Where Does the 14th Amendment Grant Dictatorial Power?

by lewwaters

Obama, DictatorThe latest effort to impose dictatorial control over the American people comes from Democrat Senate Leader out of Nevada, Harry Reid as he lends his voice to those from last year in calling on Obama to simply bypass congress and raise the nation’s debt as he sees fit, claiming he is granted that authority under the 14th amendment, passed shortly after the Civil War.

One of three ‘Reconstruction Amendments,’ the 14th is comprised of 5 sections primarily stating freed slaves were citizens of America with the full legal rights of any other citizen in the first three section and the 4th section basically laying out that the U.S. was not responsible for nor would pay any debts incurred by the Confederacy during the war.

Section 5 grants congress the power to enforce the amendment.

Section 4 is where Democrats now claim to have the authority for Obama to bypass congress on raising our public debt, claiming it says, “the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.”

In total, Section 4 says,

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

While I make no claims of legalize, law school or attendance in any public institution of higher liberal indoctrination that allows me to read words that do not exist in a document or twist and convolute what is written to mean something other than what is says, I do see an awful lot of words left out and ignored by Democrats in this effort to bankrupt our country.

Clearly, the debt mentioned is qualified as being “authorized by law,” not by dictate. Presidents do not write law nor do they pass laws, they sign them once written and passed by congress.

Furthermore, nothing in the section says debt can be added at anytime, just that existing debt may not be questioned. No one questions that we have a $16.4 Trillion debt facing us, threatening to eat our nation and swallow our freedoms from excess taxation.

Currently, there has been on effort by either party controlling the country to pay off or even pay down our national debt, just make payments on the interest on our debt that already amount to hundreds of billions in our tax dollars every year and growing higher as the debt increases.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to Democrats and Harry Reid as they state in a letter to Obama,

“As you know, increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending. It merely ensures that we meet our existing obligations.”

Somehow, it remains ignored that those “existing obligations” exceed the government’s means by spending billions of dollars more than revenues, necessitating an endless cycle of incurring debt that will either lead to a total collapse of our economy or printing of money that will be worthless, also leading to a collapse of our economy.

In simple laymen’s terms, you cannot borrow your way out of debt.

Oddly enough, as we now see Democrats embracing what they want the 14th Amendment to mean, it was Democrats who through much of the late 19th century and over half of the 20th century that outright ignored the existence of the 14th Amendment.

We read,

“In 1868 the 14th Amendment was passed giving equal rights to all citizens regardless of race. It states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The Republicans in congress passed it unanimously while not one single Democrat voted for it. This was the case with every other civil rights bill passed in the 1800s. By 1875, ten years after the end of the war to abolish slavery, almost 2 dozen civil rights laws were passed by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.”

“By 1892, when the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the White House, they began to repeal all of the Civil Rights laws and the Supreme Court chose to ignore the 14th Amendment and saw the Constitution as a “living breathing document” that reflected their racists, segregationists views. In 1896 they ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that equal didn’t necessarily mean that blacks and whites should share in the same things at the same time, and that institutionalized segregation was acceptable despite the fact that the 14th Amendment was clear that it wasn’t. This ruling was overturned almost 60 years later in Brown v. Board of Education. The Democratic response to this was to issue the Southern Manefesto which repudiated this ruling. It was signed by 100 Democrats from the House and Senate . . . not one Republican signed it.”

When it conflicted with their racist, segregationist views, they had no need for it and ignored it completely as they placed freed slaves and their offspring into slums and once again relegated them to non-citizen status, except of course, paying their taxes to the government.

In the hypocritical fashion we have come to expect from Democrats, we read in that Southern Manifesto mentioned,

“The original Constitution does not mention education. Neither does the 14th amendment nor any other amendment. The debates preceding the submission of the 14th amendment clearly show that there was no intent that it should affect the systems of education maintained by the States.”

Nor does it today or ever has mentioned a lone politician having any authority to raise the debt limit imposed by congress at anytime they feel warranted or a political party granting such authority to a lone politician.

Our constitution and its amendments are being shredded by Democrats and the Obama administration, right before our very eyes.

Democrats are willing to bypass congress to shut out Republicans seeing the need to rein in our growing debt in order to incur even more debt.

Obama has shown his willingness to misuse executive orders and write declarations, bypassing congress’ authority and the separation of powers.

Every year, both parties have over spent revenues and grew the debt, now the largest debt of any single nation on the planet. Obama now says increasing the debt limit, and the debt, is not open to debate.

