Debt Limit: Daniel Kuehn Asks a Question
Daniel Kuehn writes:
A Technical Problem--Like the Debt Limit--Demands a Technical Solution. But the White House Won't Go There: I personally don't see why we have to make this complicated as even a 14th amendment issue. Obama has conflicting legislation: he is told what revenue to raise, he is told what money to spend, and he is told what debt to issue. Congress can't legislate arithmetic - Obama HAS to break one of these laws. For me it's not some sneaky Constitutional measure. It's a matter of following the laws that Congress has the clearest authority to pass first: appropriation acts and revenue acts.
Without the Fourteenth Amendment, Obama can obey the tax laws, the spending laws, and the debt limit law--by defaulting on the debt. With the Fourteenth Amendment, Obama cannot default on the debt: he has to choose one of the other options. And the settled legal principle is that later laws are deemed to repeal earlier ones if that is what is necessary to make things coherent.