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The Debt Ceiling…Here we go again

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Jim Opionin By Jim Powers
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Here we go again. The United States finds itself once again embroiled in a contentious debate over the debt ceiling, a limit on the amount of money the government can borrow to finance its operations. This artificially imposed restriction has historically led to unnecessary political gridlock, economic uncertainty, and potential harm to the nation's creditworthiness.

We are a Sovereign Country, obligated to pay our debts, and able to expand our money supply at will. I join many others in urging President Biden to take the constitutional option outlined in the 14th Amendment, which can eliminate the debt ceiling and provide a more pragmatic approach to managing the country's finances.

The debt ceiling, as it stands, is a self-imposed restriction that often creates unnecessary and avoidable crises. It allows lawmakers to hold the nation's economy hostage to political brinkmanship, where partisan disputes hinder responsible governance. In the past, the debt ceiling debate has disrupted financial markets, affected consumer confidence, and increased borrowing costs for both the government and American citizens.

The 14th Amendment, adopted in the aftermath of the Civil War, contains a provision that holds the potential to address this perennial issue. Section 4 of the amendment states that "the validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned." By interpreting this provision in a broad and forward-thinking manner, the President can argue that the debt ceiling is an infringement upon the constitutional duty to honor the nation's financial obligations.

Using the 14th Amendment to eliminate the debt ceiling would provide a legal and constitutional mechanism to ensure that the government's fiscal commitments are fulfilled without unnecessary disruptions. By taking this step, the President would signal a commitment to economic stability, sending a positive message to financial markets, investors, and the American public.

Through the simple step of eliminating the debt ceiling, we remove the threat of default so the government can focus on maintaining a stable economy and maintain long-term growth. We must have this stability for businesses, investors, and consumers who rely on a stable economic environment.

The elimination of the debt ceiling lets the government respond effectively to national emergencies, economic downturns, and unforeseen circumstances without being hindered by arbitrary borrowing limits. This flexibility is vital in times like these when disasters, both state and national are weekly or monthly occurrences.

We have seen in past debt ceiling battles that the government’s recklessness has affected the country’s credit worthiness and cost citizen’s real money. Removing this artificial constraint would strengthen America's standing in global markets, leading to lower borrowing costs and enhanced confidence from international investors.

Without the recurring threat of reaching the debt ceiling, lawmakers can focus on long-term budget planning, debt management, and strategic investments that benefit the nation's future. This shift in focus would hopefully lead to responsible fiscal policies aimed at sustainable economic growth.

The debt ceiling has become a recurring source of political gamesmanship, jeopardizing the stability of the U.S. economy and the well-being of its citizens. By utilizing the powers in the 14th Amendment, the President can eliminate this artificial constraint and provide a more pragmatic and constitutional approach to managing the nation's finances.

Taking this step, though controversial, would enhance economic stability, improve the nation's creditworthiness, and allow for long-term planning. It is time for the United States to get rid of the burdensome debt ceiling and embrace a more rational approach that ensures the fulfillment of its financial obligations while safeguarding the interests of the American people.

“Not raising the debt limit doesn't cut government spending. All you're doing is sort of holding the economy hostage and saying, if I don't get my way, whatever that is, then you know, I'm going to let the U.S. government default on its obligations.”  (Louise Sheiner, Economist)


Jim Powers writes opinion columns. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Great Caesar's Ghost · 6 months ago
    The trash monsters in the House, under the direction of their spiritual guide, Donny T., basically held the country (and, in essence, the world's economy) hostage. This game of chicken they played should tell everyone all they need to know about how they feel about We The People.