Blog/Sovereign Debt Crisis
Posted May 10, 2023 by Martin Armstrong
Interpretation of the Constitution is often caught up in controversy. What is beautiful to one person is average or ugly to another. The best construction regarding law was the cornerstone of Justice Scalia who I regard as probably one of the most brilliant minds that ever sat on the bench. Of course, the left will send me hate mail on that one because they did not like the outcome. But Scalia held to what is known as Strict Construction which requires a judge to apply the text only as it is written. Once the court has a clear meaning of the text, no further investigation is required.
I will give you an example of the “liberal” wing and how they want to interpret the Constitution. They cannot even define what is a WOMAN anymore. I am waiting for them to declare the LGBQT have been so disadvantaged, that they will be exempt from also paying taxes since they are exempt from all social regulations. Since I like women, then I should “identify” as a Lesbian and enjoy all sorts of protection and be exempt from taxation.
This entire WOKE agenda has gone nuts. Just because some guy has a sex change does not justify changing all the definitions of everything and changing all social norms. Women’s sports have been completely destroyed. What about the girls that hoped to break records and win scholarships? Nothing works anymore. Just because a guy changes his sex does not make him a woman who can have biological children which is different from carrying a child because they now have a uterus. There is still a difference! Why must a woman surrender her identity? The simple solution was there are males and females, and in Thailand, the transgenders simply identify as a ladyboy.
This is precisely the same irrational interpretation they are using to justify the 14th Amendment which will destroy everything and this is far more serious than just suspending debt payments. By invoking this 14th Amendment, there will never be a debt ceiling and then you will have runaway inflation, taxation, and a complete breakdown in all liberty. The executive can then use executive orders to deny Congress even the opportunity to vote on any spending. The head of the EU did that to buy 3 times the number of vaccines from Pfizer than the population of Europe. And Ukraine put out the propaganda that they are fighting to preserve democracy yet refuse to honor the Minsk Agreement to allow the Donbas to vote! Our Western governments have killed democracy long ago and executive order circumvents everything – it is the tool of choice for dictators.
To illustrate the constitutional crisis, Garrett Epps, who was a professor of law at the University of Baltimore until his retirement in June 2020, wrote back on November 22, 2022, claiming that the Constitution’s text bars the federal government from defaulting on the debt “even a little, even for a short while.” Epps claims that “[t]here’s a case to be made that if Congress decides to default on the debt, the president has the power and the obligation to pay it without congressional permission, even if that requires borrowing more money to do so.” I tried really hard to follow his legal argument and I could not with any Strict Construction Interpretation. Quite frankly, he also probably cannot define what is a woman either.
The “Intent” behind the 14th Amendment has nothing to do with this argument of default. Britain suspended the gold standard and declared a moratorium on debt during the Great Depression – they resumed. The City of Detroit suspended its debt payments in 1937 and resumed in 1963. Yet people insist there was no default. What is the definition of “default”? That traditionally means the abandonment of all obligations on a permanent basis. There is NOTHING in the statutory construction nor in the Constitution that would bar a “suspension” of debt payments. Ukraine suspended its debt until the US paid everything for them so they did not default.
Looking at the 14th Amendment, Section 4 provides that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.” The “intent” of that was that the debt incurred by the North was to be the national debt and the Confederate States would not question having to pay those debts. But it continued and made it clear that it would not honor any debts incurred by the Confederate States to fund their side of the war.
In order to understand what this means, we must turn to Statutory Construction which begins by FIRST looking at the plain language of the Amendment to determine its original intent. We must look at the words to determine the original intent and apply their usual and ordinary meanings. If after looking at the language and the meaning remains unclear, then we must attempt to ascertain what was the intent of the legislature by looking at legislative history and other related sources. Normally, a court must not create an interpretation that would create an absurd result that would be counter to the original Legislature’s intent.
Epps claims that “Shall not be questioned” doesn’t mean “shall be paid most of the time unless you can score political points against the other party by not paying it.” That is creating an absurd result and opening the door to the total collapse of the United States. Article I, Section 8 is pretty clear that borrowing and repaying indebtedness are congressional, not executive, powers! Article I would be nullified if the 14th Amendment granted the power to the president to spend as he wants and to pay all debts when that is expressly the power of Congress.
Now we turn to 31 USC §3101 which some try to claim is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and therefore there should be no debt limit. Up to now, this statute has proved to be a good tool for forcing budgetary reform aimed at debt reduction.
The statute was passed in 1982 and became law. The ORIGINAL intent was to do precisely what it has been used for. The only grounds for it to be unconstitutional is if Congress did not have the power to limit the debt. Looking at Article I, this entire argument that Biden can just pay debt and spend without the approval of Congress is the death knell to the Constitution. This is a direct assault upon the separation of powers between the President (Executive branch) and Congress. Since Article I delegates all questions of debt to Congress, I cannot rationally see where Congress lacked the power to curtail the debt when that was the original intent as well.
The ONLY person who wants those provisions to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL so they can spend whatever is left-wing and they have ZERO intention of EVER paying off the national debt. This is really a fraud on their part because you borrow with only the intent to repay the debt. Lacking that, their actions are totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL and a fraud upon the people of the United States and the world.