Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Debt Limit

There's a lot of new discussion about the debt limit and whether it's constitutional or not.

From the 14th Amendment, Section 4: "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."

Democrats are using this to claim that we are obligated to raise the debt ceiling.

I don't think so.

There is nothing in this sentence from the 14th Amendment that requires us to issue new debt by raising the debt ceiling; it only requires us to pay off the old debts. As long as we continue to pay interest, and either roll over debt or pay off debt that creditors do not want to renew, we should be ok. That does not, however, address the unfunded liabilities like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I believe there is a Supreme Court case ruling that Social Security is not a legal obligation, but I couldn't find it. I hope Republicans are smart enough to figure this out.


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