Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2013

Democrat Congressman: Let’s Pay Off the Debt by Minting a Trillion Dollar Coin!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:33 pm

Hey, it’s a better idea than anything we’ve heard from Obama:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has an admittedly “out of the ordinary” solution to the coming fight over the debt ceiling.

“There is specific statutory authority that says that the Federal Reserve can mint any non-gold or -silver coin in any denomination, so all you do is you tell the Federal Reserve to make a platinum coin for one trillion dollars, and then you deposit it in the Treasury account, and you pay your bills,” Nadler said in a telephone interview this afternoon.

I asked whether he was serious.

“I’m being absolutely serious,” he said. “It sounds silly but it’s absolutely legal. And it would normally not be proper to consider such a thing, except when you’re faced with blackmail to destroy the country’s economy, you have to consider things.”

The one thing you can say is, it’s an approach with a proven track record in other countries. (Of course, that track record is one of hyperinflation and economic misery. Details.)

I actually own a $100 trillion dollar note. It was given to me the last time I ever saw Andrew Breitbart, about a month before he died — and when he saw it he pulled out his own $100 trillion note, which he said he carried with him at all times in his wallet, as a reminder of what happens when a country resorts to hyperinflation to settle its debts.

Because our $100 trillion notes were, of course, from Zimbabwe. And didn’t things work out great in Zimbabwe?

Hats off to Rep. Nadler for his seriousness on the budget discussion. And rest assured that other Democrats, including President Obama, are every bit as serious as he about fixing this problem.

Thanks to Hot Air.

120 Responses to “Democrat Congressman: Let’s Pay Off the Debt by Minting a Trillion Dollar Coin!”

  1. Another post without profanities.

    Don’t assume it’s easy.

    Patterico (b91259)

  2. Wow, just wow.

    Why don’t we mint one for everyone in the country? Wheeeee, all debt paid off, and everyone gets rich!

    John (5af905)

  3. Imagine if a conservative in office pushed something like this.

    JD (e810dc)

  4. “It sounds silly…”

    “Stupid” is the word that came to my mind.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  5. I don’t get it.????? ?? Somebody please explain what he thinks it would accomplish.

    elissa (c06a0d)

  6. I don’t get it.????? ?? Somebody please explain what he thinks it would accomplish.

    I guess he thinks making a single coin for $1 Trillion would be different from printing up a bunch of paper currency with the same value.

    I don’t think Nadler has pondered this lamebrained idea thoroughly enough.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  7. This is the Democrat party. Irresponsible, juvenile, and filled with economic nostrums too ridiculous for words.

    Like a Krugman column.

    SPQR (768505)

  8. He does realize that Simpson’s episode was not real, right.

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Well, has Sheila Jackson Lee weiged in on the idea? Knowing what her opinion is will be important for the process, I think.

    elissa (c06a0d)

  10. The original genesis of this stupid idea, that Nadler did not understand, was that of an attempt to circumvent the debt ceiling by minting a coin, giving it value by fiat and trading the coin to the Federal Reserve for Fed Res notes.

    SPQR (768505)

  11. Is Nadler perhaps related to the guy in Altanta who recently tried to cash a counterfeit one million dollar bill at a Walmart?

    elissa (c06a0d)

  12. What’s troubling is, republicans think they can save us from these nitwits.

    mg (31009b)

  13. Great idea. Since there’s no law against the Preezy minting as many platinum coins as he wants, maybe there’s no law regulating the purity of the alloy and design of the coin.

    Perhaps it’s even racist to talk about purity of the alloy.

    I do believe the design must be prescribed by law and any person depicted on a US coin must be deceased. But then we’re ignoring so many laws starting with the Constitution perhaps I should call them guidelines.

    Given these guidelines, it should be at least 99% zinc and only 1% (or less) platinum but we’ll call it platinum, it should look like an old gambling chip from a defunct Vegas Casino like the Sands, the person on the coin should be P.T. Barnum with “there’s a sucker born every minute” inscribed in Latin (yeah, I know he probably didn’t say that but it makes it fit the motif even more that way) while on the back it should say, also in Latin, “(fornicate) the full faith and credit of the US” underneath an illustration of a raised middle finger.

    Pat, you’re right. It is hard to comment on this without using profanity.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  14. Article I, Section 9, Clause 7:

    “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

    Mint away Jerry and Barry, but as long as Congress doesn’t give the ok, the coins aren’t going anywhere, and the money can’t be spent. It’s almost as if these fools haven’t bothered, or can’t be bothered, to read the very short written constitution that our Founding Fathers wrote for us. Mark Levin is right, though: we ARE living in a post-constitutional republic, so the plain language of the constitution probably means nothing to these people. God help us all.

    Greg (6de6aa)

  15. You do realize Nadler is a member of the same Party who has a member worried about Guam tipping over if too many military personnel are stationed there, yes?

    Now maybe they were both kidding, but in one case the subject is so serious, making dumb suggestions is inappropriate. In the other, the venue (House committee room, I guess) and occasion (calling in and grilling a very busy Admiral over…how do I put this…insane BS) made it inappropriate–to this citizen at least.

    But these are people We the People elected.

    Oy.

    Oy. Oy. Oy.

    a10pilot (e255d7)

  16. But wait! Aren’t we “a government of laws and not of men”? I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  17. I don’t get it.????? ?? Somebody please explain what he thinks it would accomplish.

    Elissa–

    Any coin minted by the US government is carried on the books as an asset at face value. There are a fair number of Susan B Anthony dollars that were never circulated that are stored just for this reason — destroying them would increase the deficit!

    What they propose is to make a phony asset with an absurdly high face value and claim the Treasury now has $1 trillion extra dollars in the kitty, and the debt limit has not been reached.

    Note that they don’t have to spend it, just record it as an asset, so Congress can huff and puff but cannot stop it. Short of impeachment or the next election. Or the market crash.

    The ultimate currency debasement.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  18. Let’s see how long it takes for Boehner to champion this proposal…

    I bet he has planned his surrender policies out for decades in advance…

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  19. Here’s what is really disturbing about Nadler’s idiocy … the Federal government is almost doing exactly that right now.

    The Federal Reserve has bought more than a trillion in Treasury securities using “money” that the Federal Reserve just printed up.

