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Should The Federal Debt Ceiling Be Abolished?

ProudProgressive 2012/11/20 15:34:42
Yes it should.
No it shouldn't.
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Should the Debt Ceiling be abolished? Many people believe it should. It serves little purpose except to provide a battleground between liberals and conservatives, has no constitutional foundation, and may itself be unconstitutional under section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment which states "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." A debt ceiling creates a situation in which the public debt of the United States could be questioned. No one truly knows what all the consequences would be if we did simply go beyond the current debt ceiling. Even though President Obama has slowed the rate of Federal Spending to its lowest level since Eisenhower was in office, our debt still continues to rise, and sooner or later we will reach any ceiling that is set.

What do you think?

Article excerpt follows:

Treasury Secretary Calls For Abolishing The Debt Ceiling
By Pat Garofalo
Nov 19, 2012

Early next year, the U.S. is on pace to once again hit its debt ceiling, the statutory borrowing limit imposed by Congress. When the U.S. neared its debt limit in 2011, House Republicans took it hostage, demanding spending cuts and forcing the first credit downgrade in U.S. history due to their intransigence on taxes.

That the U.S. faces periodic standoffs over the debt ceiling is a problem entirely of Congress’ own creation. The debt ceiling didn’t even exist until 1917, and serves little practical purpose. During an interview on Bloomberg Television, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner acknowledged as much, saying that the U.S. should abolish the debt ceiling entirely:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. “absolutely” should get rid of the debt ceiling as soon as possible.

“It would have been time a long time ago to eliminate it,” Geithner told Bloomberg TV on Friday. “The sooner the better.”

Geithner did not commit to personally doing anything to eliminate the nation’s legal limit on borrowing. When pressed on the issue, Geithner told Bloomberg TV: “This is only something only Congress can solve. Congress put it on itself.”

As the American Prospect explained last year, “experts — including former Office of Budget and Management and Treasury officials, congressional staffers, and CBO employees — have suggested in the past, and are suggesting now, replacing the debt ceiling with debt targets for lawmakers to work under.” Certainly, in its current form, the debt ceiling does nothing but give the minority party a chance to manufacture a crisis every time it needs to be increased.


Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/19/121269...

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  • Sayer Stewart 2012/11/23 09:13:52
    No it shouldn't.
    Sayer Stewart
    No way
  • Magus BN-0 2012/11/20 23:13:24
    Yes it should.
    Magus BN-0
    You're right, it's both unconstitutional and without any valid purpose. Voting on whether to raise the debt ceiling can be more accurately described as voting on whether to pay for the spending that Congress already authorized earlier in the year.
  • LesWaggoner BN 1 2012/11/20 17:23:19
    Yes it should.
    LesWaggoner BN 1
    Soooo...do you still believe in the idiots who are running the country. More's the pity.

    There is one, and only one, solution to the financial problems that congress has been intent on creating for the past 50+ years.

    Simply take the debt ceiling, debt payment and annual budget out of the hands of congress by Constitutional amendment.
    Sounds simple doesn’t it? The problem is that congress has to call for a Constitutional convention to amend the Constitution. Congress will never willingly do so to limit their responsibilities.

    In the financial situation that the U.S. faces now this is what such a Constitutional amendment would be like:
    1 ~ Limit federal financing to 20½% of the GDP of the previous year.
    2 ~ Require 2½% of the above 20½% to be paid toward debt reduction.
    3 ~ Require a set aside of ½% of the above 20½% for national emergencies.
    4 ~ Require congress to finance the federal government within the remaining 17½% of the above 20½% limit.

    On another note:
    Social Security and Medicare would be “off budget” and both would have to be changed to reflect changes in both the amount paid in and by raising the age of qualification.
    When SS was enacted in 1935 the age required to receive benefits was 65 years. The average lifespan of an individual born in 1935 was 61.7 year...

    Soooo...do you still believe in the idiots who are running the country. More's the pity.

    There is one, and only one, solution to the financial problems that congress has been intent on creating for the past 50+ years.

