October 2013 Archives

So there's this law in the State of Washington, passed by the people. It says, in no uncertain terms, that all records of the government are open to the public, unless those records meet "specific exemptions." Notably, there is no specific exemption for the governor's communication with advisors.

But the Supreme Court of Washington ruled today that the written law is wrong, and that even though there is nothing in the state's constitution implying it, that there is a broad and undefined "executive privilege" allowing the governor of the state to keep private many records that the law disallows to be kept private.

Literally, the court had to look to rulings applying to the President and governors of other states, rulings which have no standing in Washington and which are based on laws and constitutions that have no effect in Washington.

The ruling makes no rational or legal sense. The court never actually supports -- using our laws and our constitution -- the notion that our governor has this executive privilege, or that the rules for the President should apply to our governor. They just assert, with no rational basis, that the federal standard should be our standard. The court explicitly takes away the rights of the people without justifying it from the law of the people.

Essentially, the court thinks the governor should have such privilege, therefore, the governor does have such privilege, and damn the details. It's yet another example of how many statists simply hate the rule of law: where they want something the law disallows, they simply ignore the law and make something up that sounds good to people who aren't thinking.

I've been saying it for more than two years, and even though the math is completely clear, people still don't get it: hitting the debt limit does not mean default. We have more than enough money to service the debt. If we service the debt, we do not default.

What Jack Lew and President Obama are mostly doing is explicitly claiming that failing to pay for various "obligations" is "default." But they are simply lying. They talk about our credit rating, but that is related to actual default on our public debt, not the new definition of "default" they are inventing.

Now, it is true that we do not get revenues on the same schedule as we need to pay the debt service, which could mean that we don't have enough revenues right away to pay debt service right away, but that just means we need to manage the incoming revenues to make sure we have enough for the debt when it comes due (which is harder than it sounds, but not a lot harder, but that's another discussion). Some also claim the President does not have the power to prioritize payments for the debt. That is simply untrue, but to get rid of all doubt, the House passed a simple bill giving explicit authority to do such prioritization. The Democrats refuse to agree to it, apparently just so they can continue to falsely claim they are not allowed to prioritize.

There is only one possible way to default on our debt: through the explicit choice of the President. If we default, it is literally because President Obama chose for us to default.

I am not the only one who can do simple math. Moody's apparently can, too. "We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact. ... The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury's extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default." (emphasis added)

That's not to say there is no problem with running out of debt. But default is a choice. We will not default, because Obama will not choose to default, because not only would it be economically bad, it would also violate the Constitution. But if we do default, it is literally entirely on the President and his explicit choice to default.

"Connection refused." That's all the state will tell you if you're trying to buy insurance today, at http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/. Compare this to yesterday's article claiming, Washington state health exchange ready to launch. They're ... not worried about being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls or Internet traffic ... when the exchange opens. ... "This is a long-awaited step forward for our country and our state," Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday during a news conference in Olympia. "Despite the shenanigans happening in Washington, D.C., today, we're ready to go in the state of Washington tomorrow."

"Connection refused." That seems like an apt metaphor to me, on multiple levels. Of course, like my web client's message not getting through to their servers, the Democrats are not getting the message that most people don't want this, or they want it delayed, or think it is unacceptable for them to shut down government just because most people will blame the Republicans. But it's also an apt metaphor regarding the fact that not enough doctors exist to handle the number of new patients: despite the lies told about how everyone is able to get health care, what is really happening is that you are forced to buy a product (perhaps subsidized by other taxpayers) that will pay for some of your health care, but cannot even guarantee you'll be able to see a doctor at all.

"Connection refused." indeed.

P.S. Why is the exchange a ".org" instead of a ".gov"? Are they trying to hide the fact that government is controlling this faux market?

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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