Mathews Says That the Credit Worthiness of The U.S. Is at Stake with Looming Default in October

Peter Mathews on KTLK AM 1150, the David Cruz Show: To avoid default, Obama must order the Treasury to continue to pay all the nation’s bills.   [Listen on YouTube]  (11min.)

Professor Peter Mathews, agreeing with Robert Reich¹, says that because of the dire consequences of a U.S. default, President Obama should rely on Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which states that the “validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.”² Based on this Constitutional provision, which supersedes any Congressional law, the President must ignore the debt ceiling and order the U.S. Treasury to keep paying the nation’s bills. Mathews concedes that this action may be challenged in court, or might incur charges of impeachment by the Tea Party led, Republican dominated House of Representatives. Nevertheless, says Mathews, the President will prevail and will have bought valuable time, so that saner heads will be able to negotiate and achieve a sensible budget settlement, avoiding American and Global financial chaos.

Mathews also urged the President to educate and engage the American public in a full discussion on governmental spending priorities. In his radio analysis of the Debt Ceiling/Government Default Crisis, Peter Mathews suggested that President Obama carry his campaign for fiscal and economic sanity to the districts of extremist Tea Party Republicans, register and activate new and moderate voters, and help replace these extremist members of Congress with moderate Republicans or progressive Democrats who will implement socially just and economically productive policies for the United States.  [Listen] (11 min.)


1) Robert Reich is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was formerly a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and professor of social and economic policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University. He has also been a contributing editor of The New RepublicThe American Prospect (also chairman and founding editor), Harvard Business ReviewThe AtlanticThe New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.  (Source: Wikipedia)

2) Also known more commonly as the Balanced Budget Amendment, Section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”  (Source: Cornell University Law School,