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Democratic Senators want Obama to take away Congress's Power of the Purse

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Top Dems urge Obama to weigh unilateral debt hike

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's top Democratic allies in the Senate advised him Friday to consider "any lawful steps" to make sure the government does not default of its debts and spur an economic crisis — even if it means acting without approval by Congress.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is among those urging Obama to consider options like invoking the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to find ways around the $16.4 trillion legal cap on government borrowing. The amendment states that the "validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned," which some lawmakers believe permits a way out of the debt limit jam.

The letter from Reid and Sens. ####### Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., doesn't mention the 14th Amendment, but aides to the senators said that's what they have in mind in urging the president to consider unilateral action.

"We believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without congressional approval, if necessary," the letter said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell complained that Democrats are trying to avoid taking responsibility for Washington's out-of-control spending.

"The Democrat leadership hiding under their desks and hoping the president will find a way around the law on the nation's maxed-out credit card is not only the height of irresponsibility, but also a guarantee that our national debt crisis will only get worse," the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-politics/20130111/US.Debt.Ceiling/

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You do know that the debt ceiling and Congress' power of the purse are two totally different things, right?

How so?

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence

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How so?

If Congress wants to stop the deficits and keep the debt from growing, then Congress needs to pass legislation that balances revenues and outlays. The debt ceiling is NOT where spending is reigned in. That is where the US and with it the world economy gets crashed. The President ought to have that trillion dollar coin minted sooner rather than later. It's crazy but it is much less crazy than what the Republican know-nothings are looking to do. You can't meet the Tea Party insanity with sane proposals. You MUST talk to them in their own language. It's the only language they will understand.

Remember, the $2+ trillion dollars that were added to the debt since the Republicans took over the House are a result of legislation that originated in the Republican controlled House. They can't rack up bills and then refuse to pay them. Well, they can. They're deadbeats like that I guess.

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The President ought to have that trillion dollar coin minted sooner rather than later.

Only Congress can authorize the coining of money. Why do you want Obama to act like a dictator, instead of following the law?

The Congress shall have power...

...To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof...

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Besides, I think that the key line in the Senate Democrats' statement is that the President shall consider "any lawful steps" to ensure that the Unites States does not default on it's obligations. Obligations that Congress has racked up, by the way. Deadbeats can't be expected to be anything but deadbeats. The Tea Partiers are deadbeats. Deadbeat parents get their paychecks garnished - it's the lawful measure that ensures that they meet their financial obligations towards their children. If the deadbeat Congress will not meet the country's obligations then lawfu;l steps ought to be identified and taken to ensure that this country doesn't turn into the same deadbeat that the Republican party has turned into.

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Only Congress can authorize the coining of money. Why do you want Obama to act like a dictator, instead of following the law?

Here's the law - the trillion dollar platinum coin is lawful. Congress exercised it's authority and passed legislation. That legislation give the Secretary of the Treasury the following authority:

(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.

A Platinum coin with, say, a $1 Trillion dollar denomination falls into that authority.

Edited by Mr. Big Dog

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Here's the law - the trillion dollar platinum coin is lawful. Congress exercised it's authority and passed legislation. That legislation give the Secretary of the Treasury the following authority:

(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.

A Platinum coin with, say, a $1 Trillion dollar denomination falls into that authority.

Commemorative coins only. :rofl:

They would be worth only what a collector would be willing to pay for them. They would be non-negotiable, therefore worthless, as a currency.

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Where does it say that? Right, nowhere.

Read more from your article.

The Danger Lurking Behind the Platinum Coin

This way lies the risk of impeachment.

Congress passed this law only to authorize Treasury to make a few bucks by selling commemorative coins, the legislative history makes clear.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2013/01/the_platinum_coin_poses_a_risk_of_impeachment_for_president_obama.html

Edited by The Patriot

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I wonder who's likeness will grace this trillion dollar coin? Come to think of I have a few catalytic converters lying around, hell I will be a bujillionaire with all that platinum!:rofl:


Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.



The Liberal mind is where logic goes to die!






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Read more from your article.

Read more from the former Mint director who helped author the very law and explains in simple terms what it allows and how the mechanics of this coin would work. It's solid. It's absolutely nuts and absurd but it's legally solid and it would take the wind out of the sails of the Tea Party crazies that are hell bent to destroy the country and take the entire world economy down the crapper with it.

I am the former US Mint director who in 1996, with Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), wrote the law authorizing production of the platinum coin you wrote about on December 5th. I can provide background on the legislative intent of the bill, but I write now to clarify confusion related to how the law might be used in the context of the debt limit.

Contrary to some media reports, minting a trillion dollar platinum coin would not raise the debt limit. Rather, it would add a trillion dollars to the general fund of the treasury without requiring additional borrowing, effectively delaying the date when the debt limit is reached.

The law enables this course by authorizing Treasury to produce the coin in whatever denominations the Secretary chooses. When we passed this law in 1996, it was with full knowledge that it was unprecedented in the history of US coinage. Congress had always specified coin denominations by law.

The accounting treatment of the platinum coin is identical to all other coins. When the Mint ships a coin from its vaults to those of the Fed, it books as profit (or “seigniorage”) an amount equal to the difference between the coin’s face value and its cost of production. This amount is subsequently transferred to the general fund of the treasury where it is available to finance government operations in the same way that tax revenue does. When the Fed returns the coin to the Mint due to damage or wear, the accounting treatment is reversed and the coin is melted. Thus, seigniorage “earned” from the coin is like an interest-free loan over the life of the coin.

So, in the case of a platinum coin, if the coin dies were manufactured ahead of time, the Mint could strike a single trillion dollar coin, ship it to the Fed, immediately book a trillion dollars and transfer that amount to the general fund. This would take a day, maybe two. The coin never has to leave the Fed’s vaults for the general fund to receive this new spending capability.

The law provides Treasury all necessary authority to pursue this course. I know this because I wrote the law and produced the nation’s first platinum coin. I’ve been through the entire process.

Unlike the tenuous case for using the 14th Amendment to circumvent congressional approval of an increase in the debt limit, the legal basis for this alternative is rock solid. Moreover, it is not a means of circumventing congressional authority over the debt limit, at all, but rather a way of delaying the date at which that limit is reached, in the same way a sudden surge of tax revenue flowing into the treasury would do. So GOP claims that the president is circumventing the law would be unfounded. Besides, the law was passed by a GOP Congress.

All the best,

Philip N. Diehl

35th Director

United States Mint

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Read more from the former Mint director who helped author the very law and explains in simple terms what it allows and how the mechanics of this coin would work. It's solid. It's absolutely nuts and absurd but it's legally solid and it would take the wind out of the sails of the Tea Party crazies that are hell bent to destroy the country and take the entire world economy down the crapper with it.

You are insane, and so is the former director of the mint.

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You are insane, and so is the former director of the mint.

The trillion dollar coin - while legal - is indeed insane. It's absurd. I've said that repeatedly. But so is a Congress looking to deliberately plunge the US and world economy into a deep crisis just because they can. The insanity of the Tea Party crazies that want to bring the US and world economy as a bargaining chip to the table MUST be met with an equally insane bargaining chip. That is what the trillion dollar platinum coin is. The Tea Party crazies give up on the idea to hold the US and world economy hostage and Obama will have the coin melted. Then they can talk.

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