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Is Obama Setting the Stage to Seize the Power of the Purse?

by Keith Koffler on January 11, 2013, 6:07 pm

The White House may craftily be laying the groundwork for a massive and thoroughly unconstitutional seizure of power from Congress.

Republicans are threatening not to raise the debt ceiling limit unless President Obama agrees to significant cuts in spending. And so, a move is increasingly afoot to have Obama raise it himself. It’s hard to imagine that the growing clamor doesn’t have the approval of the White House. And it’s hard to imagine a more egregious abuse of power.

There are few Constitutional principles more clear than that Congress is in charge of allotting the nation’s cash.

Wikipedia puts the significance of this quite well:

The power of the purse plays a critical role in the relationship of the United States Congress and the President of the United States, and has been the main historic tool by which Congress can limit executive power.

It would be unseemly for the president to snatch this power from Congress, so we are being treated to what is possibly some carefully choreographed performance art in which Obama is portrayed as being dragged kicking and screaming into usurping Congress.

First, on Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi demanded that Obama raise the debt limit unilaterally: “I would just go do it,” she said.

And now Friday afternoon, in a letter conveniently leaked to Politico, the entire Senate Democratic leadership, led by Harry Reid, told Obama that if Republicans don’t raise the spending limit, he should just go do it:

In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension only as part of an unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without congressional approval, if necessary.

Consider just how frightening this sounds: Mr President, do what you must, Congress be damned.

The rationale for this seizure of power is supposed to be the Fourteenth Amendment, which states:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

But as David Rivkin Jr. and Lee Casey note in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, failure to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t mean America’s creditors wont get their money. Those obligations remain and must be paid.

Rather, the result would be spending cuts needed to ensure that the Fourteenth Amendment isn’t violated. That’s what Democrats are really concerned about.

The White House is playing its part in this seeming masquerade, opining that the Fourteenth Amendment does not grant the president the power to raise the debt ceiling.

But this White House, with its well established penchant for executive action when confronted with the inconvenience of the Constitution’s balance of powers, will no doubt soon be noting the urgency of avoiding “default” and “financial collapse.”

And with Congressional Democrats offering cover, Obama may well raise the debt limit himself. If he does, he will unleash a Constitutional crisis – and a very grave one indeed that could be an awful augur of power grabs to come.

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rulierose January 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

and Obama now has a 56% approval rating. the sheeple are too stupid, or too deluded, to understand what’s going on. they were briefly raised out of their torpor by the sudden unexpected 2% decrease in their paychecks, but having been assured that it’s all the Republicans’ fault, they’ve fallen back asleep.

this is all soooooo much worse than anything Nixon ever tried to do, but the sheeple still think of Watergate as THE political scandal. if George W. Bush had tried to pull any of this he’d have been impeached, with the MSM cheering from the sidelines.

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Susan January 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” ~ Samuel Adams

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Larry the Patriot January 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

One word: REVOLUTION

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veritaseequitas January 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

First they have to take the weapons away.

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cincycinco January 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

WORKING ON IT!

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Rod January 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Methinks the King shall not be denied his power… The rule of law left the building some time ago – I think this would just be “shutting the door.”

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cincycinco January 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Daniel 11:36.

“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”

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Susan January 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

The ends justifies the means with these commies. Mark Levin discussed this letter in his first hour. If these usurpers were in Congress during FDR’s attempt to stack the Supreme Court, America would already be ruled by tyranny. Fortunately for America there were some statesmen back then, even in the Democrat party. Not any longer. The Democrats are actively advocating usurpation and the Republicans are cowering in the corner in fear of this little tyrant. Damn them all!

These usurpers also conveniently ignore Section 5. of the 14th Amendment:

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Sure don’t see any mention of the Executive Branch in there anywhere. Traitorous frauds, liars, and thieves – every last one of them who stands by and silently watches this man destroy our country…

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Car in January 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Frightening. Listening to Mark Levin right now.

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Keith Koffler January 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

I heard hm too. He’s pretty damn concerned.

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lc southern January 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

rightly so…

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Girly1 January 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Obama is a shyster! He is fully aware of the fact that he cannot unilaterally seize the purse strings from Congress. He knows that failure to raise the debt ceiling will not result in default on the National Debt – our creditors will not be in jeopardy. And he knows that entitlements, Social Security and Medicare and not protected by the Constitution.

