Skip to main content

August 2nd, 2011:

Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Americans:

As you may have heard, the last few months have been filled with negotiations in regard to our spending, the so called "debt ceiling."  It has been a passionate debate, and one that is vital to the financial health for our great nation.  However, in spite of numerous attempts to compromise, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has refused to act in good faith.  They have put their own ideology over the good of the nation.  As such, I am forced to take steps that I had hoped that I would not have to do.  I am speaking to the American people to explain my actions.

I refuse to allow the political wrangling of an opposition that is opposed to any semblance of the New Deal dictate a course of events that will ruin the good standing of this great nation for the sake of any perceived political advantage.  They are trying to win the next election by sacrificing the future.

Echoing a sentiment that was used by my predecessor, I also refuse to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor."  Not only the poor, who are struggling in today's economy to get by, but seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare.  these are seniors who put their own earnings into the system, and I will not allow their hard work to be taken away.  

Moreover, as Commander-in-Chief, it is my sworn duty to protect those of us serving in uniform.  It used to be said that "politics stopped at the water's edge."  But now, the actions of the Republicans stand to undermine the defense of our country.  Once again, I will not allow that to happen.

On January 20th 2009, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.  The Constitution, by way of the 14th Amendment, ensures that "the validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned."  In my view, the actions of the House Republicans go beyond rash and reckless, they are in violation of the Constitution.

As such, I have instructed the Treasury Secretary to disregard this so called "debt ceiling" and continue to pay our obligations to our creditors, soldiers, and citizens.  And if the House doesn't like it, they can take me to court.

Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Originally posted to Rustbelt Dem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by RBD Blogspot.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, oxfdblue, ZedMont, princss6

    I'm from the reality-based wing of the Democratic Party.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:16:14 AM PDT

  •  Two minor points, (0+ / 0-)

    1. The President extended the expiring Bush Tax cuts.
    2. He put SS and medicare cuts on the table.

    Whereas he could have let the Bush tax cut expire and refused to put cut to SS and Medicare on the table.

    •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CentralMass

      #2 sort of makes this:

      I also refuse to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor."  Not only the poor, who are struggling in today's economy to get by, but seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare.  these are seniors who put their own earnings into the system, and I will not allow their hard work to be taken away.  

      A presidential platitude not backed up by very recent history.

      If he hadn't done that this fictional account would be a fine speech.
      One that I would stand and applaud.

      Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. - Al Gore

      by Burned on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:53:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not possible... (0+ / 0-)
    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

    Congress makes the laws and the President executes them.

    And then there's this:

    The Constitution grants only Congress — not the president — the power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Nothing in the 14th Amendment or in any other constitutional provision suggests that the president may usurp legislative power to prevent a violation of the Constitution. Moreover, it is well established that the president’s power drops to what Justice Robert H. Jackson called its “lowest ebb” when exercised against the express will of Congress.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Don't expect the president to invoke the 14th on this.

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    - George Orwell

    by HairyTrueMan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:18:10 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps not possible to win in court... (0+ / 0-)

      But nothing is impossible to do.  Or is it?  If so, tell me who is going to stop him and how.  I'd be interested to know.

      Puts the ball back in the GOP's court.  They know full well if they sue, they win, and at that moment, the economy comes crashing down around their ears.  Guess who gets blamed then?

      This is a tough position for the president to put himself into - for all I know an impeachable offense.  Not nearly the tough position the GOP finds themselves in with a depression smeared all over their red hands.

      Obama would be putting himself at risk.  The GOP would be putting their entire party at risk of eternal damnation.

      Does he have the guts?  That is the question, I think.

      The community of fools might be small were it not such an accomplished proselytizer.

      by ZedMont on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:39:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Impeachment (0+ / 0-)

        The President would be usurping his Constitutional authority. And if The House didn't impeach, it would set a precedent for future presidents to ignore Congress completely.

        For example, suppose Congress passed a $1 trillion budget and the president decided that he was going to spend $2 trillion instead on things of his choosing. At that point, Congress becomes meaningless and we end up with a dictator.

        During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
        - George Orwell

        by HairyTrueMan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:54:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I submitted impeachment, so I agree completely. (0+ / 0-)

          That's where the "guts" part comes in.

          The House would easily impeach him, but he would be tried in the Senate.  Would take 17 Democrats and/or independents to convict him.

          And remember, he would have to be convicted of treason, bribery, or high crimes or misdemeanors.  Now, the House would have no problem considering his defiance of them a "high crime or misdemeanor."  But that's a nebulous term.  Might not be so easy to convince the Senate.

          He might be convicted, though.  What do you think he meant when he said "This may bring my presidency down."

          I don't think it would set a precedent.  I think future presidents and the congresses that might impeach them can distinguish between taking steps to pay obligations already in place and new spending.  Granted, technically, it's the same thing, but I think any president who just decided to finance a new program on his own would be impeached and convicted no matter what happened in this case, and here are the reasons why.  

          The GOP Supreme Court would of course rule against Obama, so the issue of "precedence" would be moot, because future presidents and congresses would have as precedent that this is unquestionably illegal and impeachment and conviction would be a foregone conclusion.  He would not be doing this to set a precedent, but if one was set, it would simply be that you can't get away with this.  

          In the remote possibility that the court agreed with him, then the debt ceiling law would simply be ruled unconstitutional and the status quo would resume where it left off.

          Now, as I've said, I think he loses.  However, I think you could make the perfectly reasonable argument that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional, because default would violate the constitutional requirement that the debts of the United States must be paid. That's not to say that argument would win - I understand the arguments against it - only that it is not an unreasonable argument to make.

          The bad part for the GOP about impeachment, though, is that by the time they got to that, the Supreme Court would have ruled against the executive branch and in favor of congress, and there would be an immediate default and resulting economic collapse.  The entire populace would immediately recognize that it was Obama and Obama alone who had stood between them and the misery that is now upon them.  They would also know that the GOP and the GOP alone had brought disaster upon them.

          That's the political climate in which the president would be impeached.  In fact in those circumstances, assuming he is not convicted by the Senate, then his reelection should be assured.  

          Acquittal is a very real possibility, because the Democrats could make the case that this was simply a dispute over an interpretation of constitutional authority and not a "high crime or misdemeanor."  With the economy in depression and the GOP directly to blame, it would be the politically expedient thing for the Senate to do.

          In fact given the circumstances that would exist, the House would have derision rained upon them for impeaching the only man who might have saved us in the first place.

          The community of fools might be small were it not such an accomplished proselytizer.

          by ZedMont on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:07:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But under your scenario... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rustbelt Dem

            The U.S. would default on its obligations and millions would suffer. And at that point, it doesn't much matter who comes out looking good; The damage is already done.

            During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
            - George Orwell

            by HairyTrueMan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:27:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, obviously, it's a last resort, but it's also (0+ / 0-)

              a "poison pill" for the GOP.  They very well might be reluctant to sue, because they know full well what the result is for them politically, no matter how it goes.

              They might in fact just rant and rave with indignation and try to use Obama's "overreach" against him politically.

              If they sue, they're cutting off their nose to spite their face, so to speak.  

              But you're right, it would be far better to reach a fair deal and avoid the issue altogether.  I'm just not sure the GOP is going to cooperate.

              The community of fools might be small were it not such an accomplished proselytizer.

              by ZedMont on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:59:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site