Just as the American people begin eying the torches and pitchforks, readying their maps of Washington, DC, the establishment politicos have set themselves to brazenly cover their butts yet again. This time, they are proposing a way to absolve themselves from tough votes on raising the debt ceiling.
In the aftermath of our current President’s disingenuous declaration that raising the debt ceiling “doesn’t necessarily mean adding to the debt,” and his infantile temper-tantrum about the government being held “hostage” because House Republicans wouldn’t let him have the federal credit card for his “date with destiny,” it isn’t surprising that the usual suspects are floating a fiscally irresponsible, but politically advantageous, plan to avoid the ugliness of actually governing where the debt and debt ceiling are concerned.
On Meet the Press, Chuck Schumer, who has enthusiastically praised [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, (Ri-KY), for doing his bidding, announced that he would introduce legislation echoing the “McConnell rule.”
“Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will propose legislation that would make permanent a plan to take the decision to raise the country’s debt limit out of Congress’s hands.
“By making the so-called “McConnell rule” permanent, the president would have ultimate authority to raise the debt limit and prevent the United States from defaulting.
“Congress would still have power to oppose raising the debt ceiling, but would not have to vote to increase the borrowing limit.
“‘If we were to do that, the chances of going up to the brink again, the chances of this kind of debacle, will decrease,’ Schumer said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday.”
The politics is brazen. The abdication of constitutionally mandated obligation absolute.
It is not negotiable – aside from passing a constitutional amendment – that the US House of Representatives is tasked with the exclusive – exclusive – authority to generate legislation having to do with the raising of revenue. This means that no piece of legislation emanating from the Senate, no executive order, no agreement amongst a “Gang of Idiots,” has the constitutional authority to raise revenue, including the expansion of our nation’s level of debt.
Raising the debt ceiling so that the federal government can continue to operate in the red expands the expenditures of government. This can only be viewed as authorizing the need to extract revenues from the only constitutional source of revenue the federal government has: the American people via taxation.
Perhaps the American people have forgotten this critical point. The United States government does not produce a product. Therefore, the United States government cannot produce a revenue stream outside the realm of taxation, or, at least this was the way it was supposed to be before the federal government got into backing “winners and losers” (read: every Energy Department funding initiative) through government-backed special interest subsidies and the quasi-nationalization of certain private-sector companies (read: GM and Chrysler).
It is for this reason the generation of revenue legislation – and later legislation authorizing the extraction of taxes from the American people – rests solely with the US House; the elected body closest and most vulnerable to the people. It is for this specific reason that US Representatives are elected every two years instead of four or six, and why they represent the least number of people, by comparison, in our federal system of government. The Framers wanted these people – these elected representatives – to be vulnerable to their constituents. This was the “stick” to the carrot of elected privilege.
Creating a mechanism by which our elected representatives can simply remain silent in order to allow the Executive Branch (read: the President) to mandate the raising of revenue – in this case the debt ceiling and along with it the ability to spend – is literally unconstitutional. Additionally, that Senators are even broaching this subject presents as unconstitutional because the US Senate is not vested with the power of the purse, only the US House has that power.
People like Mitch McConnell and Chuckie Schumer get away with floating unconstitutional political mechanisms like “The McConnell Rule” because our citizenry exists as constitutionally illiterate and selfishly apathetic to their role in government: engaged oversight. Until the American people start to consistently and constantly embrace a jealous appreciation for limited government – and through that jealously an elevated addiction to freedom and responsible individualism – political reprobates like McConnell and Schumer will continue to destroy the Constitution and, along with it, our freedoms; your freedom.Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamofascist jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera\'s Listening Post, Radio Belgrade One, ITN Production’s Truthloader Program in the UK and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O\'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, “Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece’ Process: Israel’s Neighbor States.” He is the author of the series \"Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam\", an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain\'s America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato’s opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.com and Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist.