Patterico's Pontifications


Laurence Tribe: No, the President Can’t Ignore the Debt Ceiling

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:00 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

I have been critical of Laurence Tribe in the past, but I have to say this passage from his Op-ed on whether the President can ignore the debt ceiling, is spot on:

[A]nother part of the Constitution specifically reserves the right to Congress and Congress alone to put us into debt.  In Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 2, the Constitution states that “Congress shall have the power … [t]o borrow money on the credit of the United States[.]”  That means Presidents don’t have the power to do so, and the Courts don’t—only Congress does.  And nothing in the language of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment suggests that they were altering this clause of the Constitution so as to give the President the power to take us further into debt without Congress’ consent.

Oh, wait, that isn’t Tribe’s essay.  That was from my post at Big Journalism discussing Stengel’s theory that the Fourteenth Amendment empowers the president to unilaterally sink us even deeper into debt.  Which is my backwards way of pointing out that Tribe’s reasoning is very similar, when he actually says this:

Other proponents of a constitutional deus ex machina have offered a more modest interpretation of the public debt clause, under which only actual default (as opposed to any action that merely increases the risk of default) is impermissible. This interpretation makes more sense. But advocates of the constitutional solution err in their next step: arguing that, because default would be unconstitutional, President Obama may violate the statutory debt ceiling to prevent it.

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.

Which is not a case of one person ripping off another, but rather two people versed in the Constitution reaching the same correct answer using the same reasoning.  To be blunt, two lawyers reaching the same conclusion for essentially the same reasons is what is to be expected when they are right.

And truthfully, I think Mr. Tribe out-classed me a little in his argument.  For instance, he points out that most people do not like to invest in debt instruments that might not be legal in the first place:

So the arguments for [the President] ignoring the debt ceiling are unpersuasive. But even if they were persuasive, they would not resolve the crisis. Once the debt ceiling is breached, a legal cloud would hang over any newly issued bonds, because of the risk that the government might refuse to honor those debts as legitimate. This risk, in turn, would result in a steep increase in interest rates because investors would lose confidence — a fiscal disaster that would cost the nation tens of billions of dollars.

Do read the whole thing.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ernest Istook’s excellent post on the subject, too, who teases out a few additional wrinkles making it even more obvious that the Fourteenth Amendment was not designed to give the President the power to put us deeper into debt.

Meanwhile I am sad to report that talk of breaching the debt ceiling has led to his plainly racist call for Obama’s impeachment:

(click on the image to view the video)

Of course you probably know I am calling this person a racist as a joke.  Honestly, I have never heard the name Tim Scott before today, but I believe he is right on Constitution.  Breaching the debt ceiling would be, in my mind, an impeachable offense.

But on the other hand, would the rest of Congress agree to go along with that?  So long as the Democrats hold the Senate, that is very much in doubt.  That is the Republicans might impeach in the House, but the Senate would not vote to remove.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

73 Responses to “Laurence Tribe: No, the President Can’t Ignore the Debt Ceiling”

  1. I don’t think the Democrats have the stomach to ignore the debt ceiling. They’ll demagogue a default to the hilt.

    East Coast Chris (c31a9b)

  2. You’ve never heard of Tim Scott before today?! He was one of the main stars of the TEA Party revolution last year! His primary victory over Strom Thurmond’s son was widely trumpeted as a sign of the TEA Party movement’s electoral strength (as well as that of the Club For Growth and other conservative/libertarian groups that heavily backed him).

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  3. You’ve never heard of Tim Scott before today?!

    Thankfully, there are a large number of awesome people gaining traction in their political careers. Obama has helped fertilize conservatism… by crapping all over America’s prosperity. In a few years, I think all these folks, many I’ve probably yet to hear of, will yield a lot of progress towards restoring our government to something sustainable.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  4. milhouse

    um, sorry for my ignorance, dude.

    But judging by this video, i probably should know more about him.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. How dare you Aaron. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I totally knew who this guy was.

