THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Obama should use power to pay debts

July 13, 2011

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RE “DON’T wave Constitution in debt’s face’’ (Op-ed, July 11): Juliette Kayyem is mistaken when she urges President Obama not to use his powers under the 14th Amendment to surpass the debt limit set by Congress.

By all means, President Obama and every member of Congress should work to lower the deficit by the most sensible means possible.

However, if the Constitution permits the president to order the Treasury Department to continue paying the debt, then by all means he should.

Contending with Republican pressure over the debt limit leaves Democrats vulnerable to blackmail for cutting programs that serve millions of Americans. Why tolerate that?

The 14th Amendment states that the debt’s validity “shall not be questioned.’’ Like it or not, it appears that in setting a debt limit Congress not only questioned the debt, but ignored the Constitution.

Bruce S. Ticker
Philadelphia