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An Open Letter From Judge Andrew Napolitano To House Speaker John Boehner (Video & Transcript)

Video - Judge Andrew P. Napolitano - July 13, 2011

Complete text of the letter is below.  This is outstanding, but still I enjoyed Santelli's recent rant perhaps a bit more.


Dear Mr. Speaker,

When the Founders at the Constitution Conventional in 1787 created the House of Representatives, it was fashioned to act as the voice of the people within the institutional checks and balances of the Federal Government. That's why the entire House faces reelection every 2 years. That's why Constitutionally, you don't have to even be a member of Congress to serve as speaker. And that's why the Constitution allows for thousands of members of the House for our current population. It is the people's house, and the people spoke last November. They cried out against a government completely out of control. After President Bush grew the U.S. debt by $7 trillion dollars in 8 years in office, and President Obama added $4 Trillion in just 2 years in office, the people cried out against big-government policies that are sabotaging the economy and taking over our lives. And because they cried out, you are no longer just John Boehner from Ohio. You are now the second in line to succeed to the presidency. You are the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Speaker, the House of Representatives has just 8 working days left before the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline, and by wide margins in whatever way the question is asked, Americans do not want to see the debt ceiling raised. They're sick and tired of paying interest on borrowed money; money borrowed in their name. The Federal Government borrows so much money from so many sources, Mr. Speaker, that no-one knows for sure just how much it owes to its lenders. It already appears that it has exceeded the legal limit set by the congress at $14.294 trillion, and they actually at this moment in time are closer to $14.5 trillion. The White House is putting intense pressure on you and on Congress to raise that limit. The President's apologists have even suggested invoking the 14th amendment to bypass the will of Congress and borrow money without legal authority. Given the way the White House has run roughshod over your House in the matter of the "not-war" in Libya that our military is still "not" engaged in, the word of the President's lawyers that there is no presidential power in the 14th amendment to borrow money on his own can hardly be trusted. This is a president who does not regard the Constitution as a limit on the exercise of governmental power. But the President can only get away with violating the Constitution, Mr. Speaker, if you let him do so.

If you stand up for the will of the people, you will restrain him. This is the moment of truth for the Congress, Mr. Speaker. The scare-mongers and the chicken-littles in DC will tell you that the sky will come tumbling down if the debt ceiling isn't raised, even though your colleagues, Senator Pat Toomey and Rep. Tom McClintock, have introduced legislation that would prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations.

I have two words for you, Mr. Speaker. Stop it. That's right, just stop it. For too long our government has spent beyond its means and in our names, sinking us and generations as yet unborn into deeper and deeper debt. And you, Mr. Speaker, can stop it. The President stands with the big-business, big-banks, big-government complex, and against the American people. He's even prepared to defy the laws of economics. But the American people are not ignorant as he thinks they are, and you know that.

Mr. Speaker, you have the opportunity to do something that no standard bearer of small government has ever been able to do in our modern era; get the government to live within its means. You can do it by standing firm with your colleagues in the Congress who are leading the call for change. You can stop it. You can force the Federal Government to make the difficult decisions to bring itself within its means and begin to loosen the chains of debt that have been foisted on our country by a centuries worth of progressive big-government architects. End it this summer, Mr. Speaker. Stop it. Tell the President, "not a penny more." Stand up for the American people, bring government within its means, and begin the restoration of our republic.

If you do this Mr. Speaker, if you restrain the federal beast, you will become one of history's great champions and heroes of freedom. If you don't, we'll all go through this again the next time a president wants to spend beyond the government's means and chain us all down to more debt.

Mr. Speaker, don't let us down.

-Judge Andrew P. Napolitano



Related story...

Rick Santelli Goes On A Deficit Rampage: "Gov't Must Live Within Its Means! Now, Now, Now! Stop Spending Now!"




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Reader Comments (14)

Audit: Fed gave $16 trillion in emergency loans

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government's first-ever audit of the central bank.

Last year, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S. economy was $14.5 trillion.

Of the $16.1 trillion loaned out, $3.08 trillion went to financial institutions in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) analysis shows.

Additionally, asset swap arrangements were opened with banks in the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Mexico, Singapore and Switzerland. Twelve of those arrangements are still ongoing, having been extended through August 2012.

Out of all borrowers, Citigroup received the most financial assistance from the Fed, at $2.5 trillion. Morgan Stanley came in second with $2.04 trillion, followed by Merill Lynch at $1.9 trillion and Bank of America at $1.3 trillion.

The audit also found that the Fed mostly outsourced its lending operations to the very financial institutions which sparked the crisis to begin with, and that they delegated contracts largely on a no-bid basis. The GAO report recommends new policies that would eliminate such conflicts of interest, and suggests that in the future the Fed should keep better records of their emergency decision-making process.

The Fed agreed to "strongly consider" the recommendations, but as it is not a government-run institution it cannot be forced to do so by lawmakers. The seven-member board of governors and the Fed chairman are, however, appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

The audit was conducted on a one-time basis, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed last year. Fed officials had strongly discouraged lawmakers from ordering the audit, claiming it may serve to undermine confidence in the monetary system.

The full GAO audit results follow, below.

Jul 21, 2011 at 3:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermick
I'll give him credit for recognizing that the blame for the ~$14.5Tn debt may be assigned to the leadership of both parties.