    /looks around nervously, twiddling his thumbs

    Dustin (b7410e)

  6. Hey, that wasn’t criticism, just amazement. During last year’s election season one could hardly read a right-wing blog without hearing about him, along with Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ken Buck, Joe Miller, etc. as the big name TEA Party candidates.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  7. Geez, give Aaron a break, guys… how would he know who Tim Scott was unless he lived in SC… It’s not like the press trumpeted the first black Republican to win an election in the South since Reconstruction.

    See the problem is is that he was elected not in a gerrymandered minority district, but in a district those old South racists of Charleston and Hilton Head AND those racist hicks from the Myrtle Beach area.

    (BTW, Milhouse, Strom’s son is a nobody in Charleston, Tim Scott was a well respected Charleston County Council member, so it wasn’t THAT much of a Tea Party victory… but nobody outside Charleston would know that)

    JFH (6579fb)

  8. Back on topic: Lawrence Tribe has come around on the Second Amendment too. He’s not all bad.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  9. Hey, that wasn’t criticism, just amazement.

    I knew that. Just giving you a hard time. Sometimes you come across as a bit more pointed than I think you intend to. Over time I’ve grown better at reading your meaning.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  10. If the President can’t ignore the debt limit, what exactly do you expect him to do? Social Security payments are mandated by law. Legal debts to defense contracters, payments to government employees, and all other government payments are legal payments due under Congressional authority. So the President is legally mandated to pay money the government owes, legally mandated to collect less in taxes than the government owes, and forbidden from borrowing. It is a nice set up in that anything he does will be illegal and he can be criticized as a ‘lawbreaker’.

    Personally, I would have him rank corporations owed money by the government in order of contributions to the Republican party and stop payments to them starting at the top. Is that what the Patterico posters are thinking also? If not, exactly who do you think should not be paid?

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  11. If not, exactly who do you think should not be paid?

    Comment by Counterfactual — 7/8/2011 @ 1:01 pm

    Well, since liberals go us into this mess, don’t pay any liberals first.

    As far as what we expect him to do – come to a responsible deal for raising the debt ceiling where he agrees to be an adult and cut spending since we don’t actually have the money for all the spending. But “reasonable” “responsible” or “adult” are not words one can use to describe Obama.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  12. It is a nice set up in that anything he does will be illegal and he can be criticized as a ‘lawbreaker’.

    I don’t think so. By law, we’re out of money. So mandates for spending go unpaid. This is not really super complicated. Laws come into conflict all the time, and if you’re upset Obama is not up to the job of handling those conflicts legally, well… you should have listened to us in 2008 when we explained to you just how unprepared he was for the job.

    Personally, I would have him rank corporations owed money by the government in order of contributions to the Republican party and stop payments to them starting at the top.

    What are you, a fascist? This doesn’t really make much sense, but indeed, if the government is out of money, whatever payments you think the government is making to ‘republican’ corporations (LOL) should also cease. You act like you think our government is funneling money directly from orphans into Rush Limbaugh’s trillion dollar coal burning corporation.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  13. If the President can’t ignore the debt limit, what exactly do you expect him to do? S

    Prioritise. Debt repayment is required by the constitution, so that comes first. Next comes contractual obligations, which are also constitutionally protected. Any money left over goes to fund statutory obligations. Any spending over which the president has discretion doesn’t happen, because he has no money to spend on it. The president is under no legal obligation to spend every dollar appropriated to government agencies, for instance.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  14. Thanks for the comments Dustin and Monkeytoe. Just so I am clear, you are saying that once the limit is reached, then payments for things like social security, medicare, etc. should cease (or be heavily cut). I am not trying to be snarky here, just understand what you expect to happen. These are the type of mandates for spending you are thinking of, right?

    P.S. I understand the best case is a ‘reasonable’ compromise (though opinions do differ on what is reasonable). Of course the form of the likely compromise depends alot on what happens if there is not one. Personally I think if the outcome of no compromise is that social security checks stop coming because the Republicans won’t raise the debt ceiling, then Obama has a lot of bargaining power here.

