reply to post by charles1952
First, thanks for taking the time to formulate a thoughtful reply. I'm definitely not worried about congress defunding programs or anything like
that. That would be doing its job. I don't object to the fact that both houses must agree to budgets and taxes. I'm not a great fan of our
system, but that's a debate for another thread.
Second, here is where I think you've gone off track:
Originally posted by charles1952
The debt ceiling puts no limitations on the President, it just says "we're not going to spend more than such and such an amount."
Actually, the debt ceiling is not an agreement among legislators not to spend. It is a limit upon how many bonds may be issued by the treasury
department.... Bonds are issued to make up the difference between revenues and spending, both of which are mandated by acts of congress. The
treasury is a part of the executive branch, with a head appointed by the president (and approved by the senate)... so I hope you'd
to finance the United States' involvement in World War I, Congress modified the method by which it authorizes debt in the Second Liberty Bond Act
of 1917. Under this act Congress established an aggregate limit, or "ceiling," on the total amount of bonds that could be
Bonds are issued to make up the difference between revenues and spending, both of which are mandated by acts of congress. Therefore, by simple math,
the deficit is also mandated by congress, by the implication of its' power to tax and spend. The treasury is a part of the executive branch, with
the secretary of the treasury appointed by the president (and approved by the senate)... so I hope you'd agree that in light of this fact, the debt
ceiling is a real limitation on the administration, in the same way that the budget and tax laws are real limits on the administration.
This is only a problem if the Tax, Spending and Debt ceiling laws are in conflict with one another. In a simplified version our situation is this:
Congress says, "Mr. president, we order your to spend 100 dollars and collect 50 in taxes, and you can also borrow 10." It's just mathematically
inconstent. The other forty dollars has to come from somewhere, whether congress likes it or not.
The partisan aspect of this is really just a side issue for me, the sides could be reversed, and the scene would be just as stupid. Congress
shouldn't be passing contradictory laws, and by simple logic, contradictory laws can't both be constitutional.
Since the beginning of the debt ceiling laws, congress has recognized this, and by tradition raised the debt ceiling every time they increased the
deficit. Basically, they took respoinsibility for the laws they passed and adjusted the debt ceeiling accordingly. The past few years have been the
Well, maybe I'll elaborate on this tomorrow, but right now, I'm falling asleep. Goodnight.