Fiscal Cliff Deadline: Obama Attempts to Seize Power Over Debt Ceiling in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations


The fiscal cliff negotiations, or lack thereof, trudge on with little indication that a deal will be struck before the December 31st deadline. Subsequently, as each day passes, a new layer divulges itself from the core, adding an increased level of frustration to the whole ordeal. The most recent controversy to bloom concerns the debt ceiling and whether or not autonomous power to willfully raise it should be granted to the president.

Although it seems rather inefficacious to display resistance towards the issue - knowing that such a display will inevitably only serve as a ceremonial protest, rather than a true deterrent against the expansion of the executive branche's power - but, not to speak is to speak when principle is concerned. Without question, simply handing over additional power to the president not only defies liberty, logic, and reason, but also mocks our system of checks and balances, of which, the former ensures the latter. Additionally, the debt ceiling is most certainly an issue to be reconciled with, but offering up America's checkbook to a singular entity is hardly a rational response.

Controversy surrounding the debt ceiling was initiated when the Obama Administration included the proposal as part of its opening fiscal cliff offer to Congress. Although the preliminary buzz was focused on the anticipated tax hikes included within the offer, the spotlight has swiftly shifted its focus towards the debt ceiling argument.

The debt ceiling, which has been successfully raised, extended, or redefined 78 separate times by congress since 1960, has become a valid concern to many. However, ending the debt ceiling, at least in the way that the Obama Administration is promoting, is a complete fabrication of reality. Under Obama's proposed amendment, the debt ceiling would still exist; it would only be bipartisan compromises that would cease to be. A measure, I'm sure, that then-Senator Obama would have not supported under the Bush Administration. Of course back then, Obama felt that raising the debt ceiling was a "sign of leadership failure.".

Although admittedly frustrating, bipartisan compromises offer the checks and balances that America needs. For example, the debt ceiling compromise that congress forged in the summer of 2011 or the effervescent years of Tip O'Neil and Ronald Reagan. Neither dealt out an absolute win for either side, but there wasn't a total loss either - there was balance.

Of course, the argument can be made that accomplishing things would come at a greater ease and benefit to the people if only one man had the power to enact changes. The exact argument that the Founding Fathers were guarding against, because they understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Furthermore, the thought of handing a blank check and a handful of power to a politician not only fails to exemplify the spirit of America, but is in vain of one’s self-interest.

The debt ceiling itself is clearly a problem that continues to expand, rather than contrast. However, defying the laws of liberty and logic while slamming the door in the face of diversity, all in the name of fixing America, will do anything but.

As Americans, we are supposed to rise to the occasion, roll our sleeves up, and do what needs to be done in order to fight another day. Not simply make-up our own rules when things aren't going our way. Frankly, Mr. President, America has remained free as a result of diversity, checks, balances, and the laws of nature, not despite them.