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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, September 16, 2013

Buchanan: The Debt Ceiling Disasters

Buchanan 2Neil H. Buchanan (George Washington), The Debt Ceiling Disasters: How the Republicans Created an Unnecessary Constitutional Crisis and How the Democrats Can Fight Back (Carolina Academic Press, 2013):

In 2011, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives embarked on a radical and dangerous path, threatening to refuse to increase the limit on federal debt. This new Republican strategy threatened to bring about the first federal default in the history of the United States – a default that would be caused not by economic necessity, but by political opportunism.

Because no one had ever threatened to force the federal government to default on its obligations, politicians and scholars found themselves in uncharted territory. Most commentary was superficial and ad hoc, failing to take seriously the profound legal and economic questions that the Republican strategy raised. Neil H. Buchanan, an economist and a tax law scholar, emerged as the only expert analyst who systematically engaged in depth with all of the issues surrounding the debt ceiling.

This book brings together Professor Buchanan’s accessible and lively analysis of the debt ceiling disasters as they have unfolded since 2011. He also provides an overview of where we now stand. He explains why the debt ceiling forces the President to choose between nothing but illegal and unconstitutional options. He shows that the President must obey the spending and taxing laws rather than the debt ceiling law, that novel strategies such as minting platinum coins are both illegal and dangerous, and that the only way to stop the debt ceiling disasters from continuing into the future is for the President to take a constitutional stand today.

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What a bunch of bull. Is that what passes for legal scholarship these days?

Expanding financial commitments and the incredible stifling of U.S. economic output with resulting lowered tax receipts, caused by Obama and the Democrats, have forced the upcoming debt crisis. Weren't programs like Cash-for-Clunkers, saving Detroit, the war on coal, quantitative easing, and, yes, Obamacare supposed to solve our economic problems and finances And, budgets that Obama submitted to Congress were even rejected unanimously by the Democrats. Oh, it doesn't help that Obama refuses to even deal with the problem.

Obama says he will not negotiate with Congress on debt ceiling

Posted by: Woody | Sep 16, 2013 2:56:39 PM

From the summary: "...the only way to stop the debt ceiling disasters from continuing into the future is for the President to take a constitutional stand today."

Ha! Obama following the Constitution? That'll be the day. BTW, Tuesday is Constitution Day. Support it or it will end up in the trash heap of Obama and Holder.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 16, 2013 3:05:13 PM

"...How the Democrats Can Fight Back"

Is George Washington University properly classifying and segregating a portion of Prof. Buchanan's salary for his partisan political activities, so as to not jeopardize their non-profit status? (Yeah, sure.)

Memo Political Campaign Related Activities of and at Colleges and Universities

Posted by: Woody | Sep 16, 2013 6:48:42 PM

Ignore the rubbish above--this is cogent and vital analysis of the cutting edge issues currently affecting our country

Posted by: Professor | Sep 24, 2013 12:15:15 PM