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View Diary: Obama’s Other Option (11 comments)

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  •  He has to faithfully execute the laws (1+ / 0-)
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    johnny wurster

    This is hardly a new thought. That’s one of his core roles, it’s in his oath of office.

    If you want to follow the arguments in detail, I found this helpful

    •  honestly, I find that incredibly unpersuasive. (0+ / 0-)

      the notion that the president could unilaterally raise taxes is insane.  I think there's at least a textual argument that, if there are no funds to be released, the president is not under an obligation to spend what congress has authorized.  and that's the best from a constitutional standpoint: we know that the President can't unilaterally issue debt or raise taxes, but there's at least a colorable argument that he can impound.  of the three, that's the only that isn't expressly foreclosed by the constitution.

      •  as I scan around the literature, though, (0+ / 0-)

        there appears to be exactly zero support for my take, so that makes me reconsider.

        great topic, thx for the diary.

      •  I don’t think we know... (2+ / 0-)
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        jabney, Ashaman

        …what you say we know. There is a law (the budget) saying what to spend, there is a law (the tax code) saying what to tax, and a law (the debt ceiling) that says how much to borrow. Why does the debt law outrank the spending law?

        It’s the three laws together that create the problem. Given spending and taxes, the required debt just falls out. In theory this is true in any direction, but in fact it doesn’t work: Given spending and debt limit you can figure out how much you need in taxes, but that doesn’t tell you how to collect it. But how to issue debt is well known, no matter how much.

        As I said, this Columbia Law Review article ("How to Choose the Least Unconstitutional Option: Lessons for the President (and Others) from the Debt Ceiling Standoff”) goes into a lot of useful detail.

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