However, this charter member of the Tinfoil Hat Club has no clue about that on which he opines. He has no clue with respect to the degree to which the entire global system of credit is linked explicitly to US Treasury established risk free rate. He is the poster-boy for the tea baggers' epistemic fail.

Nonetheless, the GOP was being asked to yield inches on taxes to gain yards on spending cuts. It amounted to victory – yet the Tea Party saw a squalid compromise. Nothing but the Democrats’ abject surrender would do. If it could learn just a little restraint, the Tea Party would be hard to stop. If not, it will smash itself, hobble the Republican party, and dash US hopes of economic recovery into the bargain.

The Tea Party is peddling a version of the constitution’s intent and origins that most historians do not recognize. In the Tea Party’s re-writing of 18th century US history the founding fathers with their white wigs and wearing their three-cornered hats, in their Christian nation, were exclusively focused on revolting against taxes and defending their right to bear arms.

The Tea Party is promoting a form of constitutional fundamentalism that bears a striking resemblance to religious fundamentalism – and appeals to many of the same voters. Constitutional fundamentalists talk of the founding fathers and the constitution in the same way the deeply religious talk about Jesus and the Bible.

The Tea Party venerates the constitution while despising the political system it has produced. But logic and fundamentalism rarely go hand in hand.

Lest I am mischaracterized as an Administration apologist, it's important to note that it’s a tragic comedy that the ideologues in both parties continue to dominate the debate. They’ve become partisan caricatures and those of us in the prudent, independent, free-thinking middle should treat them as such.

The solution to the slow motion deficit/debt train wreck necessarily includes personal/individual entitlement reform, corporate entitlement reform, lower defense spending and a flatter, yet progressive, income tax structure; federal income tax rates are near a 50 year low and progressivity does not unduly impede free market, entrepreneurial capitalism.

Wake up nit wits, we’ve all been complicit in the creation of the problem and the solution necessarily requires that we all feel the pain.

Demand that your representatives stop playing politics with the highly valuable intangible asset that is the full faith and credit of the United States; it's about to be impairment tested by the bond vigilantes. This intangible asset was established over hundreds of years but it will be damaged severely and will take a very long time to repair.
Jul 21, 2011 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterFearful of Economic Neophytes
The first 19 seconds of lyrics covers my opinion of FASCIST country.

Jul 25, 2011 at 2:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
Jul 25, 2011 at 3:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Bank stocks led European markets lower Monday as the looming deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and a further downgrade of Greece’s rating prevented markets from extending a four-session winning streak.

Jul 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
An open letter to Judge Napolitano:

Hey Judge, How about getting rid of the bush tax cuts and making Wall Street, the corporations, and the wealthy who are getting rich off the American Taxpayers pay at the same percentage as the taxpayers, without all the loopholes and deductions that allow them to pay nothing or damn near nothing?
Have those Republicans who like to sign pledges, sign one pledging to stop going to war for false reasons. Have the Democrats sign it too. It would be nice to know my grand kids aren't going die in some shootout being fought to increase the military industrial campaign donations to a bunch of corrupt politicians.
The Republicans stand for the big-business, big-banks, big-government complex every bit as much as the Democrats. Their idea of downsizing government is to get rid of or make powerless any bureau, or agency enforcing rules and regulations that protect the american consumer, or the environment. If it threatens the bottom line of their financial backers, it's got to go.

The Democrats are just as bad or possibly even worse.

The truth is that the present government of the United States is so corrupt it does not represent the American People. It is time to take a Roto Rooter to the Washington D.C. cesspool. If the American People do not stand up and demand a return to the principles this country was founded on, 535 people in D.C. and the special interest elite are going to destroy the American Middle Class.
Jul 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
C'mon, John! The interest can be paid and SS checks delivered without default! HOLD THAT LINE, JOHN AND YOU WILL


Jul 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanice Fortin
Well said Sagebrush.
Jul 26, 2011 at 12:34 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Some pretty high expectations from the likes of Boner. He's pretty much been a failure as speaker.
BTW how did a guy who passed out checks from the tobacco lobby on the floor of the house get approval to be speaker?
Not much competition in the looney bin.
Jul 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterelemental jim
Good point jim...
Jul 27, 2011 at 1:22 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
As someone who live in his district Jim, I can say that Boehner has truly been a failure to those he represents all along. However, if you have tons of money to hand out, John is their for you...

Big Tobacco, Puerto Rican Rum, and many more hold more sway over John than those who elected him to serve them.

Even John knows the money to pay the "debt" does not exist, yet we hear no true solution from the ringmaster...
Jul 27, 2011 at 2:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Isn't about time that the leaders of the Republican Party shed (kick out) members of the Tea Party? How can such people be both? They have divided loyalties but are much more interested in undoing, if not destroying, the federal and other governments. They do not understand the role of goverment is to work together with all members for the benefit of the whole society, and as suchs they need to understand and implement the long tradition of compromise. It is obvious that the Tea Party members are extemists while the real GOP isn't. The House Speaker, should then inplement ways to work with the other party for the good of the country instead of personal benefit, or being overly concerned about getting reelected. We need to get some statesmen/women. Members of the GOP want their party to compromise and work for the benefit of all.

Feb 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom

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