    [note – fished from spam filter. Stashiu]

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  15. Counterfactual’s comment might be in the Top 10 dummerest comments ever posted here, no small feat.

    JD (85b089)

  16. If the President can’t ignore the debt limit, what exactly do you expect him to do?

    I don’t expect the President to do much other than sign into law what Congress passes to start diminishing the debt. He’s not much of a leader, anyway.

    Social Security payments are mandated by law.

    Social Security payments can be changed by an act of Congress. The question is: do Congress and the President have the guts to do that?

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  17. He could stop giving money to ACORN in direct contravention of Federal law.

    Have Blue (dbbcd4)

  18. Personally, I would have him rank corporations owed money by the government in order of contributions to the Republican party and stop payments to them starting at the top. Is that what the Patterico posters are thinking also?

    How about we rank them by contributions to either party? And how about we throw in unions, too? That way, if any public employee unions have contributed heavily to a particular political party, they will see their members getting laid off.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  19. ==what exactly do you expect him to do?==

    We should ask Maxine Waters. She’ll know what to do.

    elissa (157504)

  20. Thanks for the personal notice JD. I can’t help but notice that you carefully refrain from attempting any helpful answer to what is a real question.

    For those of you outraged by my comment that the corporations making the biggest Republican contributions be cut off first, know that was not a serious proposal, just an example pointing out that if the President has discretion on who is not paid, he might chose to play a little hardball. But I confess to thinking small. Imagine the impact of social security checks being cut off because the Republicans in Congress won’t authorise payment. I can see the TV commercials now. And JD really thinks this would help the Republicans? And he wants to talk about other people’s posts being ‘dumberist’?

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  21. Right like when he held the families of servicemen,’hostage’ in the negotiations over
    the last budget,

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  22. OT: Speaking of Brett Kimberlin the terrorist, and of course Bill Ayers the President’s terrorist BFF, here’s another Democrat terrorist

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  23. How many days has it been since the dims haven’t passed a budget, counterfactual? How can you claim to be responsible if you can’t get a budget together.

    Home Depot Clerk (e7577d)

  24. Counterfactual – you posed no real and serious question. You posited a scenario that was aggressively biased against one party, and then tried to blame said party. I answered you question with the exact amount of respect it deserved. The idea that Republicans are to blame for the Dem spending binge on crack is laughable. The idea the cutting the rate of growth is a cut is laughable. The idea that this is the fault of anyone other than the ones that spent us to this point is laughable. I laugh in your face, and fart in your general direction.

    JD (d48c3b)

  25. Home Depot Clerk – I don’t claim the Democrats are responsible. Not passing a budget was irresponsible. Much of their spending is irresponsible. But, and this is a big but, the correction for this is to pass a better budget, not to try something crazy. Stopping the sending out of social security checks in the name of fiscal responsibility is, at least politically, crazy.

    I do believe that most G.O.P congressmen know this. I do believe that Barack Obama knows this. This is why I think Obama, if push comes to shove, has the more powerful hand here. Unless, that is, the Republicans have some other way that we are going to stay under the debt ceiling if they do not raise it. But what? That is why I posted here, to ask people who favor the Republican plan exactly what it is. If no agreement is reached, what spending is going to stop?

    As far as I can tell, I get a lot of general answers like Congressionally legally mandated spending, and very few specifics. When I further ask does that include social security, medicare and things like that, the most common answer is yes. So it seems the plan is to stop social security checks, but no one quite has the guts to say that (except for Chuck B. who has the admirable trait of just saying what he means). If your plan is so unclear or unpopular that you can’t say it out loud, maybe you shouldn’t do it. Harry Reid being a moron doesn’t change that.

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  26. SocSec payments are mandated by statute, so if there’s money after paying the debt as it falls due and contractual obligations, they come next, along with all other payments the president is legally obligated to make, until the money runs out. If necessary, he can sell assets. But any spending not required by statute, he can’t spend.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  27. But, and this is a big but, the correction for this is to pass a better budget, not to try something crazy.