    The only difference between Nadler’s idiocy and Ben Bernanke’s? Helicopter Ben did it inside of the debt ceiling and Nadler wants to do it outside of it … and Nadler will give you a bus token as a special gift!

    SPQR (768505)

  20. This wouldn’t be believable if the Onion printed it.

    Our laws are supposed to have meaning. Faking an asset like this is fraud. A trillion dollars in fraud. You could dedicate your life to fraud and not come close to an idle breath of Representative Nadler.

    Dustin (73fead)

  21. It would be fun, though, to steal it and demand payment.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  22. SPQR,

    The difference is that the Fed holds a corresponding amount in bonds which are still debts. The Fed is not the US Government.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  23. Kevin M., for the trillion dollar “coin” trick to work, Treasury has to swap it with the Federal Reserve for Fed Reserve magic money.

    SPQR (768505)

  24. Perhaps we could get a really big check like they hand out at golf tournaments. Or a really cool shiny USA credit card.

    Apparently Weimar Nadler us unfamiliar with this concept of inflation, May be he likes the idea of a $100 carton of milk.

    Math doesn’t care. You cannot pay back that much money with fairy dust and unicorn sweat. We owe $16 trillion plus and counting.

    Bugg (b32862)

  25. SPQR,

    Perhaps. But:

    1) Debt may be construed as outstanding bonds less liquid assets.

    2) The people who are doing this crap are probably the ones doing the construing.

    Obama may say: this is how it is. If you don’t like it, impeach me.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  26. BTW, a horse as Senator isn’t very far down the road from this stunt.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  27. Fun fact. It takes 32,000 years to count to a trillion. And we owe more than 16 of them…

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  28. Kev-

    Had no idea Sarah Jessica Parker had political ambitions.

    Bugg (b32862)

  29. 26. BTW, a horse as Senator isn’t very far down the road from this stunt.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/4/2013 @ 6:12 pm

    Ok, instead of an engraving of a middle finger we put an portrait of the horse Caligula was going to make a Senator.

    But to make it more true to life, it’s got to be a portrait of the south end of Incitatus as he’s facing north.

    See, I’m flexible. I’m perfectly willing to negotiate with King Putt.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  30. This is kmart’s magical thinking party. And Krugman, the demonic angry midget.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  31. Kevin, there is no provision for the Federal government to make “secured” loans and count them outside the debt ceiling. So it isn’t enough to mint the coin, and then hang it in the Treasury lobby. It has to be swapped for regular fiat “money” – e.g., through the Federal Reserve.

    Otherwise, the Federal government could just start issuing “debt” that was secured with the Grand Canyon, the Pentagon, and that ugly post office down the street.

    SPQR (768505)

  32. SPQR, OK. Fine. And let’s also say that Obama doesn’t ignore the law and state that the debt is reduced. Does there need to be an act of Congress for the Treasury to repurchase debt? Again, says who? And how many divisions do they have?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  33. The point I’m trying to make is the act of minting this coin is lawless — they claim that because they are not forbidden to do it, it’s OK. Once they’ve gone this far, what holds them back?

    (and admittedly, I’d love to see them try it, because it is the kind of thing that just might get Obama impeached.)

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  34. Homer will steal it, it’s gotten this absurd, did anyone run against the overstuffed popinjay.

    narciso (3fec35)

  35. Why doesn’t Obama just write a $1 trillion check to the US government? Wouldn’t it be the same thing?

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  36. The way things are going right now, we could mint a Johnny Football trillion dollar coin and the Aggie nation would back it up.

    But it’s early in the fourth quarter. The Aggies have lost games with bigger leads.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  37. Of course, this means the minimum wage would have to be raised to $500 trillion per hour.

    And think of the tax windfall!

    navyvet (02dd07)

  38. I have to admit that I would never have thought of it.

    Of course, I’m sane.

    Patricia (be0117)

  39. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make 1,000 Billion Dollar coins? Or 1,000,000 Million Dollar coins?

    htom (412a17)

  40. Aren’t “better idea” and “Jerrold Nadler” two things never to be found in the same train-of-thought?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  41. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/4/2013 @ 4:46 pm

    Don’t give Krugman any ideas. He’s foundering right now trying to come up with a way to finance O-care, so we’ll have the same quality of heath care as the average Englishman.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  42. I hope everyone understands that when our debt exceeds our GNP, we are essentially playing with monopoly money when we get paid. It doesn’t matter what Nobel Prize winners say.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  43. How many lap dances can you get with a trillion dollar coin?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. Is there $usTrillion-$uslapdances in change available? And are you strong enough to carry it?

    htom (412a17)

  45. What a SHOCKA! that the congressman pulled out the “it’s legal” justification for his stupidity. It must be so liberating to only have to ask “Is it legal?” and “Do I want to do it?”
    Because that pesky third question — “SHOULD I do it?” — tends to get in the way of some people’s good times.

    Icy (f1nk31m@n) (51f8f9)

  46. Icy,

    I dont think its legal because somewhere there is a law denoing circulating instruments above 100 dollars (legal tender)

    EPWJ (c004d5)

  47. It’s come to this

    Her musings were suddenly interrupted when her date asked a decidedly unromantic question: “What’s your credit score?”
    “It was as if the music stopped,” Ms. LaShawn, 31, said, recalling how the date this year went so wrong so quickly after she tried to answer his question honestly. “It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker.”

    If the US government was trying to date, it would be destined to be a spinster.

    Neo (d1c681)

  48. Since WHEN does that coin need to go into circulation?

    Icy (f1nk31m@n) (4feb96)

  49. What a SHOCKA! that the congressman pulled out the “it’s legal” justification for his stupidity. It must be so liberating to only have to ask “Is it legal?”

    Of course it’s legal. Unlike liberals who think they can outlaw evil we conservatives know you can’t outlaw stupid.

    Nadler is living embodiment of stupid. And quite possibly evil. What happens when the stupid and evil are the ones making and consequently exempting themselves from their own laws?

    I’ll tell you what happens; the trillion dollar coin.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  50. “Note that they don’t have to spend it, just record it as an asset, so Congress can huff and puff but cannot stop it. Short of impeachment or the next election. Or the market crash.

