Target: President Obama
Goal: Declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional to prevent a few politicians from having an inordinate amount of influence on the government and thus protect democracy
Last summer, the economy was brought to the brink of disaster by the threat of a government shutdown. This threat was precipitated by an announcement from the U.S. Department of Treasury that the debt ceiling would be reached soon and the United States would not be able to pay its financial obligations unless the debt ceiling were raised. In order to raise the debt ceiling, Congress has to enact legislation and then the president has to sign it. Therefore, the potential exists for a minority to block important legislation that would raise the debt ceiling and thus effectively hold the nation hostage. That ability violates the principles of a democratic government. To restore democracy and prevent the situation from happening again, President Barack Obama should declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional.
The concept of a debt ceiling violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that the validity of the public debt should not be questioned. A debt ceiling directly contradicts this by implying that U.S. government could default on its debts. The U.S. Department of Treasury has the authority to borrow money to pay for spending authorized by Congress. Once the debt ceiling is reached, the U.S. Department of Treasury can no longer borrow money to pay for spending. Some of the spending is to pay interest on government debt and if the government is unable to pay interest on its debt, it enters default. In addition to violating the Constitution, government default would have wide-reaching negative effects on the economy and the international financial market.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge President Barack Obama to protect democracy by declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional.
Dear President Barack Obama,
A few politicians were able to bring the whole U.S. economy to the brink of disaster last summer by threatening to shut down the government. These politicians were unwilling to negotiate a deal to raise the debt ceiling until the deadline was only days away. The U.S. Department of Treasury has the authority to borrow money to fund spending approved by Congress. If the debt ceiling were reached, the U.S. Department of Treasury would no longer be able to borrow money to meet funding obligations. At this point, the government would shut down and default on its debts. It is not democratic for a few politicians to have such a profound impact on the government. Fortunately, eliminating the debt ceiling by declaring it unconstitutional would prevent a future government shutdown.
The concept of a debt ceiling violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that the validity of the public debt should not be questioned. If government spending reaches the debt ceiling, it calls into question the validity of the public debt. When the debt ceiling is reached, the government is no longer able to borrow money to pay its spending obligations. Some of the spending obligations are to pay interest on U.S. debt. If the United States is unable to pay interest on its debt, it enters default. In addition to violating the Fourteenth Amendment, the debt ceiling has the potential to have a profound negative impact on the economy.
I urge you to protect democracy to declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional.
[Your Name Here]