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