    The ultimate currency debasement.”

    This has already been done as part of the Vatican bank scandal. In the late 70s, the Mafia stole a huge amount of corporate bonds. The bonds were identifiable so they could not be cashed. What was done, instead, was to place them in European banks as collateral for loans. The bonds were held and not cashed so the theft didn’t come out. The scheme was so successful that they ran out of bonds and began to counterfeit them. This worked well until the Pope, John Paul I, decided to reform the Vatican Bank, which was hip deep in the affair.

    Pope Paul VI has been called “The Mafia Pope” because he had been cardinal of Milan which is a big Mafia center in Italy. He was also suspected of complicity or at least creative ignorance about the scandal. When he died, John Paul I was elected. He died a month after becoming Pope and there has been a lot of suspicion he was murdered. That is why John Pail II took his name.

    Anyway, it eventually unraveled and a number of senior bank and government officials in Italy were murdered. The Bishop thought to be heavily involved was from, where else, Chicago. He was basically exiled to Phoenix, AZ and lived there after the scandal.

    Maybe that’s where Nadler got his idea. He should remember what followed the Weimar Republic’s use of hyperinflation to evade war reparations in the 1920s. His name was Hitler.

    Mike K (5552a4)

  51. So if one side of this coin has the south end of a donkey, the other side has to have a picture of the egotist in charge, Barack Hussein (Barry Soetero) Obama. Just so everyone will know who is responsible for this idiocy.

    PatAZ (b1daa1)

  52. It’s deeply weird how Obama alternates between raping old people who’ve worked and saved and then goes to town on the young stuff.

    Food Stamp has him some stamina.

    happyfeet (3bf973)

  53. The House should pass a resolution for the striking of a trillion dollar coin made of Plutonium with the likeness of Barack Obama on it.

    It is the perfect metaphor … not worth it’s face value but toxic beyond belief.

    Neo (d1c681)

  54. Rep. Jerrold Nadler is my Congressman. (I never voted for him except in some primaries)

    And you’re right, overall, he’s better than Obama, especially about the budget.

    Comment by Icy (f1nk31m@n) (51f8f9) — 1/4/2013 @ 10:22 pm

    Because that pesky third question — “SHOULD I do it?” — tends to get in the way of some people’s good times.

    He isn’t exactly saying it should be done. He’s saying it should be done if the debt limit is not raised, if the alternative is a drastic and sudden cut in spending.

    Nadler: …it would normally not be proper to consider such a thing, except when you’re faced with blackmail to destroy the country’s economy, you have to consider things.”

    Of course he may be misinformed. First, this drastic cut in spending wouldn’t actually destroy the economy. Second, I don’t think it is the Federal Reserve Board that mints money. Third, the president can’t tell the Federal Reserve Board to do anything, although he doe have ways of putting pressure on it – he can engage in brinksmanship too. It is the Secretary of the Treasury who could authorize the minting of such coins. They wouldn’t have to be trillion dollar coins. You could make billion Dollar coins. You wouldn’t want to make too many at a time anyway. I think it is kind of significant that Nadler hasn’t modified this proposal in any way.

    That indicates that he hasn’t given it much thought.

    Sammy Finkelman (60fff5)

  55. Comment by EPWJ (c004d5) — 1/5/2013 @ 12:17 am

    I don’t think its legal because somewhere there is a law denoing [sic] circulating instruments above 100 dollars (legal tender)

    This could be correct, and it wouldn’t stop people from suggesting this idea but I think the policy (I didn’t or don’t know it’s an Act of Congress) is that no new bills will be printed in a denomination higher than $100.

    Smugglers don’t like that.
    Euros become currency of drug cartels / Smugglers and launderers use €500 notes instead of $100 bills to save space

    $1 million in $100 bills weighs about 22 pounds and would fill a briefcase. It was a lot in 1962 in a James Bond movie, but maybe is not so much now.

    The same $100 rule may not apply to coins, which are not “instruments.”

    Sammy Finkelman (60fff5)

  56. CapitalNewYork.com reports that Nadler is still talking about the 14th amendment and links to a report when he proposed that earlier, in the last debt limit fight at the end of July and beginning of August, 2011:

    http://politicker.com/2011/07/nadler-nudges-obama-make-room-for-the-14th-amendment/

    The White House has conceded that idea is not legal. It actually misunderstands what the debt ceiling is: it is the maximum limit of the authorization to borrow, and borrowing must be authorized by Congress, according to the Constitution.

    And Nadler is now the second or third Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman of the Constitution, Civil Right and Civil Liberties subcommittee.

    (that title makes it sound like they think the constitution consists only of the First through the Eighth, and the 14th, amendments, as freely interpreted.)

    Sammy Finkelman (60fff5)

  57. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/4/2013 @ 5:37 pm

    The only difference between Nadler’s idiocy and Ben Bernanke’s?

    If you use Nadler’s proposal, you don’t have to pay back the money, so it doesn’t add to the federal debt – or the deficit.

    Sammy Finkelman (60fff5)

  58. The House should refuse to extend borrowing authority until the BBA is sent to the states. If we are bound to default, let it be now on our terms.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  59. It takes a New Yorker I guess, to provide the nadir of stupidity.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  60. Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 1/4/2013 @ 8:01 pm

    Why doesn’t Obama just write a $1 trillion check to the US government? </i.

    Only the Federal Reserve Board (Ben Bernanke) can do that, but they don't use checks, but rather electronic credits into bank accounts.

    Wouldn’t it be the same thing?

    No. Bernanke’s check would be used to buy debt of the United States, and interest would be owed, and it would add to the debt.

    It couldn’t be spent of course except for thing alreadfy appropriated by Congress. QWe’re coming up on that too;

    3 cliffs await us in March:

    1) The sequester, postponed for two months, hits.

    2) The debt limit is reached.

    3) The continuing resolution runs out.

    Sammy Finkelman (60fff5)

  61. elissa:

    I don’t get it.????? ?? Somebody please explain what he thinks it would accomplish.

    What it would accomplish is provide the Treasury with money to spend, as Congress has ordered it to do. It would indeed be perfectly legal. Economically a very bad idea, but legal.

    Chuck Bartowski :

    I guess he thinks making a single coin for $1 Trillion would be different from printing up a bunch of paper currency with the same value.

