January 15th, 2013

The debt ceiling dilemma is the perfect example of GOP logic. Budget bills have the force of law, and as the Supreme Court has held, legally require the President to spend as specified therein. The debt limit, if not raised, does not allow him to do so. He cannot execute both laws. Which law should he break?


“This is a matter of Congress authorizes spending. They order me to spend. They tell me, you need to fund our Defense Department at such and such a level; you need to send out Social Security checks; you need to make sure that you are paying to care for our veterans. They lay all this out for me because they have the spending power. And so I am required by law to go ahead and pay these bills. Separately, they also have to authorize the raising of the debt ceiling in order to make sure that those bills are paid. And so, what Congress can’t do is tell me to spend X, and then say, but we’re not going to give you the authority to go ahead and pay the bills…But there’s one way to get around this. There’s one way to deal with it. And that is for Congress to authorize me to pay for those items of spending that they have already authorized.” – President Obama at yesterday’s press conference on the debt ceiling
“The debt ceiling is one of the worst examples of American exceptionalism…Only in America is there another law that might, and sometimes does, contradict the budget law: a limit on how much the government may borrow. If the debt limit exceeds the number implied by the budget, all is well. If it doesn’t, Congress has passed two conflicting laws. In such cases, the minority party always has a little political fun before letting the debt limit rise. If not, we have a Walt Whitman Congress. (‘Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.’)” Alan S. Blinder in The Wall Street Journal.
“Look at his face. Look at his face and listen to me. Look at me. Look at him and understand me. Look at both of us but understand no one. Listen to my words and hear his face.” — Franklin


What passes for logic with today’s GOP?

Pass one law that says “A” and another that says “B”.


Then, when they realize those things are inconsistent

And that the solution to their conundrum is nonexistent,

They ignore the inconvenient truth that their equation doesn’t equate

And President Obama for his lack of leadership berate.


Should Obama do “A”, or do “B” instead?

“Look, he broke the law! He didn’t do what we said!”


Here’s the President’s debt ceiling press conference yesterday.


Here’s the movie scene quoted above (about halfway through the trailer).

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