Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Constitution and the National Debt

According to the Constitution, the responsibility of the national debt is clearly in Congress - although many members of Congress have made a promise that interferes with that responsibility. Congress is dangerously close to defaulting on loans from the United States has received from other countries. Not only is it irresponsible for our country to default on their loans, but the consequences would be serious for U.S. citizens and our financial institutions. Although there has been a lot of guilt, to the dollar, and finger-pointing - responsible for budget and debt clearly lies with Congress. It was not safe to pass tax cuts while the country was fighting two wars and irresponsible to insist on extending tax cuts while our country was at war, deeply in debt, and trying to recover from a recession .

The Constitution is clear on the responsibilities of Congress. Article 1, Section 7 provides that "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives," and that the Senate may propose an amendment of agreement and other projects. It states that the President must sign the bill to become law, and if not, it will be returned to Congress to reconsider - or the Congress can overcome the President's objection to pass both Houses by a majority of two thirds . Furthermore, Article 8 states that "Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." Among the powers of Section 8 lists the power to "borrow money on the credit of the United States." It would be wrong to assume that the body given the power to borrow money would also be responsible for payment of debt - especially when that same body is responsible for creating the budget?

Congress is clearly responsible for collecting revenue to pay our debts and run our government. Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1913, says: "Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States and without regard to any census or enumeration." However, many of our legislators have taken an oath not to fulfill the responsibilities of his office. Since 2009, 172 members of the House of Representatives and 34 members of the Senate had taken Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes. It is clear that conflicts are committed to their responsibilities under the Constitution and those who made a commitment to decide whether their loyalties to the U.S. Constitution or an anti-tax ideology.


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