Friday Roundup: December 14th

  • Debt and the Constitution” John Steele Gordon at The American: One of the president’s demands for avoiding the fiscal cliff is that Congress give him the power to raise the debt ceiling, subject only to a two-thirds vote in each house to override him.While it is hard to imagine Congress willingly surrendering so basic a power to the executive branch, I wonder under what authority it could do so. Congress and Congress alone is granted the power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States” (Article I, Section 8). Can Congress delegate that power to the president and restrain its own ability to take the power back?
  • The Seen and the Unseen: Richard Rahn reports on the plight of Christine Jacobs, CEO of Theragenics, a medical device maker, that is, you guessed it, offshoring it before the medical device tax takes effect. Not content with going quietly Jacobs penned a letter to President Obama detailing her decision: “In our 30-year history we have treated over 200,000 men for prostate cancer, and we have been proud of our workforce and proud to have treated so many dads, brothers and husbands for cancer. As a public company we have fallen prey to the heavy burden of being public with increased expenses associated with [Sarbanes Oxley] and now Dodd Frank.” She also reminded the president that she had written to him back in 2009, when she stated, “We were paying about $8,000 per employee per year to be public and comply with the new Dodd Frank regulations. That money could be better spent on jobs and expansion.” Jacobs concludes, “Our 30-year-old company has done all our country has asked of it and has been punished. I am immensely sad at this writing.”
  • Fired up and ready to go: The 2013 Annual Federalist Society Student Symposium is March 1-2, 2013 in Austin, TX. The topic is “The Federal Leviathan: Is There Any Area of Modern Life to Which Federal Government Power Does Not Extend?” Discuss

Richard Reinsch is a fellow at Liberty Fund and the editor of the Library of Law and Liberty.

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