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View Diary: Of Blazing Saddles and platinum coins: Why minting a $1 trillion one is neither smart nor necessary (216 comments)

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  •  So where do you get the idea that the 14th amend- (4+ / 0-)

    ment, Sec 4, only applies to the individual states?  

    Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
    (my emphases)


    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:45:43 PM PST

    •  And here's a pretty good analysis of it by Chait (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at TNR.

      Jack Balkin delves into the legislative history and shows why the 14th Amendment has a provision guaranteeing the debt in the first place. the sponsor of the provision, Benjamin Wade, wrote at the time:

          [The proposed amendment] puts the debt incurred in the civil war on our part under the guardianship of the Constitution of the United States, so that a Congress cannot repudiate it. I believe that to do this wil give great confidence to capitalists and will be of incalculable pecuniary benefit to the United States, for I have no doubt that every man who has property in the public funds will feel safer when he sees that the national debt is withdrawn from the power of a Congress to repudiate it and placed under the guardianship of the Constitution than he would feel if it were left at loose ends and subject to the varying majorities which may arise in Congress.

      In other words, it's in the 14th Amendment to guard against exactly what Congressional Republicans are doing right now.
      Balkin's historical perspective is very persuasive even though he doesn't present it as an argument for using Sec 4 today, per se.  But it's crystal clear where the history takes us, and it's to the Obama Oval Office where he has the responsibility to invoke this clause to put down the hostage taking now and for all time.  He owes it to the country's future.  

      Also interesting to note that the Chait piece highlights another dynamic that isn't mentioned around here: that the GOP leadership would welcome the deus ex machina of the 14th as it would defuse the suicide vest they've wired and are threatening to trigger.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 02:50:23 PM PST

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