Letters to the Editor
May 18, 2023

To the Editor:

The CNN Townhall event last Wednesday evening was witness to the personality disorder of a man who would be president. This came one day after Trump was found liable to the tune of 5 million dollars for sexual abuse and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump’s deposition in the case was so thuggish and damning that even a juror, whose sole news source is a rightwing podcaster, voted for Carroll’s petition against Trump.

Trump defamed Carroll once again, (to enthusiastic applause and laughter from many men in the audience). He repeated his stale and debunked “stolen election” lies. He wouldn’t say if he backs Russia or Ukraine in that war. He claimed that Democrats endorse infanticide (they don’t). He insisted that the Archives documents are his, that Obama took documents (he didn’t), and Biden “didn’t comply” (he did). Every sentence was a churlish, pouty, self-congratulatory lie.

The most significant immediate issue is the Republican House plan to refuse to pay the national debt, funds already borrowed and spent. Should the US default, the government’s costs of borrowing will go up, the interest rates will explode, the stock market will fall significantly, our credit rating will plunge again, and Social Security payments could halt.
Most of us recognize that the appropriate time to discuss what we intend to spend, and on what, is when we prepare the budget. When the bills are already due, we pay, or become a deadbeat nation.

In 1939, a statutory general limit was placed on federal debt requiring Congressional action to raise the limit. This is President Biden’s dilemma:

His oath of office states, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The 14th Amendment Section 4 of the Constitution states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.”

The Republican majority in the House, in its current disarray and self-serving demand to “own the libs,” appears poised to bring this country down on June 1. This would leave President Biden with the option to allow the disaster that will follow an unconstitutional default, or bypass Congress to save the economy. The latter has some potentially negative consequences, but they are not in the same disaster range as the former option. President Biden’s highest duty is to his constitutional obligations over a statutory regulation.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.