Republican opposition to raising the national debt ceiling calls for a stronger word than just ‘unethical.’ Irresponsible? Ugly? Dishonest? Maybe even unconstitutional, since the Fourteenth Amendment states, in Section 4,
“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.”
The Republicans are trying to frame the argument as one of big government vs small government. But that’s false. The question is, does the government meet its obligations, all of which were authorized by law, that is, by Congress, in accordance with the Constitution. Every dollar of obligation was accrued in accordance with Congress’s direction; every government bond, every social security payment, every soldier’s pay, every bullet purchased…you get the idea.
House Speaker John Boehner has said that of course the debt ceiling would be raised, but now seems to be going back on that position to accommodate some in his caucus who have no sense off duty, no responsibility to govern.
If the Republicans continue questioning the public debt they’re inviting, in the words of The Economist, “ incalculable consequences for the world economy as well as America’s…That strikes some Americans as nothing less than blackmail.”
If the President continues to play their game he’ll be giving in to their blackmail and will have abandoned his responsibility to govern.