/07/03 23:33:31
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As the stalemate over the national debt ceiling continues, Democrats are suggesting a radical solution that is (unsurprisingly) making Republicans angry.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if the U.S. does not borrow more money (only possible if the debt ceiling is raised), in August, the Treasury will only be able to pay 56% of U.S. bills.

Former Treasury official Jay Powell says the government would likely pay interest first, leaving popular domestic programs in jeopardy.

"It could be Social Security. It could be Medicare. It could be Medicaid. We can't pay everything," Powell says.


In order to avoid such a crisis, some Democrats are arguing that if necessary, Obama should bypass Congress and order the Treasury to keep borrowing.

The argument is based on a little-known section of the 14th Amendment which states that the public debt of the United States "shall not be questioned."

"If Congress refuses to act, the argument would run, the president out of necessity must act in order to follow the command of the constitution," says Garrett Epps with the University of Baltimore Law School.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans are not pleased with this proposal.

"That's crazy talk. It's not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and to say somehow the president has the authority then to basically do this by himself," says Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex.

Sources say, in order to get through Congress in time, a deal must be reached by July 22nd.

What do you think? Should Obama bypass Congress to avoid a crisis? Or is that just "crazy talk"?

Read More: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/03/eveningn...

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Top Opinion

  • maggied45 2011/07/03 23:58:49
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    maggied45
    +28
    Hello! Last time I looked Obama wasn't a dictator. We have a Congress for a reason. Obama is the one who is unwilling to allow cuts so that he can just keep on borrowing money.

    "It could be Social Security. It could be Medicare. It could be Medicaid. We can't pay everything," Powell says.

    I don't like that quote - that is typical government threats to try to get us on Obama's side. Maybe we'll all have to share a little of the cuts for a while - but why do they always pick totally on the weakest people to get their point across.

    Ron Paul came up with a great idea of having the FeD destroy some bonds so that we could use this money now. This will give Congress more of a chance to look for cuts and give the country the money to pay its bills. If they raise the debt ceiling it's going to be the worst thing in the world for this country. We are literally selling ourselves to other countries through debt.

    Stop the wars - that will give you money. Stop all raises on Federal Salaries, in fact lower them. If they can't do their jobs - get someone else to fill them.

    Get rid of all the illegal aliens collecting any sort of benefit in this country.

    No citizen should lose one cent of the Social Security money while we are giving illegal aliens benefits and sending foreign aid to other countries.

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  • concernedcitizen 2011/09/04 16:23:38
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    concernedcitizen
    While this is a mute point now, OBAMA was elected to the executive branch. He is NO LONGER a legislator. If he had any leadership abilities or cared about what AMERICA wants, he would not have allowed this debate to come down to a bill being passed at the last minute.
  • curtis.l.walker 2011/07/20 14:01:53
    Yes, to avoid a crisis.
    curtis.l.walker
    Most countries have NO DEBT CEILING and do just fine without it. CUT Spending on MILITARY and CORPORATE GIVE AWAYS and Tax Loopholes and the Rich not paying their fare share is what is needed. No Debt Ceiling - as it does not matter because the CONSTITUTION say public debt shall not be questioned. End of Story. Appears too many poster watch to much FOX (for now until the plug is pulled).
  • He'a: ka'ka:' 2011/07/16 05:16:55
    Yes, to avoid a crisis.
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    YES. YES. YES! Tell the Republicans to STFU and quit their bitching.
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/18 14:30:50
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    He can't. There's that little thing called "The Constitution"...perhaps you've heard of it?
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/18 15:34:27
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    He has every right to bypass it. He has that power.
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/18 16:38:32
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    No he doesn't. The President can:

    1. Veto legislation
    2. Call emergency sessions of Congress
    3. Use his capacity as commander in chief for military affairs
    4. Appoint Supreme Court Justices and Ambassadors with approval of the Senate
    5. Sign treaties to have them ratified by the Senate