    Yes, legally it would be. The Treasury isn’t authorised to print money, but it is authorised to mint platinum coins without limit, because Congress never thought to impose one.

    SPQR:

    The original genesis of this stupid idea, that Nadler did not understand, was that of an attempt to circumvent the debt ceiling by minting a coin, giving it value by fiat and trading the coin to the Federal Reserve for Fed Res notes.

    In what way is Nadler not understanding that? That sounds like exactly what he’s proposing.

    Greg:

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 7:

    “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

    Mint away Jerry and Barry, but as long as Congress doesn’t give the ok, the coins aren’t going anywhere, and the money can’t be spent.

    Excuse me? What on earth are you on about? Congress has already appropriated the money. That’s what the debt ceiling crisis is about. The Treasury has to spend the money, but hasn’t got it, and can’t borrow it.

    Kevin M:

    What they propose is to make a phony asset with an absurdly high face value and claim the Treasury now has $1 trillion extra dollars in the kitty,

    What would be phony about it? It would be money, every bit as much as the money in your wallet and mine.

    SPQR:

    Here’s what is really disturbing about Nadler’s idiocy … the Federal government is almost doing exactly that right now.

    The Federal Reserve has bought more than a trillion in Treasury securities using “money” that the Federal Reserve just printed up.

    The difference is that that’s the Fed doing this, not the Treasury. The Fed isn’t “the government” in the sense we’re using it here. Technically (and only technically) it’s a private company, and for the current purpose technicalities count.

    Dustin:

    Our laws are supposed to have meaning.

    They do.

    Faking an asset like this is fraud.

    Fraud?! In what way? Do you have the slightest idea what you’re talking about? Which elements of fraud would be met? And in what sense would this asset be “fake”? It would purporting to be exactly what it would be: US currency.

    Kevin M:

    It would be fun, though, to steal it and demand payment.

    Demand payment for what? What sort of payment do you imagine holding money entitles one to? I’ve never been paid anything for having money; it usually works the other way around!

    SPQR:

    Kevin M., for the trillion dollar “coin” trick to work, Treasury has to swap it with the Federal Reserve for Fed Reserve magic money.

    Yes. How is this relevant?

    WarEagle82:

    Why doesn’t Obama just write a $1 trillion check to the US government? Wouldn’t it be the same thing?

    No. A check is not money. US currency is, of course. What else could it be?

    htom:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make 1,000 Billion Dollar coins? Or 1,000,000 Million Dollar coins?

    No, how would that make sense? The whole point is to deposit this coin in the government’s account with the Fed, so why would you make it big and heavy?

    askeptic:

    Aren’t “better idea” and “Jerrold Nadler” two things never to be found in the same train-of-thought?

    Not at all. Here’s a perfectly sensible sentence that uses both: “I’ve had better ideas than Jerrold Nadler while drunk or keeling over from fatigue.”

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  62. “The difference is that that’s the Fed doing this, not the Treasury. The Fed isn’t “the government” in the sense we’re using it here. Technically (and only technically) it’s a private company, and for the current purpose technicalities count.

    But my point is that we are already conducting an equally inflationary process.

    And my point about having to swap the coin with the Federal Reserve was in response to comments above that the coin could just sit as an “asset” of the Federal govt which would not suffice.

    SPQR (768505)

  63. But my point is that we are already conducting an equally inflationary process.

    The point here isn’t to avoid inflation, it’s to avoid breaking the law. It’s to enable the Treasury to keep spending the money that Congress has required it to spend; if Congress is worried about inflation, let it cut that spending, but the Treasury has no right to do so, and it’s none of the Treasury’s business what effect it has on the economy. If Congress says “commit economic suicide”, then Treasury’s job is to look for the nearest cliff to jump over, just as if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter regardless of how senseless they think it would be.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  64. Icy:

    What a SHOCKA! that the congressman pulled out the “it’s legal” justification for his stupidity. It must be so liberating to only have to ask “Is it legal?” and “Do I want to do it?”
    Because that pesky third question — “SHOULD I do it?” — tends to get in the way of some people’s good times.

    Um, Congress wouldn’t be doing anything. Nadler would not be doing anything. So “should I do it” is irrelevant. They only question here is “is it legal”; if it is, then the President has a way to avoid the debt ceiling crisis. Nadler does not pretend it’s a good idea, in fact he explicitly said the opposite. But it’s an idea, which is better than none.

    EPWJ:

    I dont think its legal because somewhere there is a law denoing circulating instruments above 100 dollars (legal tender)

    Really? “Somewhere there is a law”? I don’t believe you. Cite the law or withdraw the claim.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  65. “I’ve had better ideas than Jerrold Nadler while drunk or keeling over from fatigue.”

    - Milhouse

    Wait a sec: you’ve been drunk before?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  66. Milhouse, now you are telling me what my point should be.

    SPQR (6c1ba4)

  67. The point here isn’t to avoid inflation, it’s to avoid breaking the law. It’s to enable the Treasury to keep spending the money that Congress has required it to spend; if Congress is worried about inflation, let it cut that spending, but the Treasury has no right to do so, and it’s none of the Treasury’s business what effect it has on the economy. If Congress says “commit economic suicide”, then Treasury’s job is to look for the nearest cliff to jump over, just as if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter regardless of how senseless they think it would be.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 8:12 am

    What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    I think we can all be glad you don’t work for a suicide hot line. You’d be telling some poor schlub with multiple personality disorders that once the “Nancy Pelosi” personality puts you on a course of suicide you must carry through with it.

    There is no changing course.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  68. just as if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter regardless of how senseless they think it would be.

    Can you cite the law that created a class of military slaves in this country, like the Janissaries of Turkey or the Mamelukes of Egypt?

    You’re talking nonsense.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  69. Milhouse, now you are telling me what my point should be.

    No, I’m telling you what the point of the trillion-dollar-coin proposal is. It isn’t to avoid inflation, so pointing out that it wouldn’t do that is pointless. Not to put too fine a point on it.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  70. Milhouse, you seem to have a habit of “putting a fine point” on disagreeing with people who are not actually in conflict with you. In this case, I was making a specific point about the inflationary policies implicit in the coin idea – which are being discussed with it – as well as those already being explicitly pursued by the Federal Reserve’s purchase of assets such as MBS and Treasuries with inflated money.

