As the nation veers ever closer to default and economic catastrophe, the various solutions to solving the debt ceiling impasse have become increasingly unorthodox (to put it lightly). It seems everyone's got a clever workaround or shortcut to magically resolve the nation's fiscal woes or else streamline the gridlocked political process. Notice the proposed crackpot solutions to making the August 2 deadline when the Treasury Department says the government will hit its $14.29 trillion debt ceiling.
Behold, the 14th Amendment, a silver bullet Yesterday Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe ruffled feathers in his New York Times op-ed saying "Several law professors and senators, and even Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, have suggested that section 4 of the 14th Amendment, known as the public debt clause, might provide a silver bullet.” The idea is that the White House wold invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling without Congress. Pushing back against the article, Treasury general counsel George Madison wrote a letter today responding to the op-ed: “like every previous Secretary of the Treasury who has confronted the question, Secretary Geithner has always viewed the debt limit as a binding legal constraint that can only be raised by Congress.”