In the midst of the increasingly heated discussion over the Platinum Coin Option, a big fat data point has appeared favoring the option’s legality and feasibility — namely, at least one congressional Republican is desperate to ban it before Obama can use it:
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is introducing legislation that would ban President Barack Obama and the U.S. Treasury from minting platinum coins to avert the debt ceiling standoff.
Walden’s defense of his bill is somewhat bizarre: He claims that it’s a way to protect the debt ceiling and thus keep the government from avoiding paying down its debts, when in fact the existence of the debt ceiling means that the government would be forced not to pay its debts and obligations, and therefore is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Even worse for Walden and his fellow Republicans, his legislation does something that the Republicans have taken great pains to avoid doing, which is to tacitly admit that the Platinum Coin Option is both legal and possible. Walden’s bill would make excellent court-of-law ammunition in defense of the legality of the Platinum Coin Option.
To paraphrase Paul Krugman:
Release the Kraken Mint the Coin!