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Urge the Commander in Chief to Protect our Economic and National Security

July 30, 2011


The President campaigning with seniors in 2008; Mr. President don't go back on your word.

A matter of national security: Preventing a hacker or foreign nation from creating an economic crisis would be treated as an urgent national security issue. The nation would expect the President and Congress to act quickly and effectively to eliminate the threat. Without a raise in the debt ceiling the government may not be able to send out checks for Social Security and Medicare. Millions of government workers will be furloughed and government, which needs to pay off interest on bonds to avoid default, may have to stop sending out Social Security and Medicare Payments, layoff hundreds of thousands of government employees, and withhold payment to government contractors – causing further unemployment.

As we’ve written in the previous post the economy and its recovery is exceedingly fragile; failure to raise the debt limit could trigger a down rating ofU.S.bonds, a rise in interest rates, and another plunge on Wall Street.  A double-dip recession and a series of vicious cycles with unpredictable results here and abroad are entirely possible.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) (C) and Tea Party supporters House members announce the formation of the Tea Party Caucus: UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Hostage takers: Right now our economic and nation security is under threat – not from the outside, but from a minority cabal of ultra-right hostage takers. The Tea Party caucus has cowed the Republican leadership to adopt positions that if adopted would create irreparable damage to the economic well being of the great majority of the American people and that has made compromise on an acceptable solution difficult or downright impossible. Note that Tea Party House members forced Speaker Boehner to make changes in his bill that would create even greater havoc. The bill would not only have slashed critical benefits for the poor, the middle class, the sick, senior citizens, college students, and much needed research and infrastructure development but would require another vote on the debt ceiling by year’s end – clearly a ploy to hold the nation hostage again (during the Holiday season and before the next election).

Fortunately the bill was quickly killed by the Senate. Unfortunately, Friday’s Congressional action leaves us no nearer to a solution. What are the odds that the House could pass anything that emerges from the Democratically controlled Senate? Unless Democrats cave – a move which could badly damage the Democratic Party.

The Commander in Chief:  The odds appear to be increasing that Congress will not be able to prevent disaster. Under such circumstances, the President, can and should invoke the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which states in plain language, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.” As Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reminds us, the constitutional solution puts the question in its proper context the debate is over paying past debts, not over future spending. These are debts for expenditures that Congress has already approved (in accord with the Constitutional division of powers).

We urge the President to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional if Congress fails or if a “compromise” would devastate the economic well being of American families. In doing so, he must convince the majority of citizens that

Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

such action is needed to avoid the absolute worse. It is certain that Mr. Obama will face a horrendous outburst from Republicans including calls for his impeachment. Under such circumstances the Commander in Chief must put aside his adversity to conflict and plunge into the battle. We will join him.

If you agree, you can take action by signing Credo’s petition to the President asking that he invoke the 14th Amendment.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. permalink*
    August 3, 2011 5:54 pm

    Buz Whelan of Long Pond, PA sent in the following letter that he had published in the Pocono News:

    Dear Ms. Editor,

    Will somebody please explain to me why we have a national debt ceiling? I hear people compare it to a charge card credit limit. That’s laughable. You can’t arbitrarily raise your credit card limit. But the debt ‘ceiling’ is regularly raised. As a matter of fact, it’s been raised 107 times since 1917. And not once, ever, has it put a limit on spending or borrowing. Not one cent has ever been saved because we have a debt ceiling.

    Every time we approach it, the party in the White House tells us all how necessary it is to raise it. The party out of power then threatens to withhold their votes for the raise unless this or that concession is made. Apparently, the real purpose of the debt ceiling is to provide an excuse for a Washington kerfuffle every now and then, just so politicians can posture and act all grand.

    Few other countries in the developed world have a debt ceiling. Denmark comes to mind. Can’t think of another. Why not do away with this phony ‘limit’ and try to put our efforts into balancing the budget and lowering the deficit by sound fiscal management? Let’s all sacrifice like our parents and grandparents did during WWII. Sensible, judicious spending cuts, coupled with a tax code that asks all, even (gasp) the wealthy, to pay their fair share of the national expense should do it.

    Buz Whelan
    Long Pond, Pa

    • Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. permalink*
      August 3, 2011 5:58 pm

      Good points. Consider also that raising the debt ceiling is simply agreeing to pay the bills that Congress already agreed to pay! The Tea Party cowed Republican Party simply attempted to hold the agreement hostage in order to pursue their agenda — tax breaks for the rich, heart aches for the rest of us.


  2. Jeanette Malinow permalink
    July 30, 2011 12:10 pm

    You have clarified the impending crisis and the action needed to avoid disaster. Thank you. But if all fails, my suggestion to the President: Before stopping SS checks or Medicare and Medicaid payments, stop paying salaries of Congress; stop their health entitlements; stop their parking privileges.

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