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Is the US Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional?


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Is the US Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional?

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President Barack Obama should use the 14th Amendment to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional in the event that Congress hurtles toward another debt showdown.

"I'm a big fan of the Constitution," Pelosi said during a discussion on raising the debt ceiling in a sit-down with reporters. "The credit validity of the United States shall not be in question."

Asked if she expected Obama to use the 14th Amendment as a last resort for avoiding a debt default and other economic consequences, something the president said was not an option during last year's debt stand-off, Pelosi shrugged.

"I don't have any idea. But I think he should. I think he should," she said.

The Democratic leader privately endorsed the concept to members of her caucus during last summer's debate. As Congress inched closer to default, progressive Democrats increasingly called on Obama to use the constitutional option as an 11th-hour solution to averting a crisis. In the end, he never did.

The provision at the heart of the constitutional debate, Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Democrats essentially argued that since the "public debt" cannot be questioned, then the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

Pelosi said Wednesday that lessons were learned from last year's debt ceiling debacle.

"You cannot put the country through the uncertainty. We lifted the debt ceiling, right? We still got the credit rating taken down because of the uncertainty of it all," she said. "You cannot flirt with this. This is really dangerous."

"I would like to see the Constitution used to protect the country's full faith and credit, as the Constitution does."

Before moving on to another topic, the minority leader reined in her comments somewhat and said it is ultimately up to Obama to decide how to proceed in debt ceiling negotiations.

"Again, that's my opinion. I'm in a different branch of government. In the minority, in the House," she said. "What do I know about what the president's going to do?"

Is the US Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional?

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 kbit 
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Please don't submit anything involving that vapid, insipid airhead pelosi in the future.

I think it is constitutional but wouldn't be surprised if obama claimed that it wasn't....pretty much his modus operandi in so far as not caring about what is in the constitution and in fact considers it a document of negative liberties but I don't want to write a book here.....

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 kronie 
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On Elitetrader.com, what happened with open discussion threads, is they were finally moved into main categories so that traders seeking trading threads could find them, and concentrate upon them,

and not get them confused with political discussion threads, like this one.

perhaps we can have one of the Administrators, move this discussion to the Political category

that way such a discussion that has nothing to do with strategies towards trades or potential trades can receive others seeking political discussions, whether pro or con / against the present or future administration or contenders for the next administration

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 Big Mike 
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This thread is already clearly in the off topic section, and you can filter categories you see in your user cp.

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 liquidcci 
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I think the framers of the Constitution would have liked to tar and feather Nancy Pelosi in the public square just for saying stupid things. I also think the framers could never imagine taxing it citizens at the levels Pelosi and gang want to fund out of control spending binges for which they want to raise the debt ceiling.

Where has common sense gone.

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liquidcci View Post
Where has common sense gone.

I don't think its called common sense... but the answer is - to the highest bidder.

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kbit View Post
I think it is constitutional but wouldn't be surprised if obama claimed that it wasn't....pretty much his modus operandi in so far as not caring about what is in the constitution and in fact considers it a document of negative liberties but I don't want to write a book here.....

Obama has dismissed this so far, it is more the likes of Tom Harkin and Pelosi.

The debt ceiling is a law passed by congress to control spending authorized by laws congress passed :-) There are two sets of laws in conflict. A set of statutes to pay a certain amount of money and a statute limiting the amount of money you can raise via the Treasury. Anyway, statutes like the debt ceiling law would not be able to supersede the constitution.

What the constitution does say is that the US will pay its debts. I do not think the debt ceiling law could be used to stop payments on current debt. Other spending and new debt I think would be where the fight would be.

I think the POTUS should pay interest on the current debt regardless if the debt ceiling is raised or not and then the president decides what not to pay until Congress gets their act together or it gets settled in the courts which may be a very long time.

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Big Mike View Post
I don't think its called common sense... but the answer is - to the highest bidder.

Mike

You got that right.

"The day I became a winning trader was the day it became boring. Daily losses no longer bother me and daily wins no longer excited me. Took years of pain and busting a few accounts before finally got my mind right. I survived the darkness within and now just chillax and let my black box do the work."
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