October 4, 2013
If the President unilaterally blows past the debt ceiling he breaks the law. If he unilaterally chooses which programs not to fund so as to avoid blowing past the debt ceiling he breaks the law. If he, again unilaterally, raises taxes to stay under the debt ceiling he breaks the law. It's a trilemma... From a constitutional point of view there is a fundamental prohibition on Congress telling the President to do Congress' job. And from a narrower but not unimportant political perspective, does it make sense for Congress to vote for popular spending programs and then make the President make the unspecified, unpopular cuts? No! House Republicans think they have found leverage through the debt ceiling but in the final analysis that leverage works only against themselves. There may be some danger, though, that the President, if forced, chooses the wrong law to break. To explain all this I turned to the brilliant lawyer and economist Dr. Neil H. Buchanan, one of the few people in the country who understands what's happening. Thanks, Neil! Total runtime forty five minutes. Silent lēgēs inter arma.