If you are a big spending, extreme-Liberal Democrat like Barack Obama, then you might be willing to grasp at any straw that might allow you to keep on spending more and more money. Last month, at a breakfasted hosted by Politico, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner actually read out loud Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, arguing that a debt ceiling or debt limit may itself be unconstitutional. So while there are talks about deals and mini-deals as the U.S. Senate returns and budget – debt negotiations continue as the August 2 deadline approaches, might the Obama Administration now be considering just ignoring debt limits to spending altogether?
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says the following: ″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.″ So what was Geithner′s point in reading this out loud at the Politico breakfast?
Basically, their point is that any limit on the National Debt is unconstitutional. The phrase ″shall not be questioned″ means that the federal government must pay its debts, no matter how much, according to the Constitution. One may also consider the Obama administration using this clause to silence critics who may question the validity of the National Debt. That to speak out on the subject of the public debt or debt ceiling is illegal.
Some in the Democrat brain-trust believe that Obama can use this 14th Amendment clause to basically side step the Legislative branch on the whole issue of any limit on public debt. The sad truth is that we already do. Since the Crash of 2008, some $20 Trillion dollars in bailouts, loans, and guarantees have been made by the U.S. government. That this year is expected to add another $5 Trillion dollars to that Netherworld of ″unfunded liabilities″ that is estimated to be somewhere between $67 Trillion dollars to as much as $200 Trillion. As I have been saying repeatedly here, the full story on just how deeply in debt the United States is is unknown by the public. It could be that really, nobody knows, even in the government, the true nature of our National Debt.
If Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner think they are going to get around House Republicans and the Senate at large playing this card, then they are truly grasping at straws. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment does not make any limit on a debt ceiling unconstitutional. Nobody is questioning the validity of the public debt, except maybe Ron Paul in his latest proposal for the Federal Reserve to just tear up the Treasury bonds they′ve been buying through quantitative easing. Should the Obama White House try this tactic, then it is high-time for starting the process of adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to supersede this ploy. Otherwise, Obama, and whoever follows him, will feel free to keep the wild spending spree going indefinitely.