    Try to follow that instead of thinking you can tell others what the discussion thread is confined to.

    SPQR (3a9ddb)

  71. What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 USC ch 17B), and Train v City of New York (1975).

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  72. In this case, I was making a specific point about the inflationary policies implicit in the coin idea

    You’re criticising Nadler’s proposal because it would be inflationary, as if he doesn’t know that, or is denying it. But he explicitly acknowledges that it would be a terrible idea, to be used only when there is no other choice. So saying what a bad idea it is, or why, isn’t a valid criticism of it.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  73. just as if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter regardless of how senseless they think it would be.

    Can you cite the law that created a class of military slaves in this country, like the Janissaries of Turkey or the Mamelukes of Egypt?

    UCMJ, article 85, I believe.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  74. 70. What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 USC ch 17B), and Train v City of New York (1975).

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 10:21 am

    Again, cite the part that states Congress must raise the debt ceiling.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  75. 72.

    just as if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter regardless of how senseless they think it would be.

    Can you cite the law that created a class of military slaves in this country, like the Janissaries of Turkey or the Mamelukes of Egypt?

    UCMJ, article 85, I believe.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 10:34 am

    Unlike the Janissaries or Mamelukes who had to obey the will of the Sultan or the Emir, you can’t order American soldiers to commit war crimes.

    …if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter…

    Such as the crime of aggression.

    The Chairman and members of the JCS would most certainly have a choice. And they wouldn’t be convicted of desertion for disobeying such a flagrantly unlawful order.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  76. You do realize the “I was obeying orders” defense hasn’t flown since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, don’t you, Milhouse?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  77. Again, cite the part that states Congress must raise the debt ceiling.

    Where did I say that? Stop making things up.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  78. Unlike the Janissaries or Mamelukes who had to obey the will of the Sultan or the Emir, you can’t order American soldiers to commit war crimes.

    Exactly what part of a hypothetical US war against Russia would constitute a war crime?

    Such as the crime of aggression.

    There is no such crime.

    The Chairman and members of the JCS would most certainly have a choice. And they wouldn’t be convicted of desertion for disobeying such a flagrantly unlawful order.

    They absolutely would. That is what desertion means.

    You do realize the “I was obeying orders” defense hasn’t flown since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, don’t you, Milhouse?

    These tribunals specifically did not set a precedent. They were victor’s “justice”. Any US serviceman who refused to participate in a war lawfully declared by Congress and prosecuted by the president, on the pretext that it was “aggression”, would be court martialled in five minutes. US law knows nothing of Nuremberg.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  79. They couldn’t even court martial LT Watanabe for refusing to deploy to Iraq in 2006.

    I’m afraid your information is hopelessly out of date.

    You also might do a search on the Rome statute; there most definitely is a crime of aggression, and it’s one of the core crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  80. 76.Again, cite the part that states Congress must raise the debt ceiling.

    Where did I say that? Stop making things up.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Making things up?

    70. What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 USC ch 17B), and Train v City of New York (1975).

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 10:21 am

    So, rather than admit the law (and judicial precedent) you cite have nothing at all to do with raising the debt ceiling, now you’re pretending I’m “making things up?”

    You didn’t have to cite irrelevancies and pretend you had a point about “obeying the law” if there is no such law.

    But don’t pretend you didn’t answer a direct queston. Badly.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  81. These tribunals specifically did not set a precedent.

    Also reread what I wrote. I said the defense of “I was obeying orders” hasn’t flown since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.

    I didn’t say “because of.”

    Steve57 (2073db)

  82. Actually, the “I was obeying orders” defense hasn’t flown for far longer than most people imagine.

    Little v. Barreme – 6 U.S. 170 (1804)

    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.

    …I confess the first bias of my mind was very strong in favor of the opinion that though the instructions of the executive could not give a right, they might yet excuse from damages. I was much inclined to think that a distinction ought to be taken between acts of civil and those of military officers, and between proceedings within the body of the country and those on the high seas. That implicit obedience which military men usually pay to the orders of their superiors, which indeed is indispensably necessary to every military system, appeared to me strongly to imply the principle that those orders, if not to perform a prohibited act, ought to justify the person whose general duty it is to obey them, and who is placed by the laws of his country in a situation which in general requires that he should obey them. I was strongly inclined to think that where, in consequence of orders from the legitimate authority, a vessel is seized with pure intention, the claim of the injured party for damages would be against that government from which the orders proceeded, and would be a proper subject for negotiation. But I have been convinced that I was mistaken, and I have receded from this first opinion. I acquiesce in that of my brethren, which is that the instructions cannot change the nature of the transaction or legalize an act which without those instructions would have been a plain trespass.

    It becomes therefore unnecessary to inquire whether the probable cause afforded by the conduct of the Flying Fish to suspect her of being an American, would excuse Captain Little from damages for having seized and sent her into port, since had she actually been an American, the seizure would have been unlawful.

    Captain Little, then, must be answerable in damages to the owner of this neutral vessel, and as the account taken by order of the circuit court is not objectionable on its face, and has not been excepted to by counsel before the proper tribunal, this Court can receive no objection to it.

    There appears then to be no error in the judgment of the circuit court, and it must be

    Affirmed with costs.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  83. Fans of single entry bookkeeping and Ron Paul supporters should predictably welcome the trillion dollar coin money creation idea by the U.S. Treasury, which is as loony as those “Money is Debt” videos which surfaced prior to the 2008 election.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  84. Making things up?

    Yes, you are making things up.

    70. What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 USC ch 17B), and Train v City of New York (1975).

    That’s exactly right. If Congress does not raise the debt limit, that law will be broken. The President will not be able to spend the money he is required to spend, because he won’t have it. Now explain exactly how you managed to twist that into a claim that there’s a law “that states Congress must raise the debt ceiling”. I made no such claim, and you made it up.

    So, rather than admit the law (and judicial precedent) you cite have nothing at all to do with raising the debt ceiling, now you’re pretending I’m “making things up?”

