Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:55 PM
cthulu2016 (10,960 posts)
The debt under the Debt Ceiling is
money that Congress authorized be spent. Only Congress can initiate spending.
So Congress demands the right to refuse to honor commitments that Congress made.
It seems that Congress must first authorize funding. Then appropriate funding. And now, the extra step of deciding after the fact whether to pay for it.
Since people are fans of the "government budget is like my household budget" idiocy, the idea here is that the way to handle your family finances is that rather than making more money or spending less money, the key to controlling your spending is to not pay your credit card bills.
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The debt under the Debt Ceiling is (Original post)
Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)
Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:12 PM
awake (842 posts)
4. As well as all of the effects of "the Cliff"
So let us let all taxes return to what we payed under Clinton, return to paying in full for SS and Medicare from our pay checks, No "Doc. Fix, reinstate Alternative Minimal Tax, And let the cut of $1 trillion in spending stand including the $500 Billion from the War department.
Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)
Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:53 PM
Igel (20,586 posts)
5. So you acknowledge steps 1 and 2, but not 3?
They authorize funding. They appropriate funding.
But what if money needs to be borrowed to provide the funding? This isn't something you always know in advance. In an era of near-balanced budgets, it was a problem. Most funding came from revenues. But if all the funding is spent, then there's likely to be a shortfall. That's how budgets go.
And if revenues drop after the first couple of months, or the budget was already botched, then you've authorized and appropriated funding with no recourse but to go back and rewrite the entire budget. In a sense, you've said that the executive branch has no role to play in this when it's the executive branch that has all the current figures.
Why, just today we've seen that even then "current" figures only give you perhaps 5 days' warning. That would require Congress, to do anything about it, would have to come into session and revise a 3 to 4000 page page document, submit it, debate it, amend it, and pass it ... all in the course of a few days. And we thought it was only mildly annoying when so many legislators didn't read the HCRA and ACA in the few weeks they had prior to voting on it and approving it. (Silly me, thinking you should have some idea who or what you're voting for, instead of blindly following parties and leaders.)
Notice that the Constitutional amendment usually referred to as saying Obama (not just "any president") can ignore the debt ceiling in paying debt refers to debt issued under explicit approval by Congress, not just implied approval.
I like it. It's one more layer of authority reserved by the House and Senate, a bit less authority given to a single individual, even if it does allow the country's fiscal health to be held hostage to one achieve one goal or another and score petty political points.