Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Borrow Money

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.2: "Congress shall have Power to … borrow Money on the credit of the United States." This principle simply tells us that Congress has the power and authority to borrow money and create a debt against the credit of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson obviously did not like this clause in the Constitution because he stated, "I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing."

According to W. Cleon Skousen, Jefferson also believed the following about debt: 1) freedom from debt is a key to human happiness, 2) public debt should not be passed from one generation to another, 3) a government should cherish its credit, 4) to saddle posterity with our debts is immoral, 5) public debt is not a public blessing, 6) public debt is a danger, 7) discharge of public debt is vital to a government's survival, and 8) public debt results in oppressive taxation. (See The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, pp 392-395.)

I agree with Jefferson and Skousen: debt is not a blessing to us or our posterity and any debtor is in a dangerous position. It is good to be able to borrow money to handle an emergency; it is also good to keep the amount of debt at the lowest possible amount and to repay debt as quickly as possible. I believe that our nation is insane to borrow money from our enemies; I do not see any reason to give our enemies any power over us. Yet, our nation is deeply in debt to China. Why?

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