If Bush has his way the federal government will default on these bonds. Neither he nor the Republicans want to pay this money back. You won't hear them say that, but that's the plan. What about full faith and credit? With the hole that he's dug us into, the money is not there. But neither is the 1 to 3 trillion dollars that the transition to private accounts will cost us.
Frankly, when I read this, I thought it was a bit extreme, and not entirely supported by the "available evidence," as we legally trained minds say.
Then I went over to Josh Marshall's site. Now, Josh is someone I greatly respect. He seems to know what he's talking about, he has the background and scholarly temperament to be judicious in what he asserts; so when Josh speaks, I listen, whether I agree with him or not. And Josh says of the President's remarks today: "President Bush lays the groundwork for defaulting on almost two trillion dollars worth of US Treasury bonds, from today at the Commerce Department... It's what they're after. Just watch."
But that's just one. Then he says: "We and many others had predicted that the president's angle here was to default on the Treasury bonds sitting in the Social Security Trust Fund. And now we can be pretty confident that he plans to do just that since today he said that the Trust Fund doesn't even exist."
And finally he notes that the President's remarks violate Amendment 14, sec. 4, of the U.S. Constitution: "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."
Whether that provision carries criminal sanctions or not is another question. But can we all agree, now? Worst. President. Ever. And add "Dangerous" and "Reckless" to that appellation?
And will we see any mention of this on the NYT editorial page tomorrow? Or on the NYT front page? Or even on NPR, or CNN, or MSNBC?
My Lenten penance is going to be patience with the foolishness of others....