    Thanks for the honesty.

    What’s crazy, though? We are out of money, and the economy is sagging. We need job growth, which means we need government out of the way of job creation, and we need stability in the true cost of hiring someone. We need a government whose spending doesn’t destabilize the economy, too, so investors aren’t scared of the future.

    My crazy proposal is to cut spending and not raise taxes. Taxes are already very high, and we have a spending problem. We have an urgent need for entitlement reform and a balanced budget. It’s an existential crisis to the republic, so complaints about a balanced budget amendment being a potential for a crisis ring weaker and weaker.

    We all agree the democrats don’t have the answer. They are playing politics with our country. They are trying to gamble with fear tactics as usual, warning of an economic crisis that is not inevitable, and they are doing this to scare patriots into relenting on reform demands.

    That’s sick. That’s what’s crazy.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  28. People like “counterfactual” a persistent boil/sockpuppet on the asscheek of humanity just want people to say they want to cut SS so they can demagogue the issue. Period. End of story. They absolutely have no interest in doing anything to correct the problems that led to this point. They want to make political points. Period. It is fundamentally unserious.

    JD (d48c3b)

  29. President Obarcky’s budget was so good it got 0 votes in the house. Zero. Not one Dem would vote for it.

    JD (b98cae)

  30. so good it got 0 votes in the house.

    That’s because it wasn’t progressive enough, JD.

    Just kidding. But it’s amazing how some people just set ‘more revenue’ as their end all be all, while Carney talks about how Americans don’t care about unemployment as much as Obama just ‘making decisions for our best interest’.

    We’re in a full-blown Orwellian nightmare.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  31. JD – I don’t blame the Replicans for spending by the Democrats. I simply ask if the Republicans don’t raise the debt limit, what spending will be cut. And if it is social security and medicare that is cut, and the Republicans are clearly the party responsible for that, it seems like the polticical advantage belongs to the Democrats. So why should Obama make a deal unfavorable to himself to prevent to keep the Reublicans from being blamed for shutting down social security? There are possible answers out there. One is that spending will be cut on other things. If so, I ask what they are. Another is that the public will be ok with stopping social security checks. I respectfully disagree. A third is that the economy will tank if the debt limit is not raised. Maybe so, but that is a reason not to mess around with it rather than to do so. But I grow increasingly certain you have no real answer, so I stand by for more answer by personal insult only, which is so far the only type of answer you’ve shown yourself to be capable of.

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  32. And if it is social security and medicare that is cut, and the Republicans are clearly the party responsible for that


    So this is all about finding a way to forgive Obama. But you’re dead wrong. The democrats had 100% of the power for some time, and they passed the buck. They spent so much money that now we’re at a complete crisis. Do you realize just how far they drove up deficits and the total debt?

    Saying it’s not the democrat party’s fault we’re at this point today is really just shilling for them.

    But I grow increasingly certain you have no real answer

    BS. You are setting the goalposts as though any cuts in entitlement spending = no real answer. It’s no secret that we need reform of entitlements, we need to repeal Obamacare, and we need to drastically cut other spending.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  33. If so, I ask what they are.

    For the record, Obama is begging to cut social security, but too cowardly to come out and say it. He wants the idea out there that social security will be cut, so as to demagogue. He wants the gullible to blame the GOP for Obama’s negotiating point.

    Granted, what he really wants is to ignore this problem and play some damn golf until 2012, an election he doesn’t appear to really want to win, and leave it to the adults to fix the damage he caused (damage you pretend is the Republican’s fault because democrats have failed to solve it for years… which is really silly).

    Hey, why not read Paul Ryan’s moderate solution? I wish it went much farther, but there you go. You act like it’s some huge secret what the GOP wants to cut, but it’s been loudly discussed for a long time. Hell, democrats have been complaining about it for a long time, while refusing to offer any alternative.

