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View Diary: Oh yeah, the debt ceiling. Yawn. (92 comments)

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  •  There are other Constitutional arguments that (1+ / 0-)
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    may have merit but I did some quick research to remind myself and the 14a provision very, very, very clearly means that the United States will not disclaim valid debts.  It prevented the US from saying that its Civil War debts were worthless and issuing a New American Dollar or something as it was, at the time (and currently, in some countries) one way to avoid a debt to simply mandate that all debts as of "x" date are collectable in currency A and then declaring currency A worthless and reissuing currency B.  No major economic power could do that today (it's still common in Africa iirc) but, in the civil war era, the US could have possibly done so, albeit becoming an international pariah in the process.

    Two-sentence answer: The 14a debt provision prevents a president from saying "Those debts you hold? Hahaha, we ain't paying."  It neither allows nor blesses the issuance of new debt, only prevents the US from repudiating current debt.

    Anyhow, I doubt we'll be talking about this after today, the debt limit is going to be subsumed into the rest of the negotiations, thankfully.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:34:13 PM PST

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