Put the limit in perspective

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This is about the angry and continuing battle over the public debt limit. The only mention of the public debt in the Constitution is in the 14th Amendment, where, removing only the references to the Civil War, it reads “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.” The word “shall” has perhaps even a greater force of law than the word “must.”

A law was passed in 1917 that for the first time set a limit on the public debt. It caps the debt at an amount reset each time the debt limit has been reached. Any cap clearly conflicts with the words “shall not be questioned.” I find, then, the 1917 law to be clearly unconstitutional. Without that law, there is no cap, and we then resort to dealing with expanding the debt by routine acts of Congress and the president. Instead of setting a new limit, there is no limit and nothing need be done, thus removing it as a means to extract extreme demands for cutting spending, a particularly nasty recent practice, but one we can expect to be used regularly in the future.

It is worthwhile to recall how our debt got so high. In the 1980s, the Republican Party secretly adopted “starve the beast,” a ploy to deliberately increase the deficits. President George W. Bush continued on this plan, as he never gave any thought to pay for his trillion-dollar wars with increases in taxes. The idea eventually was to get the debt so high that the Democrats would be unable to institute any new major programs.

President Obama came along and managed, even with the big deficits, to get a start on universal health care, which is why the GOP has been so wild to see it doesn’t survive.

Victor Reilly

Aiken, S.C.

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carcraft
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Points
carcraft 10/17/13 - 02:50 am
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Victor needs to get a grip.

Victor needs to get a grip. "Secret starve the Beast" plan ? How did Republicans do that when the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate through all of the 1980's. The Republicans didn't Reagan the House of Reps until 1995. As we have seen the House controls the pocket book. Any "starve the Beast" plan would have HAD to have bipartisan support. Oh well another liberal fantasy by some one challenged by historical facts. Never mind that Obama and the Democrats have added about $6 trillion under Obama's first 5 years. The debt in 2000 when Bush took office was $5.5 trillion. When Bush left office eight years later in 2008 it was $10 trillion. It is now $ 16 trillion. Obama and the Democrats have added $6 trillion to the debt. despite Republicans attempts to end this madness (as we have seen in the latest shut down) the Democrats refuse to give and inch!!! So Obama will double the national debt in his next 3 year IF the Republicans don't regain control of the Senate!

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 10/17/13 - 03:32 am
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Victor, debt limits don't

Victor, debt limits don't question the validity of any existing debt; they just stop our government from incurring new debt in excess of the limit. It seems that by continually raising the debt beyond what we can pay, we're neither taking the debt seriously nor considering it valid.

Our newest debt limit shows that we have every intention of going through another trillion dollars really soon. For the life of me, I can't understand why any foreign investor would risk buying U.S. debt.

GACopprhed
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Points
GACopprhed 10/17/13 - 03:36 am
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10
Much of that deficit was
Unpublished

Much of that deficit was money spent to keep the recession from becoming a depression. Our money is, basically, backed by our GDP. The more the recession hurt our GDP, the less our money was worth. Regain the Senate? Republicans will lose the House next. This little fiasco didn't help Republicans one little bit. I'm sure there are some Republican spending priorities that can be reduced, I've never seen the House offer that. I also remember a trillion is tax breaks that Republicans gave the wealthiest, and how about GE and other big companies starting to pay some taxes?

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/17/13 - 03:47 am
4
9
FA, they don't because we PAY
Unpublished

FA, they do because we PAY our debts. If the debt limit isn't raised, to authorize payments on already authorized debts, we don't have the money make those payments. Then, borrowing money costs EVERYONE more, the world, including the US goes into another recession or more likely a depression and that's really where we need to be, I guess. Get rid of the trillion dollar tax breaks, make all corporations pay taxes, eliminate farm subsidies and reduce waste in the military. That doesn't mean hurt our defense capabilities, it means to not authorize military spending that is unneeded...I recall tanks and engines for the Raptor that the military said were unneeded but Congress authorized anyway. I'll try to get the info on that later. There are ways to cut spending and bring the deficit down, but putting our country in harm's way, financially, by not extending the debt limit is not the way.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 10/17/13 - 04:07 am
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GACopprhed, we don't pay our

GACopprhed, we don't pay our debts; we merely make the minimum payments on them (it's called servicing the debt). This approach is terribly expensive because we're paying interest without lowering the principal.

