The title and bottom quote on this page come from Andrew Grossman’s article in the associated link for The Foundry on July 1, 2011.
We’ve recently heard or read about recent calls for President Obama to overstep Congress on the debt ceiling by use of the 14th Amendment based on Section 4’s, “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.” Unfortunately, this is the only quote seen or heard by most of the public, and few will research the background of this amendment for themselves (The Adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, Horace Flack, 1908, is a good starting point). Few know that it was written in response to the Civil War. Few know that Section 5 says, “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Most are fooled into believing that raising the debt ceiling is the only option.
The fact is that most people aren’t willing to tighten their purse string, pay more taxes, or give up the many “freebies” handed out by our government. Programs once designed with the good intention to help people out of a hole, are now largely depended upon and money thrown their way, as it would be “immoral” not to. So, we ask for more credit (it’s easier). These same actions eventually lead to insolvency in personal finances, business finances, and currently in some European countries. Are we to believe that the United States is immune to the rules of finance and debt? Do most people realize that each time the government prints more money to solve the problem, our individual bank and retirement accounts lose value?
It’s time for more Americans to educate themselves and not to depend upon media interpretation. It’s time for open (civil) discussion between friends and family. It’s time for some hard decisions.
The quote below is part of the linked article:
“The Fourteenth Amendment does not specify any particular manner by the obligation to honor the Nation’s debt may be met. Congress may, for example, raise taxes, cut spending, redirect appropriated funds, or reduce other payments that are not necessary to satisfy ‘public debt.’ There is no constitutional requirement that it borrow.”