Is a Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional?
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Does the language of the 14th Amendment (one that trips up the far right quite frequently) give a good reason to ignore the partisan calls to default on our debts? Here is the relevant piece of the 14th Amendment:
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.
Clearly this amendment is in response to the Civil War, but our courts have upheld the universal meaning of the words used. So, this whole summer theater regarding the debt ceiling may be utterly irrelevant. Good thing, too, because the only purpose of challenging the debt ceiling at this time is to champion the severe austerity rhetoric favored by the right, which is absolutely the wrong direction to go in times of economic depression.
So what about it, Tea Party?
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