He doesn’t owe that money, you and I do and it is being passed along to our children, grandchildren and their children for generations.

How long can we remain a free nation with the people being ignored and saddled with generations of debt, ostensibly for our own welfare?

This has to stop and both the Democrats and Obama must be reined in and forced to remain within the confines of our constitution.

25 Comments to “Where Does the 14th Amendment Grant Dictatorial Power?”

  1. My hope is that with the removal of the tax payers from the conversation after passing the “fiscal cliff” issue and making the Bush era tax cuts permanent for at least most of us, the republicans will now feel empowered to cut and exercise debt control. With Jaime on the appropriations committee we may see that happen as I am sure she understands the need to stop the spending.

  2. Sorry Carolyn, but I do not share your confidence in Jaime.

    Remember, just last year she voted to raise the debt ceiling then and now, it needs raised again.

    Talk is cheap, it’s actions that count.

  3. I need a CPA to respond to this, or at least an economics major because you guys completely misunderstand money. First, the spending of this nation is duly legislated. Done deal. No, ifs, ands, or buts. Next, MATH DICTATES that TAXES MUST EQUAL SPENDING. Period.

    Why is this so hard for you people to understand?

  4. Never mind the money, Martin.

    Show us where the 14th Amendment authorizes Obama or anyone to go it alone on incurring more debt or congress to abdicate their authority.

    Harry Reid and others from last year claim the 14th Amendment grants that authority to Obama.

    As for “MATH DICTATES that TAXES MUST EQUAL SPENDING,” what in the hell do you think we have been yelling about for so long?

    There isn’t enough wealth in this country to equal Obama’s spending or that of his predecessors, duly legislated or not.

  5. I agree. Martin, forget the money – just answer the question about the clause being referred to. I’ve heard some people say that unless you’re a lawyer you have no business trying to understand constitutional law. I disagree. The US Constitution was written in plain language that anyone can understand.

    Article 1, Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    That’s plain language. Clear to all. Easy to understand.

    Amendment XIV Section 4 “…authorized by law” That’s pretty clear too. The only way one could see the President being authorized under that clause is if he IS the law. Obviously Harry Reid want’s Obama to assume dictatorial powers. What else could one conclude?

  6. FACT:  The debt ceiling has nothing to do with spending.  The debt ceiling allows the country to pay the debts that Congress has already spent the money for.
    FACT:  President Obama has spent less in the WH than any President since Eisenhower.   Bush spent the most.followed  

    FACT:  Bush’s policies didn’t stop adding to the debt when he left office.  In fact, they are adding to the deficit 5 times faster than Obama’s policies.

    FACT:  The Republicans, led by the Tea Party cost this nation over 18 Billion when they decided to shut the government down rather than pay the debts that Congress has authorized.

    FACT:   The S&P report names the Republicans as the reason that the credit downgrade happened.

  7. Schuyler – your so-called facts are irrelevant and meaningless. The question is does the President have the authority under the Constitution to raise the debt ceiling. Obviously not. Just as obvious is that Harry Reid seeks to subvert the constitution and give Obama dictatorial powers. I expect that many Democrats will line up behind him. Will you?

  8. Martin -, Scuyler et al: While it’s technically true that the debt ceiling is raised in response to “duly authorized” spending, it is also the case that, for all practical purpose it’s the ONLY leverage left in the hands of Tea Party Republicans to restrain yet more drunken sailor spending on the part of Congress and the POTUS. I see no good reason for them to give up that leverage, since just in the last few years we’ve added about 6 trillion to the national debt. And I could care less whether you want to call it a tax, or deficit spending, or printing money – it has to stop. And if you don’t believe that it has to stop, consider this – just a return to normal interest rates would result in virtually our entire discretionary budget being spent to service JUST THE INTEREST on the national debt. How do you like them apples?

  9. Schuyler, Schuyler, Schuyler, I didn’t think you were that ignorant, but apparently you are.

    Do you fall for everything the leftist spoon feed you?

    FACT: Try telling that to creditors.

    FACT:, Pure BS. Even liberal Washington Post gave that claim four Pinocchio’s http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/a-bogus-chart-on-obama-and-the-debt-gets-a-new-lease-on-life/2011/09/28/gIQAx40Y6K_blog.html

    Liberal Politifact gave it a pants on Fire rating: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/19/nancy-pelosi/nancy-pelosi-posts-questionable-chart-debt-accumul/

    FACT: As for the spending he is said to have inherited, already set in motion, need I remind you that Democrats held both houses of congress for the last 2 years of Bush’s term and Obama sat in the Senate both of those years, approving those spending measures sent to Bush?

