The Good Lord knows how deeply I hate the tyrannical heart, even if I can’t express it precisely in words myself. What follows is at least an attempt at such expression.
Barack Obama announced yesterday that 80% of Americans support raising taxes and cutting spending to balance the budget, citing no poll, internal or otherwise.
He’s just making stuff up now, for the sole purpose of intimidating people into getting his way. Adults generally, and parents particularly, deal with this by letting the child throw their tantrum, cry it out, then impose their will anyway. Unfortunately, Obama is considered an adult, all behavior to the contrary notwithstanding, so we have to make the appearance that we respect him, even when he holds us in such contempt as evinced by his quote above.
My greatest fear is the following: Congress will fail to pass a budget and/or debt
ceiling target increase, which will cause Obama to order Geithner to default on US obligations. This will violate the law, of course, but I can imagine worse than this. There is more than enough tax revenue coming in to pay Social Security obligations (for now), along with Medicare, soldier’s pay, and several other things, most importantly the principal and interest on maturing debt. This means that if we “default” it will be because Obama ordered Geithner to refuse payment to those who were owed.
In other words, he will have called into question “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions”. Not that Geithner hasn’t done that already, having raided the federal employee retirement system to do useful things like spend $450 million launching an aging, poorly-designed spacecraft into orbit one last time before it is retired.
So let’s continue the scenario a bit. Obama has selectively defaulted, without authorization from Congress. Suppose that he decides to start handing out whatever tax revenue comes in to whatever project he desires (including pension funds like Social Security), violating the Constitution’s appropriation clause in addition to the debt validity clause. Will Congress impeach him, as they should?
No. They don’t have the guts to do it, even in such a clear-cut violation of the Constitution, one not dependent on the meaning of ‘is’ or in any way related to the President’s personal life. They (the Republicans) fear a repeat of the Clinton impeachment, even though the differences are so great. Further, they wouldn’t risk any political damage because they know the Senate will not remove him, even though they would be duty-bound to do so.
So the President, having violated the Constitution in a way no one could honestly deny, would remain in office and get away with his crime. He might not survive reelection, but the precedent would be set. A future President from either party would feel no restriction violating the law and would appropriate money as he saw fit, usurping one of the primary reasons Congress exists.
Would you feel obligated to obey Federal law in such a situation? I would not. I would stop paying taxes, for I would no longer be represented in either their collection or their disbursement. I would no longer feel obligated to obey other federal laws, like the liquor license laws or firearms laws. After all, if they can violate the Arms Export Control Act without penalty, and do with my confiscated property as they please without my consent or permission (delivered by proxy, but still influenced by me), what incentive (moral, legal, or otherwise) would I have for obeying them?
Don’t think that this situation can’t get worse than it is, or worse than the “worst case” you’ve heard yet. I just laid out a situation that just might happen if Obama thinks he could get away with it.
God save us from tyrants.