Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Republican Crazy Talk About the Debt Ceiling

By       Message Robert B. Reich     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/8/13

Author 47089
Become a Fan
  (117 fans)
- Advertisement -
Source: Robert Reich Website


"I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt,"  says  Sen.Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "We won't. We'll continue to pay our interest."

This is crazy talk. While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments after October 17 -- the day the Treasury Department says it no longer has legal authority to pay the nation's debts -- and not pay Social Security and Medicare, this would buy a few days at most.

Meanwhile, interest rates will soar, stock prices will plummet, the global economy will begin spiraling downward, and millions of Americans wouldn't receive their Social Security and Medicare.

So why are Republicans talking like this? Because they want to sound as if they're willing to blow up the economy if they don't get their way. A crazy person with a bomb is much scarier than someone holding a bomb who looks and acts reasonable. Sounding crazy is part of the Republican bargaining strategy. 

But the President and the Democrats must not give in.

- Advertisement -

If we get to October 17th and the Republicans are still holding the nation hostage, the President has only one option: He must ignore the debt ceiling and order the Treasury to continue to pay all the nation's bills.

He should rely on Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says the "validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned." The debt itself is clearly "authorized by law" because it's the direct result of laws authorizing the U.S. to spend and to tax. The showdown over the debt ceiling is over payment of the debt, not the legality of the debt itself. Arguably, what the Constitution requires trumps any law governing the debt-ceiling. 

If Republicans disagree, let them try to impeach the President. Their polls are already dropping. The latest Washington Post-ABC poll shows 70 percent of the public disapproving of their tactics (65 percent disapproved before the shutdown), while the President's disapproval remains at 51 percent. An attempted impeachment would reveal to the public just how crazy Republicans have become.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

http://robertreich.org/

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

The Minimum Wage, Guns, Healthcare, and the Meaning of a Decent Society