    Yes, you’re making things up, and are utterly delusional. The law I cited is specifically on point; it requires the President to spend all the money that Congress appropriates, which he can’t do if he hasn’t got it and Congress won’t let him borrow it.

    They couldn’t even court martial LT Watanabe for refusing to deploy to Iraq in 2006.

    Lt Who?

    You also might do a search on the Rome statute; there most definitely is a crime of aggression, and it’s one of the core crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

    The USA is not a party to the so-called “Rome statute”. It and the the ICC are irrelevant in the USA.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  85. Oh, you meant Watada. From the somewhat confusing Wikipedia description it seems to me that Judge Head screwed up by being so kind as to give him a do-over, instead of taking his stipulation as a confession and automatically convicting him. Or at least for doing so without extracting a commitment not to use this kindness as the basis for a double jeopardy claim. But at the end of the day, had they pursued it I don’t see how they could have failed to convict him; 0bama dropped the case for political reasons, not because it wasn’t winnable.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  86. Obama should just wrap a penny in a post it note saying the penny is worth $16 trillion, that’s how ridiculous this scam is. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint are charged with printing and minting new currency and coins and the Department of Treasury gets them in circulation. It does not create money out of thin air.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. Obama should just wrap a penny in a post it note saying the penny is worth $16 trillion, that’s how ridiculous this scam is.

    What scam?

    The Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint are charged with printing and minting new currency and coins and the Department of Treasury gets them in circulation. It does not create money out of thin air.

    No, it creates money out of paper or metal. The Fed creates money out of thin air, by simply adding numbers to bank accounts.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  88. “No, it creates money out of paper or metal. The Fed creates money out of thin air, by simply adding numbers to bank accounts.”

    Milhouse – You have reading comprehension problems. I said the BEP and Mint print or mint currency or coins. How do you think they get them in circulation? Do you believe they give new currency and coins away for free on the street?

    And no, the fed does not create money out of thin air by adding numbers to bank accounts. Who taught you anything about the money supply? When the Fed purchases government bonds it creates an entry for that amount in the account of the seller. That is real money the seller can withdraw and use for any purpose it wants, not money created out of thin air. Educate yourself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  89. “What scam?”

    Milhouse – The scam is creating something with a completely arbitrary value of $16 trillion or whatever value it wants purely for accounting purposes and recognizing an intergovernment transfer purely on that purely arbitrary value.

    All of a sudden the DOT creates something, a coin, a Rubiks cube, a chewed piece of gum, or whatever, and says that amazing thing is worth $16 billion dollars. It wants to deposit the amazing thing with the Fed and receive credit for a $16 billion deposit. Greatest scam I’ve ever seen. No consideration. Money created out of thin air.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. I said the BEP and Mint print or mint currency or coins. How do you think they get them in circulation? Do you believe they give new currency and coins away for free on the street?

    They spend them. But what difference does that make anyway? They’re money whether they’re spent or not.

    All of a sudden the DOT creates something, a coin, a Rubiks cube, a chewed piece of gum, or whatever, and says that amazing thing is worth $16 billion dollars. It wants to deposit the amazing thing with the Fed and receive credit for a $16 billion deposit. Greatest scam I’ve ever seen. No consideration. Money created out of thin air.

    That is how money is created. How else? What do you think money is, but something that the government has arbitrarily declared to have a certain value in US currency? What gives the dollar bill in your pocket, or the quarter, its value, except the law declaring it to be so?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  91. Yes, you’re making things up, and are utterly delusional. The law I cited is specifically on point; it requires the President to spend all the money that Congress appropriates, which he can’t do if he hasn’t got it and Congress won’t let him borrow it.

    No, that’s wrong. The President can’t frustrate the will of Congress by refusing to spend money on programs Congress funds.

    Again, it says nothing about what Congress must do. And it certainly doesn’t give the President any authority to do an end run around Congress.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  92. Milhouse, I didn’t tell you to do a search for the Rome statute because we’re a signatory. That’s just one source that defines the crime of aggression.

    FM 27-10 DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FIELD MANUAL: THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE

    CHAPTER 8
    REMEDIES FOR VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW; WAR CRIMES

    Section II. CRIMES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

    498. Crimes Under International Law Any person, whether a member of the armed forces or a civilian, who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment. Such offenses in connection with war comprise:

    a. Crimes against peace.
    b. Crimes against humanity.
    c. War crimes.

    Although this manual recognizes the criminal responsibility of individuals for those offenses which may comprise any of the foregoing types of crimes, members of the armed forces will normally be concerned, only with those offenses constituting “war crimes.”

    Planning for, preparing for, initiating, and/or waging a war of aggression is a crime against peace. The first war crime listed in the US Army’s own manuals as a war crime.

    Good luck convicting anyone under your little scenario:

    …if Congress and the Commander in Chief order the Joint Chiefs to invade Russia they have no choice in the matter…

    If Congress and the Preezy go off their nut and out of the blue declare war on Russia and order US forces to invade then the service chiefs would have the obligation to refuse to carry that order out.

    No court martial would convict them. You may not be aware that US military tribunals have jurisdiction crimes against peace and other war crimes, but the members of the JCS are. So would any member of a court martial. You couldn’t get past the article 32 hearing.

    The Manual of Courts Martial, Part IV, ¶ 14(c)(2)(a)(i), says that:

    [a]n order requiring the performance of a military duty or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate. This inference does not apply to a patently illegal order, such as one that directs the commission of a crime.

    Generally speaking it doesn’t matter what one thinks of the legality of a particular order. It matters what your seniors think. Within the military justice system there is no one senior to the members of the JCS.

    Again, good luck imagining that if the JCS resigned in protest, and the Preezy didn’t accept their resignations and consequently the members of the JCS refused to “invade” Russia unprovoked, anyone in the military justice system would even pursue it.

    Maybe in the Soviet Union. Or the Ottoman empire they would.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  93. “They’re money whether they’re spent or not.”

    Milhouse – Do you believe that the financial statements of the DOT are inflated by the value of all the printed and minted but uncirculated currency and coins it is waiting to issue?

    “That is how money is created. How else?”

    How else? I gave you an example of how the Fed increase the money supply in comment #87. The DOT gets new bills and coins in circulation by exchanging them for old bills and coins or deposits. That is not creating money, that is exchanging value.

