If presidents wants to run off the cliff, then let him

Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012, 1:41 pm
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By John Donald O'Shea
We are fast approaching the "fiscal cliff."

The president is playing hardball.

It is time for the House to play hardball, and to save the country. Here is the simple advice I would give Congressman Paul Ryan:

Dear Congressman Ryan:

Here is my plan to save the country by ending deficit spending.

1. Let President Obama "drive the bus" off the "fiscal cliff."
2. Then pass separate appropriation bills for only the things the House wants; e.g.:

a. A Social Security appropriation;
b. A Medicare appropriation;
c. A military appropriation;
d. An FBI appropriation.
e. Etc.

3. Make no appropriation for anything the House opposes. Agree to nothing else.

4. Force the president to accept or veto the things the country really needs.

The principle involved is simple. It can be found in the U.S. Constitution.

Article I, provides, "No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law." And before any bill (appropriation or otherwise) can become law, it must be passed by both the House and Senate. "

The principle, therefore, is that the president and the Senate cannot spend one penny, unless the House agrees to appropriate the money.

If the House decides to take control of the "purse" as it did in the early days of the republic, and as it did after the Civil War, all the president's grand schemes are checkmated. There may be adverse consequences. But the deficit problem won't be one of them. Nor will deficit spending.

And until we eliminate trillion dollar deficits, all other fixes are phony.
John Donald O'Shea of Moline is a retired circuit court judge.


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1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
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