This dog and pony show is nothing more than political posturing, Alinsky-style, to wipe out the Republicans in 2014 so that he can attain absolute power for his remaining 2 years. In his recent campaign screeds, Obama refers only to the Republicans as the ones who don’t want to pay for the debt they have racked up. No mention of the unprecedented $6T in debt he has racked up in the last 4 years. Coward!

If Boehner doesn’t put his big boy pants on now – We, the People, will have to take drastic action. We have a despot running loose on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Not Nabob January 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Despot is a good description but there is something that has got to be more applicable, say loose cannon, dumb ass, bastard, etc….

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Robin H January 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Love how Reid uses the phrase “unbalanced or unreasonable”. By who’s standards, theirs? Cutting spending is certainly not unreasonable to me, but to the dems it’s as if I’m telling them to kill grandma. I don’t think this will end nicely. And I’m mad as hell that the republicans allowed this can to be kicked further down the road, we should have gone over the proverbial cliff and gotten our spending cuts.

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Hubcap January 12, 2013 at 12:31 am

It is a fact of life that God gave brains to some and any argument about not fair is to be taken up with the creator. Reid is obviously an ugly person, inside and out. No one with grace can spout so many vile hateful remarks.

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Car in January 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

Robin, that struck me to. Just about anything could be characterized, by democrats, as “unbalance or unreasonable.”

They just declare it so.

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Not Nabob January 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Keith,
The stage has been set for quite some time now. Obama is just a pawn in the overall agenda which is complete and utter control by the Progressive, Stateists, Marxist, or whatever you choose to call the scumbags.
Best regards,
Stephen C.

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Just2old January 14, 2013 at 7:29 am

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Declaration of Independence 4 July, 1776

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Julie Brueckheimer January 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

If he tries anything, it will surely go to the Supreme Court, a real Constitutional issue, but with John Roberts, who knows how it would turn out.

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Sadie January 12, 2013 at 6:35 am

I’ll take bets that Ruth Ginsberg gives notice when the court recesses. The question is, does he have the gall to appoint during an open recess (YES) and will the Senate confirm (?).

Stay tuned.

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Owen_Kellogg January 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Bernanke will have to be a co-conspirator for this to succeed. Remind me again what the punishment for high treason is.

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Star January 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Won’t he be cobbling up the Trillion Dollar Coins in his basement?

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srdem65 January 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Have all the Dems lost their minds? It’s almost unconceivable that every Dem in Congress has no concern about our massive debt, or only wants to spend taxpayers and borrowed money on special projects without any concern for our future.
If the Dems are all in agreement that the POTUS can ignore constitutionally expressed limits on his power, they have to be ready to allow the next Repub President to do the same. It’s insanity.

Risking a constitutional crisis is not going to bode well for our country or the Dems.

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Guillermo Grande January 12, 2013 at 8:12 am

You are on a roll this week. One observation: we keep calling them Dems. They are not. They are progressives which with the amount of education in today’s electorate isn’t helpful. After all, who doesn’t want “progress”? No these Dems are Marxist facists and communism is but one goal of many.

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Keith Koffler January 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

I just can’t believe the Dems have abandoned any sense of what proper for the nation under the Constitution in favor of their own partisan agenda.

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Janna January 12, 2013 at 10:19 am

I believe it….when, in the last several years, have they shown ” any sense of what is proper ” ?

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Guillermo Grande January 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

“Gleichschaltung”. Something I posted about in September. It would seem the Dems…er Progressives are entering or at least considering a similar extra constitutional phase.
“The word was meant to hide the fact that what was going on was in flagrant breach of all previous notions of freedom, civil rights and self-government.” http://www.history-ontheweb.co.uk/concepts/concept72_gleichschaltung.htm

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5ftflirt January 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Why can’t you believe it? This is the Congress that has refused to pass a budget for 3 years.

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DeniseVB January 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

I keep hoping for some sane voices from the GOP House to stand up to Obama and his bullies. Their silence is deafening.

I can only hope they’re hatching a plan to nail Obama with an impeachable offense, which he seems to always be bordering on with his magical EO’s.

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Hubcap January 12, 2013 at 12:28 am

The only stage that the Oval office continues to set is the one of verbal attacks and abuse of we the people of our Christian Republic. Soon the verbal abuse will not be enough for this monster and he will not be satisfied with the “kill” list to send out drones. It is awful that those who had their brains washed by the affirmative action, equal, token, quota government of wimps were fooled into thinking morons could be equal to geniuses. Its a fact of life that life is not fair and that some people are more gifted than others and it has nothing to do with skin color except using it to fix guilt on the unwary.

