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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Reading the Constitution is Fundamental II

This is written on Glenn Reynolds's blog

SO HERE’S A QUESTION: Would a default on Treasuries accomplish what the Balanced Budget Amendment was supposed to achieve, by forcing the government to spend no more than it takes in? With more collateral damage, of course. . . .

This is written in the US constitution Amendment 14 section 4

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.

Glenn Reynolds is a full professor of law.

He knows that the first amendment means he has a right to discuss whether it would be a good idea to default on treasuries to exactly the same extent that the 18th amendment means that it is illegal to sell intoxicating liquors, that is, not at all.

Now that I infer that a law professor doesn't know what's written in the Constitution, I wish I hadn't been so hard on Lasorda.

I'm not in the USA so I feel free to discuss his argument. In fact, I considered it a clever reducto ad absurdum of the idea of pre-commitment when Elisabetta Addis told it to me while lying on a beach 15 years ago.

And, believe it or not, I just told her today that we really ought to write up her joke as a paper with a model and so forth.

1 comment:

Nancy Kirsch said...

Tell Brad DeLong you want to read his paper. It is an update of "Slouching Towards Utopia."

He isn't advertising it himself. That is my job.

Please do not think I am doing this to be a crank. You will be very glad you asked.