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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Jun '11 23:09
    US Constitution, 14 Amendment, 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.

    (Emphasis supplied)

    Legal scholar Garrett Epps, apparently "strictly construing" the Constitution has stated: "It's not hard to argue that the Constitution places both payments on the debt and payments owed to groups like Social Security recipients ... above the vagaries of Congressional politics."

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/30/news/economy/debt_ceiling_constitution/


    Interesting point of view. Does the language mean what it says i.e. that obligations incurred pursuant to law MUST be paid? Is a debt limit that purports to make payment of obligations optional on Congressional authorization of borrowing a violation of the Constitution? If not, what does the language mean?
  2. 30 Jun '11 23:30
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    US Constitution, 14 Amendment, Section 4:

    [b]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 de ...[text shortened]... rization of borrowing a violation of the Constitution? If not, what does the language mean?[/b]
    Interesting question. Do you know when Congress began creating a debt ceiling? If it is simply raised every time it is reached, then of what use is it? When money is fiat, and has no intrinsic value, what does a limit mean? We can put in a dollar amount, but even in a decade that dollar amount isn't real.
  3. 30 Jun '11 23:33
    forget the debt, our entire monetary system is unconstitutional.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Jun '11 23:37
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Interesting question. Do you know when Congress began creating a debt ceiling? If it is simply raised every time it is reached, then of what use is it? When money is fiat, and has no intrinsic value, what does a limit mean? We can put in a dollar amount, but even in a decade that dollar amount isn't real.
    1917. Before that, Congress approved specific loan and bond issues on an individual basis. http://www.executivegov.com/2011/04/5-things-you-should-know-about-the-debt-ceiling/

    Money, by its nature, is fiat and without intrinsic value.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Jun '11 23:38
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    forget the debt, our entire monetary system is unconstitutional.
    Start your own thread arguing such lunacy; it's poor form to go into a thread and tell people to "forget" the topic of the thread.
  6. 30 Jun '11 23:46
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Start your own thread arguing such lunacy; it's poor form to go into a thread and tell people to "forget" the topic of the thread.
    i'll argue whatever and where ever i like, but thanks for your concern.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Jun '11 23:48
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    US Constitution, 14 Amendment, Section 4:

    [b]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 de ...[text shortened]... rization of borrowing a violation of the Constitution? If not, what does the language mean?[/b]
    It sounds like it means that the debt can be collected. It doesn't appear to me to mean that Congress can't establish a debt ceiling. If Congress can itself determine how much federal money is spent, it seems to me that they ought also be able to cap its own deficit spending.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Jun '11 23:51
    Originally posted by sh76
    It sounds like it means that the debt can be collected. It doesn't appear to me to mean that Congress can't establish a debt ceiling. If Congress can itself determine how much federal money is spent, it seems to me that they ought also be able to cap its own deficit spending.
    Can it set its debt limit at $0 and thus not pay any outstanding obligations or future ones incurred under existing law?
  9. 30 Jun '11 23:52
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    1917. Before that, Congress approved specific loan and bond issues on an individual basis. http://www.executivegov.com/2011/04/5-things-you-should-know-about-the-debt-ceiling/

    Money, by its nature, is fiat and without intrinsic value.
    " Money, by its nature, is fiat and without intrinsic value."

    Paper money perhaps. Even paper money when backed by some tangible commodity (gold, silver, titanium, oil) isn't fiat. Fiat money is Federal Reserve notes, based on debt, and redeemable for nothing, and designated as legal tender.

    Again, if a debt ceiling is routinely raised it isn't really a ceiling. It is a deception. If the purpose of a ceiling is to place a limit on debt, such as a credit card limit, it would make sense to stick with it.

    I'll have to think more about the Constitutionality of a ceiling. I think I prefer the older method, as more responsible.
  10. 30 Jun '11 23:54
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    i'll argue whatever and where ever i like, but thanks for your concern.
    Your concern and argument is rational and relevant, along the same lines as I was pursuing.
  11. 30 Jun '11 23:55
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Can it set its debt limit at $0 and thus not pay any outstanding obligations or future ones incurred under existing law?
    no, legal debts cannot be questioned.

    if they set the debt limit to $0 (thus destroying the economy), they would still have to pay the debt, but they could no longer burrow any more.
  12. 30 Jun '11 23:57
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Can it set its debt limit at $0 and thus not pay any outstanding obligations or future ones incurred under existing law?
    Since the start of debt ceiling legislation, has anyone suggested zero as an option, or failing to honor debts? Until fairly recently, nobody even considered not routinely raising the limit like a spendthrift shopaholic.
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    30 Jun '11 23:59
    Originally posted by normbenign
    " Money, by its nature, is fiat and without intrinsic value."

    Paper money perhaps. Even paper money when backed by some tangible commodity (gold, silver, titanium, oil) isn't fiat. Fiat money is Federal Reserve notes, based on debt, and redeemable for nothing, and designated as legal tender.

    Again, if a debt ceiling is routinely raised it isn't re ...[text shortened]... he Constitutionality of a ceiling. I think I prefer the older method, as more responsible.
    Such "tangible commodities" have no intrinsic value either. You're merely kicking the can down the road.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Jul '11 00:03
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Since the start of debt ceiling legislation, has anyone suggested zero as an option, or failing to honor debts? Until fairly recently, nobody even considered not routinely raising the limit like a spendthrift shopaholic.
    That's irrelevant to the discussion sh76 and I are having. He seems to have asserted that Congress had a plenary power to set the debt ceiling as it sees fit. I'm asking if that's what he really meant to say; a power to set a debt ceiling implies a power to set it at whatever level Congress chooses.
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Jul '11 00:06
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Can it set its debt limit at $0 and thus not pay any outstanding obligations or future ones incurred under existing law?
    Probably not; but isn't the debt ceiling designed merely to prevent further spending?