The Founders on Debt
To the founders, incurring a large national debt and then passing it on to future generations was the same as condemning those future generations to indentured servitude. The founders understood that governments tended to justify their debt as necessary to maintain the independence and integrity of the state. However, the founders also understood that when those debts were passed on to children that neither voted for nor approved of them, it was a blatant example of taxation without representation.
Thomas Jefferson considered excessive national debt to be immoral, and he advocated paying off debts within a generation (i.e., 20 to 40 years at the time). He wrote: “We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them (national debts) ourselves; and consequently within the life (expectancy) of the majority…”
Ever since the Great Depression, federal politicians have tried to justify excessive debt as necessary to avert an “emergency.” President Obama used this crisis mentality to urge quick passage of a“stimulus” law in 2009, which incurred nearly $1 trillion in debt in one swoop. Americans have consistently been told that the founding principles of frugality regarding the debt are out of date, and consequently politicians have “heroically” overstepped their constitutional boundaries to “save” the nation.
The result has been an out-of-control federal debt that this generation could not possibly repay. And even worse, no significant benefits have come of it. Unemployment still runs rampant, and poverty still affects millions despite false promises that the poor will be taken care of by the state. The federal government has become a “drug addict” in which the quick “fix” is to borrow, tax, and spend rather than accept the only effective solution: STOP ALL THREE!
Our current path will lead to economic destruction. To stop this, we must support politicians who understand the founding principles and support measures that may be unpopular but necessary such as cutting benefit programs, eliminating government bureaucracies, reducing government regulations and instituting a fairer tax system. We must all make sacrifices to better ensure prosperity and freedom for future generations.