Judge Andrew Napolitano extends his thoughts to Speaker of the House, John Boehner, in an open letter concerning the looming debt ceiling deadline and the struggle for sanity on Capitol Hill.
Dear Mr. Speaker,
When the Founders at the Constitution Conventional in 1787 created the House of Representatives, it was fashioned to act as the voice of the people within the institutional checks and balances of the Federal Government. That's why the entire House faces reelection every 2 years. That's why Constitutionally, you don't have to even be a member of Congress to serve as speaker. And that's why the Constitution allows for thousands of members of the House for our current population. It is the people's house, and the people spoke last November. They cried out against a government completely out of control. After President Bush grew the U.S. debt by $7 trillion dollars in 8 years in office, and President Obama added $4 Trillion in just 2 years in office, the people cried out against big-government policies that are sabotaging the economy and taking over our lives. And because they cried out, you are no longer just John Boehner from Ohio. You are now the second in line to succeed to the presidency. You are the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mr. Speaker, the House of Representatives has just 8 working days left before the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline, and by wide margins in whatever way the question is asked, Americans do not want to see the debt ceiling raised. They're sick and tired of paying interest on borrowed money; money borrowed in their name. The Federal Government borrows so much money from so many sources, Mr. Speaker, that no-one knows for sure just how much it owes to its lenders. It already appears that it has exceeded the legal limit set by the congress at $14.294 trillion, and they actually at this moment in time are closer to $14.5 trillion. The White House is putting intense pressure on you and on Congress to raise that limit. The President's apologists have even suggested invoking the 14th amendment to bypass the will of Congress and borrow money without legal authority. Given the way the White House has run roughshod over your House in the matter of the "not-war" in Libya that our military is still "not" engaged in, the word of the President's lawyers that there is no presidential power in the 14th amendment to borrow money on his own can hardly be trusted. This is a president who does not regard the Constitution as a limit on the exercise of governmental power. But the President can only get away with violating the Constitution, Mr. Speaker, if you let him do so.
If you stand up for the will of the people, you will restrain him. This is the moment of truth for the Congress, Mr. Speaker. The scare-mongers and the chicken-littles in DC will tell you that the sky will come tumbling down if the debt ceiling isn't raised, even though your colleagues, Senator Pat Toomey and Rep. Tom McClintock, have introduced legislation that would prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations.
I have two words for you, Mr. Speaker. Stop it. That's right, just stop it. For too long our government has spent beyond its means and in our names, sinking us and generations as yet unborn into deeper and deeper debt. And you, Mr. Speaker, can stop it. The President stands with the big-business, big-banks, big-government complex, and against the American people. He's even prepared to defy the laws of economics. But the American people are not ignorant as he thinks they are, and you know that.
Mr. Speaker, you have the opportunity to do something that no standard bearer of small government has ever been able to do in our modern era; get the government to live within its means. You can do it by standing firm with your colleagues in the Congress who are leading the call for change. You can stop it. You can force the Federal Government to make the difficult decisions to bring itself within its means and begin to loosen the chains of debt that have been foisted on our country by a centuries worth of progressive big-government architects. End it this summer, Mr. Speaker. Stop it. Tell the President, "not a penny more." Stand up for the American people, bring government within its means, and begin the restoration of our republic.
If you do this Mr. Speaker, if you restrain the federal beast, you will become one of history's great champions and heroes of freedom. If you don't, we'll all go through this again the next time a president wants to spend beyond the government's means and chain us all down to more debt.
Mr. Speaker, don't let us down.
-Judge Andrew P. Napolitano