You can tell Biden’s back is against the wall when he starts complaining about press coverage and leaking stories that there will be a deal requiring Democrat votes in the House. The Democrats’ desperation over the debt ceiling is apparent. They keep trying to sell the story that Republicans won’t pay the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt.
But that’s false.
It’s a fact; the House of Representatives has voted to raise the debt ceiling. The debt crisis can end in the blink of an eye when President Biden and Senate Democrats decide to take yes for an answer.
Democrats have several stock responses right out of their playbook. They say them reflexively, but none are logical. Eventually, they give up and respond that Biden has the Fourteenth Amendment at his disposal, thus showing that they’ve never read it or Articles I through III.
If he tries going around Congress to authorize paying debts, it could lead to his impeachment.
READ MORE — Andy Bloom: How democracy dies
The things Democrats say…
“We want a clean bill.” What exactly does a clean bill that increases the national debt beyond $31.4 trillion look like? What they mean is, extend the credit card limit again, and in exchange, they promise (“cross their hearts”) to “talk” about curbing spending at some nebulous time in the future. It’s the same when they say, “Not with a gun to our head.” Stop lying. What you feel against your temple is the national debt of over 130 percent of GDP. It sounds pretty filthy to me.
“Republican and Democrat presidents have run up the debt. Trump, the evil orange meanie, is responsible for 25 percent of it,” they explain to me, “and he got three debt ceiling increases,” they add with satisfaction. “Right,” I say, nodding in agreement, “adding by both Democrat and Republican Congress, too. What’s your point? It’s an excuse to kick the can down the road again.” They stare at me blankly.
“You didn’t complain when Trump was running up the debt.” Actually, many Republicans did. How do you think the “MAGA” members who took fifteen votes before agreeing to make Kevin McCarthy the Speaker came to power? According to Ballotpedia, fifteen incumbent Republican House members lost in primaries during the 2022 mid-terms. “What’s your point? You’re the ones who said Trump was wrong. Now you want to double down and dig a deeper hole?” That’s liberal logic there somewhere.
“Tax cuts for the rich!” It’s the go-to line for the intellectually challenged. Of course, people who pay more in taxes benefit from tax cuts. It’s impossible to cut taxes for the half of the population who already don’t pay taxes. But nearly everybody who pays taxes got a break. The results were the great economy the nation enjoyed before the pandemic and increased federal revenues.
After the Trump tax cuts in 2017, the Treasury collected more revenue in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), a new record, then more in FY19 (another new record), followed by the Covid year 2020. In FY21, revenues exceeded $4 trillion for the first time!
Cutting marginal tax rates increases revenue. (JFK knew this to be true.)
The United States government doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects $4.1 trillion in revenue for FY24 (starting Oct. 1, 2023). Joe Biden’s proposed budget is $6.9 trillion.
Biden and Democrats hold the nation — and the world’s economy hostage. They say the debt ceiling increase and the $6 trillion budget the House has approved will cause catastrophes.
With interest rates approaching twenty-year highs, increasing the national debt and continuing to increase spending is the real catastrophe.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the House Republican plan would reduce the $31.4 trillion national debt by $4.8 trillion over ten years through $4.2 trillion in policy savings and $543 billion in interest savings.
The bill sets Fiscal Year (FY) 24 spending at FY22 (the last full fiscal year) levels and then caps discretionary spending increases at 1% growth for the next decade. So, if the nation had it on Sept. 30, 2022, it’s not part of the Democrats’ imagined cuts.
The plan calls for:
- Returning unspent Covid funds to the Treasury.
- It doesn’t allow spending the money Biden plans for Student Loan Forgiveness. Shouldn’t every American pay their obligations if the nation has to pay its $31.4 trillion debt?
- It requires work (school or community service) for welfare (after three months). Everyone wants to stop working and have somebody else provide for them — but the U.S. can’t afford it. Everybody has to pull their weight.
- It cancels green energy tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act (do we really need to give tax credits to people who can afford to buy cars that cost over $60,000?). Maybe Biden has a point about subsidizing petroleum companies, and some other green energy credits can be traded.
These are items Biden and Democrats are holding the country hostage over and are willing to allow the U.S. to default over. I vote not to pay for welfare benefits to somebody who would rather not work or the tax credits on someone’s $100,000 electric car.
When they finish their robotic talking points, they inevitably get to the Fourteenth Amendment. “Legal scholars” like Harvard Professor Emeritus Laurence H. Tribe have them convinced that the Fourteenth Amendment has magic words that allow the president to skirt Congress and order bills paid.
What’s ironic is that, in 2011, when President Obama was facing a similar crisis (back then, “hated” Republican “extremists” were called the Tea Party), Tribe was an advisor to Obama (one of his former students), and he didn’t think it was a constitutionally valid idea. Now, sitting in an ivory tower, he chirps in to the contrary from the New York Times opinion pages.
Read the entire Fourteenth Amendment, past the part that says, “The public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.” There’s a section addressing who has the power to enforce those obligations:
“The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 5
Congress, not the president, has the power to enforce the debt obligations.
Maybe the people responsible for the Fourteenth Amendment meant something I don’t understand.
I don’t claim to be a “legal scholar.” I don’t have a law degree. I wasn’t nearly good enough for Harvard. But I have read the Constitution, including the Fourteenth Amendment.
The first three articles of the Constitution create three separate but equal branches of government and enumerate the specific powers granted to each.
Article I, Section 8 specifics the power of Congress, including taxing, spending, and borrowing. The power to coin money also lies with Congress.
The powers given to the “Executive,” also known as the President, are listed in Article II. The President does not have any of those powers.
In Article III, the judicial powers are given to the Supreme Court.
Democrats feel the same about the Court as they do about “bipartisan budget talks.” When it goes their way, it must be respected. When they disagree with its decisions, the Court is “extreme,” “corrupt,” and “illegitimate.”
The conservative members of the Court interpret the Constitution literally. I may be blind, but I can’t see how they could construe the Constitution to give the president powers to pay debts or borrow. I’ll bet that Biden doesn’t dare, and if he goes to the Supreme Court, they won’t hear the case in advance.
If Biden tries to authorize paying debt or borrowing money without the authorization of Congress, he could violate the separation of powers. It could be an abuse of power and an impeachable offense.
If he does try and tests it in the Supreme Court, he will lose. I’ll bet the ranch the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t hold up. Liberals, do you dare take me up on this one?
Andy Bloom is president of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT and WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc. and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.