    Yes, solving difficult problems will lead to painful cuts. And yes, demagogues will point to that pain and pretend that means the solution was a bad idea, and even go so far as to ignore that Obama and Pelosi brought us to the crisis point so fast, forcing us to make these cuts.

    But we are out of money. There is no magical world where we can pay for all this crap. When it’s unpaid for, you aren’t being oppressed. It was never possible in the first place. Obama was lying to you about his goal. He promised you nonsense in exchange for your vote. All he wanted was the vote.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  34. It is not their fault but you will blame them anyways. Dems control the Presidency and the Senate, yet you will blame Republicans, for trying to curtail further idiocy by the very people that created the current mess. You can type your bibble babble, and act aghast that I call you out on your BS, but that does not make it any less BS. Real spending cuts and entitlement reform should be inexorably tied to any increase, just like Barcky demanded when he was a Senator. Lead, Barcky. Problem is for sycophants like “counterfactual” is that leadership would not allow them to blame others for problems they created. Your “a pox on both houses” and BS above the fray BS is transparent.

    JD (b98cae)

  35. Dustin – Good solution. I only point out that even the most drastic cut spending and don’t raise taxes plans being considered by the Republicans continue to borrow heavily for a few years into the future. The Ryan plan, for instance, if adopted immediately and without changing a word, continues deficits for the next 10 years and so needs major debt limit increases. If even your own budget plan needs major debt limit increases, it seems odd to insist that you won’t consider doing so.

    JD – I will type this slow so you can read it. I don’t insist that not raising the debt limit will require stopping social security. I do point out it will require drastic cuts in spending somewhere. I ask if these cuts are not in the big spending categories like social security, medicare, and defense, which together are 55% of the budget, where are these cuts going to come? Actaully, I don’t bother to ask since it is clear you have not the slightest idea.

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  36. You know what gets me? Most of the the congressional dems are parents and grandparents. How can they be so cavalier about the exploding national debt and the legacy of tax burden they are leaving to their own great grandchildren? I mean, I get that the MM kids and the college age activists out there are too young and too stupid about economics to see past 2012. But don’t any of the older Dem congresscritters, union leaders, and liberal talking heads ever have any angst or concern about the abysmal future to which they are sentencing the fruit of their own loins–their precious progeny– as a result of their hard core profligacy today?

    elissa (157504)

  37. Why does counterfactual suppose the democrats and Obama have refused to present their real solution? Why can’t they present a plausible way to pay for all this stuff, with ‘revenue’ (taxes) that won’t ruin what’s left of the economy?

    They don’t because they can’t. They have played a game for about three years now where they just do nothing, wait for the Republicans to propose a solution, and then scream about whatever in that solution is not ideal. We have seen our problems grow much more serious in these last three years of democrats neglecting their responsibilities, and now any proposal is indeed a bit painful to anyone dependent on the government.

    This is why smart people have been doing all they can to not rely on the federal government for anything. This is what Joe Miller tried to tell Alaska. Relying on federal money is a fool’s economy, as we are plum broke.

    The reason the Democrats are so silent on how to solve our problems is that they know they can’t. A few true believers think we can just ruin what’s left of the system, Cloward Piven style, but 95% of these guys are actually just hoping to ride this crisis as long as they can, without doing anything, enjoying the trappings of office.

    It’s disgusting.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  38. You know what gets me? Most of the the congressional dems are parents and grandparents. How can they be so cavalier about the exploding national debt and the legacy of tax burden they are leaving to their own great grandchildren?

    That’s evokes a lot of sadness when I think about democrats that way. They know what they are doing to future Americans. We’re stealing from our kids. It’s just wrong.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  39. “Counterfactual” little air of superiority is tiresome. I fully understand what can happen should the debt ceiling not be raising to accommodate you and the left’s lust for never ending spending. Bill Whittle did a remarkable piece I think called “Eat the Rich” that showed how flawed your revenue side BS is. Yet you just want to demagogue, rather than address the underlying problems that you and yours created. Your above the fray act fools nobody, no matter which name you are posting under.

