Friday, May 12, 2023

Biden, Debt Ceiling, 14th Amendment, and a National Debt Depletion Amendment

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The first clause of Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment reads, "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."  It was intended to ensure that any debt accrued during the War Between the States by the federal government in its quest to force the seceded states back into the Union through military invasion and occupation was honored and paid back through the federal budget and taxation.  If one continues to read the clause we also realize that the Fourteenth Amendment cancels, or makes invalid, any debt created by the Confederacy during the crisis.  

The way the clause is worded, by having in it the word "included" prior to the part about debts incurred in connection to the federal government's air to suppress "insurrection or rebellion" leads one to believe that other debts must also be honored without question.  Therefore, argue today's Democrats, the debt ceiling must be raised no matter what, with no questions being asked about it, because the Constitution says so.  President Biden has stated he plans to go around Congress and use the Fourteenth Amendment to make sure the debt ceiling is raised.

Any bill regarding debt must originate in the House of Representatives.  Biden has no constitutional authority to go around Congress on the issue, and the U.S. Senate cannot put in place new amendments on a bill without approval from the House of Representatives.  After all, in the final section of the Fourteenth Amendment only Congress has the authority to "enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."  The President, simply due to that final clause, cannot simply go around the Congress.

A key set of words in the clause is "authorized by law," which means it has to be approved by Congress...with, or without, the President's approval.

If they can keep raising the debt limit, then they can keep increasing spending, 85% of which is unconstitutional (based on a study I was a part of back in 2007).

The problem is, to use an allegorical antidote, the toilet has overflowed to the point that the crap-water level is rising.  Instead of fixing the toilet the Democrats wish to simply add to the walls so that the ceiling is higher.  As long as their constructions crews can stay ahead of the sewage, the house never overflows.

The problem isn't the debt ceiling, the problem is all of the unconstitutional spending, and no effort to reduce spending.  The National Debt has risen every year of my lifetime.  It is time to fix the toilet.

I believe the way to do it is by proposing an amendment to deal with this problem.  I am not talking about a "balanced budget amendment," as we hear so often championed by various groups and folks pushing an Article V. Convention (Convention of States).  Rather than a balanced budget amendment, which allows a balanced budget to be defined any way the purveyors of statism may manage, how about an amendment that tackles the problem head on?  

Any officeholder in the United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, U.S. Treasury, or the Office of the President of the United States who, during the time for which they were elected or appointed, voted in favor of, or was party to, carrying out any additional federal spending during the time they were appointed or elected that occurred during a presidential term that concluded during which time the national debt did not decrease, may not be a candidate for appointment, reelection or election to any office under the authority of the United States, or hold any office under any State, county, or city, unless such disability has been removed by three-quarters vote by each House of the United States Congress.

We can call it the National Debt Depletion Amendment (or, the Gibbs Amendment would work, too).

The problem is, Congress would never agree to propose such an amendment, which brings us back to the necessity of an Article V. Convention.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

No comments: