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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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  •  Art. 4 of the 14th Amend. was created to prevent (1+ / 0-)
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    what the R's are threatening. See Jack Balkin's History of Section 4

    What do we learn from this history? If Wade's speech offers the central rationale for Section Four, the goal was to remove threats of default on federal debts from partisan struggle. Reconstruction Republicans feared that Democrats, once admitted to Congress would use their majorities to default on obligations they did disliked politically. More generally, as Wade explained, "every man who has property in the public funds will feel safer when he sees that the national debt is withdrawn from the power of a Congress to repudiate it and placed under the guardianship of the Constitution than he would feel if it were left at loose ends and subject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."

    Like most inquiries into original understanding, this one does not resolve many of the most interesting questions. What it does suggest is an important structural principle. The threat of defaulting on government obligations is a powerful weapon, especially in a complex, interconnected world economy. Devoted partisans can use it to disrupt government, to roil ordinary politics, to undermine policies they do not like, even to seek political revenge. Section Four was placed in the Constitution to remove this weapon from ordinary politics.

    PBO should cite Art. 4 and Mint the Coin if he has to in order to keep us out of default.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:24:58 PM PST

    •  My understanding is clause in 14th was to prevent (0+ / 0-)

      ex-Confederate states from repudiating US war debt.

      But if Balkin is right, 14th might be stronger legal ground than inherent powers. Too bad POTUS already dissed.

      But 14th, inherent power likely to have same real-world effects: Supreme Court eventually decides, meanwhile world watches to see if dealers, investors will buy. Fed is the key.

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