Should The Federal Debt Ceiling Be Abolished?
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.
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