Both parties in Congress and the administration in Washington are playing a very high stakes poker game with the debt ceiling. They are playing chicken to see who blinks first.
However that tussle ends, I propose today, before hitting the limit, that Congress pass the following law.
WHEREAS the 14th amendment, section 4 states “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,
WHEREAS Congress has established laws setting a debt ceiling,
WHEREAS Congress has passed various budgets authorizing spending on various programs,
WHEREAS Congress has the authority under Section 5 of the 14th amendment to enforce payment of public debt,
Should the various budgets cause the debt to exceed the debt ceiling, that the President would direct federal obligations in order of these priorities:
· Pay the public debt fully and completely in accordance with the 14th amendment
· Pay essential Military and Law Enforcement activities
· Pay 75% of Social Security payments
· Pay other essential obligations
· All other obligations
The law should further define nonessential obligations, such as the department of education, department of agriculture, ethanol subsidies, world bank, IMF funding, and UN funding.
This law would make it clear that the “default” option off the table and instead should we hit the debt ceiling would cause angry senior citizens to surround whoever’s most to blame for not being responsible. Anyone remember Dan Rostenkowski being surrounded and how quickly that problem was resolved?