    JD (306f5d)

  40. I thank those of you who have posted responses to me, most of them I have found helpful (and then there is JD, but there is always a JD – I wish you a happy Friday evening and a nice weekend JD. Try to stay calm). Everything has probably been said already, and even twice so I will post a final thought and check out. There is a difference between passing entitlement reform and willy-nilly deciding to not pay your bills. If a family has a budget/credit card problem, the solution is to make a budget that works. Not to just arbitarily decide they will not pay any credit card debt they have above $10,000 and then decide who to stiff. That is what we are talking about if the debt ceiling is not raised. Who is it the government legally owes money to that they are not going to pay? And most people pushing to do so do not seem to have worked out who that is. I fear they may be surprised at who it is and the political fallout from that.

    The belief that Congress needs to reform its budget does not and should not lead to the belief that it should not pay its bills. Congress should do entitlement reform. And it should pay its bills too (as we all should).

    Counterfactual (19ca0e)

  41. Pure sophist BS. Have a great weekend too. Maybe you can work on your disingenuous issues.

    JD (d48c3b)

  42. How many times do we have to spell this out? There’s money coming in all the time; the problem is that there’s an even greater amount going out. That amount needs to be cut by Congress, but until it is, the president simply can’t spend that much because there isn’t enough coming in to fund it, and he’s forbidden by the constitution from borrowing any more. So he needs to prioritise. Some of the spending is required by the constitution; there’s no getting out of it, so it goes first. There’ll still be plenty of money left, so next comes spending that isn’t required by the constitution, but is required by law. If there’s enough to cover all of that, then we’re golden, and the remaining spending, that’s required neither by the constitution nor by the law, can go to the Devil. If there isn’t enough to cover all the spending that’s required by statute, then some of it just can’t be spent, and that’s that. Force majeure. No law can make the president spend money he hasn’t got, any more than it can make him jump to the moon.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  43. There’s money coming in all the time; the problem is that there’s an even greater amount going out.

    Next step… rocket science!!!

    Dustin (b7410e)

  44. By the way, if the President makes one sound suggesting that he might borrow money without Congress’s approval, the entire GOP leadership, and all GOP presidential candidates, need to make a joint public declaration that any money he illegally borrows will not be paid. Potential lenders need to be on notice that they’d be throwing their money down the toilet, because Congress will not appropriate money to pay them, and the next Republican president will repudiate the debt. There can be no flexibility on this point, no hint that might be interpreted by potential lenders as holding out a possibility that they’ll eventually be paid. Just as the constitution requires that debt authorised by Congress be paid, it’s equally important that debt contracted by the president ultra vires not be paid.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  45. The the surprise at Dr. Tribe’s statement? His position on the Second Amendment – that it does, in fact, deal with an individual right – was made public some years ago … and he is known to be in favor of gun control. Everything that I know about the man (which admittedly isn’t much) indicates that he is an honest scholar. Regardless of his personal opinion of what might be desirable, he goes where the facts take him, and doesn’t weasel. If somebody knows of an example behavior that runs counter to this, I would be interested in hearing/reading about it.

    Not all Liberals are dishonest swine. I keep hoping that the ones that aren’t will do something about the ones that are; it would be a VERY good thing for the Republic.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  46. CSP Schofield, here’s a few examples:

    Tribe called Barack Obama “the best student he ever had” while he was an advisor to the Obama Presidential Campaign. Tribe later was appointed to a post in Eric Holder’s DOJ. Tribe supports PETA’s “animal rights” campaign, and he represented Al Gore in the Florida voter fiasco.

    Tribe admitted to plagiarism, he lifted Henry Abraham’s 1974 work and published it as his own. Lawrence Summers and Elena Kagen whitewashed the incident. Summers went to work for the Obama Administration, and a grateful Tribe pushed hard for Kagen for the Supreme Court.

    ropelight (4d0efb)

  47. #47 & #48

    Wow! That was a fair amount of drivel to wade through.

    I’m tired, and think I will go to sleep now.

