When our US Constitution was written it gave Congress the power, and the authorization, to raise and collect taxes. It, also, gave Congress the obligation to pay the bills that our country has already run up.
The US Supreme Court reaffirmed this in Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935). In fact, part of the ruling was as follows:
4. There is a clear distinction between the power of Congress to control or interdict the contracts of private parties when they interfere with the exercise of its constitutional authority and a power in Congress to alter or repudiate the substance of its own engagements when it has borrowed money under its constitutional authority. P. 294 U. S. 350.
5. By virtue of the power to borrow money “on the credit of the United States,” Congress is authorized to pledge that credit as assurance of payment as stipulated — as the highest assurance the Government can give — its plighted faith. To say that Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise, a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor. P. 294 U. S. 351.
6. When the United States, with constitutional authority, makes contracts, it has rights and incurs responsibilities similar to those of individuals who are parties to such instruments. P. 294 U. S. 352.
7. The right to make binding obligations is a power of sovereignty. P. 294 U. S. 353.
8. The sovereignty of the United States resides in the people, and Congress cannot invoke the sovereignty of the people to override their will as declared in the Constitution. P. 294 U. S. 353.
9. The power given Congress to borrow money on the credit of the United States is unqualified and vital to the Government, and the binding quality of the promise of the United States is of the essence of the credit pledged. P. 294 U. S. 353.
10. The fact that the United States may not be sued without its consent is a matter of procedure which does not affect the legality and binding character of its contracts. P. 294 U. S. 354.
11. Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, declaring that “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, . . . shall not be questioned,” is confirmatory of a fundamental principle, applying as well to bonds issued after, as to those issued before, the adoption of the Amendment, and the expression “validity of the public debt ” embraces whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations. P. 294 U. S. 354.
So, once a budget is agreed upon and signed into law, we do not have the right to not pay the bills that arise from it. What is being used to pay the bills, currently, is the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is to pay for what we have already said that we would pay. It has nothing to do with new budgets. Nothing whatsoever.
It does not matter which Congress approved of the bills, we are obliged to pay for them once they have been passed and signed by the President. The fact that a Congress is different from the one that approved the spending is completely immaterial. It still has the obligation to pay it/them no matter who approved it/them.
I have been watching with growing anger for the last 4 years as the Republican’s in Congress have attempted to not pay for our legal obligations with various types of blackmail. What I have the most anger for, however, is the Democrats who have failed, time after time, to point this obligation out. It should have been done loudly and clearly and early.
I have watched with growing anger as the media refuses to print the fact that we do not have the right to not pay our obligations. And they have refused to. I have written to most of the national publications to ask that they do so. They don’t do it.
Part of the reason that I have started this blog is because nobody seems willing to point these things out. It’s like the elephant in the kitchen. Whether you acknowledge it or not, it’s still there.
Our country needs to have more than just me to bring this to peoples attention.
As far as I’m concerned, Congress needs to stop acting like elementary school children and start doing their job. And if Boehner cries because of it, oh well.