We're like a household that maxes out its credit card and makes only the minimum payments. That's a sure way to wind up paying much more than was originally owned. At this rate, we'll never be debt-free.

Eliminating waste, subsidies, and special tax breaks can help; but raising taxes on corporations will merely result in higher prices for the goods produced by those corporations. The key is to cut spending so that our government spends less than it takes in.

deestafford
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deestafford 10/17/13 - 04:15 am
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2
The liberal argument/position is fact free and ahistorical

talking points.

It has been proven time and time again that tax cuts increase revenue to the government.

Just as Hoover and FDR's policies made the depression of the 1930s "Great" and prolonged to the longest in US history, Obama followed the same Keynesian economic policies and made the recession worse and longer than it should have been. His increase in spending was nothing more than pay offs to his political base of the unions and leftist organizations.

If Hoover, FDR, and Obama would have left things alone as had other presidents had during an economic down turn the free market and capitalism would have worked their way out of the situation as had been done in the past. But, alas, like most liberal/statists they think they know better how to improve the economics of the country by massive spending of other peoples money on "feel good, compassionate" programs designed to keep them in power.

Our problem is not a revenue problem---it is a spending problem. The solution is simple: do away with base line budgeting and cap spending at the inflation level plus one percent. This will balance the budget within five years. Additionally, we can sell of much of the land and buildings owned by the federal government....and I'm not talking about national parks and the like. The feds own one-third of all the land in the US which is uncalled for. Of course, the left will argue against this proposal because of its distrust of private property ownership and stewardship.

carcraft
28421
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carcraft 10/17/13 - 04:52 am
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2
Benjamin Franklin, one of the

Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest thinkers and scientist of his era talked about the magic of Compounding interest. Albert Einstein said " compound interest may be the most powerful force in the universe" (this may be an urban legend but the principal is very true). Ben Franklin left $4,400 dollars to Boston and Philadelphia when he died. The money had to be left to gain interest for 100 years. Only part of it could be with drawn then. Today the money is worth $ 2 million in Philadelphia and $5 million in Boston ( Boston drew less in it's initial disbursement). When we barrow to pay interest on the debt, we are in essence doing the OPPOSIT of what Ben Franklin and Einstein may have suggested. We are compounding debt! But if a liberal does it, it must be OK, right?

carcraft
28421
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carcraft 10/17/13 - 04:57 am
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2
"Much of that deficit was

"Much of that deficit was money spent to keep the recession from becoming a depression." The money spent actually protracted the recovery. We spent $900 billion on the stimulus package, (you Know money to teach African men to wash their genitals, wind mills built in china etc). Where did the other $ 5 trillion go? It appears along with history liberals have trouble with math. What are they good at except spending money?

ymnbde
10662
Points
ymnbde 10/17/13 - 05:12 am
8
2
trillions of dollars of debt

is too much to defend, by anyone
by what they defend shall we know them
the distribution of power needs to go away from Washington
and back to the states, as originally intended

ymnbde
10662
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ymnbde 10/17/13 - 05:21 am
7
2
almost forgot

hey copperhead
how will a reduction in the ratio
of doctors to patients
do no harm?

myfather15
56267
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myfather15 10/17/13 - 09:27 am
8
3
Carcraft

You will never get them to address that Obama has created more debt than any President in history!! Because it doesn't help their cause, they will avoid the topic like the plague; or just blame it on Bush!! It's honestly like arguing with children!!

myfather15
56267
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myfather15 10/17/13 - 06:06 am
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Victor Reilly

Actually, I like your word "Shall" and I also believe your sentence: "The word “shall” has perhaps even a greater force of law than the word “must.”

I couldn't agree more sir!! So let's take a deeper look at this word "Shall" and go back a little further in history. Someone gave us some GREAT advice on how to run a successful society and Country!!

No, I'm not talking about Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson; but a little farther back in history than these men!! Let's take the advice from He who promised to bring us into this land!!

