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'everything that's old is new again', banks, Dave, economics, expectations, history, progressive, The President, The Republic

Public Debt, Then and Now

(courtesy of Free North Carolina, in part)

 It’s the Debt, Stupid, Clyde N. Wilson, Chronicles, February 2016, excerpt pg. 16

Abraham Lincoln was a devotee of the Alexander Hamilton/Henry Clay “American System” of public debt, tariff protectionism, government subsidies and a national bank. To finance his war in 1861, Lincoln turned to an income tax, and then succumbed to printing money. Nowhere in the United States Constitution is the federal government authorized to make paper money legal tender. By 1865, the public debt was $2.6 billion, and the direct/indirect cost of Lincoln’s war would reach $8 billion by 1900.
http://www.Bernhard Thuersam, http://www.Circa1865.com   The Great American Political Divide

Public Debt, Then and Now

“Contrary to official capitalist wisdom, debt does not create economic growth. This idea is a swindle. Interest to the very rich . . . does not produce anything. It does not multiply creatively into new enterprises and jobs; it merely diverts ever-greater proportions of earning that might be fruitfully invested.

The proof is all around us. How could the vast unpayable federal debt, which absorbs much of the government’s income just for the interest bondholders, foreign and domestic, possibly be an economic stimulus? How can the immense and near universal burden of personal mortgage and credit card debt possibly indicate a healthy economy and commonwealth?

The matter is simple, obvious to anybody except a politician, a captive economist, or a media flack, and it ought to be conveyed to the people at every opportunity. Debt is killing us. Every wise man in recorded history has affirmed that debt is not a good thing. Debt can destroy a family, a government, a society.

Alexander Hamilton, an upwardly mobile immigrant bastard with a Napoleon complex, declared that “a public debt is a public blessing.” Troubled, but not surprised, Jefferson noted a connection between debt cruel taxation that undermined the independence of the citizens, warning that “we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”

Weighed down by government debt, the people would have to labor ever harder to pay the debt-holders, leaving them “no time to think, no means of calling the managers to account.” Jefferson avowed as a core principle that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living,” but the living had no right to consume the earnings of posterity.

Antebellum statesmen like John Taylor of Caroline and John C. Calhoun and economists like William Gouge and Condy Rageut made the same case. After the War Between the States, so did William Graham Sumner, Thomas E. Watson and countless other public men and thinkers.

Republicans (and their predecessors) have always been the party of bankers and bondholders, service to the rich being for them a natural and essential function of the federal government. Opposition to the federal debt was long a plank in the Democratic platform, but Democrats today are just as guilty as the Republicans in regard to the issue.

Lip service to the virtue of “low public debt” continued until Franklin Roosevelt discovered Keynes and declared that debt is no problem “because we owe it to ourselves” – “ourselves” being a conveniently vague and collective being.

The bipartisan bailout of misbehaving bankers and brokers that we saw a few years ago, and the failure of a multitude of presidential candidates to mention the matter, is not promising.”

Posted especially for Dave.

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Public Debt, Then and Now

  1. The Bible likewise condemns debt, and God commanded the Hebrews (Israelis) to forgive all debts every 7 years. It also says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

    Posted by Rev. Paul | December 28, 2016, 10:48 am
  2. Well said, and sadly correct… Look at all the pension funds, Social Security, etc. that are failing because the pols have used the $$ for something else…

    Posted by Old NFO | December 28, 2016, 3:46 pm
    • Right on the money Old NFO. In AZ the union I was in at the time was instrumental in keeping our pension funds OUT of the state general fund.
      The politicians saw a big pile of money they could blow through and leave the retirees swinging in the wind.

      I’m no big fan of unions after seeing all the BS they pull on all levels but *this* one they got right.

      Posted by KM | December 29, 2016, 12:32 am

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