The Constitution and the debt ceiling
Recently a new Constitutional “myth” seems to be gaining traction. It comes from those on the left who, although declaring the Constitution “over 100 years old, and confusing”, have apparently decided that the Constitution isn’t so bad after all, if it can serve their purposes.
First, the myth.
Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling because the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution gives the President the power to do so. When you hear this, tell the speaker that he or she really should read the Constitution before spreading the myth any further.
Now, the reality.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to borrow money. It does so by using the “confusing” language that states,
The Congress shall have the power…to borrow money…
Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that,
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, …shall not be questioned. [emphasis supplied]
In order to be a debt of the United States”authorized by law”, the borrowing must first be approved by Congress.
End of myth.
But, while on the subject of the debt ceiling, let me leave you with two questions.
The President, and most Democrats in Congress proclaim to be serious about reducing this country’s debt. If they are, why do we need to increase the debt ceiling?
Doesn’t an increase in the debt ceiling simply allow us to borrow more money, and thus increase our debt?
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