Deutoronomy 8: 6-7: "Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

7For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;"

Deuteronomy 15:6 "For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou SHALT NOT borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they SHALL NOT reign over thee."

Wow, now that is some good advice!! Live within your MEANS and don't borrow!! Did you also notice that word SHALT and SHALL? Some pretty strong words, huh? Would we be in this mess if we listened to HIM??? No, we wouldn't even be having this conversation if this Country would access it's own natural resources and lived within its means!! It's also great advice for an individual, isn't it? Don't borrow money!! If you can't afford it, don't buy it on credit!! Because you end up paying MUCH MORE for the item in the long run, thereby hurting YOURSELF!!

Many financial professionals have said this Country is BARELY paying the INTEREST on our debt!! We aren't paying the debt down, only paying the interest, while the debt climbs every single day!! Is this a recipe for success? Does anyone with common sense believe this is how a Country is to succeed? Is this how an individual succeeds? No!! Many millionaires have lost their homes because they ran up more bills than they could pay!! It's NOT good advice no matter whether you're a Country or an individual!!

So, do we live by God's advice? If you will go on reading, He will also tell us exactly what will happen to us if we DON'T listen to Him. In the description, it sounds exactly like what is happening today!!

Deuteronomy Chapter 8; God explains the land that He is going to bring His people into!! Read it!! In my opinion, He is describing the United States of America to a TEE!!! He gave us rules and regulations for success!!! Do we still listen to them? I think the answer is quite obvious!! In those rules and regulations, there were qualifiers; He said IF you will obey, you will have success!! But not only to we NOT obey anymore; we move farther and farther away from His advice!! Not only that, but we BAN Him and His Word, from our public!! Not a good recipe for success!!

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/book.php?book=Deuteronomy&chapter=8&...

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/book.php?book=Deuteronomy&chapter=15...

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 10/17/13 - 06:14 am
5
2
Our debt is 100 dollar bills

Our debt is 100 dollar bills in a cube longer than a 747, as wide as a football field, and one hundred forty feet deep. Both parties are guilty of putting us in this mess and due to this WE WILL FALL. Our grandchildren will be eating squirrels from the yard.

ymnbde
10662
Points
ymnbde 10/17/13 - 06:27 am
4
3
could a liberal answer some questions?

the stated purpose of O'care reduced the ratio of doctors to patients
("giving more people access to health care," the man said)
how can this do no harm?
we currently borrow new money
to pay off old debts, ponzi like
how is this sustainable, and who will be harmed when it collapses?
(these schemes always collapse)
our education system has proven ineffective
except for Davidson and other "magnet" schools
(the other schools are left separate, but certainly not equal)
why shouldn't Georgia, at least, try full school choice?
(it works for rich people)

justthefacts
24891
Points
justthefacts 10/17/13 - 06:30 am
7
2
He's kidding...right?

"The idea eventually was to get the debt so high that the Democrats would be unable to institute any new major programs." I mean he has to be kidding. Noone could be too stupid to see that Obama has spent plenty of money during his term and just got permission to spend even more.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/17/13 - 06:40 am
8
2
" I also remember a trillion
Unpublished

" I also remember a trillion is tax breaks that Republicans gave the wealthiest"

How dishonest does someone have to be to keep insisting that tax cuts that were ACROSS THE BOARD were only for the wealthy?

Bizkit
35407
Points
Bizkit 10/17/13 - 07:20 am
4
2
Angela again the blatant

Angela again the blatant lies-the tax cuts were across the board. We haven't even paid the principal for WWI so no one has really addressed our debt. Really doesn't matter who is responsible because now Obama is suppose to fix it-not drive us off the cliff with a sure credit downgrade as Fitch warned if we maintain this level of spending and debt he proposes. We don't have time for blame we need solutions. Really blame is like ad hominem a sure sign of a lack of intellect or a solution.