    Simply take the debt ceiling, debt payment and annual budget out of the hands of congress by Constitutional amendment.
    Sounds simple doesn’t it? The problem is that congress has to call for a Constitutional convention to amend the Constitution. Congress will never willingly do so to limit their responsibilities.

    In the financial situation that the U.S. faces now this is what such a Constitutional amendment would be like:
    1 ~ Limit federal financing to 20½% of the GDP of the previous year.
    2 ~ Require 2½% of the above 20½% to be paid toward debt reduction.
    3 ~ Require a set aside of ½% of the above 20½% for national emergencies.
    4 ~ Require congress to finance the federal government within the remaining 17½% of the above 20½% limit.

    On another note:
    Social Security and Medicare would be “off budget” and both would have to be changed to reflect changes in both the amount paid in and by raising the age of qualification.
    When SS was enacted in 1935 the age required to receive benefits was 65 years. The average lifespan of an individual born in 1935 was 61.7 years. Today our average lifespan is over 78 years.
    You can read the entire SS Act of 1935 here: http://www.ssa.gov/history/35... and the portion specific to investment limitations and retirement qualifications here: http://www.ssa.gov/history/35... II
    Life Expectancy at Birth 1930–2010 can be found here: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa...
    (more)
  • ProudPr... LesWagg... 2012/11/20 22:06:19
    ProudProgressive
    +1
    Well said. I don't necessarily agree with every number but your concepts are sound.

    One thing, though - the States can go around Congress to get a Constitutional Amendment - under Article V:

    "on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, [Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified ..."

    When the Constitution says "shall", Congress has no choice. So if resolutions from 35 states petition Congress to call a Convention, they have to do it.
  • LesWagg... ProudPr... 2012/11/22 22:15:17
    LesWaggoner BN 1
    The concept is rudimentary and the numbers are a generalization. What I do know is that the financial well being of the nation would be better off if congress had less to do with making the gross financial decisions. It would take someone more familiar with writing a Constitutional amendment than I am.

    It would take a national grass roots petition movement in each state to petition each state legislature to call the convention and 35 states to request the convention. Then 38 states must approve an amendment.

    Tell congress how much they have to work with and let them work out the details within that allocation. Forcing the debt downward is cruicial to the economy.
    Something has to be done about congressional bribery so at the same time maybe such an amendment could also put an end to lobbying outside of open congressional hearings.
  • santa6642 2012/11/20 16:10:52
    Undecided
    santa6642
    +3
    I already though the obamanation did that.With executive order 52,001.
  • sjalan santa6642 2012/11/20 16:25:20
    sjalan
    +1
    Go hide back under your bridge. Troll.
  • fire1209 sjalan 2012/11/20 16:49:51
    fire1209
    That does not make him a troll since all he did was state his opinion.
  • sjalan fire1209 2012/11/20 17:03:48
    sjalan
    The instant he referenced an non existent EO he labeled himself a troll.
  • fire1209 sjalan 2012/11/20 17:08:04 (edited)
    fire1209
    If he is wrong,(which I don't really care enough to look up) then he's misinformed, not a troll, unless he knows he is wrong.
  • ProudPr... fire1209 2012/11/20 22:09:11
    ProudProgressive
    +1
    No he attempted to state a fact and the "fact" he attempted to state doesn't exist.

    "It's a nice day" is an opinion.
    "The sky is yellow with green polka dots" is a false fact.
  • fire1209 ProudPr... 2012/11/20 22:27:39 (edited)
    fire1209
    He believes it's a fact, so it is an opinion.
  • ProudPr... santa6642 2012/11/20 22:08:19
    ProudProgressive
    +1
    There is no Executive Order 52,001. Executive Orders are sequentially numbered going back over a century, and President Obama is only up to # 13629.
  • Magus BN-0 santa6642 2012/11/20 23:14:23
    Magus BN-0
    There is no "executive order 52,001"
  • Lefty 2012/11/20 16:08:50
    No it shouldn't.
    Lefty
    +2
    But it should only be a reminder that it needs to be extended, and not a reason to raise hell, and lose our tripple A rating, which the tea party caused!

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