The long game in the debt ceiling battles has been to engineer a larger economic power shift even beyond infinite spending and infinite debt (a leftist economic idea known as Modern Monetary Theory embraced by the left wing of the Dems). The options on the table have been for the president (when he’s a Democrat, obviously) to either mint a trillion-dollar coin or declare that the debt limit is unconstitutional and start borrowing money on his own.
Both are blatantly unconstitutional attacks on one of the most fundamental elements of the checks and balances of the respective powers of the presidency and the legislature. The idea that a dubious clause in the Fourteenth Amendment could override the fundamental structure of the Constitution is obviously wrong. The Fourteenth Amendment, like most of the latter amendments, was a massive omnibus mess. The nameplate parts of it were redundant or irrelevant as the Constitution already inherently barred the abuses of slavery and racial discrimination (and segregation would simply ignore the amendment as it had the Constitution, as does affirmative action and DEI today), but it did manage to inflict birthright citizenship on us so that Chinese couples can come to America on birth tourism and magically make their baby an American.
Section 4, which the Biden administration is pondering using to grab the power of the purse away from Congress, was somewhat typical of Republican political rigging after the Civil War in that it was a dubious measure to prevent future Southern and Democrat elected officials from overriding their Civil War financial decisions. That was a really bad idea because adding an amendment means making fundamental changes long after the debates over the Civil War had passed.
Lefties keep hoping to revive Section 4 to grab the power of the purse.
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. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Even though this is clearly a Civil War era document that was never meant to be applied to anything else, judicial activists on the Supreme Court insisted that it was eternally valid. And that’s what happens when you add an amendment.
The Left now claims that “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” allows their administrations to just go on borrowing money when the debt limit is hit.
Bill Clinton told Obama that he would just go ahead and do it.
Former President Bill Clinton said he would raise the nation’s legal borrowing limit on his own if he had to and “force the courts to stop me” in order to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations for the first time in history.
Clinton said he thinks President Obama and Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to cut a deal before August 2, “and that’s smart.”
But “if it came to that,” he would raise the debt ceiling using powers granted under the 14th amendment of the Constitution. The amendment says that the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner quoted from a copy of the amendment, which he pulled from his pocket, in a May interview with Politico, arguing that the clause undermines the Republican negotiating position that default is an option. Mr. Obama sidestepped the question in a subsequent press conference.
“Political norms”. Democrats say things like I would just do it and “force the courts to stop me” to thunderous media applause. Republicans consider challenging court decisions and they’re waging a war on democracy.
A decade later the idea is back and Biden’s people, even more radical than they were when serving under Obama, are flirting with it.
Top economic and legal officials at the White House, the Treasury Department and the Justice Department have made that theory a subject of intense and unresolved debate in recent months, according to several people familiar with the discussions.
It is unclear whether President Biden would support such a move, which would have serious ramifications for the economy and almost undoubtedly elicit legal challenges from Republicans.
If Biden goes with the “force the courts to stop me” option, he has little to lose. His administration is already on an unpopular leftist Jihad that seems to exist mostly to open the Overton Window. And even a Supreme Court decision isn’t a foregone conclusion. While Alito and Thomas are solid, Roberts is a squish and, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett are weak and unreliable. Gorsuch is prone to pursuing his own eccentric legal theories, Kavanaugh may very well end up becoming the next Kennedy if he goes on this way and Barrett comes off as unready.
So we’ll see if the Biden regime chooses to push its war on the Constitution and the Separation of Powers into high gear. Much like under Obama, he likely won’t need to. It’s Speaker McCarthy he’s up against after all. If he does, it’ll just be to exploit a manufactured crisis for a power grab.