    Dave Surls (e2f0e1)

  48. OT but not really – flags at Weat Point were at half mast and an hour of silence was ordered during the funeral of this man

    The oommand staff at Buckner have renamed the second half of training in his name

    EricPWJohnson (2921b6)

  49. 47 and 48 have been sent to the penalty box for cutting and pasting a long comment from another site.

    btw, who really says that Bush jr. didn’t contribute to the deficit.

    But the fact is that Obama is responsible for what is happening to it now.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  50. Aaron

    If you look at Bush’s first 6 years in Office when he had legislative control – eh, not so much considering

    9/11 400 billion in lost tax revenue)
    2 wars 650 billion 2002-2006)
    Katrina 80 bilion
    4 hurricanes in florida in 2 months est 150 billion
    Rita 50 billion

    all these numbers are just remeberances there are some validity to them – but for discussion sake when you subtract these numbers from the ‘Bush deficits’

    its for scholars years from now to determine the extent but I accept somes argument that Bush was fiscally – a decent if not a great president

    EricPWJohnson (2921b6)

  51. Aaron

    A post showing the 2011 budget without reference for which President and Congress are responsible for the items in the budget is obfuscation.

    The fact remains:

    If Bush were never President: No Iraq, no tax cuts, We would not be having this debt ceiling discussion.

    “The deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion and, at nearly 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was the largest deficit relative to the size of the economy since the end of World War II”

    2009 was Obama’s first year in office. The notion that this isn’t Bush’s legacy is insane. If it isn’t Bush’s legacy, whose legacy is it? He was President until 2008, and his party had control of both houses of Congress for 3/4’s of the time.

    As President from 2009-2012, it is of course Obama’s responsibility now to correct this horrible situation, but to think that he put us in this situation is sheer fantasy, just as the comment that “Bush was fiscally – a decent if not a great president”

    Let me repeat:

    Between 2001 and 2010, the Bush tax cuts added $2.6 trillion to the public debt

    Tax collections have plunged to their lowest share of the economy in 60 years.

    Unemployment by year: (which is a lagging economic indicator)
    2001 4.7
    2002 5.8
    2003 6.0
    2004 5.5
    2005 5.1
    2006 4.6
    2007 4.6
    2008 5.8
    2009 9.3
    2010 9.6

    grt (b30d1b)

  52. Thatnk you for the socialist perspective. Keeping your own money grows the debt. Abject BS. There is no revenue problem. This clown wants everyone to look past ObamaCare, “stimulus”, Tarp 2, bailout of the UAW, and all of the other leftist nonsense since 2006.

    JD (b98cae)

  53. just presenting facts. you are welcome to attempt to rebut these facts with more facts in order to make your argument…

    some more…

    Market Performance, which represents the “Market” current assessment of the economic sentiment

    yr Sp500 Perf
    2000 -10.14%
    2001 -13.04%
    2002 -23.37%
    2003 26.38%
    2004 8.99%
    2005 3.00%
    2006 13.62%
    2007 3.53%
    2008 -38.49%
    2009 23.45%
    2010 12.78%

    grt (b30d1b)

  54. grt

    the problem with liberals is that they think that they can raise taxes with no effect on the economy. the reason why revenues are so low right now? BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS IN THE CRAPPER. duh. you can’t tax your way to prosperity.

    For instance, they instituted a millionaire’s tax in maryland since obama came to power. revenue fell. why? BECAUSE THE MILLIONAIRES LEFT. crazy, they didn’t feel like being abusively taxed. you may lament that all this is unfair, but its not something you can actually change.

    But hey, maybe if you ban atm’s…

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  55. and grt at 53, thank you for rebutting your own facts.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  56. Aaron,

    you may want to look up the word “lagging” in the dictionary

    grt (b30d1b)

  57. Your “facts” are not facts, they are leftist canards. Nice try. Your sycophantic sophistry may work at Kos and TPM, but not outside of sheeple sites. There is no need to rebut lies, as yours was rife with same. People that view economics like you should not be let within a mile of a budget or a checkbook.

