Yes, it DOES sound like a joke, but it’s not.
As you know, we just got finished with a standoff over the Congressionally-created crisis known as the “financial cliff,” and now, we have to deal with the impending need to raise the debt ceiling in a few weeks. There have been two particularly interesting ideas put forth to allow President Obama to bypass Congress: The 14th Amendment and a trillion (yes!) dollar coin. We discussed this in class today, but here are the links for you to peruse.
So here’s a link to the discussion on the use of the 14th Amendment to unilaterally allow the president to raise the debt ceiling: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2011/07/31/possible_legal_loophole_would_be_risky_for_obama/
Then there’s the discussion of the Trillion Dollar platinum coin:
This has been suggested by people such as President Clinton and Paul Krugman, who is the owner of a Nobel Prize in economics (as well as being a liberal columnist)’ Here’s Krugman’s take: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/be-ready-to-mint-that-coin/
All this, instead of just negotiating a compromise. Sigh.