No, this is not a blog post about the legal implications of Obama’s alternatives to avoid the debt ceiling.
That is a nice discussion to have, but basically that comes down to this: 14th amendment solution is likely not legal, and even if it is, it is a terrible idea; the platinum coin solution is probably legal, but makes Obama look like the head of a banana republic. It would be no different than the Federal Reserve and Treasury printing another $1 trillion in dollars, and depositing it. In other words, a brilliant inflationary solution, but nothing more. Luckily, the Treasury has said they will not even consider the coin.
No, this post is the real reason why Obama can’t use either of the two above alternatives: practical reality.
Yes, I know. The Beltway loves to ignore practical realities as much as any organization in the history of mankind. They avoid truths and facts like it were a leper colony. But in this debate, there is a practical reality Mr. Obama cannot ignore.
For all the talk on the left, Obama realizes he has four more years of having to deal with a House that most likely will be controlled by Republicans, and more than likely by John Boehner. The math is clear: barring a wave election, it is far more likely that Republicans take the Senate than Democrats take the House.
So what would any of these alternatives bypassing Congress do? They would make the partisan divide deeper and wider. They would give the conservative wing of the Republicans more, not less, voice as we go forward, as they argue that there is little reason to compromise with such a radical executive in charge.
Liberals can whine and moan as much as they want (as they often do). But a simple fact remains: not much can get done without the Republicans compromising. And any avoidance of Republicans on this issue would make compromising on anything going forward almost impossible.
But hey, never underestimate the stupidity of those within the Beltway.
This is crossposted on the Spitcracker Picayune.