    The $1 trillion coin scam is creating money. Why not give me the accounting entries for scam to show me who is taking pipe between the DOT and Fed?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  94. 70. What law? No law will be broken if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. Cite the law.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 USC ch 17B), and Train v City of New York (1975).

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/7/2013 @ 10:21 am

    I have to admit I’m intrigued by this legal theory of yours. Clearly, someone is in violation of the law if Obama doesn’t spend the money Congress refuses to give him either by raising revenue or authorizing the Treasury to borrow.

    It must be Obama who’s violating the law, given the precedents you cite.

    I never knew it would be so easy to lock Obama up. I’m all for it.

    I’m all for charging the President with violating of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 for not spending the money he doesn’t have.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  95. Yes, you’re making things up, and are utterly delusional. The law I cited is specifically on point; it requires the President to spend all the money that Congress appropriates, which he can’t do if he hasn’t got it and Congress won’t let him borrow it.

    No, that’s wrong. The President can’t frustrate the will of Congress by refusing to spend money on programs Congress funds.

    Exactly. And yet if Congress won’t let him borrow the money he will have no choice but to break this law.

    Again, it says nothing about what Congress must do.

    Of course it doesn’t. Nobody ever said it did, except inside your twisted imagination. You made it up; admit it.

    And it certainly doesn’t give the President any authority to do an end run around Congress.

    What end run? How is finding the money they appropriated, so he can spend it as they ordered him to, “doing an end run” around them?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  96. Milhouse, I didn’t tell you to do a search for the Rome statute because we’re a signatory. That’s just one source that defines the crime of aggression.

    Then cite one that is relevant in the USA.

    Planning for, preparing for, initiating, and/or waging a war of aggression is a crime against peace.

    Says who?

    If Congress and the Preezy go off their nut and out of the blue declare war on Russia and order US forces to invade then the service chiefs would have the obligation to refuse to carry that order out.

    On the contrary, they have the obligation to obey their orders. That’s the whole point of civilian control. Or don’t you believe in that? If they refuse their orders then they are in rebellion.

    Generally speaking it doesn’t matter what one thinks of the legality of a particular order. It matters what your seniors think. Within the military justice system there is no one senior to the members of the JCS.

    The president and Secretary of Defense are senior to them. Again, civilian control, which is the bedrock principle of the US military.

    Again, good luck imagining that if the JCS resigned in protest, and the Preezy didn’t accept their resignations and consequently the members of the JCS refused to “invade” Russia unprovoked, anyone in the military justice system would even pursue it.

    They would have to. They are all responsible to the Commander in Chief.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  97. Depends on the circumstances, you’re assuming we would invade Russia, on a whim like Napoleon or
    his successor, there are other provocations that could lead to such a circumstance, a failed or successful nuclear detonation, an attempted decapitation of the command structure,

    narciso (3fec35)

  98. Have somebody walk a baggie of Bo’s dog poop over to Ben Bernanke. Tell him it’s from Treasury and worth $1 trillion and you want to deposit with the Fed. Debt ceiling problem solved.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  99. It doesn’t matter. Those are considerations for Congress and the president, not for the military. The military has no role at all in deciding whether to go to war, and no right to express an opinion on the matter.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  100. Milhouse is proof positive that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    The man knows so “little” that he’s a danger to himself and others.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  101. F*ck you too, askeptic. If you have no argument to make then shut up; flinging contentless personal abuse at me just shows what a piece of sh*t you are.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  102. Talking technically, senior military officers have the option to resign or, often, retire.

    If the president gave a crazy order, they could seek the support of the vice president, or other Cabinet members, and one aspect of the 25th amendment could get a test.

    In 1974, the Secretary of Defense, was afraid Presieent Nixon would giove some crazy orders, although there was no actual basis to suspect that, and he, well, I guess the Wikipedia article will do:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Schlesinger

    During President Nixon’s last days in the White House during the Watergate crisis, when the President’s mental stability was doubted by some, Schlesinger is thought to have instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to check with him before carrying out any of Nixon’s orders regarding nuclear weapons. He also drew up contingency plans for an emergency deployment of the 82nd Airborne to Washington D.C. in the event of Nixon refusing to step down in the event of impeachment and usurping of the marines.[2]

    According to Paul Nitze, writing in his autobiography, Schlesinger wanted to resign during this time but could not bring himself to do it. When asked why, Schlesinger replied to Nitze that he was concerned Nixon’s aides, particularly Alexander Haig, may have contemplated initiating a military coup to retain Executive power.[citation needed]

    One caveat. Footnote 2 turns out to be an article in the August 1983 Atlantic by Seymour Hersh, possibly excerpted from his book: “The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1983/08/the-pardon/305571/?single_page=true

    Hersh says that in April 1974, Joseph Laitin, a former Johnson Administration official telephoned Schlesinger about this, although he does not say he started him thinking about these kinds of questions.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  103. More about the trillion Dollar coin(s):

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337036/platinum-bugs-daniel-foster?pg=1#

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337036/platinum-bugs-daniel-foster?pg=2#

    For one thing, numismatizing the debt by striking trillion-dollar debt discs is not exactly what former representative Mike Castle (R., Del.) had in mind in 1995 when he introduced the legislation that turned into the provision in public law 104-208.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/be-ready-to-mint-that-coin/?smid=tw-share

    So if the 14th amendment solution — simply declaring that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional — isn’t workable, go with the coin.

    There are 393 comments there.

    http://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2013/01/07/can-anybody-here-break-a-trillion-dollar-coin/

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/election/2013/01/07/krugman-joins-the-1-trillion-coin-brigade/

    Petition at whitehouse.gov:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/direct-united-states-mint-make-single-platinum-trillion-dollar-coin/8hvJbLl6

    Signatures needed by February 02, 2013 to reach goal of 25,000: 18,587. Total signatures on this petition: 6,413.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  104. But someone comments on Krugman’s blog that the Congress has to approve whose face is on the coin.

    So you still have to get Congress to pass a bill.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  105. I am not seeing anyone else say there is this requirement for Congress to approve the design.