Bizkit
35407
Points
Bizkit 10/17/13 - 07:27 am
4
2
We can examine Obama's new

We can examine Obama's new budget for 2014 online. He will add 3.77 trillion in new spending for this year. The plan is to raise taxes again, spend on infrastructure, spend on education and research, invest in energy companies like Solyndra again. My bet at the end of 2014 we will have a credit downgrade because of Obama's radical behavior ignoring warnings.

t3bledsoe
14291
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t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 07:29 am
2
5
Taxes

People say that continued tax cuts are good for the economy. I say renewing infrastucture must be vitle to the economy! I ask, "How is infrastucture paid for? As if you didn't know!" If taxes are not going to be raised, then we must do away with these rediculously high tax refunds! I am not going to turn mine down, BUT if everyone had to give it up, then this would be fair and help to bring the national debt down. We can not "spend" our way out of this poor economy without renewing our infrastructure.

KSL
143264
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KSL 10/17/13 - 07:37 am
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2
Bledsoe, you are not working,

Bledsoe, you are not working, but YOU are calling for tax increases??????

deestafford
31689
Points
deestafford 10/17/13 - 07:39 am
2
2
A couple of things:

First, the "Bush Tax Cuts" took many, many people off the tax rolls and increase the percentage of the total tax paid by the rich. In essence he decreased the number of people with "skin in the game" and required the higher income brackets to increase their amount of skin as a group. I dislike the idea of taking people off the tax rolls because if one has no skin in the game they care not what the cost of the game is.

I know this is a pie-in-the-sky wish, but I wish the liberals would read the book, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and The New Deal." It would open their eyes to how big government spending prolongs economic downturns.

t3bledsoe
14291
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t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 07:39 am
1
3
LTE

"“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.”"

Doesn't the wording of this Ammendment make the 1917 law acceptable and some what necessary?

KSL
143264
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KSL 10/17/13 - 07:40 am
3
2
Just tax everybody else?

Just tax everybody else?

t3bledsoe
14291
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t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 07:42 am
2
3
KSL @ 8:37

"Bledsoe, you are not working, but YOU are calling for tax increases??????"

You are correct about my situation, BUT I would have to give up about $2000 in tax refunds.

Bizkit
35407
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Bizkit 10/17/13 - 07:43 am
3
2
Victor post fact rather than

Victor post fact rather than ignorance. Bush ran deficits below 400 billion each year way lower that Obama. Obama has been over a trillion each year this year is suppose to be just under a trillion. Dems could care less about our national debt or reducing spending. Just the opposite the strategy is to double or triple debt and spending.

deestafford
31689
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deestafford 10/17/13 - 07:44 am
3
2
T3,

We don't need to raise taxes to pay for highway and bridge maintenance. The money is there but it is being siphoned off into green projects such as bike paths, greenways, and reclaiming old railroad lines and making them bike paths and walking trails. The biggest hand in the jar of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is not the oil company but federal and state taxes. Those are supposed to go to the highways and bridges not "feel good" project of the watermelons.

By the way, roads and bridges are not in as bad a shape as the sky-is-falling crowd as one may think.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 07:49 am
1
4
KSL @ 8:40

"Just tax everybody else?"

I said that I would have to give up my tax refund as well as everyone "for the common good of our kids and grand kids"! I have often wondered if somewhere in this glut of abortions, has a true genious been killed that would have lead us out of this mess??!!

t3bledsoe
14291
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t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 07:54 am
2
3
deestafford @ 8:44

"By the way, roads and bridges are not in as bad a shape as the sky-is-falling crowd as one may think"

I respect your possision, BUT our infrastucture will soon need a remake such as was seen during FDR's administration.

Bizkit
35407
Points
Bizkit 10/17/13 - 07:54 am
3
2
I think Victor is right with

I think Victor is right with the Starve the Beast but it Obama who is doing it. After he is president no other president will have anything to spend and it will all go to debt- Obama is making sure the last spending will be by a Democratic socialist president.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 10/17/13 - 08:06 am
1
4
LTE

"Any cap clearly conflicts with the words “shall not be questioned.” I find, then, the 1917 law to be clearly unconstitutional"
"authorized by law "

I like playing Constitutional lawyer! The Ammendment phrase "authorized by law" seems to indicate the debt limit must be controled by law. I would take issue and say The US went from this Constitutional Ammendment to 1917 NOT following the law.

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