Biden's delusional G7 press conference

Biden’s delusional G7 press conference

by Washington Examiner

May 23, 2023 05:00 AM

It is risky for the world’s most important country to elect a president in his 80s. The danger was clear last weekend when President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference at the G7meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.

Biden spoke about the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which was formed in 2007 between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to counter Chinese military and economic aggression in the region. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the group in 2008, but President Donald Trump managed to reinstate the alliance in 2017.

None of this reality seems to have lodged itself in Biden’s increasingly muddled mind, which always seems to tell its possessor that he played a central role. Speaking in Hiroshima, Biden said: “I doubt many people in this audience or any other audience would have said that two years after being elected, I’d be able to convince India, Australia, Japan, and the United States to form an organization called the Quad."

He’s right: No one could have imagined that Biden would do that, because it had already been done by his predecessor. Such self-aggrandizing delusion in our chief executive is embarrassing.

Unfortunately, Biden’s fictions did not stop there. It continued when he turned from international affairs to domestic matters. Not once but twice, Biden claimed that his administration “was able to balance the budget.” What planet does this confused old chap live on?

The White House’s own website reveals that the federal government ran a $2.7 trillion deficit in 2021 and a $1.38 trillion deficit in 2022. These are not balanced budgets. The White House projects the deficit getting bigger, not falling or bringing the budget anywhere near to balance. The deficit is expected to rise to $1.57 trillion this year and rise again to $1.85 trillion in 2024.

These are Biden’s own numbers. He will preside over grossly unbalanced budgets every year that he is in office, even if — perish the thought — he wins reelection to a second term as president.

Finally at the press conference, Biden turned to the main issue of the day: the debt limit, which he declared unconstitutional (which would surprise not only every constitutional scholar but also a string of presidents and Congresses who have run deficits over the decades). “I’m looking at the 14th Amendment,” Biden said, “as to whether we have the authority. I think we have the authority. The question is: Could it be done and invoked in time?”

What he was musing about was whether he had the authority to bypass Congress and keep spending, even if the people’s elected representatives on Capitol Hill did not raise the debt limit. This is delusional. Nothing in the 14th Amendment grants the president the power to borrow or tax beyond what Congress authorizes. Article I of the Constitution is clear: “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes … to borrow money on the credit of the United States.”

Nothing in Article II of the Constitution, which focuses on the president, gives him borrowing or spending power. Neither does anything in the 14th Amendment, which limits Congress’s power to repudiate U.S. debt obligations. The existing debt limit is a grant of authority to the president to borrow up to a certain amount. It does not repudiate past debt, and no president for more than 100 years has questioned its constitutionality.

The Treasury Department’s authority to borrow more money must soon be raised. While the federal government collects more than enough revenue to pay existing debt obligations, without additional resources, there will be huge economic disruption with hospital bills unpaid, welfare payments missed, military contractors denied what they were promised, and the whole world wondering if America is bankrupt.

Finding the right political balance to secure the votes needed to raise the debt limit is always tricky. Having a president who is out of touch with basic economic and constitutional realities makes it much more dangerous.