Sarah Palin Logic: Raising the Debt Ceiling is an Impeachable Offense, So Is Defaulting on the Debt

Sarah Palin wrote another Facebook post in which she outlined why defaulting on the debt is an impeachable offense. That, in and of itself, doesn’t make any sense since it’s Congress which is tasked with voting to raising the debt ceiling in order to prevent a default, not the president.

First, she wrote, “There is no way we can default if we follow the Constitution.” So case closed. We can’t default. Either Congress or the president has to raise the debt ceiling to pay the debt. The 14th Amendment, she continued, requires that we “service our debt first.” Actually, it says the debt “shall not be questioned,” but okay. Isn’t that what the House Republicans are doing right now?

But in the very next sentence, she made a case for how we can pay the debt without raising the ceiling. Palin: “We currently collect more than enough tax revenue to service our debt if we do that first.”

This is the myth we’ve been hearing about for a while now: prioritizing obligations or using tax revenues to pay the interest on the debt. Failing to do so, Palin wrote, is an impeachable offense:

Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense.

The only problem? It’s impossible to re-channel tax revenue into interest payments on the debt, and there’s no legal means for such a process. Oh, and it would utterly crash the economy and U.S. credit would surely face a crippling downgrade. Here’s Morgan Stanley, an entity that knows a little more about finance and the economy than Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) or Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) combined:

No, there is no legal basis for the Treasury to prioritize payments. As noted in our previous report, if the debt ceiling is not raised before October 17th, the Treasury will have approximately $30 billion left in the coffers to fulfill its obligations.

Given reasonable assumptions for receipts and planned expenditures, the remaining cash could last until November 1st, when large Social Security, Medicare, pension and other benefit payments are scheduled (about $67 billion in total). On November 15th, $31 billion in interest is due to bondholders. There is no legal basis for Treasury officials to fulfill certain obligations at the expense of others, and they therefore have no authority to cancel payments scheduled for November 1st. Further, without illegally stockpiling cash over the first two weeks of November, there will not be enough tax receipts on November 15th alone to prioritize bondholder interest payments over other expenses on that particular day.

Palin’s plan is to sabotage the economy, as well as the federal budget and the president. There’s no way to entirely reconfigure how the Treasury pays obligations. None. As Matt Yglesias pointed out, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew doesn’t sit up at night, logged into the government’s PayPal account, deciding which bills to pay.

So default would be eminent, and Palin and her cohorts will have carved out a ridiculous, unheard of pretext for impeachment.

Nope, this isn’t about Obamacare. This is about impeaching Obama. And they’re willing to crash the economy, as well as the entire federal government as we know it, in order to achieve that goal.

Bob Cesca is the managing editor for The Daily Banter, the editor of, the host of the Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and a Huffington Post contributor.

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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