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View Diary: GOP congressman accidentally admits President Obama could legally mint the trillion dollar coin (116 comments)

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  •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    Introducing legislation to close a loophole is a tacit admission that the loophole is legally valid, or that its validity is at least questionable.  Otherwise, the proposed law would be completely unnecessary.

    The Constitution is pretty clear that Congress has the power to pass bills that authorize spending and raise revenue, and that the president is obligated to execute them once they're signed into law, and that the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned.

    The debt limit is therefore inherently unconstitutional -- Congress cannot pass a series of contradictory laws that the president cannot possibly execute.  When Congress approves spending that is certain to exceed available revenues, they are obligating the president to borrow that money so that the validity of the public debt is not questioned.

    However, there is no prohibition on the Treasury Department minting a trillion dollar coin.  This appears to be completely constitutional and in accordance with current law.  If anyone is considering further (unconstitutional) legislation to prevent the trillion dollar coin, then they are admitting that the trillion dollar coin is a legal option.

    •  No, it isn't a tacit admission of anything (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shane Hensinger, Bonsai66

      except that there is some ambiguity in a law.  If the interpretation of laws was only a matter of the letter of the law then you would be right, but that isn't how it works.

      However, there is no prohibition on the Treasury Department minting a trillion dollar coin.
      There are numerous prohibitions on the Treasury minting a trillion dollar coin.  In fact there is a small bit of ambiguity in a bill that was passed to allow the treasury to mint collectible coins that makes it allowable under the letter of the law, but the letter of the law is not the only thing the court looks at.  The Treasury is explicitly barred from minting a copper coin, or a gold coin, or any other kind of coin that's a trillion dollars, and they are implicitly barred from doing the same with a platinum coin.
      This appears to be completely constitutional and in accordance with current law.  If anyone is considering further (unconstitutional) legislation to prevent the trillion dollar coin, then they are admitting that the trillion dollar coin is a legal option.
      If you think that this legislation would be unconstitutional then you clearly don't know what you're talking about, nor do you understand what law supposedly makes it legal to mint a trillion dollar platinum(and only platinum) coin.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:30:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not buying your assertion here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      You said that "Introducing legislation to close a loophole is a tacit admission that the loophole is legally valid."

      Which, by inference, means that because some nut-job introduced legislation banning the introduction of Sharia Law, there was some admission that their paranoia is somehow "legally valid."

      OTOH the Constitution is pretty clear that the Administrative Branch is in control of coinage and based on precedent outside the Constitution, the Fed is an independent actor.  That being the case passing legislation, even in the unlikely event that the president would sign such a law, will not change the Constitution and would, therefore, be un-constitutional.

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