    FACT: Not one dime of our debt has ever been paid, just increased year by year.

    What you ignorantly fail to recognize, we have been complaining about that debt long before we became known as the Tea Party. We complained when Bush was in office and it was only $10 Billion. In fact, you all complained and griped about the debt being raised and now, excuse it with Obama in office.

    Strange how the country was being strangled by $10 Trillion debt, but $16.4 Trillion is perfectly fine and needs to be raised even more.

    FACT: More Bovine Scatology. S&P spread the blame around to include the Democrats and the White House, even the Supreme Court. You need to read more than just the DNC talking points passed out in time for holiday dinners. China, who remains the largest foreign holder of U.S. Debt said shortly after the downgrade, “The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone.”

    You need to get out more, Schuyler.

    Keep reading our blogs and hopefully, you mature a bit. If not, at least you will be exposed to something besides the party line of lies, distortions and half-truths.

    Maybe too, you’ll see that the fourteenth grants no dictatorial powers to anyone, least of all Obama.

    If Republicans were saying to let Bush or Reagan run up the national debt whenever he sees fit, you would be yelling it was wrong at the top of your lungs, right alongside of us.

  10. Congresswoman Herrera is absolutely, utterly worthless.

    Counting on her to do anything except to cover her own worthless butt, is like counting on her to develop the guts to hold open town hall meetings.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  11. Duly legislated debts are assumed valid. Congress gave implicit permission to raise the Debt Ceiling when they authorized more deficit spending. If Obama “executives” this, he wins in the Supreme Court.

    Republicans have been fighting the wrong end fo this battle since Reagan, and they’re guaranteed to lose. Either taxes are raised to equal spending OR hyperinflation.

  12. So in other words, the constitution is a worthless piece of paper, until the Democrats wish to lean on it?

    Even in your words, CONGRESS gave implicit permission to raise the debt ceiling and that ceiling has now been reached.

    So where does Obama receive the authorization to just raise it as he sees fit?

    Do we no longer have a separation of powers unless a Republican wins someday?

    Or is such deficit pending and raising of the debt ceiling only a national security risk when Democrats are not in power?

    I’m beginning to think you’re a George Soros fan hoping the country collapses under such staggering debt.

  13. Martin,

    Logic dictates that if taxes = spending, then spending must also equal taxes. There’s no way to attack this debt problem without looking at both. For my part, I don’t see the Dems doing anything about reducing real, actual, spending. When the Dems get serious and start putting programs on the table, dollar for dollar DECREASES in spending starting THIS YEAR, we might have some forward progress.

    Until then, this bold experiment called the USA is on rocky shores.


    From those of us that listen to both sides of the debate – Lew has hit it on the mark. The current administration has radically altered the course of this country’s future based on it’s own current SPENDING policy. There has been little to nothing done by the administration to reverse the mythical Bush policies you claim are the spending problem. If Bush’s policies were such a problem, why are they not being decried from the highest levels of our government?

    Instead we have an agenda of healthcare reform we don’t actually need, taxpayers buying out major corporations with questionable or non-existent returns, the administration weighing in on local/regional matters that shifts their focus from national concerns, and our Chief Executive of the USA patronizing world powers bent on our destruction.

  14. Davin, spending is duly legislated and legally binding. Taxes MUST be raised and until they are a deficit is accumulated. Taxes are NOT the driving factor – they are assumed. This is accounting, this is The Law, this is the 14th Amendment.

    If Republicans don’t want spending, get a majority and don’t vote for it – simple as that. Attacking it from a taxes perspective is a fool’s game.

    BTW, history will judge Bush and it won’t be pretty.

  15. …this is the 14th Amendment.

    Nope. That amendment has to do with the post-civil-war era concern that the former confederate states might repudiate their share of federal debt, nothing more. It can’t reasonably be applied to the current circumstances.

    If Republicans don’t want spending, get a majority and don’t vote for it – simple as that. Attacking it from a taxes perspective is a fool’s game.

    It’s obviously not so simple Martin – look at the results of the last couple election cycles. Maybe we’ll get there eventually Meanwhile,it would be irresponsible in the extreme for the remaining Republicans who control the house to simply throw up their hands and say “Oh well, who cares if we continue unbridled spending, we lost the last election, better luck next time!” You take your leverage where you can get it.

