The US Constitution says clearly that "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned" and that "no money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law."
Every single cent of US public deficit spending was authorized by the Congress at some point in time. Thus these commitments, once passed into law, must be honored by the Treasury as a consequence of congressional appropriation.
The current cohort of GOP extremists, beholden to a radical fringe, can't (without new legislation signed by the president) undo commitments made throughout America's long history, under presidents of every political stripe.
Plain and simple: If Congress won't raise the so-called debt ceiling, the Treasury must still provide the funds that are a consequence of congressional appropriation, and the president must maintain the unquestionable validity of this country's financial commitments.
To do otherwise would violate the Constitution.
So, Mr. President --
On behalf of all of us who stand in solidarity with our country's veterans, the elderly and disabled, and those hardest hit by the ongoing economic catastrophe, please don't deal with the GOP extremists.
Don't cut public investments when the government sector is the only one currently capable of spurring the economic demand that creates jobs.
Instead, work with Congress to foster long-term economic growth by increasing investments in education and critical national infrastructure.
Boost the economy now by providing direct relief to cash-strapped state and local governments.
Jumpstart economic demand by giving tax relief to working families who need help making ends meet -- extend and expand the payroll tax cut.
Finally, close the output gap and foster an employment pool from which the private sector can hire by offering national service jobs -- paying a modest but living wage and offering federal health benefits -- to anyone willing to serve their country, improve their community, or preserve the natural environment on which we all depend.
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