    JD (b98cae)

  58. I guess Bruce Bartlett is now a Liberal:

    “federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years”

    ” corporate taxes are expected to raise just 1.3 percent of G.D.P. in revenue this year, about a third of what it was in the 1950s.”

    “United States actually has the lowest corporate tax burden of any of the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development”

    Aaron, JD,Eric you are entitled to your own opinions, but your own facts.

    grt (b30d1b)

  59. That is only about the 864231565235529622552nd time some leftist cowardly troll who posts under multiple names has posted that same link. You are a lying socialist redistributionist collectivist clown “grt”.

    JD (306f5d)

  60. This is apparently the way in which the left will defend the worst President in our lifetime. Unlike the last time around, he will actually have the worst job record since the Great Depression, and seems hellbent on causing another one. I understand why you are trying to blame others for the results of your policies.

    JD (85b089)

  61. i give you data, you give me back ad hominem liberal garbage mishmass…

    what’s up with that?

    grt (b30d1b)

  62. WaaaaaaAh. You are a sniveling liar that tells lies, and does not understabd basic economics, and apparently gets all butthurt when people point that out. Waaaaaaaaah.

    JD (d48c3b)

  63. GRT, your facts include claiming the market sentiment is that the economy is flourishing lately?

    No, your facts are unserious.

    There is a troll who enters these threads with a name that is a jumble of random letters, posts facts that aren’t true, and then complains they are refuted strongly.

    If that’s not you, you’re doing a pretty good impersonation.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  64. grt, stick with the corporate jets theme zero’s been spouting. It’s all the rage!

    ∅ (e7577d)

  65. facts by definition are not unserious…

    “grt, stick with the corporate jets theme zero’s been spouting. It’s all the rage!”

    “There is a troll who enters these threads with a name that is a jumble of random letters, posts facts that aren’t true, and then complains they are refuted strongly.”

    “WaaaaaaAh. You are a sniveling liar that tells lies, ”

    Now that’s unserious!!

    Again, please dispute any of the facts I laid out…if you can?

    grt (b30d1b)

  66. Your facts simply aren’t so, no matter how many times you claim them to be. You are so far from original, or cute, or clever. And you fool nobody.

    JD (318f81)

  67. I blame Bush. And Kyoto. And unfunded wars. And people keeping their own money.

    JD (318f81)

  68. grt, you really are full of crap. First of all, there are no “Bush tax cuts”. The current rates are Obama’s deal from late last year. And the fact is that raising the tax rates to the pre-Bush admin era rates and eliminating the expenditures on Iraq (remember that Obama campaigned on the claim that Afghanistan was the war we should be focusing on) would only close about one-third of the current budget deficits and even less of the ongoing budget deficits going forward.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  69. grt, second Obama single handedly doubled the FY2009 budget deficit that you attempt to hang on Bush. The first thing Obama pushed as a faux stimulus bill that was added in part to FY2009 and utterly failed to reduce unemployment using the figures that the White House themselves used to justify it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  70. That one-time “stimulus” has now been baselined, SPQR, no? I like how this serial sock puppet troll ignores that the Dems controlled the purse strings since 2006.

    JD (318f81)

  71. Were there no dimcorats in Congress during the Bush Administration? Did they vote for the tax cuts and the wars?
    If I remember correctly, the Senate remained in the dimocrat’s control until 2002, right?
    Even with a large majority in the House, a filibuster proof Senate, and the Presidency, the dimocrats were unable to defund the wars, rescind the tax cuts, or anything that you’re currently complaining about. I’d call that unserious.

    ∅ (e7577d)

  72. The Democrats voted pretty overwhelmingly for the Iraq operation too, oh slash O guy.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  73. The Democrats voted pretty overwhelmingly for the Iraq operation too, oh slash O guy.

    It’s only bipartisan when the Maine sister +1 vote for dimocratic legislation. Of course, the dims didn’t add any spending to war funding either. [rolls eyes]

    ∅ (e7577d)

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