Class Warfare Blog

January 10, 2019

They Used to Hijack Airplanes, Now It Is The Government

President Trump is trying to hijack Congress. Congress was given the purse strings of the nation, not the Executive branch. This was one of those old-fashioned “checks and balances” things. But Mr. Trump is telling Congress, pass the legislation I want (authorizing the expenditures I want) or suffer the consequences, Basically he is saying that he won’t do his job (faithfully execute the laws of the US of A) unless Congress gives him what he wants. “So, give me I want or I shut the government down.” <signed> Donald J. Trump If this were being done by a foreign agency, it would be considered an act of war.

I wonder where he got the idea?

Oh, I remember, it was back when the Republican Congress tried to hijack Mr. Obama’s Presidency. Basically they said “give us what we want or we will not extend the national debt limit.” The consequences of not extending that limit was that the government couldn’t pay its bills and employees and could default on the payment of its debt obligations, ruining our credit rating. The final such tantrum by the GOP cost many billions of dollars as I suspect that Mr. Trump’s tantrum will, too.

Does no one else see this as an infringement on the powers granted the Congress by the Constitution? Does no one else see that refusing to “faithfully execute the laws of the US of A” is an offense that could result in the removal of Mr. Trump from office?

I mean, there is a saying that “all is fair in love and politics,” but it is just a saying. It isn’t the Constitution, for pity’s sake. Mr. Trump seems to think that not paying “his employees” is an ordinary bargaining position. If would be is he were still a scummy slum lord in New York, but now he is playing with the big boys and I hope someone hands his head to him.

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December 11, 2012

The Debt Ceiling Conundrum and How to Fix It

The “debt ceiling” legislation currently in the news was first formulated around the time of World War I and was considered a brake on the Executive branch’s ability to borrow money (to wage war, etc.). Basically, Congress has taken the power to limit how much money the Executive branch can borrow to pay the bills already authorized by the Congress. Republicans now consider it to be their tool of choice to force the administration to make cuts in spending they cannot effect any other way.

Taking a step back, Congress has clearly already authorized the expenditures in question; the Executive branch has no power to generate such authorizations. Obviously, if the Congress created the situation whereby we are spending more than we are taking in, thus running up the national debt, they have the obligation to pay it down. All they need do is go back and slim down the authorizations they have made, effecting sufficient cuts to satisfy their needs at deficit reduction so that they, in turn, can increase the amount of money the Executive branch is authorized to borrow to pay the bills Congress has, in fact, created.

But, Congress does not have the will to cut the things needed. One group wants to cut defense, another says No! One group wants to cut the citizen’s safety net, another says No! and so forth. Congress seems to have stymied itself.

So, here is what is being done. A minority group in the Congress (the House Republicans) are holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage if they don’t get the spending cuts they want by refusing to increase the debt ceiling to allow the borrowing necessary to pay our bills. In effect, they are asking the Executive Branch to override the actions of the Legislative Branch, which is a clear violation of the separation of powers of the Constitution. This treasonous behavior (treason being trying to overthrown the duly elected government) is being talked about in rather mild terms.

If, and it is still an “if,” the Republicans try this tactic once more, the only permanent solution is to trigger a constitutional crisis. The Executive Branch must call their bluff, not by defaulting on our obligations which would have severe consequences, but to continue to borrow money to pay the bills fully authorized by the Congress and see what Congress does. If they object, we must ask the Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all because this is becoming a standard tactic. It is coercive, it is rule by the minority, and it is un-American.

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