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The 14th Amendment solution

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Batman Jones, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Everybody including Boehner knows his plan is D.O.A. regardless of whether or not he gets the votes in the House, which he has thus far been unable to do because House Republicans are (forgive me, there's no other way to put this) utter r****ds. Even Boehner's speakership is on the line now and I'd say it's 50/50 as to whether he can retain it long-term. The Tea Party and its House caucus have made a devil of him.

    That leaves four options:

    - Reid's plan somehow comes up with 60 Senate votes (he currently has 55) to beat a filibuster and then somehow passes the House with mostly Dems and a handful or two of reasonable House Republicans (Is there such an animal? I couldn't tell you.) Not likely, but barely plausible.

    - The talks between Biden and McConnell provide yet another (the fifth? the tenth?) plan in yet another attempt to bring the lunatics in the House to Jesus. Also unlikely.

    - We default.

    - Obama finds his long-lost balls and uses the 14th Amendment to pass the deal unilaterally and save the nation from the looming disaster. Obama clearly does not want to do this and his spokesman Carney has even said it can't be done. But many others say it absolutely can and that it would be nearly impossible to challenge. At the very least it would avert the crisis in the short term and almost definitely in the long term. Bill Clinton says he would use this solution without even thinking twice.

    So the question, after all the smoke has cleared, is this:

    Can Obama find his balls?

    Debate and discuss.
     
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    I do think that if it got to that point, Obama would go for it. But he'd exhaust all other options first and only use it as an absolute last resort.
     
  3. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    I hope you're right. I am discouraged by his press secretary seeming to rule it out completely, but I hope you are right. There is, right now, virtually no hope for a deal in Congress. But yes, he may be holding out for that whisper of a chance.

    If it comes down to default or invoking the 14th Amendment, I hope he will do it and do it hard.
     
  4. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    If Obama uses the 14th amendment to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, he should (and hopefully will) quickly get slapped down by the Supreme Court.

    You are missing an option from your list though, and that is that the debt ceiling is not raised, but there is no default on debt interest. The government can still pay off bondholders without raising the debt ceiling, they just cannot make all of the expenditures they normally would. A partial government shutdown may be required, but there would be no reason bond holders would not get paid. In fact, I believe the very section of the 14th amendment you (and many Democrats) are referring to would make it illegal to not pay the bond holders in lieu of some other expenditures.
     
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    If it came down to it, I think he'd do it. But realistically, I think Congress will pass a plan. The Boehner and Reid plans are not THAT different. Most of the cuts are pretty similar - the major difference is that Boehner's plan wants another vote next year. I think once the Boehner plan fails, Reid will pass something in the Senate with the help of moderate Republicans. And that plan will get plenty of Dem support in the House, letting Boehner lose a lot of Republicans and have it still pass.

    The last thing Congress wants to do is set a precedent of giving more power to the Executive and be the ones that completely failed in their jobs.
     
  6. Major

    Major Member

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    I think the issue is who has the legal standing to bring a suit against him. Constitutional lawyers seem to think Congress is the only one that could do it, but does the House really want to go to the Supreme Court to demand that the US default on its obligations? All of Congress has been playing hot potato with this, not wanting to take any responsibility. A lawsuit like this would place all the responsibility of any economic mess directly on their shoulders.
     
  7. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Um. No it won't. This is the same wishful thinking the right had about the Health Care bill/mandate. They were wrong. Those who believe this will happen will be wrong again. Book it.

    The option you cited here is one that is being circulated by the right so I understand you raising it. However it is a well-known fact, cited by nonpartisan groups, that this would cause the first ever drop in our credit rating, would send the markets into a nosedive and would likely induce skyrocketing interest rates. Whatever the case, if this option were to be used it would trigger economic calamities of sorts that we can't even imagine right now. It would be virtually the same as a default.

    It's not an option.
     
  8. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    The question is if he does it, does it do anything to help with avoiding a down grade or a panic in the markets re: U.S. treasury bonds/notes?

