Worldview: Is the 14th Amendment a remedy to the debt crisis? What do you think?

One of the ideas that keeps appearing as a solution to the debt crisis is that the president could unilaterally raise the debt ceiling by using the power some see implied in Section 4 of the 14th Amendment.

The problems I see with this interpretation is that it doesn’t seem like the 14th Amendment was intended to grant any president that kind of power and that the power to spend money at all still rests firmly with Congress.

Now, I grant that the debt ceiling question results from the fact that Congress authorized spending in excess of what it authorized in borrowing, and I also grant that the president has the responsibility to ensure the sovereignty of the United States, which includes its debts.

I think the underlying problem here is that there is no check against excess by the federal government against its citizens. Granting any president the right to borrow without the approval of Congress seems like an even worse slope than deficit spending already represents.

Yet, this problem is hardly cut and dried, and I am not sure where I stand on it either. What do you think?

DLH

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