BREAKING: Mike Pence Officially Makes His Endorsement
This is huge news. Pence is universally known in Indiana and is by far the biggest Republican name in the state.Read More »
I know, I know: that wasn’t the intent. The intent was to flog the concept that a debt ceiling is itself unconstitutional as per the 14th Amendment, thus obviating forever the need for Democratic politicians to stop spending money that we don’t actually have. Here’s the text from the 14th:
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. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
…and it’s been argued – pretty much mostly by neo-Keynesian (and former conservative) Bruce Bartlett, which is something that the HuffPo author did not mention (can’t imagine why he’d think that actual conservatives would react badly to a Bartlett scheme) – that the text means that any attempt to enforce a real cap on indebtedness is thus unconstitutional, so there, neener neener. If you’re wondering, however, how you can make it unconstitutional to enforce a cap on indebtedness while not also conceding that it’s unconstitutional to incur that debt in the first place, well, I regret to tell you this: you are immediately disqualified from writing for HuffPo. Or writing fiscal policy for the Democratic party, apparently.
As you might have guessed, I look forward to the Democrats using this argument, for the following reasons:
But. If the Democrats want to take a position on the debt ceiling which puts the members of the Executive Branch by the Democrats’ own interpretation of the language of the Constitution in danger of violating Article II, Section 4:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
…and I think that deliberately choosing to violate the Constitution – again, by the Democrats’ own interpretation – qualifies. Although it’s more about what the House leadership would think, of course; …anyway, if the Democrats want to give us this gift, who am I to prevent them?
Moe Lane (crosspost)