    If the U.S. keeps paying its bills but there's a constitutional challenge looming and at least a not-negligible possibility that this 14th Amendment position could be declared wrong, and the government will have to stop payments once a ruling comes down, I am thinking the market will still react negatively at the news. In fact, the current uncertainty seem to have already be causing some issues in the market.
     
  9. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    Well, something better happen soon. The WaPo is reporting the entire South Carolina delegation is against Boehner's bill and the vote has been delayed until later tonight so more votes can be rounded up.

    Meanwhile, McConnell has gone all-in on the Boehner Bill and said Senate Repubs will accept no changes to it and will not vote for Reid's proposal.

    Yay!

    I can't believe we are about to have an easily avoidable and completely self-inflicted Constitutional crisis over this crap.
     
  10. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Typically the right has, of late, been very much in favor of empowering the executive branch, but I agree they would not be happy about it in this instance. They would lose and they would get nothing for it. Instead of having virtually all of their demands met (as they are in Reid's bill) they would have none of them met.

    This doesn't seem to matter to them right now. They are going off the rails on a crazy train.

    Regarding your first sentence, you would think so wouldn't you? But this would be a major defeat for Boehner and would likely signal the end of his speakership, a thing he has the most tenuous of holds on already. Would Boehner do the right thing for the country and whip for Reid? Or would he favor self-preservation and whip against him? I honestly don't know which path he would take.
     
  11. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    I think soldiers should get paid before Bond Holders
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

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    If it's purely the Reid plan, I agree. But I think Reid will add some random thing from Boehner's plan to let him save face - and to give McConnell a way out as well. Who knows - there are a lot of crazy people in Congress - but that's at least my guess of how this plays out.

    There's also another option available as well - there's a military construction bill of some sort that's already passed both chambers and is in conference. There's talk about tacking on a 30 day debt ceiling increase onto that - since it's already passed, it can be done at a moment's notice on Monday if need be. It doesn't have all the procedural timing rules that a new bill has. That's the fallback emergency option, though it just drags this same crap out another 30 days. But that sounds like something Congress would do.
     
  13. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    That's new information to me. If it holds true through Aug. 2, and if the Senate and WH hold to their stance of no Dem votes and/or a veto of Boehner, there remain only two options.

    Default or invoking the 14th Amendment.

    Given those two choices, in answer to Carl Herrerra, the 14th Amendment will be by far the better of options in calming the markets, etc.
     
  14. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    BTW, there is another option

    a straight up, no strings attached vote to raise the limit.

    real simple
     
  15. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    I agree that if Reid includes a significant enough face-saving adjustment, such that it could almost or actually be called the Boehner/Reid solution, this may work.

    I was unaware of the other option you mentioned. It sounds absolutely terrible, and I expect that 30 days from now we would be exactly where we are today, but I concede that that is an option.
     
  16. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Dammit, why has no one thought of this?

    If Obama decides he has no choice other than to invoke the 14th, I expect that he would at least attempt this before doing so.

    Kudos, mc mark.
     
  17. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    Obama only has balls to the extent that Seal Team 6 is walking slack.

    that option is not in play here.

    and it's not just Carney, but Geithner that says it can't be done. this is a liberal wet dream, but get a grip, it's not going to happen.
     
  18. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    yes, if only we had a leader, capable of constructing a consensus.

    i'm sure there is such a (wo)man, but not the current occupant of 1600 penn.
     
    #18 basso, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    Really? So House Republicans will willingly initiate an emergency lawsuit to force the government to default on its debts based on a very ambiguous argument that the president can't raise money to spend money that congress has legally ordered him to spend?

    They will literally obtain a court-ordered default?

    That's a political loser if there ever was one. I doubt even a highly - activist - court like Roberts is trying to cultivate would have the balzac to touch that.
     
  20. Major

    Major Member

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    2 people like this.

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