    BTW, history will judge Bush and it won’t be pretty. No it won’t and who gives a damn?

  16. Martin,

    I’m so glad we agree that taxes are not the driving factor. Returning to your original equation, it must then be spending. It needs to get under control and we need our representatives in Congress, irrespective of political party, to wake up and smell the coffee: there is simply no way to tax ourselves out of the deficit situation we’re in.

    This is not a problem that will be resolved simply by getting a majority of Republicans. Dems must participate in the process too. The public can’t be fooled, we see the games that are being played on both sides.

    Spending cuts must be on the table. Please encourage your representatives to cooperate with each other to cut spending now – not in the future.

  17. Martin, what would happen if the various agencies of the Federal Government failed to spend all of that duly legislated and legally binding,. Would they be flouting the law not spending it?

    Debt is money already spent, borrowed or pulled out of thin air. To continue to overspend, to purchase beyond .our means to repay is theft. The concept is very simple.

  18. While I would stipulate that Martin is absolutely wrong regarding the 14th amendment – i.e. the Presidents’ so-called authority to raise the debt limit under that amendment, I will agree that since the Congress has already spent the money they have no alternative other than to increase the debt limit so our creditors can be paid. I don’t think it wise that the United States should stiff the people they owe money to. The Republicans are just using the issue for political purposes.

  19. Just this morning Obama said, America cannot afford another debate with this Congress over how to pay the bills they’ve already racked up. To even entertain the idea of this happening, of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd.”

    The question is, just how is it “paying your bills” by racking up more bills?

    Yes, we have a responsibility to pay the bills, but it is irresponsible to incur even more bills and kick the can down the road, increasing our debt, which is the main bill killing us.

  20. I agree Lew. We can’t just continue increasing our debt because we won’t control our spending. Obama in his press conference mentioned a four trillion dollar adjustment through spending cuts and revenue enhancements. I believe that is over a 10 year period though. That barely puts a dent in the annual deficit and won’t touch the federal debt. That’s akin to someone going shopping on Black Thursday because “the savings are so great”. Spending $10,000.00 on stuff that would have normally cost $14,000.00 still puts you in a $10,000.00 hole if you don’t have the resources to pay the bills.

  21. You have to remember too, Craig. In D.C. they like to mention spending cuts and resort to what I call sleight of hand to not really cut spending, but keep increasing it.

    For the most part, to them a “spending cut” is nothing more than reduction in a budgeted increase in spending. They write a budget for a $100 Billion increase, reduce it to a $90 Billion increase and claim a “spending cut.”

    Nothing really was “cut.”

    On March 20, 2006, a U.S. Senator stood on the Senate floor and said,

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

    Amazingly, that same U.S. Senator, now as President, says not raising the debt ceiling is absurd.

    Not so amazing is seeing that votes on raising the debt limit fall along partisan lines with the president’s party voting in support.

    The end result is we keep borrowing money in order to pay more bills than we can afford and now see a national debt of over $16.4 Trillion with yearly interest payments in the hundreds of Billions. That is money that could be used for the many infrastructure project they always crow about needing to create jobs.

    Instead, it goes to foreign countries, wall street big banks, insurance companies, big oil and other big corporations they repeatedly portray as evil and causing our economic problems.

    The Biggest Holders of US Government Debt

  22. hmm. I wonder why the so very responsible press didn’t point that out at the press conference? Why didn’t they remind him of what he said in 2006? Nobody really seems to challenge Obama on anything. Where are people like Sam Donaldson who would never have let Reagan get away with something like that?

  23. Some folks lose sight of the fact that the debt ceiling itself, is a creation of Congress. So if congressional spending is “OK” merely because it was “duly authorized” then so, too, must be the upcoming arguments over the debt ceiling. After all, if Congress didn’t want those to happen, they could simply do away with the debt ceiling entirely. But I don’t think they will – because even as foolish as they often are, at least some members realize that a complete lack of checks and limitations on spending and debt isn’t a good idea.

  24. Cantor caved today.

  25. While I don’t agree with the notion of a “temporary” raise of the debt ceiling, Schuyler, perhaps you should go back and read the complete article.

    You know, that little part about the Senate writing a budget and if they don’t, their pay is held up until they do?

    “The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so, and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers who expect more from their representatives. That ends this year.”

    “We must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.”

    What will Harry Reid do now?

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