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Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional (14th Amendment)

WASHINGTON -- Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned," reads the 14th Amendment.

"This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default," Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. "I don't think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I'll tell you that it's going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'"

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.


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What desperate idiocy!

What desperate idiocy!


Here is an assignment for you: Take the premise that the 14th Amendment says debt incurred by the US and authorized by law shall not be questioned, and somehow reach the conclusion that Obama must therefore incur new debt that is not authorized by law, and in fact is specifically forbidden by law.

Try it. I cannot string the therefores together to pull off that caliber of sophistry.

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Great point

I was about to make this point myself immediately after reading this but you beat me to it. So if the ceiling isnt raised, there can be no more debt that is "authorized by law" because congress hasn't passed a law that authorizes it. Pretty simple logic here lol. That "authorized by law" portion gets in the way of what they are trying to say here. Which law authorizes the debt? The debt ceiling law, duh.

The new debt part

is not authorized. Only the current debt and the interest on it must be paid.

And to add to your comment

the current debt payments take precedent over other expenditures. Since the feds have revenue exceeding the debt payments it is the other non-debt expenditures that must be cut to remain under the debt ceiling.

It is all BS about defaulting. Just a pack of lies to stir up the masses to demand more debt.


Current debt payments take precedent over other expenditures. It's the non-debt expenditures that must be cut to remain under the debt ceiling.

Technically Obama is right

As others like TxRedneck have pointed out the problem is the "debt ceiling". It's a technical point, but one that Obama is right on nonetheless.


"Following passage of the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917,[122] the federal debt limit evolved over the 1920s and 1930s. Congress had previously approved each debt issuance separately. The debt limit provided the U.S. Treasury with more leeway in the administration of debt, allowing for modern management techniques in government finance"

This means that whatever debt is on the books is valid and must be paid. If Congress now wants to restrain federal spending then the way to do it is repeal the debt ceiling method of accounting and approve each issuance of new debt separately, like it was done before. That means a vote for each item as it comes up, which would be good because it would spotlight each item.

It's no different than personal spending habits. People tend to spend more when they have a card with some distant limit, rather than if they have to make the decision to pay for each purchase at a time.

But whatever debt has already been authorized, which includes all previous debt ceilings, and the interest on that debt must be paid according to the 14th Amendment. They don't have to raise the ceiling to allow new debt, but they do have to allow our current obligations to be met.

It gets messy

Doesn't this just mean that the public debt, as authorized by law, has to be paid? In other words, the government can't cancel such debts. Whether or not the government has the resources to pay those debts is another question although it has the power to borrow and tax. This wording seems to assume that the government will either be fiscally prudent, borrow, or raise taxes. The validity of the debt would remain even if it didn't get paid in a timely manner.

This is another example of the woes of ignoring the Constitution

To begin with. The framers made it clear that any law that violated the constitution was null and void upon its inception, yet they ignored this fact. If they would look at the constitutionality of the Fed then they would clearly see that due to it's not being constitutional they cannot invoke the constitution to protect it. It is a good thing though if the Dems want to bring this into the light for discussion as it could well educate the American people to the tyranny of the Fed and central bankers in general, as well as the direction the constitution spoke where only Congress could coin money.

Always remember:
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." ~ Samuel Adams
If they hate us for our freedom, they must LOVE us now....

Stay IRATE, remain TIRELESS, an

The key to refute that

The key to refute that arguement is found, simply worded, within the 14th Amendment: "authorized by law". Congress must authorize the debt, and currently they authorize a "ceiling" on the debt.

If congess "authorizes by law" $14 trillion and the debt reaches $14.5 trillion, the extra $500 billion is within the realm of questionable.

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It's amusing to see the vast

It's amusing to see the vast majority of Congress calling anything unconstitutional. Most of what they pass is unconstitutional. What, are they suddenly getting religion?

It$ U$ury,

they will have to raise the debt-ceiling, to let the system continue 'working', or else it will choke or collapse.
All are pretending, Not looking at the Debt-Clock, even WithOut Any Spending the Debt Increases. All because usury is so sacred, is a given, none dare question it. They calculate that because they will Not 'think' or talk about usury it remains a secret. Now in this Time of awareness it would be foolish to think like that, we can see their (?)= 'god'.

Watch / hear this conversation, educative -
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I'm having a hard time squaring this argument

Is Obama saying that he can ignore the debt ceiling because Congress previously promised certain spending on entitlements and those future 'obligations' are the equivalent of debt, therefore the debt ceiling is at odds with the 14th Amendment?


Sooo, where did the debt

Sooo, where did the debt ceiling came from?