    Wikipedia has a small article which gives a little history of the idea:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillion_Dollar_Coin

    Sammy Finkelman (40c4eb)

  106. July 7, 2011 Pragmatic Capitalism post with many links like to Monetary Realism. The last update is from the last few days:

    http://monetaryrealism.com/platinum-arrow-in-quiver-now-take-aim/ (Dec. 7, 2012)

    http://monetaryrealism.com/why-hitting-debt-ceiling-is-totally-insane-and-why-platinum-coin-easing-is-reasonable/ (Jan 5, 2013)

    Paul Krugman wrote something more about it today:http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/rage-against-the-coin/ (posted 5 PM January 8, 2013)

    Sammy Finkelman (d5b7a3)

  107. Sorry – I didn’t include the link to July 7, 2011 Pragmatic Capitalism post:

    http://pragcap.com/lets-end-this-debt-ceiling-debate-with-a-1-oz-1t-coin

    Sammy Finkelman (d5b7a3)

  108. Good Allah, man, Hersh was revealed himself to be a knave or a fool, on far too many occasions,

    narciso (3fec35)

  109. Seymour Hersh, Sammy? You actually quote Seymour Hersh?

    You’ve now reached fourth order self parody.

    SPQR (768505)

  110. 101. 108. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/8/2013 @ 7:23 pm

    Seymour Hersh, Sammy? You actually quote Seymour Hersh?

    That’s why I mentioned who said it, because that means there could be a problem with that story.

    First I noticed the Wikipedia article, and I know I had heard that before, then the source. I was careful to note the source.

    That means the actual story could be a little bit meaning a lot!) different than what he said.

    But even scaled down, it could mean that Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger took some kind of precautions, like maybe asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff to check with him if they got an order to use nuclear weapons.

    It’s not clear to me that Seymour Hersh is the only source for all of it.

    Maybe Hersh is only the source for the story about a contingency plan for the 82nd Airborne to force Nixon to step down in the event of impeachment.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  111. Here’s a year 2000 letter to the New York Times I found that actually backs up the claim that secret instruction to the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
    (but read further toward the end of this comment)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/03/books/l-nixoniana-334260.html

    In his and Brent Scowcroft’s letter (Nov. 5), former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger denied having been associated with Defense Secretary James Schlesinger in directing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ignore orders from President Richard Nixon.

    As one who during 1973-75 served on one of the Battle Staff units, on permanent standby to brief the president and top commanders in the event of a nuclear crisis, I know otherwise.

    As I have testified in secret debriefings and in both open and closed sessions of House and Senate committees as far back as 1975, Kissinger signed or countersigned at least three such orders in the final year of the Nixon presidency. I have so testified under penalty of perjury several times.

    After the first such order in 1973 signed by Kissinger, the Joint Chiefs demanded that any subsequent ones be countersigned by at least one other Nixon cabinet officer. A second such order, again an instruction not to obey the president until further notice, was signed by Kissinger and, to the best of my recollection, Elliot Richardson.

    At least one other was jointly signed by Kissinger and Defense Secretary Schlesinger. Such orders were always sent ”Top Secret, Eyes Only, Limited Distribution,” bypassing other traffic. Sometimes they remained in effect for a week, most times only two to four days.

    The orders were issued at times of perceived Nixon mental instability. I repeatedly received them in my own hands, as did numerous others serving in sensitive nuclear control positions during that last horrific year of the Nixon presidency.

    Barry A. Toll

    Painesville, Ohio

    Paul Nitze’s autobiography is supposed to have been the source that Schlesinger was worried that Alexander Haig might make a military coup (but Wikipedia seems to indicate a source problem maybe, which might mean nothing, Either that’s in the book, or it’s not, and maybe the Wikipedia editors are just being picky)

    I brought it up anyway to show that (at least in theory) people can defy orders of a president if they think they are off the wall.

    You’ve now reached fourth order self parody.

    It turns out Seymour Hersh is wrong, and yet some of what the Wikipedia article says is right, except that the main instigator to these orders to the Joints Chiefs of Staff was perhaps Henry Kissinger, and Attorney General Elliot Richardson also was involved. If so, Henry Kissinger did not want this to be a precedent, and tried to hide it from history.

    One more question remains: Who’s Barry Toll?

    He was arguing there were missing prisoners not released at the end of the Vietnam War, who were captured in Laos.

    http://northwestvets.com/spurs/b-toll.htm

    http://www.gx2527leftinvietnam.com/tolltest.html

    Here Barry Toll is accused of being a mythmaker:

    http://www.miafacts.org/toll.htm Toll claimed that POWs had been transferred to the Soviet Union.

    Toll went AWOL July 3 to 9, 1975, and maybe that all started it.

    Gekoski eventually reached the conclusion that Barry Toll was s deluded self-promoter, possible motivated by a desire to create a smokescreen of sensational charges to disguise the true circumstances of his discharge from the Army and his later drug conviction. This inference was bolstered during one interview when Toll gave Gekoski a disjointed and rambling account of his service on the Battle Staff of the Airborne Command Post. Toll said that he had received calls directly from Richard Nixon while the President was “dead drunk,” ordering Toll to prepare for an immediate nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.” (68)

    So it looks like Toll is not reliable.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  112. Best of the Web traces the trillion dollar coin idea – or something close to it – it’s a banknote there – to an episode of the Simpsons)

    Simpson Bowls

    At least anyway they play around with the idea of cash with a value of $1 trillion. Wikipedia says
    the authors of the Unofficial Simpsons Guide say it was unfunny.

    Here is a summary of the episode:

    The Trouble with Trillions

    The title, of course, is a play on the title of the Star Trek original series episode: “The Trouble with Tribbles”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  113. Milowent said on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Trillion_dollar_coin

    …Interesting there is some commentary about multiple lower denomination coins (20 billion or something) would be more palatable, though not sure its worth adding to the article yet.

    20:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  114. I think, if they’re going to do them, the coin(s) should be as large as a ferris wheel. And probably a lower denomination, like $20 billion, makes more sense.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  115. Actually that story, more likely comes from the Bobby Garwood case;

    http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/g/g047.htm

    narciso (3fec35)

  116. The coin supporters discover the January 2 endorsement by Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

    INTERVIEW: We Found A Congressman Who Actually Understands Economics Joe Weisenthal|Jan. 14, 2013, 2:32 PM

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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