So it is no surprise that House Democrats have begun urging President Obama to use his executive authority under the Constitution to issue an Executive Order to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval. You can bet the Right Wing Noise Machine, aka Fox News, Newsmax, the Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh and Drudge (to name a handful) will begin denouncing any such action as impeachable and "tyrannical." Most Constitutional scholars are intrigued by the notion that the language of the Fourteenth Amendment may actually grant the President such authority. The Amendment includes language that reads; "Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties..." Now what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that the President has the authority to ensure our previously approved public debt is paid? Does it mean he needs prior Congressional authorization to pay said debts only if actual payment is approved? This is exactly the dilemma facing the President. Why is this a dilemma? Because at no time in the history of the United States has Congress ever refused to pay bills relating to Congressional! Obama is the first president in our history to have an oppositional Party attempt to use the debt ceiling as a negotiating tool, knowing that failing to extend the ceiling will lead directly to our nation defaulting on our debt.
How many Americans have actually read Alexander Hamilton's Report on Public Credit? I bet not too many since it was published in 1790! Perhaps Republicans need to go back and learn how our national financial system was established to bring us into the club of responsible nations? Yes we owe a lot of money, but the money owed is for spending that was already approved to be spent. Why is additional authority needed in order to actually pay for that spending? So, what would happen if we default on our debt besides becoming a "Dead Beat" Nation? We become a bad investment for anyone looking for a secure return on their money while losing complete respect from the rest of the World and risk shutting down our entire Government (which is exactly what the Tea Party, Grover Norquist and his ilk want). But the cost to America's credit and image World-wide would be devastating. Do we want China's currency to replace the Dollar as the economic standard for the World? Do we want to pay higher rates of interest on money we will need to borrow for future spending due to becoming a credit risk?
So, perhaps President Obama should consider taking the risk of invoking an Executive Order to ensure our Congressionally authorized borrowing is actually repaid? Perhaps this alone might establish Obama as the leader that did what he was required to do...to ensure the interests and security of the Nation are protected? Would this not be a National Security issue too? Are Party politics more important than the security of the Nation? One thing is for sure, Alexander Hamilton will be "spinning in his grave" if our Nation defaults on our debt.