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it say he has control over the debt ceiling. All spending matters lay with Congress.
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/18 17:41:36
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    Exactly. Veto. Veto. Veto. It's all up to congress.
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/18 19:11:53
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    What are you exactly trying to say? First you say D'ohbama should bypass Congress....which he can't...now you're saying it's all UP to Congress...where exactly are you trying to stand?
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/18 22:11:25
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    +1
    I'm saying they have to both work together, ultimately, and that you can't blame just ONE person.
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/19 12:29:02
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Actually, I can. When he's the sticking point.
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/19 17:08:43
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    Then what's your excuse for Bush?
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/19 17:52:36
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Bush didn't ram through an unwanted, ill conceived, and secretive health care bill that doesn't help anyone but adds a few TRILLION to the deficit.
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/19 18:08:41
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    It will help my father, and that's enough for me.
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/19 19:32:40
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Yeah, I can see that. It's what's best for the you, screw everyone else. Got it.
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/19 20:39:29
  • Riceman... He'a: k... 2011/07/20 01:04:38
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Happily, I disagree with you. But I appreciate your honesty. Thankfully...I, and most people, don't fall into your "everyone" category. Because if we did...this nation would have disintegrated a long time ago.
  • He'a: k... Riceman... 2011/07/20 01:46:57
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    No apologies, that's how I feel. I love my family.
  • teamrn He'a: k... 2011/07/24 16:47:38 (edited)
    teamrn
    +1
    Right or wrong, George Dubya STUCK to his principles, and for that, he;ll be remembered. Obamas' principles sway with the polls and whether or not he has an opinion. He should be driven by WHAT IS BEST FOR AMERICA, he should be above the fray when it comes to POLITICS and should be good for his word. I wasn't aware that the presidency was a pissing match. There were occasions that Bush backed the 'wrong horse;' but at least he BACKED, he TOOK A STAND.
  • He'a: k... teamrn 2011/07/24 17:08:13
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    SPOOKY MORMON HELL!
  • curtis.... Riceman... 2011/07/20 14:03:25
    curtis.l.walker
    +1
    Might wanna go read the 14th amendment before you try to show you know what you are talking about.
  • Riceman... curtis.... 2011/07/20 19:07:36
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    LMAO!!! Uhmmm....no. And if you don't believe it...listen to the news...don't hear talking about it anymore do you?
  • curtis.... Riceman... 2011/07/20 14:09:41
    curtis.l.walker
    Uhhhhhh, you might wanna pull a copy out too and read it and pay attention to the amendment dealing with DEBt -- and I quote in pertinent part -- THE PUBLIC DEBT SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED. If Obama has no choice and uses it to protect the economy -- he can -- and let the courts decide.
  • Riceman... curtis.... 2011/07/20 19:11:15
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Wrong "genius"...Article I, Section. 8. Try reading it before YOU try and take me on.
  • curtis.... Riceman... 2011/07/22 18:23:50
    curtis.l.walker
    The issue is the debt and the exact citation is germane but not near as much as the fact that you read it and still don't get it. DUH! Based on your various other posts and this one tis clear you are not worth wasting any further keystrokes to "take on." Certainly not worth my time. Your Gravitar should have warned me what a pathetic outlook on life you give off. OUT.
  • Riceman... curtis.... 2011/07/22 18:30:50
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    Facts ALWAYS get in the way of libs like you. Happy to see you fold, you never had a chance anyway. Later lib.
  • screwed... He'a: k... 2011/09/04 16:05:37
    screwedovercitizen
    I'll tell you the same thing in 2012. Until then I'll patiently wait and let Obama cut his own throat...
  • He'a: k... screwed... 2011/09/05 16:47:40
  • Lucy 2011/07/16 02:47:19
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    Lucy
    +2
    If Obama does that he must be impeached. The Congress speaks for the people and he will have to accept whatever the vote is.
  • Old Nellie Bones 2011/07/16 01:06:56
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    Old Nellie Bones
    +2
    Hell No.He is soooooo out of touch with Americans.
  • ordinaryhousewife 2011/07/15 15:13:45
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    ordinaryhousewife
    +4
    but if he does.. well then we know.. this is a dictatorship and not a government of the people by the people and for the people!!
  • TruBluTopaz 2011/07/15 04:12:44
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    TruBluTopaz
    +2
    We are a representative republic which means the president governs at the will of the people. If he overreaches then we could see states demand to be exempted from any rules. We are talking very serious breaching of the limits of the powers established for the executive branch. As I have said before, wars have been fought over less than this. He's not a king. He's not a dictator. He is an elected official who WE put into office (or at least some of us) and WE can take him out. It may come to that.
  • jerry.d... TruBluT... 2011/07/16 03:42:11
    jerry.dudley1
    +2
    impeached the sob.
  • RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL 2011/07/14 20:30:03
    Undecided
    RicemanSTM ~POTL~PWCM~JLA~AFCL
    +2
    Sure, let him. Watch what happens. He won't. He may be a coward...but he's not an idiot. He won't do anything unless he's got someone he can throw under the bus to save his own skin.
  • Zeruke 2011/07/14 20:00:38
    Undecided
    Zeruke
    +2
    under how this nation was made it is were the legislators are suppose to deal with that and even then rising the debt ceiling hardly does any help what needs to be dun is pay cuts to all of the politicians, stop the printing of money for at least 10 years, cut out the most unneeded things like the bush tax cuts that helped fule the economy to go under, stop all of the bail outs or make bigger requirements for people to even get close to getting those bail outs
  • jerry.d... Zeruke 2011/09/11 12:17:40
    jerry.dudley1
    Cut out fall the aid they give to other country's.
  • cybernestical 2011/07/14 18:47:47
    Yes, to avoid a crisis.
    cybernestical
    Yes, everybody outs did it.
  • dmezz1120 2011/07/14 12:45:26
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    dmezz1120
    +2
    First we had King George, Now Obama's hope and Change has turned too "The more things change, the more they stay the same" No matter which party is in power the same games countinue
  • LarryFine 2011/07/14 11:34:25
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    LarryFine
    +1
    Do it and go straight to jail.
  • Pedro Doller ~Inc. 2011/07/14 10:51:26
    Undecided
    Pedro Doller ~Inc.
    +1
    He should go straight to his banking daddys and get the money from them.
  • bpf 2011/07/13 23:31:38
    No, "that's crazy talk."
    bpf
    +3
    Obama is playing the "Grandma is going to eat dog food" scare to start the class warfare crap again. The founding fathers gave Congress not to the man in the White House whether it be a Republican or Democrat that duty. The President does not control the purse strings of America its the responsibility of CONGRESS...
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