Leaked Draft Executive Order on Debt Ceiling

SUNSETtheIRS has obtained a copy of the following draft executive order from an anonymous source within the White House:

Secretary Geithner:

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution requires me to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.  Congress has made this duty impossible by enacting inconsistent laws: I cannot authorize spending required by Congress without violating the debt ceiling also enacted by Congress.  Congress’ failure to raise the debt ceiling leaves me three choices: 1. default on the debt, 2. reduce federal spending below current federal revenue, or 3. increase federal revenue to fully pay for spending enacted by Congress.

The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.  The Fourteenth Amendment requires that “the validity of the debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”  Accordingly, as long as an option remains available that will prevent a default on the debt, I am compelled to execute that option and avoid a default.

In order to reduce federal spending below current federal revenue, I must selectively ignore spending required by Congress to reduce cash outflows from the Treasury by approximately forty percent.  Reducing federal cash outflows by such drastic amounts in the current economic slow down will create too great of a danger.  I cannot faithfully execute my constitutional duty by reducing spending in this manner.

The only reasonable option available to me as chief executive is to increase federal revenue to prevent further growth of the debt above the ceiling enacted by Congress.  I have therefore determined that faithful execution of the laws under the Constitution requires me to end tax expenditures that reduce federal revenue.  If forced to selectively execute laws duly passed by Congress in order to comply with the Constituion, I choose to tax and spend.

Therefore, I direct you to immediately issue regulations from the Internal Revenue Service terminating all tax expenditures and collecting revenue at duly-enacted tax rates without the benefit of deductions and credits provided by tax expenditures.  This should provide the Treasury with a trillion dollars of extra revenue over the next year.


(Update 7/23/11 – Read the legal rational for impounding tax expenditures here: http://sunsettheirs.org/theory-of-inverse-impoundment )


  • 1
    May 21, 2011 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Obvious hoax.

    You guys better be careful. Your kindergarten approach to government revenues could be the downfall of the country you probably claim to love. Two choices. Only two: the rich pay more, or the middle class and poor may more. What do you suppose is “FAIR”?

  • 2
    May 21, 2011 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Tony – it is clearly authentic, it even has the BHO signature.

    Here is a third option for you to consider: end tax expenditures, adopt the “modifed flat tax” proposed by the BS commission and save $100 billion a year in tax compliance costs as estimated by GAO. That is an awful lot of revenue to spend on accountants and lawyers that could be spent on deficit reduction.

    For certain, the tax code as it currently exists, is not FAIR or efficient. We need to sunset the tax code and start over.


  • 3
    May 22, 2011 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon this—I am obviously bored.

    This is a total amateur hack. To the creator of this tripe: your giveaway is that you use language from the right-wing. You are so convinced that Dems are the party of tax-and-spend that you think we use that terminology internally.

    Please spend a little more time learning about macroeconomics, how your government works, and what positions your opponents actually hold, and less time imagining that you know the world works.

  • 4
    May 22, 2011 - 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Mark – obviously Obama has a right wing traitor on the inside or the memo would not have leaked. The traitor must have written the “tax and spend” part. You should spend some time trying to figure out who the traitor is in the White House! Rocky

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