Political Kabuki Theater
Every time we bump up against the debt limit we get both parties going after each other for not taking things seriously and/or playing games, not to mention we also get all manner stupid comments ranging from racist to sexist to classist. We also get misleading statements. One statement in particular that always comes up is that Congress has already racked up bills and it needs to pay them, or words to that effect. Obama is quite fond of that one.
The problem is that it’s intentionally deceptive.
Congress is not bound by any laws passed by a preceding Congress. Congress can repeal existing laws, change them, suspend them, pretty much whatever, but there are two other powers Congress has to deal with things like this, defunding and regulating the sale of treasury securities.
There is no authority granted to the President either by statute or by the Constitution, that would allow him to sell more debt without congressional approval. Even if you overlook the fact that Congress doesn’t have to fund or continue programs and laws enacted prior to their swearing in, it still remains that the President would be committing the US to spending without congressional approval, something expressly forbidden by the Constitution. Spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives and gain approval from both chambers, followed by a veto override or the president signature before the spending becomes law.
It should be obvious to everyone that committing the US to pay interest on debt that is forbidden by law, would constitute a very serious violation, of the separation of powers. You don’t think we will ever see tyranny here? If the president is permitted to unilaterally raise the debt cieling to pay for programs previously enacted, I find it hard argument to make that he couldn’t do the same thing with taxation.
“Golly gee, Congress hasn’t budgeted for ________, oh well, get my autopen ready, I have to enact a national sales tax! If Congress doesn’t act to pay it’s bills, I will”
~The first president to be impeached, removed from office and floated out to sea on an iceberg shared with a starving polar bear