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Swedishlady January 12, 2013 at 4:21 am

I find it shocking that a powergrab is even remotely possible. This admired wonder of the world, the American Constitution with it´s checks and balances ?
Right now I think Obama is at the zenith of his power. He is just reelected, his political counterpart is shattered and collapsing. It´s too early for a new leader to make his/hers appearance. So, I believe they will cave without this powergrab. But, Obamas downfall will of course arrive. Look at France. They just elected socialist Hollande with his big spending, high taxation politics that made Depardieu emigrate. Hollande is already crumbling, the French economy is in free fall. The French products- cars, electronics, steel and so on – is too expensive to produce compared to Asia and other parts of Europe, hence the export is down, unemployment is on the rise and they just cannot afford Hollandes socialist dreams. Here in Europe we jump from crisis to crisis.

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Keep Honkin I'm Reloading January 12, 2013 at 5:25 am

and yet, still crickets from the GOP “leadership” on this and the assault on the 2nd Amendment.

the silence is deafening

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Langley Spook January 12, 2013 at 7:11 am

“Constitutional crisis”… Love it! Maybe that way WE can finally IMPEACH and get rid of Dear Leader Obama

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Traveler767 January 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Be careful about wishing for impeachment. Look who is on deck as the replacement.

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Kate January 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I’d take Biden over Obama any day.

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Langley Spook January 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Biden (that dope) would just be “Jimmy Carter, Part II” for 3 years. Id rather put up with him for 3 years because that moron Biden will be too busy trying to apologize/clean-up the mess from Obama’s Impeachment

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lyn5 January 12, 2013 at 11:35 am

It looks as though Obama wants to carry House Republicans’ balls in his purse. What’s sad is they probably will hand them over.

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LeeAnn Wade January 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Heck, he wants to wear them as earrings!

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Shofar January 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

I am waiting for him and his ilk to have their own Enabling Act, Nacht der langen Messer, Kristallnacht, and Operation Barbarossa (perhaps Mexico).

We are on our way to totalitarianism, the only thing stopping it now is the fact that there would be armed resistance by the populace, for now. I wonder what the ghettos will look like, and how many of us will be determined as unfit.

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Star January 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Don’t forget the trillion-dollar coin. Some people over there are really losing it! Remember that fake money we had as kids–with the hay wagon on it and the slogan, THAT AIN’T HAY? I heard a US congressperson the other day say we can’t default–default won’t happen and he should know it–but other things would go by the wayside. I agree with people who say tackle the president on the CR or some other chokepoint. I also like the idea of making him come up with a cut for every buck borrowed.

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Star January 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

By the way, I happened to have a Trillion Dollar Coin (Christmas present), but Walmart did not have change.

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Langley Spook January 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

“Congress-people” = 435 dummies, retards & criminals.

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cincycinco January 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

“Is Obama Setting the Stage to Seize the Power of the Purse?” – Keith Koffler

Yes. Which should surpise no one. He does not consider himself answerable to any one. Not even to the Lord…

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Not Nabob January 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Wait a second there cindycinco. you have mistakenly disregarded OblameBush’s puppeteers, Moochelle and Valorie Jarret. Between the two Amazons Barry is nothing but the puppet, and a poor one at that.

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Marcus January 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Well, of course, Obama is going to take the power of the purse away from Congress. As Willy Sutton once said–”Because that’s where the money is”. The MSM will cheer him on and Republican leaders will fold up like a $2 suitcase. If the issue goes to the Supreme Court, Roberts will make sure Obama gets his way. That’s how much trouble the United States of America is in.

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Kate January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Rather, the result would be spending cuts needed to ensure that the Fourteenth Amendment isn’t violated. That’s what Democrats are really concerned about.

And the Republicans are letting the sheeple believe it is about a default. They need to trumpet this from one shore to another: There need be no fear of a default–the Chinese are not going to come get us in our homes–what this is about is standing firm and putting more pressure on Congress to spend the payroll tax dollars they just took from working families more wisely. Just as families need to budget, if Congress isn’t forced to adopt a budget, they will continue to suck more and more of our blood sweat and tears into their coffers to be handed out to their cronies for political favors. It’s not just about someone else’s money; it’s about the government taking money that we need for our families and squandering it.

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Tyler Olson March 18, 2013 at 11:50 pm

We should force Obama to make drastic cuts in spending.

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