KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: As artificial debt crisis looms President Biden needs to act

May 2, 2023, 8:02 AM | Updated: 8:14 am

debt crisis...

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks with reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington following his meeting with President Joe Biden, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

You may remember Robert Reich as a professor, author, lawyer, political commentator, and Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton – or you may remember him simply as one of the shortest public officials ever, which I am allowed to say, as a person of shortness myself.

He’s 4′ 11″.

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But Robert Reich has come up with a very interesting idea for avoiding the rapidly-approaching artificial debt crisis.

His advice to President Biden is to ignore it.

Dr. Reich posted on his blog yesterday that the President is actually bound by his constitutional oath to pay the government’s bills whether Congress acts or not!

It’s in the 14th Amendment, Section 4, which, as we all know, begins, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts for payment of pensions, etc., etc., Shall. Not. Be. Questioned.”

You can’t even say, “Hey, should we pay the debt this year?” You have to shut up and pay it.

The way Reich reads that it means that when Congress passes a budget, it automatically authorizes whatever borrowing is necessary to pay for it.

So he says that debt limit or not– the President has a Constitutional obligation to continue to pay the bills, including everything from salaries to interest payments.

That, of course, would send the issue straight to the Supreme Court, where it would be up to the nine justices to decide whether the United States is officially a deadbeat nation.

But I’m not too worried.

Because as we learn more and more about the immense wealth held by a number of the justices and their spouses, some of which I’m pretty sure have been parked in bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, I think I know how they will rule.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: As artificial debt crisis looms President Biden needs to act