As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

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

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.

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

  1. 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.

    • “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

  2. 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.”

    • 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.”

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

    • 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

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.