WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Could President Obama circumvent Congress to raise the debt ceiling?

One fascinating legal scenario that's been making the rounds in recent weeks (although so far publicly tamped down by the White House): President Obama could raise the nation's debt ceiling WITHOUT Congressional approval, pleading a national emergency, etc.

University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner has been a leading proponent; here's his piece from The NEW REPUBLIC...


One can find plenty of law professors who dissent from Posner's conclusions; still, it makes for interesting reading.

Posted at 8:49am on October 7, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, Oct 7, 2013 3:58pm
Yes he can, but we won't know he can until we cross that point. Since we won't know he can, most investors will have shifted their money out of volatile accounts and havoc will have already ensued.

All he has to do is say he has ordered the Treasury to continue paying its bills indefinitely until Congress can put forth a plan otherwise.

It will then be up to Congress to try to keep the government shut-down until he changes his mind and defaults, a serious misconception by the Republicans.

There is a smart way out of this mess, and a really, really stupid way out of this mess. Right now, like a terrorist with a gun, the Republicans all say they are bent on the real stupid way. Since as people they are real stupid, many others on the outside believe that they are capable of really being that stupid....

Most of us think someone will come to their senses, and that would be Boehner, who will cut Republicans loose (say the Hastert rule is no longer in effect) to vote their consciences between now and the end of 2014.... and end any influence the Tea Party currently has of holding the rest of the Republicans hostage.

The Republicans, as from the Northeast, would be able to block any very liberal bills from passing, but could join with Democrats to keep the Congress open and doing the nation's business. Talking to Carney, there are a lot of good bipartisan bills on the table, waiting, which can go nowhere because of the Tea Party's hold on the Republican Party.

Mon, Oct 7, 2013 8:20pm
Furthermore, if he says... we're going to continue to pay our debts and Congress will eventually agree, and nothing happens, the debt crises will no longer become an issue. Because we can spend past the limit and the sky will not fall.

This is a bad precedent of course, to be able to borrow with impunity, but that is better than defaulting and taking out the supporter of half the world's economy.

Mon, Oct 7, 2013 11:16pm
Why wouldn't Obama circumvent Congress for this? He's told them to go to hell on everything else. This man is the most lawless president in American history, even more so than Bill Clinton. So why not? He's been a despotic dictator from the beginning. Why should he change now?

Mon, Oct 7, 2013 11:26pm
The most lawless president was William Harding. He had too big of a teapot... and if he hadn't died in office, he might have been arrested over that tea pot....

Except for the NSA, Obama is probably the best president you will see in your lifetime and probably the most under-appreciated public official since Julius Caesar.

Tue, Oct 8, 2013 6:05pm
Kavips: I appreciate Hitler more than I do your president.

Tue, Oct 8, 2013 10:53pm
Mr. Pizza. We are not surprised. That says more about you than it does the President of the United States of America... :)

Tue, Oct 8, 2013 11:25pm
Yeah. It says I have some standards.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 9, 2013 10:09am
Come on Mrpizza, you can't be serious. Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews, countless gypsies, gays/lesbians, Communists, and even Lutherans Christians [Bonhoeffer being the best known], probably other Christians too. If there were any blacks in Germany, he'd have exterminated them too.

Even the knuckleheads at Fox News, elRushbo, and Jensen would NOT agree with you on appreciating Hitler more than Obama.

Even Swing and Jazz were forbotten in Hitler's Germany due to being played by Jews and Blacks. Interesting article that discusses the "Swing Kids" of Germany back in the 1930's and 40's during Hitler's reign. This is what the movie "Swing Kids" was based. The article shows an interesting propaganda poster used from Nazi Germany to bad mouth Jazz/Swing music.


So I believe, you might want to rethink your position on appreciating Hitler more than Obama.

Wed, Oct 9, 2013 7:31pm
I believe the only reason Obama hasn't killed 6 million Christians and Republicans is that no American soldier would obey an order to turn the guns on American citizens.

Also, I said what I said to make a point. I have zero appreciation for Hitler. My appreciation for Obama is at least a few hundred degrees below zero.

One thing I can say in Hitler's favor is that he was loyal to Germany. Obama is NOT loyal to America. All you have to do is listen to what he says about American exceptionalism and how it's no different from British exceptionalism or German exceptionalism etc. etc. to know just how un-American he is.

Yes, it's a risky comparison, but I see similarities.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 9, 2013 10:27pm
Mrpizza: you believe the phrase American exceptionalism, meaning we are better than other people?? As a Christian you should know that Christ for all sinners, Americans, Africans, Asians, etc. We've been blessed by God in the US, it's not because we're anymore acceptional or exceptional than others. You come across like we deserve those blessings, we don't. That's an arrogant attitude, in my opinion. Oh, but for the Grace of God go I, you, & the rest of us. Maybe that's America's problem today, we think we're better than everyone else, & that's NOT Scriptural.

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 8:54pm
MFD: It's unfortunate that you of all people don't understand what American exceptionalism is. No, we're not better than everybody else. Our exceptionalism is born out of our founders' love for God. Because of God's blessing on this nation, we've been the most exceptional nation ever, meaning we've provided more solutions to mankind's problems than anyone else. We're also exceptional because no matter how bad things can get here, we're still the #1 place where people seek political and religious asylum.

It's exactly because of our humility and Christlike generosity that we are exceptional. No other nation in world history has ever matched America the Beautiful.

Unfortunately, historical revisionism has crept in and many minds, particularly young ones, are being filled with outright lies regarding what this nation is all about. I'm sorry to see you, a member of my own generation, also buying into these lies.

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